How immersive technology can create new learning experiences for the new, hyper-connected student as they return to school and further education.

 

Sarune Savickaite PHD candidate in VR applications in Psychology, The University of Glasgow and Data Scientist, Edify / Sublime shares her thoughts with Immerse UK on how immersive technology will impact education as we emerge from lockdown.

Decades of behavioural research has helped humans understand how learners learn. And, in recent years, Extended Reality (VR & AR) has expanded exponentially, on course for global impact. The data generated from student behaviour in the 3D world will allow a more thorough exploration on how we process information, learn and explore the teaching environments. So the question is, how can we harness immersive technology to open new dimensions in the way we teach and learn?

Evolution of Digital Technology in Education

Digital technology has shaped the evolution of education for decades. The early 2000s saw an introduction of networked computers for collaborative learning, which soon moved to online digital learning, which has boomed in recent years via platforms like Coursera and Udemy. The education sector is now in the process of adapting this pathfinder knowledge and application of visual immersion to modern teaching environments, creating new learner-centred approaches, and seeking paradigm-shifting changes in teaching success.

Immersive learning has already proven to offer a powerful alignment of learner engagement and knowledge retention. However, its true potential lies in personalisation of learning, which promises to supercharge current educational standards and learning delivery.

Personalised learning

Gen Z are digital natives. They hold a universe of content in their hands with an endless textbook of knowledge at their fingertips, delivered through user-friendly devices and seamlessly integrated with their everyday lives. They desire personalised experiences…including when and how they learn. They are also skills-focused, self-sufficient, creative, tenacious individuals with a focus on fast pace advancement and sustainability.

So, how can immersive technology create new learning experiences for this new, hyper-connected student?

Platforms such as Edify integrate accumulative knowledge on immersive learning. It uses virtual reality and video conferencing to enable accessible, immersive and engaging educational experiences. Educators can demonstrate concepts in virtual laboratories and spaces which are normally challenging to access. New intakes of medical students, for example, will struggle in the standard ‘post-Covid19’ teaching. Edify provides 3D immersive anatomical and physiological environments where students can learn without limits. Over time, this Edify library of experiences will grow to cover all disciplines and allow for much richer, more collaborative digital learning experiences.

The potential here is immense and will drive cutting-edge research to deliver the future of personalised immersive learning – a learning future that will be expected by tomorrow’s students.

Webinar

We held a ‘How to Scope Immersive Apps for Education’ webinar on 5th Aug where we explored this topic in more depth with Dr Neil McDonnell, the Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Fellow for Augmented and Virtual Reality at the University of Glasgow and Martin McDonnell from Soluis and Sublime. A recording is available here.