By: Ava Williams
We live in a virtual world. Our everyday actions are often carried out on our mobile devices or laptops that we keep within reaching distance at all times. We have become thoroughly invested in the tech world, its importance grows within our homes, offices and classrooms. This need for technology is impacting us all as students! Taking advantage of these possibilities, tools like “Virtual Reality” offer promising results, but at a steep and dangerous cost.
The hottest new technology innovation is virtual reality, also known as VR. It’s a computer-generated simulation offering a 3-D experience to the wearer of a specially designed headset. With the use of VR, classrooms have the chance to enhance their curriculum and create an interactive environment for the students. Schools across the globe have already begun to implement this immersive form of learning. For example, UCLA is training neurosurgeons using their “Surgical Theatre”, which subjects the trainee surgeons to a realistic surgery where they can prepare for the operating room (Walsh). From one side of the globe to another, the technology has the power to save lives and immerse students with unique and tailored curriculum for their special needs.
Knowledge is power, but power comes at a price. While technologies such as Virtual Reality can be beneficial, they have a harmful risk of digital addiction. Not only are we reliant on devices at home but VR will encourage greater use. Recent studies have proven that digital addiction and extended time on devices leads to the failure of the development of the frontal lobe, which houses our ability to control executive functions, such as planning, prioritising, organising, and impulse control (Wireless Education). However, it’s not too late, we must learn to use our devices for periods of time that won’t hinder our mental abilities and brain development.
Virtual Reality will allow us to connect and explore knowledge in a way that we have never experienced before, but may hinder ourselves in the meantime. Maintaining a healthy amount of time on our electronics can aid our ability to reap the potential benefits of Virtual Reality.
Walsh, K. (2017, November 28). “Real Uses of Virtual Reality in Education: How Schools Are Using VR”. Retrieved from https://www.emergingedtech.com/2017/06/real-uses-of-virtual-reality-in-education-how-schools-are-using-vr/
Wireless Education. (N/A). “Digital Addiction – What it is and what do we do as parents?”. Retrieved from https://www.wirelesseducation.org/digital-addiction-what-do-we-do-as-parents/