Of all topics within technology and its application within the education, it is the idea of the “digital Aristotle.” This is when a personalised teacher, tailored to each pupil, follows and teaches the individual to perfectly match their pace and strengths. Instead of a class of 20 where the pace of the class would not match each person’s comfortable timing, a digital Aristotle would help create the leaders of the future with a perfect kind of teaching, in much the same way that Alexander the Great was guided by Aristotle as well. But beyond this, Virtual Reality plays a role as well, and CoSpaces has some interesting ideas of VR in the classroom.
CoSpaces is an interesting tool for teachers who want to explore the creator’s perspective on virtual reality with their students. It is a free platform consisting of a browser and a mobile application. In the browser app, users can easily assemble virtual scenes: They choose a background environment and add figures and objects via drag and drop. These can be customized with a few clicks – to form a small forest with different animals in it, for example. Strolling through this forest is as easy as creating it. It just takes a smartphone, a VR headset (such as the Google Cardboard) and the free CoSpaces app.
“In my reading class, students build their own virtual reality worlds based on their understanding of a given text”, says Sunghan Park, a Korean teacher who uses CoSpaces in his English lessons. Angela Lee from New Zealand has a similar approach. She lets her students “build the world they’ve imagined from the stories we’ve been reading” – and thereby takes reading comprehension to a new level. For both teachers the process of building is more important than the possibility to explore the creations in VR with a headset. This is rather a bonus – something that makes it more exciting for the students.
According to CoSpaces, Virtual reality sparks students’ interest because it is new and exciting. VR plays by different rules than most other media: The audience doesn’t see the scenes from a fixed point – like in a photo, movie or most theater plays – but becomes part of it. This adds a whole new level of fascination and makes the learning content more engaging: “We learn best when something is fun and vivid”, says Delightex founder Eugene Belyaev. “Virtual reality is a great way to make something memorable.”
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