The exciting future of education with virtual reality

Over the next few years we will see an explosion of virtual reality in consumer entertainment and universities cannot miss the potential that it offers, especially in this period of changing and improved pedagogies. We mivielab experts team has been working in developing MaGICX Classroom of the Future. This project will be launching in 10 Aug 2017 by Minister of Malaysia Higher Education.

UTM agrees virtual reality (VR) is relevant to be adopted into classroom 4.0 to support Malaysia higher education agenda, towards redesigning higher education. Even though VR has started to take off in sectors like news making, gaming and digital marketing, the education sector does not seem to have the range of great experiences that VR can offer. The success of technology, such as games and VR, in the classroom is usually due to the efforts of a pioneering cohort, who work against a strong tide that’s judiciously pragmatic. And, it’s usually this tide that cannot see the immediate educational potential of such content – especially when there are so few great examples available for training and education.

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University is not usually an early adopter of these new technologies – and for good reason. Lecturers will want to ensure that it enhances and improves educational outcomes for students. And most lecturers will recognise the fact that VR cannot be used in the classroom context teaching with nineteenth century pedagogical approaches. This is often the biggest problem when using such technologies in the classroom, dooming their implementation for failure with little or no educational impact but more to wow factors.

But, while it may be a little way until we bring our VR projects in the classroom or projecting virtual reality of Ancient Malacca in the classroom or library for example, there is still something exciting about examining this technology and seeing the potential positive impact it could have on learning.

While there are no doubt other benefits to use this technology, we mivielab experts think that VR technologies will have a positive impact in the areas of inspiring wonder and curiosity, developing new creative skills and offering authentic “learn by doing” experiences.

Judging from the work that is being done in education around VR though, we feel that the most powerful learning experiences are those that foster community and collaboration, and empower the user to empathise.

Its gentle way of introducing VR into the classroom has an appealing and believable proposition of “going” somewhere where you can’t take your students. It is arguable that this may not be the most innovative use of VR in an education setting but it definitely gets educators on board with the technology, and through its ease of use gets them thinking about its potential to enhance learning. Thank you for reading.

Head of mivielab

Classroom of the Future Engineers and Developers :