Week 4 Reflection

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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.

 

 

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