Employee training has come a long way in the UK, with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and E-learning becoming increasingly common in the workplace. But does VR have potential applications in teacher training? Here we look at how technology is being used to enhance education training around the world.
VR enables teachers to ‘teach themselves’
A recent article by Cambridge University Press reported that one teacher training college in California is using Virtual Reality to enable teachers to ‘teach themselves’. Using 360° cameras, 4K technology and a simple headset, a trainee teacher can observe their own lesson from a student’s perspective. The idea is to improve self-awareness by allowing the teacher to study their technique from a different point of view. It also allows them to look around the classroom at the students’ behaviour, observing their reactions to the lesson.
One trainee noticed that students at the front of his classroom were engaged and smiling, while some at the back were losing concentration. He commented “I could never see this in my own classroom with my own eyes alone. This is really interesting.”
This technique could also be used to allow trainees to ‘sit in’ on colleagues’ lessons to compare their own technique to others’.
Virtual Reality helps train teachers in developing nations
Virtual Reality training can be particularly useful where resources are scarce. In rural Myanmar, teachers have previously had to rely on basic, traditional training methods. But the installation of mobile signal towers in one Myanmar community has ushered in a new era for teacher training.
One project has set out to improve teaching through the use of responsive VR training. The project, which is a collaboration between Immersive VR, Connect to Learn and Ericsson, places teachers into virtual classroom scenarios which actually react to their actions. The system analyses where the teacher is looking, their movements and the tone and volume of their voice. If, for example, they’re talking too quietly, students at the back of the room start disappearing to indicate that they’re losing interest. After the lesson, the teacher is scored on their performance, and is given access to ongoing feedback and support.
Oculus launches VR education training pilot
VR company Oculus has this week announced a new initiative, Oculus Education. It will run pilot schemes in Taiwan, Japan and the United States. The project aims to educate teachers in the use of VR, and in turn will deliver educational content for pupils using the same technology.
The first phase will focus on teacher training, bringing headsets into schools, libraries and museums to demonstrate the vast potential of VR in education. It’s a big vote of confidence for the use of Virtual Reality in education training, and represents another step forward in the ever-advancing VR training revolution.
We are Absorb Reality, a Virtual Reality training provider in the UK. We can help businesses, public service providers and educational institutions improve the way they deliver learning programmes. Get in touch with us to find out more about our ready-made and bespoke training courses, delivered via the use of cutting-edge VR technology.