The Evolution of Tech In Classroom Settings: Virtual Reality and the Metaverse

Kai Frazier
August 11, 2022

Long gone are the days when teaching was limited to chalkboards and textbooks. Technology is revolutionizing the classroom in a new and exciting way, and there’s no turning back. Educators and students alike have found that integrating tech in classroom experiences is not only more engaging but also more impactful.

One of the most popular tech tools for the classroom is the virtual reality headset. Students can strap on a VR headset and be transported to another world where they can learn about different cultures, histories, and geographies. But VR isn’t just for history or science class; it can also be used for art, literature, and even physical education.

Here’s a look at how tech has evolved in the classroom, and what the future holds for today's young students.

What is Technology In the Classroom?

Technology in the classroom is any digital tool that teachers and students use to enhance their learning experiences. This can include everything from laptops and tablets to VR apps and websites.

Technology has a long history in the classroom, starting with the radio nearly 100 years ago. Then came the overhead projector in the 1930s. In recent decades, tech has experienced sweeping innovations starting with simple computers and moving on to the sophisticated devices we have today. In the early days of tech in the classroom, computers were mostly used for drill-and-practice activities or for playing educational games.

As technology has become more sophisticated, so has its use in the classroom. Today, teachers are using tech in the classroom to create dynamic lesson plans, deliver personalized instruction, and assess student understanding in real-time. And students are using technology to access information, collaborate with classmates, and create original content.

Common technology in today's classrooms includes:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Digital whiteboards
  • Projectors
  • Interactive displays

As we continue to see advances in technology, there's no doubt that it will continue to play an important role in education.

How Has Technology In the Classroom Evolved?

Tech in the classroom has come a long way since the early days of computers and educational games. Today, technology is an integral part of the learning process and is still rapidly changing the landscape of the classroom.

Some emerging tech tools in the modern classroom include:

VR/AR/XR technology allows students to immerse themselves in virtual worlds where they can learn about different cultures and history firsthand. They can even explore the solar system or the human body without ever leaving the classroom!

The metaverse is also providing new opportunities for learning, offering a shared online space where students can collaborate on projects and interact with each other in real-time.

Over two-thirds of educators either use virtual reality for teaching in their classroom or are interested in doing so, and for good reason! Through the use of virtual reality simulations, students of all ages can experience real-world scenarios in a safe and controlled environment.

For example, virtual field trips for kindergarten can take children to the zoo, while high schoolers can explore different careers without ever leaving the classroom. Similarly, medical students can use virtual reality to practice complicated procedures before performing them on actual patients. This not only helps to prepare them for the real thing, but also allows them to make mistakes without any consequences.

The possibilities are endless, and with VR technology becoming more affordable and accessible, it's likely that we'll see even more use of it in the classroom in the years to come.

What is the Metaverse?

The term, metaverse, was coined by Neal Stephenson in his science fiction novel Snow Crash. It refers to a virtual world where people can interact with each other and with digital objects in a realistic way. Current uses of the word include virtual world as well as augmented reality that combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds

The big difference between reality and the metaverse is that the latter is entirely digital – everything from the environment to the people in it is created using code and computer graphics. This means that the possibilities for what you can do in the Metaverse are almost limitless.

You could explore a virtual version of our solar system, or visit a digital recreation of ancient Rome. You could even battle it out in an online multiplayer game with people from all around the world. The beauty of the metaverse is that it's constantly expanding and evolving, so there's always something new to discover.

As virtual reality becomes more and more realistic, businesses and individuals are beginning to explore the potential of the metaverse. Here are three examples of how the metaverse is being used today:

  1. Online retail giant Amazon has opened a virtual 3D store that allows users to browse and purchase products just as they would in the real world.
  2. Automotive manufacturer Nissan is using the metaverse to allow customers to test drive virtual vehicles before they make a purchase.
  3. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has created a virtual reality exhibit that allows visitors to explore works of art from around the world.

Ultimately, the metaverse is an exciting new frontier that has the potential to change the way we interact with the world.

Virtual Reality is Shifting the Educational Landscape

The metaverse is thrilling because it offers a new way to interact with people and information. By using avatar-based interactions, we can connect with others in a more realistic and immersive way. Additionally, the metaverse provides a richer and more detailed environment than traditional web-based interaction. This allows us to explore, learn, and play in ways that were not possible before. 

Here are 5 key benefits of VR in the classroom:

  1. The metaverse can help students learn in a more immersive and intuitive way.
  2. VR can help educators assess student understanding in new ways.
  3. Virtual reality can take students to new and exciting places for learning.
  4. The metaverse can be used to bring people together for collaborative learning experiences.
  5. VR can help teach kids 21st-century skills.

Benefits of VR Tech In the Classroom

From kindergarten through grad school, VR is playing an increasingly important role in the classroom. It's not just about using tech to improve the educational process, but also to better assess student understanding.

The metaverse can help students learn in a more immersive and intuitive way.

The metaverse is a virtual reality platform that allows users to interact with each other and their environment in a realistic way. This type of learning has been shown to improve learning and retention by 75%.

In addition, it allows students to explore and experiment in a safe and controlled environment. With the metaverse, students are no longer limited by their location or time constraints. They can learn at their own pace and in their own time. This makes learning more convenient and accessible for everyone.

  • A chemistry instructor could create a virtual reality periodic table where students could explore the elements in a more immersive and interactive way.
  • A biology educator could take students on a virtual field trip to the Amazon rainforest.
  • A social-emotional learning coach could create a virtual reality experience to help students manage their emotions.

