Technology has always played a critical role in the evolution of education, opening up access to new thoughts and ideas and expanding opportunities for learning. From the printing press to the calculator, to the earliest desktop computers, to the VR classroom of the 21st century, technological innovations have powered revolution after revolution in the way teachers and students engage in the learning process.
That’s what Kai XR is all about: using technology to break down barriers in education and expand access for all students. Our interactive, 360° field trips are an integral part of the virtual reality classroom, helping students expand their worldview; fostering a more inclusive, diverse, and safe learning environment; and giving teachers a powerful, turnkey resource to supplement and strengthen traditional lesson planning.
Today, emerging and continuously evolving technologies like VR (virtual reality), AR (augmented reality), MR (mixed reality) and XR (extended reality) are pushing the boundaries of traditional learning farther than we’ve ever seen before. But what are these technologies, how do they differ from each other, and where do they overlap? Here’s a quick look:
Virtual reality or VR refers to a fully computer-based recreation or simulation. VR is typically viewed through a headset or other device that projects an image directly in front of the user’s eyes, obscuring their view of the real world and creating the sensation of being immersed in an all-digital environment.
Artificial reality or AR layers computer-generated imagery on top of existing reality, typically requiring the use of a smartphone, tablet, or other device. AR allows users to interact with digital images that are blended into the “real world” they can still see around them.
Mixed reality or MR is similar to AR in that virtual images and environments are layered on top of the real world. However, MR goes one step further by enabling these digital objects and imagery to interact with—and react to—the physical objects and environment around them.
Extended reality or XR is an umbrella term for VR, AR, and MR technologies—it simply refers to any computer-based technology that alters reality by blurring the lines between the real and digital worlds. (As in, Kai XR.)
All of these technologies have their own applications and implications for teachers and students alike, but today we’re taking a closer look at virtual reality in the classroom. The VR classroom is already transforming the learning experience and will continue to play a critical role in shaping the future of education in America and around the world.
Rather than limiting students to the physical constraints of a school building, the virtual reality classroom lets them explore the world around them—and beyond. We’re talking far beyond. And the possibilities for growth in VR education technology are only going to expand exponentially in the coming years.
Kai XR’s virtual field trips are designed to support an effective VR classroom, helping educators create a safe, interactive learning environment to enhance in-class education.
Virtual reality—or some form of it—has been around a lot longer than most people might realize. Here are some highlights from the evolution of VR technology to give you a sense of just how long:
Since the broader adoption of VR technology among consumers, educators have been exploring ways to incorporate this transformative technology into classroom instruction. The virtual reality classroom offers opportunities to enhance the learning experience across a wide spectrum of educational styles and needs.
Immersive learning—which uses VR, AR, and XR technologies to enhance the traditional learning experience—is quickly establishing itself as a useful tool for educators to deliver more interactive, engaging lessons that go beyond the confines of the classroom.
This style of learning enables students to interact with a simulated environment, creating a more sensory-oriented learning experience that many educational experts believe can provide critical benefits for students. Immersive learning powered by the VR classroom benefits students in 5 key ways:
Given these benefits and the rapid evolution of technology to support virtual reality in the classroom setting, there is no doubt that immersive learning will continue to play a critical role in the evolution of education. However, there are still limitations to fully immersive learning, including recommendations that children ages 12 and under avoid using VR headsets.
That’s why Kai XR’s Exploration Mode leverages the same cutting-edge 360° technology that powers our virtual reality field trips to turn a tablet, smartphone, or other hand-held device into an interactive learning experience without the use of a VR headset. We strive to be the first entry point into the VR classroom and immersive learning for younger students, providing a safe, age-appropriate environment for learning that evolves with students as they grow.
For students with additional needs, the VR classroom offers opportunities to help build the skills they need to not just get by, but thrive. That includes:
STEM or STEAM education—which focuses on science, technology, engineering, art (in the case of STEAM), and mathematics—has been a focus for educators for the past two decades.
Powered by interactive VR, AR, MR, and XR technologies, the 21st century VR classroom has the potential to revolutionize the way teachers impart these valuable skills.
