By Marco Verch – PlaystationVR, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50730206
After reading the blogs of Matt, Kate, Heather, Genevieve, Sarah, and Anthony, we can all agree that VR is a wonderfully powerful experience that can be utilized in eduation. It’s great to know that schools with budget limitations can still appreciate VR with Google Cardboard. For those that can afford a better system, the VR experience can be more engaging and immersive.
One of the students at my high school had a headset similar to Google Cardboard, and I was able to experience a basic VR world. While it was attention-getting, and a great experience, it had a sub-par feel to it. No disrespect to that unit, but I think having a more sophisticated unit would greatly enhance a VR experience. And that equates to a more expensive headset unit, and hardware to run it.
According to one of my own students, he states owns an HTC Vive system. The whole system totalled $2100. When I found out about this, I asked if I could experience VR on his unit! Unfortunately, he said the motherboard of his computer “crashed.” I jokingly asked of the VR system “burned” it cause of the computing power needed to run such a system. He is in the process of fixing his system, but before it crashed, people who experienced VR were astounded. I mentioned the researched that stated young students have difficulty distinguishing virtual reality and actual reality. He stated that older people had a difficult time as well. It was that great. I indicated the research stated young people were more emotionally attached because of their developing brains. He didn’t believe me. 🙂
I believe that high end VR hardware will become more affordable in the near future. It always happens with emerging technology. It might take a few years, but there are affordable units available that can be used in the class to transport kids to a world away from their own. There are students everywhere in America that don’t travel further than their home town. For those kids, VR can open up experiences of a lifetime.