VR can help educators assess student understanding in new ways.

VR can provide educators with insights into how students think and learn by tracking their eye movements and body language. As VR technology continues to develop, it is likely that we will see even more innovative ways in which it can be used to assess student understanding.

  • Underperforming math students can use VR to practice and perfect their skills.
  • A student with social anxiety can use VR to build confidence and interact with others in a safe environment.
  • A passionate student can use VR to explore a topic in greater depth.

Virtual reality can take students to new and exciting places for learning.

Virtual field trips can take students to places they might never be able to visit in person, such as the bottom of the ocean or outer space. And interactive experiences can immerse students in a subject, allowing them to explore at their own pace and learn in a way that suits their learning style.

  • A kindergarten class can take a virtual field trip to ancient Egypt to see the pyramids.
  • A high school student can go to France during a French class assignment.
  • A college biology student can visit Berkeley's CRISPR laboratory.

The metaverse can be used to bring people together for collaborative learning experiences.

Through virtual field trips, students can explore and learn together, regardless of their location. This type of collaborative learning can help students build relationships and learn about other cultures.

  • A class can use VR tablets to explore Chernobyl, then discuss what they could have done differently.
  • A group of students can visit the White House and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the government works.
  • An elementary school class can collaborate on a virtual art project.

VR can help teach kids 21st-century skills.

21st-century skills for students are more important than ever before. With the metaverse, students can learn these skills in a fun and interactive way.

Some of the 21st-century skills that VR can help teach include:

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Digital citizenship
  • Information literacy
  • Media literacy
  • Technology literacy

Applications for Tech In the Classroom With Kai XR

As you can see, VR tech in the classroom is nothing short of exciting. Now, let's check out some of the different areas where tech can lend a hand in classroom settings:

Science With Tech in the Classroom

Many educators are incorporating technology into the science classroom to engage students and enhance learning. When used effectively, tech can provide students with a more interactive and hands-on experience that can help them better understand scientific concepts.

Here are some virtual field trips that science instructors can use in their lesson plans:

Social Studies With VR

With the recent advances in technology, social studies educators are now able to take their students on virtual field trips using VR headsets. This allows students to explore historical sites and world landmarks without ever leaving the classroom.

Let's look at some of the fantastic ways kids can learn about history through a VR lens:

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Through the Metaverse

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to integrate social-emotional learning (SEL) into education. SEL can be defined as the process of developing skills like self-awareness, empathy, and self-regulation in order to navigate relationships and everyday life effectively.

There is a growing body of research that suggests that SEL skills are essential for success in school and in life. One of the challenges of SEL is that it can be difficult to provide opportunities for practice in a safe and supportive environment. The Metaverse offers a unique solution to this problem. 

Here are a few prime examples:

  • Kai XR Spotlight: Dreaming in Za'atari: Help students understand and empathize with the experiences of three Syrian refugees.
  • Notes on Blindness: Everyone faces unique challenges and difficulties in life. This VR experience helps students understand what it is like to live with blindness.
  • Conversation With Ruby Bridges: What was it like to be at the center of the civil rights movement? This VR experience puts students in Ruby Bridges' shoes so they can find out.

Career and Technical Education Through Realistic VR Scenarios

Many people choose their careers based on what they see in the media or through word of mouth. Unfortunately, these sources of information are often inaccurate, and people can end up in careers that are not a good fit for them.

Career education through realistic VR scenarios can help people to make more informed decisions about their future. With this type of education, people can gain a better understanding of the pros and cons of each career, and make an informed decision about which path to take.

Some of our best career education VR field trips include:

Hands-On Language Learning

In the past, language learning has been a primarily text-based endeavor. However, with the advent of virtual reality technology, students now have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a foreign language in a way that was previously impossible.

In the metaverse, students can explore virtual environments and speak in the country's native language. By experiencing the culture and daily life of a country firsthand, students can gain a much deeper understanding of the language.

These virtual field trips can bring a whole new life to your language education:

As you can see, the metaverse offers a wealth of possibilities for education. From social-emotional learning to career and technical education, the metaverse has something to offer everyone. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring today!

Kai XR Makes Tech In the Classroom Available for Everyone

As anyone who has been to a modern classroom can attest, technology is becoming increasingly prevalent. From laptops and tablets to smart boards and 3D printers, tech is everywhere. And while some may worry that this trend is negative, there are actually many advantages to integrating technology into the classroom. 

At Kai XR, our mission is to make VR technology affordable and accessible for educators across the country. In just a few short years, we have been able to provide programs and schools with the unique opportunity to bring their lessons to life through technology.

Our app contains a library of immersive VR experiences that cover a wide range of topics, from math and science to history and English. Best of all, some of our VR programs are free!

Additionally, our VR is safe for kids and easy to use. All you need is a VR headset and a smartphone or tablet. No gaming PC or expensive equipment required!

Get Started With Kai XR Today!

As an educator, you're always looking for ways to engage your students and help them learn. 

With Kai XR, it's easy to get started, and there are already a number of lessons and activities available. You can use Kai XR to give your students a hands-on experience of historical events, take them on virtual field trips, or even just provide a fun and interactive way to review material. 

Don't wait to get started! Book a demo of the Kai XR today and explore the possibilities of VR in the classroom.

Featured Image by Ron Lach from Pexels

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In memory of my sunshine, Ky(ra) G. Frazier. Love you to the moon and back.