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Virtual reality for education: accessible for all

The Edtech Podcast looks at virtual reality and its uses for education

Investment in virtual reality for education is real. Facebook acquired Oculus Rift for $2bn.  

8 of the 10 biggest tech companies in the world have some stake in augmented or virtual reality, and according to TechCrunch, since 2012 VR startups have raised more than $1.46 billion in venture capital. 

Many, including Google Cardboard and Microsoft Hololens have big plans for education. But how can educators keep virtual reality for education accessible, whilst analysts and blue-chips get ever more excited? 

EdTech recently interviewed Global Teacher Award Nominee Joe Fatheree, also from the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (U.S), whose eloquent students informed them on how they used free 360 degree content from the New York Times to learn about cities. 

At the interview at EdtechEurope in June, former New York public teacher Monica Burns (above) of popular site classtechtips.com and author of ‘Deeper Learning with QR codes and Augmented Reality’ encouraged educators to question which ‘scannable technologies’ would have the most impact for students: ‘How are you going to translate this into a tool for teaching and learning when schools don’t have enough money for every student to have the devices you would like them to have’?’ She recommended going ‘beyond the headset’ to remember the pedagogy and best practice. Check that your tools figure in some content creation opportunities which embed learning, and are not passive. And on engagement of ‘disruptive education’ in the positive sense, remember to ‘respect the process’ and the time needed for change to occur. 

Listen to the extended interview at The Edtech Podcast

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