Virtual Reality Can Help People Succeed and Learn


The capabilities and advent of virtual reality headsets have become mainstream and available to most consumers. Even our own Randall Highschool Library has a VR station for students to take advantage of. Virtual reality has now become an extremely useful tool for education, careers, and just for fun.  

Many schools have started to implement VR into their curriculum because of the advantage of immersion that comes with it, which can help young kids especially make connections in their learning. When learning a language a more extreme method but an often recommended one is complete immersion. For example, if someone wants to learn Japanese they would move to Japan and live with Japanese people. Not only would they quickly pick up the language they would also quickly understand and engage with their culture and practices.  This practice of immersion is immensely helpful in the process of learning. With VR students can visit historical locations like the Alamo or learn about the geography of an area like the Grand Canyon and be completely engaged and immersed. They will be more likely to remember and make a connection with what they learned by visiting and interacting with these places as opposed to just simply reading about those places in a textbook. 

VR has also helped make strides in professions that put people in danger. For example, firefighters can navigate an immersive environment and learn and experience things that they would only have learned if they were actually in a real fire situation. VR allows people like firefighters and even surgeons to participate in a similar environment that they would be working in and make mistakes. By allowing them to make mistakes without serious consequences and learn from those mistakes a trainee can more quickly catch up and compete with veterans in their field.

Being able to practice in a safe environment is arguably one of the best uses of virtual reality. Not only does it help people train and help people practice for professional careers but it can also help people psychologically via exposure therapy. In a simulated reality, you can create an environment to help people get over their fears. If someone suffers from something like claustrophobia, VR can put them in a claustrophobic situation and slowly get the person used to being in a claustrophobic environment. This method can also help people with their anxieties. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a practice run of a job interview before you actually go into one? Instead of practicing in front of your mom in the kitchen, you can instead practice in a simulated environment made to look like an office and talk to either a real person that isn’t your mom or an AI that’s programmed to ask you interview questions.

Although many people use VR mostly for recreational use like video games, I think businesses, schools, and medical practices should make use of VR in their establishments because of the benefits of being immersed in an environment and being able to make mistakes, make memorable learning connections, and helping people conquer their anxieties can go a long way in helping society become better as a whole.