Virtual Reality: Learning by Seeing in 3D

Virtual Reality: Learning by Seeing in 3D

Carol Templeton, Michael W. Kessinger
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1400-9.ch005
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Moving beyond the traditional K-12 classroom environment, this chapter examines the pedagogical benefits virtual learning offer gifted and talented students. The use of virtual reality as a learning tool is relatively new in the field of education. A discussion is provided how virtual reality promote and support learning theories such as Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Constructivism, and Connectivism. The benefits of virtual reality in terms of spatial awareness and the use in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) areas the technology offers to K-12 gifted and talented students are also discussed. On a global level, the use of three-dimensional software and computer devices can help students discover and understand abstract and complex concepts. This chapter provides an overview of current research and projects relating to the use of virtual technology devices within the field of education.
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Globally technology is evolving at an immense pace forging innovation and generating new inventions and ideas designed to enhance how we communicate, educate, conduct business, travel, and develop programs to how we are entertained. Simsek (2016) supports this statement arguing “the rapid change in science and technology has made information more valuable in the information age we live in” (p. 1).

The education world is not alone from the influences of technological advancements. New technologies offer exciting and expanding ways for students to learn new concepts, develop skills, and interact with each other. Scott, Soria, and Campo (2017) recognize the influence technology has upon the learning process arguing “new ways of learning have emerged in the last years by using computers in education” (p. 262). Stosic (2015) claims that technology plays a vital role in education by stating, “educational technology is a systematic and organized process of applying modern technology to improve the quality of education (efficiency, optimal, true, etc.)” (p. 111). According to Stosic, technology offers three main uses in education. First, technology is a tutor; it provides instruction and guidance to the student. Second, technology acts as a teaching tool delivering concepts and content to be learned, and finally, technology is a learning tool, a tool in which students can utilize, or manipulate to express their learning process.

Identifying technology that supports these three perspectives offers students the opportunity to explore concepts in a supportive learning environment designed to promote collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving activities. If used effectively by well-trained teachers, technology can help to facilitate the learning process, offering unique learning tools and multiple approaches to processing information. In a report to Congress, Dynarski et al. (2007) argue that technology not only provides assistive devices to help gifted students and ones with disabilities to learn concepts and skills but also to help all students learn difficult or challenging concepts that would not be feasible from textbooks or class lectures. In addition to this, Dieker, Grillo, and Ramlakhan (2012) and Siegle (2019) argue that advanced technology, such as augmented and virtual reality, also plays an important role in the learning environment for gifted students. Such advanced technology allows gifted students the opportunities to extend their learning experience beyond the regular classroom environment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

MMORPGs: Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMOORPGs) involves the use of the Internet to allow individuals to interact and conduct gaming activities simultaneously with other players around the world. Many of the games played on the Xbox and PlayStation are played in a multiplayer online role playing environment.

Spatial Ability: The ability to process images in order to understand, reason, and identify relationships among objects and space.

Three-Dimensional (3D) Technology: Technologies which utilizes 3D visual appearances to create real-life or different virtual experiences. Such experiences range from overlap of technology to completely immersive reality devices.

Augmented Reality: The use of technology to superimpose or overlap artificial imaginary upon real world applications thus combining artificial computer-generated images with real time images.

Technological Advances: The rate at which technology evolves and how it is adapted and incorporated into everyday life.

Virtual Reality: The use of technology to generate simulated and immersive environments which can be similar or completely different from real world applications.

Technology: Use of tools, computers, and applications to enhance quality of life, industry, entertainment, and education.

Multiple Intelligence Theory: Coined by Gardner in 1983, MIT refers to how people learn and their intellectual abilities to acquire new knowledge. Gardner proposed there are eight different intelligences the individuals possess in various levels.

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