Establishing themselves as a vibrant, progressive society, the Middle East has laid special emphasis on equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities. The leaders here understand that citizen participation and accountability in futuristic progress can be enhanced through a qualitative improvement in the education system. Consequently, the Middle East has become a flagbearer of innovation in education. Virtual Reality remains at the helm of these progressions, and it is being exhaustively deployed in schools.
Virtual Reality is also an active accomplice to spreading the UAE’s message for tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and cultural awareness. The country is celebrating 2019 as the ‘Year of Tolerance’. The Emiratis are showing the world how a progressive society like theirs, furthers a modern collaborative approach while staying in touch with its ethnicity.
In the last couple of years, many schools introduced VR to create a new learning environment alongside creating a culture of innovation and inquisitiveness. Educators switched to VR since it is an accessible way of involving the students in lessons while giving them access to the practical implementation of their learning. It has already been established that practical learning is the most effective method for student engagement. But the constraints of physical boundaries, investment, and resources limit its mainstreaming. This is where immersive learning techniques like Virtual Reality step up.
VR Journey to Explore The Cultures of The World
Interestingly, students and teachers are playing a vital role in this experience. Through VRXOne’s ongoing ‘Tolerance Program‘ the students are embarking on the discovery of enticing cultural experiences.
With expeditions to monuments that are a thousand years old like the Egyptian Pyramids, or to exploratory sites and museums at distant places, the students enrich themselves with inter-cultural wisdom. The virtual reality expeditions also allow students to empathize and experience how the kids in third world countries like Africa go to school and study. To establish friendlier relations within communities and strengthen the values of harmony, there are field trips through which students enjoy festivals of the world. It is such journey that make us believe that the world is one big family. Through these expeditions, students realize the importance of acting collectively and individually, with complete transparency, consistency and fairness.
Learn about Religions and Beliefs in VR
Festivities and celebrations bring individuals closer. It is a pure delight to be a part of unique ceremonies; streets and towns adorned with flags, pictures, banners, and decorations. The world today is moving towards establishing a tolerant, co-existing society and the Pope’s recent visit to the UAE is the one historic moment that has us propelled in the right direction. UAE is, indeed, an epitome of harmonious living where communities share their joys.
Emphasizing on the academic and cultural development of the students, His Excellency Hussein Al Hammadi (Minister of Education) said:
“The UAE is continuing to strengthen its foundation for future growth with new ways of learning, modernizing the way teachers share knowledge and skills while also enabling students to become competitive with positive values that will make them a force for good.”
Thanks to Virtual Reality, children of the Middle East are now also well-acquainted with unique rituals of the world and learn to respect their differences gracefully. From visualizing the fun and frolic of Diwali to being a part of the Halloween amusements, everything is near to reality. For the non-muslim users of Virtual Reality, it is now more accessible than ever to understand the Islamic faith and experience the festivals like Eid through immersive visuals.
Why Students Love VR – It Is Fun & Makes Them Confident
Schools of the region like GEMS education have incorporated Virtual Reality as an essential part of their classroom. One of the teachers from the school explains the effect it has on the students,
“When students come from a VR expedition, I see dramatic improvements in the way they perceive lessons. They have better clarity, more enthusiasm. Most of them display improvement in their test scores.”
For students, the VR class is a delightful time when they’re en route to their favorite voyage. When asked, a student from Dubai Scholars Private School explains his experience of using Virtual Reality.
“Virtual Reality makes me feel involved in the environment like I am a part of it. It’s like being featured in a game. I was struggling with concepts like the anatomy of the nervous system and muscular system. With Virtual Reality, it became easy to view these lessons.”, says a student of GEMS Wellington, Dubai.
As becomes conclusive, many students view VR as a game. And it is rightly so!
Virtual Reality is an improvised version of practical learning. Additionally, the fact that it is interactive and fun makes it all the more attractive to students. It is also much more accessible, scalable, immersive and affordable with a one-time investment.
Introducing Virtual Reality in regional schools has been a commendable transformation.
But there are some places where VR lessons are even more meaningful. These are the regions where people cannot afford a quality education. For many of these students, visiting places like Wonders of the World is a far-fetched dream.
The good news is that many of these students have realized this dream through Virtual Reality. While students of the region experienced VR Expeditions with the leading immersive learning program – VRXOne, many of the underprivileged students also tried their hands on the technology. Amongst these were some students who overcame the shackles of physical and mental disabilities to experience distraction-free learning.
While 2018 was an important period for maturation and mainstreaming of Virtual Reality in the classroom, 2019 is the year for greater strides.