Is virtual reality poised to transform higher ed?
- The Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland College Park is at the forefront of visual communication and learning, and virtual reality is expected to become an important element for students and faculty.
- EdTech reports the latest generation of virtual reality technology, including the recently released Oculus Rift headset, could achieve mainstream adoption in five to 10 years, giving students a way to experience their lessons firsthand, without leaving the classroom.
- The University of Maryland is launching a major in immersive multimedia design, training the students who will go on to create virtual reality content to meet the demand in the classrooms of the future.
Colleges and universities have already begun incorporating virtual reality into admissions and recruitment, using the technology to give students virtual tours of campus. The Savannah College of Art and Design sent out 10,000 pairs of virtual reality goggles last year, hoping to help make the decisions of admitted students. And Penn State engineering students have created an immersive classroom experience to bring more life to distance learning.
Virtual reality certainly has the opportunity to be a powerful tool. The cost of technology has slowed its adoption so far, but developers could be at the cusp of making something more scalable on campuses across the country.
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