Immersive virtual reality is “the presentation of an artificial environment that replaces users’ real-world surroundings convincingly enough that they are able to suspend disbelief and fully engage with the created environment” (TechTarget, n.d.). When I think about immersive virtual reality, I think of the funny goggles that I see people wear in commercials, but goggles are not actually necessary to have immersive virtual reality (which is good because those goggles are expensive). I can see where it would be very exciting for students to learn through immersive virtual reality, especially in gamification.

However, there are things that concern me after reading through the articles assigned this week. As Castaneda, Cechony, & Swanson (2016) wrote, “Many of the concerns expressed about VR use with children and adolescents center on eye strain and other physiological impacts. While these concerns need to be addressed, it is equally important to consider the ethics of the psychological impacts of VR on youth. While virtual experiences may appear objective in nature, there is a very real and subjective component to virtual worlds, particularly when considering use with adolescents. Users of VR bring their life experiences, emotions and fears into the immersion with them.” Personally, these are concerns that I would need to address, but I feel they could be worked through.

I believe that immersive virtual reality could enhance gamification because it would allow students to achieve “flow” and maintain it for longer periods of time while learning. I think it would be a great way to teach all subjects, but I’d start with math and science. I know it wouldn’t be long before I’d want to branch out from there. I found the Amplify (n.d.) website that sells access to immersive educational games. Their STEM section states, “Experiment and explore math and science with games that introduce and reinforce key skills in life science, physical science, fractions, factoring, order of operations, algebraic equations and binary math. Through vigorous gameplay, students build confidence in their own mastery of these skills.” The website does not give prices for their products, but I imagine it is expensive. I believe that with time websites like Amplify will be more common and affordable, which will allow students to more easily achieve “flow” while learning.

References

Amplify Education, Inc. (n.d.). Amplify Games. Retrieved October 3, 2016, from Amplify Education, Inc.: https://www.amplify.com/games

Castaneda, L., Cechony, A., & Swanson, T. (2016, July). Implications of Virtual Reality in Applied Educational Settings. Retrieved October 2, 2016, from http://foundry10.org/: http://foundry10.org/dev/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Implications-of-Virtual-Reality-in-Applied-Educational-Settings.pdf

TechTarget. (n.d.). Immersive Virtual Reality (immersive VR). Retrieved October 1, 2016, from Whatis.com: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/immersive-virtual-reality-immersive-VR

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