Teachers confident that VR will help raise attainment
As technology becomes ingrained in day-to-day lessons, teachers feel that the next step in ICT – virtual reality (VR) – will benefit learning by enhancing engagement in lessons and raising attainment.
According to global technology group Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY), 94% of teachers can see how their lessons can be enhanced by the technology and nearly half (42%) estimate it will be commonplace in the next five years.
The research, in partnership with TV host Helen Skelton (Blue Peter, BBC Sport) shows that teachers also propose that technologies such as VR will be crucial in creating the workforce of tomorrow, with 84% predicting future jobs will be heavily influenced by tech.
While VR is generally a new addition to classroom learning and its consumer uses are still being explored, the overwhelming use case to bring it to schools was clear throughout the study. Although only a quarter (23%) of teachers have used VR in the classroom thus far, 97% of these found that it made for more engaged students.
Helen Skelton, TV presenter and former Blue Peter host commented: “Having met and worked with children all over the country over the past few years, it’s become increasingly clear that we need to be more creative when offering visual learning. Children are so engrossed in technology these days it is vital this translates to the classroom as well. As this research demonstrates, VR is the perfect enabler for students, no matter their background or abilities, to experience the unexpected and thrive within our education system.”
Of all teachers surveyed, over a third admitted that they have struggled to make things in the world real and relatable when their students have not experienced them previously, and 42% say they often don’t have the time to do so. However, two-thirds believe these problems can be solved through VR, with the ability to bring things to life called out as the biggest benefit of the technology.
Of all the wide-ranging uses of VR, teachers would most want to take students to explore new worlds – like climbing to the top of Everest, seeing moments in history like the D-Day Beaches during WW2 or exploring wildlife and the natural world. This mirrors the subjects which teachers feel would most benefit from VR, with sciences and geography making up the most popular choices.
Sophie Bradshaw, head at Croydon High Junior School GDST commented, “We’re seeing first-hand how engaged our girls are when they interact with technology. We have girls as young as five learning to code and our teachers do an amazing job at bringing their subjects to life. We’re all for continuing this journey, introducing more technology where we can, and ensuring our girls have the experiences they need to become the solution architects of the future.”
VR 'raises aspirations among the next generation of programmers'
Over two thirds think the use of VR technology to overcome financial or physical barriers that some students face is desirable and as well as these uses, some stated that there will be a positive effect on the design and creativity skills of students – and that VR can actually help build aspirations for students regarding the types of jobs they want to do.
Obstacles still remain for teachers in delivering the best experiences though, with over two thirds saying budgets are the biggest hurdle they face, followed by lack of technology and time. In-line with technology being an issue, 73% of teachers agree that it is also the key facilitator to move classrooms forward into the future, and 55% firmly believe that VR will see an up-turn in grades.
Rich Henderson, director of global education solutions at Lenovo (pictured) commented, “The research highlights that tech and specifically VR offers endless possibilities when it comes to teaching, students are no longer bound by classroom walls and teachers are no longer bound by traditional lesson plans. There’s a whole new range of experiences for students to take inspiration from, with three quarters believing that VR can support blended learning, and embedding into existing practices will improve the classroom. It’s time to embrace this technology and give teachers the tools they need to inspire the workforce of tomorrow.”
Lenovo’s extensive education portfolio features a new line-up of products offering a variety of features designed to optimise the classroom experience including:
The VR Classroom kit built on Lenovo Mirage Solo with Daydream
- ‘Hardened’ hardware such as rubber bumpers, reinforced ports and hinges to cater to the educational environment and improve durability
- The entire education portfolio is ML-SPEC tested including drop-testing up to 29.5 inches and designing keyboards that resist spills up to 330ml
- Enhanced pen usability making it easier for extended writing tasks and designing on the go
- World-facing cameras which make it easier to record and take pictures in all modes
- Increased support for Google Classroom and G Suite for Education