According to one study, there’s a real disconnect between what students perceive as being STEM careers and what they actually are.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of factors—from a lack of financial resources to transportation constraints—prevented many students from being able to access the educational opportunities that field trips provide. That is one of the reasons we started Kai XR back in 2018—to expand access for everyone by bringing field trips to students in order to foster greater inclusivity and diversity in learning.
As classes moved online in 2020, teachers across the country began looking for new, innovative ways to keep students engaged in remote learning—and more and more of them found virtual reality in the classroom and VR field trips the best way to do that.
Through a VR field trip, like any of the 100+ ones Kai XR offers, students can take a trip to world-class museums; see and experience the arts, science, and history up close and personal; or go on a journey around the world (and beyond)—all without leaving the classroom or their own homes.
The VR class isn’t an entirely new phenomenon. In fact, virtual reality in the classroom has been around for long enough for researchers to make some interesting findings.
According to a study published by the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning that analyzed 20 years of research on the use of VR tech in K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions:
Moreover, recent projections show that the VR classroom is on track for continued growth:
Given the rapid progress we have seen in technology designed for the VR classroom and how much room for growth there is, signing up for one of Kai XR’s virtual reality field trip packages will help ensure your students are able to benefit from these innovative, interactive educational experiences sooner rather than later.
When it comes to the virtual reality classroom, and using VR in general, teachers and educators are increasingly on board as well—as are parents. That’s not just here in America, but also true for our neighbors across the pond.
According to a survey of parents and teachers in the UK and US:
Still not convinced? Hear what these educators have to say about Kai XR’s virtual platform and the future of the VR classroom:
“Kai XR spares nothing when engaging & empowering students to pursue new educational opportunities. We are proud to work with a Black female tech founder as her example inspired many of our students.” - Daniel Rosove, Director of Impact Partnerships, SoLa Impact
If the VR classroom was catching on before the COVID-19 pandemic, then that trend has only accelerated since widespread school closures led to an increase in online learning and a reexamination of the role of virtual reality in the classroom.
Nationwide, teachers are increasingly leveraging the power of the VR class to keep students engaged. This potential of the VR classroom to help teachers engage students cannot be overstated—nor can the benefits for teachers.
Let’s face it—the pandemic hasn’t been a picnic for anyone, but teachers and educators have had it especially rough. A June 2021 RAND study found teachers reporting significantly higher rates of stress and even depression than the general population since the onset of the pandemic. Here are three key takeaways:
Not only can Kai XR’s virtual field trips help students unlock their potential, open new doors, and explore the world around them—but they can help give teachers and educators just a little bit of time back in their day by providing turnkey educational solutions that come equipped with educator-designed and student-approved content.
Moreover, as education continues to evolve in response to external factors like the pandemic, the VR classroom will become even more commonplace and expected. VR, AR, and XR technologies will all be critical in keeping students engaged in the learning process no matter where they are.
Kai XR’s virtual field trips can help build a VR classroom experience that educates and empowers students, while making life a little easier for teachers.
Each lesson comes with its own plan and discussion guide designed by educators for students, providing teachers with the assurance that all content offered through our interactive platform is engaging, educational, and age-appropriate for their students.
Below are just a few examples of areas of education Kai XR’s interactive field trips cover:
Virtual field trips enable students from all walks of life to access the same opportunities for education and growth, fostering a greater sense of inclusion and accessibility—two of the core tenets at Kai XR. As VR, AR, MR, and XR technology evolves and widespread adoption continues to grow, the VR classroom will only play a more prominent role in shaping and redefining the future of education.
As with any new and emerging technology, early adoption is critical. Getting started today by signing up for Kai XR today is a great way to get students involved and engaged while opening up new doors—and entirely new worlds.
Check out our pricing and package options that can help enhance your VR classroom and put your students on the path to success today. Have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a quick call at 510-993-0993. We’re happy to help!
There’s so much for you and your students to explore. All you need to do is start. Try out Kai XR on your smart device, tablet, VR headset, or laptop. We’ll be your guide!
Dive deeper into the metaverse, XR, VR, and all the tech bringing the next generation of learning to your classroom.