Headteacher Magazine, guide to services and products for UK Schools
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) has today released new data that shows almost all teachers (94 per cent) in the UK think that Virtual Reality (VR) would benefit the classroom, with nearly half (42 per cent) estimating it will be commonplace in the next five years. The research, in partnership with TV personality Helen Skelton, shows that teachers also propose that technologies such as VR will be crucial in creating the workforce of tomorrow, with 84 per cent predicting future jobs will be heavily influenced by tech.
While VR is generally a new addition to classroom learning and its consumer uses are still being explored, the overwhelming use case to bring it to schools was clear throughout the study. Although only a quarter (23 per cent) of teachers have used VR in the classroom thus far, almost all of these (97 per cent) found that it made for more engaged students.
Of all teachers surveyed, over a third (36 per cent) admit that they have struggled to make things in the world real and relatable when their students have not experienced them previously, and 42 per cent say they often don’t have the time to do so. However, two-thirds (66 per cent) believe these problems can be solved through VR, with the ability to bring things to life called out as the biggest benefit of the technology.
Of all the wide-ranging uses of VR, teachers would most want to take students to explore new worlds – like climbing to the top of Everest (67 per cent), see moments in history - like the D-Day Beaches in WW2 (66 per cent), or explore wildlife and the natural world - like watching a volcano erupt (65 per cent). This mirrors the subjects which teachers feel would most benefit from VR, with Sciences (27 per cent) and Geography (23 per cent) making up the top two.
Over two thirds (68 per cent) think the use of VR technology to overcome financial or physical barriers that some students face is desirable and as well as these uses, three in four teachers (74 per cent) stated that there will be a positive effect on the design and creativity skills of students. Over half (57 per cent) claim that VR can actually help build aspirations for students regarding the types of jobs they want to do.
Rich Henderson, Director, Global Education Solutions at Lenovo commented, “The research highlights that tech and specifically VR offers endless possibilities when it comes to teaching, students are no longer bound by classroom walls and teachers are no longer bound by traditional lesson plans. There’s a whole new range of experiences for students to take inspiration from, with three quarters (75 per cent) believing that VR can support blended learning, and embedding into existing practices will improve the classroom. It’s time to embrace this technology and give teachers the tools they need to inspire the workforce of tomorrow.”
Sophie Bradshaw, Head at Croydon High Junior School GDST commented, “We’re seeing first-hand how engaged our girls are when they interact with technology. We have girls as young as five learning to code and our teachers do an amazing job at bringing their subjects to life. We’re all for continuing this journey, introducing more technology where we can, and ensuring our girls have the experiences they need to become the solution architects of the future.”
Helen Skelton, TV presenter and former Blue Peter host commented: “Having met and worked with children all over the country over the past few years, it’s become increasingly clear that we need to be more creative when offering visual learning. Children are so engrossed in technology these days it is vital this translates to the classroom as well. As this research demonstrates, VR is the perfect enabler for students, no matter their background or abilities, to experience the unexpected and thrive within our education system.”
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