Virtual Reality

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual reality (VR) refers to computer-generated environments that simulate the physical presence of people and/or objects and realistic sensory experiences. At a basic level, this technology takes the form of 3D images that users interact with and manipulate via mouse and keyboard. More sophisticated applications of virtual reality allow users to more authentically feel the objects in these displays through gesture-based and haptic devices, which provide tactile information through force feedback. While enabling people to explore new environments has compelling implications for learning, to date, virtual reality has been most prominently used for military training. Thanks to advents in graphics hardware, CAD software, and 3D displays, virtual reality Is becoming more mainstream, especially in the realm of video games. Oculus VR, a company focused on designing virtual reality products, is developing the heavily-anticipated Oculus Rift, a head-mounted display for gameplay to make the game environments and actions more lifelike. As both games and natural user interfaces are finding applications in classrooms, the addition of virtual reality can potentially make learning simulations more authentic for students.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?
  • "Field Training" for agents using VR to simulate conditions and issues that they may not otherwise be familiar with. - dgeller dgeller May 3, 2016 - jreich jreich May 29, 2016!
  • I saw a great example of it's use at the eXtension conference in San Antonio. For fire preparedness.
  • I worked on the "Lighting the Education Fire through Oculus Rift and VR Technology" project. It is relevant in helping individuals with experiential learning/training needs- joeyp joeyp Jun 5, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?
  • add your response here
  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?
  • The impact on Extension could be signicant in the training of new agents in a "choose your own adventure" context. - dgeller dgeller May 3, 2016
  • I believe this technology will allow the impossible to be possible. For example, for nutrition seeing the digestive process from the molecular viewpoint.- joeyp joeyp Jun 5, 2016

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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