VR in Education
The first known mention of virtual reality was in a short story from 1935 titled “Pygmalion’s Spectacles.” Now, nearly a hundred years later, virtual reality is part of school life for more than six million students across the United States.
The first major breakthrough came in 2012 with the release of the Oculus Rift headset. Suddenly, people could experience video games in 3D. Since then, scientists and researchers have realized that VR can be used for lots of things beyond gaming. Doctors and engineers use VR for training and for doing their jobs. And teachers and students can use VR, too. Now, students can take virtual field trips, explore career options, or even watch a historical battle take place.
For most of history, learning has meant reading a textbook, writing out answers to questions, taking notes during class, and studying for quizzes and tests. But with VR, teachers can take you all over the world and let you have hands-on experiences with history, science, and other subjects, which can help you learn better and remember more of what you learn.
Travel the World
- Experience Machu Picchu: National Geographic teamed with Oculus to create this tour of Machu Picchu that includes a tour of an Incan home.
- The Grand Canyon VR Experience: A kayak tour of the Grand Canyon allows users to control the speed, choose day or nighttime, and stop along the way as they travel the bottom of the canyon.
- Take a Virtual Tour of the Tate Modern’s Andy Warhol Exhibition: The Tate in London offers a VR experience of the work of pop artist Andy Warhol.
- Explore Vatican City: One of the smallest countries in the world is rich in history and famous works of art, including the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Renaissance artist Michelangelo.
- Gdansk, Poland: A waterfront Polish city offers the chance to learn about maritime history while viewing the lovely colored buildings topped with picturesque spires along old cobblestone streets.
- Vietnam’s UNESCO Sites: The natural beauty of Ha Long Bay and the Phong Na Caves can be toured along with the historic sections of Hoi An in these virtual tours.
Time-Travel to Key Events in History
- You Can Visit Ancient Pompeii, Rome, and Athens on This Time-Traveling Virtual Tour: It’s now possible to walk the streets of Pompeii or follow Jack the Ripper through London thanks to virtual reality.
- 360° Video: Viking and Slav Re-Enactors Face Off in an Epic Battle: Historically accurate axes and swords and accurately costumed actors were used to create this virtual Viking battle.
- The Dunkirk Virtual Reality Experience: Produced as part of the marketing campaign for a 2017 movie, this virtual experience lets people experience the evacuation after Allied troops were surrounded by German forces and attacked during World War II.
- Wargaming Unveils its First Virtual Reality Tank Battle Re-Enactment: Experience a historically accurate tank battle in VR.
- Civil War 1864: A Virtual Reality Experience: This experience begins in a Confederate trench in 1864 and moves through a battle and into a Union hospital, allowing users to experience a Civil War battle from start to finish.
Explore Space and the Ocean
- NASA at Home: NASA has a wide variety of virtual experiences and apps available to bring outer space into people’s homes.
- Five Space Experiences to Try With Your New VR Headset: Tour the International Space Station without leaving the ground with VR.
- Space Explorers: The ISS Experience: Astronauts filmed footage used to build a full virtual tour of the space station.
- Underwater Coral Reefs in 360: The full beauty of a coral reef is on display in this virtual tour.
- Sanctuaries 360°: Explore the Blue: The network of underwater parks overseen by the National Marine Sanctuary System is available to view virtually, letting users pick between seeing coral reefs in the Florida Keys or the Channel Islands and their impressive kelp forests.
- Ten Best Virtual Ocean Adventures That You Can Experience Right Now: Stay dry and explore underwater locations around the world with virtual reality.
- Dive to the Ocean Floor With New Google Earth Maps: Google has mapped the ocean floor so you can virtually explore the deepest depths.
Experience Careers Firsthand
- Virtual Job Shadowing: Job shadowing virtually is a new experience for students, job-seekers, and recruiters. Knowing how the process works is an important first step.
- Career Exploration and Virtual Job Shadowing: A video designed to help students and parents understand career options and virtual job shadowing comes with a discussion guide and worksheet to help get the conversation flowing
- VR Career Experience: This VR app lets you explore jobs in different trades, like pipe-fitting and welding.
Virtual Reality in Other Industries
- VR and the Future of Health Care: Cedars-Sinai Hospital looks at the ways that virtual reality can be used to train health professionals and treat patients.
- Five Ways Medical Virtual Reality Is Already Changing Health Care: From changing the way medical conferences are held to helping patients with anxiety and pain, virtual reality is already changing how people experience health care.
- The Applications of Virtual Reality Technology in Medical Group Teaching: Virtual reality offers the opportunity to radically change how doctors and nurses are educated.
- Will Virtual Reality Affect Product Design? New products can now be designed, created, and tested in VR before they’re made in real life.
- Does Virtual Reality Have a Place in Engineering? The ability to walk through a project virtually is changing how engineers work.
- Virtual Reality in Entertainment: How Are People Consuming Content? Virtual reality is changing the way people interact with museums, music, and amusement parks.
- How Virtual Reality Is Changing the Entertainment Industry: VR offers new ways to have fun, and it also offers new types of jobs creating fun experiences.
- How Nonprofits Use VR to Bring Their Causes to Life: Nonprofits are finding that they can get more support by showing people what they do using VR.