One of the most often asked questions we get is, “How do I get started with VR in education?” Hopefully you have taken some time to look through the site and watch some of the videos, to get a fair understanding of what to look for, and what to watch out for. Let’s look at a brief recap.
This is a quick recap of some of the benefits of VR for education, discussing key points such as agency, student control, active learning and special needs. We also touch upon some of the research that has been published about VR in education. It’s never a bad idea to start with why.
Connecting students with concepts
A minute and a half of Haruka studying Photosynthesis (in Japanese!). She is completely immersed in her learning, not thinking about, or concentrating on, anything else. It is easy to picture 10, 20 30 students doing exactly this.
There is differentiated learning for each student (each having their own account), and I will be able to check assessment scores on the Veative platform, to see about progress, and identify gaps in learning, allowing for early intervention. A teacher need not know anything about VR, nor even have to touch one. “Haruka, I want you to study Photosynthesis” is as much as I need to do.
Online and offline
It’s very true that the world is more connected than ever. However, high-speed, highly-reliable internet connectivity is still a rarity. My classroom in Japan is not capable of handling the streaming of large, 360° content.
We deal countries as varied as Colombia and India, and the US and Qatar (and all places in-between). Whatever you choose to use, not streaming content will save plenty of time, and free you of frsutration and headaches.
Where do I begin with Veative?
1. How many students/users?
The reason for getting into VR in education is to help students connect with abstract concepts and ideas, increase learning outcomes, to have a measurable way of tracking that progress, and identifying gaps. Veative stands for all of this. If you choose to go with a VR headset first, you will negate the significance of the first sentence. It’s not what VR device you have, but what you will do with it that counts. We’ve got you covered.
2. How many headsets?
This is far less significant than you may think. “I have 30 students in a class, so I need 30 headsets,” is not the right equation to start from. “I have 500 students in my school, and I want to positively affect their ability to learn biology, math, chemistry, physics, plus provide English language learning opportunities, tours, and more. I also want to know that this offering will keep expanding as my needs increase.” That is the best place to start! Expectations must be raised from the very beginning.
Headsets will be dependent upon budget. Small budget? Start with 8 headsets. Ideally, you would love to get to a ratio of about 1:10 (VR headset to students). But headset purchases can be at any time, as money becomes available, fundraisers and bake sales happen, and so on. We have many schools that buy just a few, then usage and enthusiasm encourage further hardware purchases to ensure that more and more students have access to the content, more and more often. This allows for full justification of the purchase.
3. Do I need storage?
This will depend on the number of VR headsets purchased, or which may be purchased. If you have 32 devices, you may choose to have one central cart for charging and storage. Or, you could choose to have 4 charging cases which house 8 headsets each. Buying 4 cases means that 4 different classrooms can be served at any one time, or the full complement can be taken to 1 class to do a special session, such as a lab on photosynthesis. Flexibility promotes greater usage throughout the school.
Costs will vary, but Veative was designed to be an effective, meaningful, practical way of enhancing education across the globe, so pricing was always of importance to us. We want this learning in the hands of every student, in every country. To give an idea, an average student cost is … 66¢/student/month. This translates into approximately $7.92* US per user, per year. That is for full access to the entire library of Veative VR content, which is expansive (don’t confuse that with expensive!).
This is independent of the hardware, just as Netflix is independent of the number of TVs. If your hardware needs are 1:100, 1:25, 1:10, or even 1:1, that is completely the choice of the teacher, school, or district. A greater number of VR headsets will allow and encourage more usage both inside and outside of class. The VR shouldn’t be confined to “an event”, but should be as simple as a student picking up a tablet, or doing a web search, to discover more about the topic they are learning.The VR is an instrument for learning, it is not a gadget.