At ISTE 2016 in Denver, Samsung revealed the findings of a new study it has conducted into the interest in adopting virtual reality technology into the K-12 classroom. This nationwide survey of more than 1,000 U.S. K-12 teachers revealed that 86 percent feel it is a challenge to keep students engaged in curriculum, even with existing classroom technology. Meanwhile, 93 percent of teachers say their students would be excited to use virtual reality and 83 percent say that virtual reality might help improve learning outcomes – from better understanding of learning concepts (77 percent) to greater collaboration (71 percent) and motivation in the classroom (84 percent).
“As we saw with Chromebooks, tablets, digital curriculum and game-based learning, emerging technologies can have a profound impact on student success and virtual reality has the potential do the same and more,” says Ted Brodheim, vice president of Vertical Business at Samsung Electronics America. “Samsung is committed to empowering students and teachers through technology, and we’re excited to work with educators to create new learning opportunities with virtual reality.”
According to the survey, science (82 percent), social studies (81 percent) and history (81 percent) are the top three subjects teachers think can most benefit from virtual reality. Also, the majority of teachers believe they could use virtual reality in variety of ways:
- More than two-thirds (68 percent) of teachers say they want to use virtual reality to supplement course curriculum to help students better understand course concepts, like watching a book’s video trailer for a literature lesson or viewing a chemical reaction for a science lesson.
- 7 out of 10 teachers (72 percent) want to simulate experiences relevant to course content, like flying as the Wright Brothers did in 1903 or trading stocks on the floor of a stock exchange.
- 69 percent say they would use virtual reality to travel to distant world landmarks, like Stonehenge or Machu Picchu.
- 68 percent want to use virtual reality to explore otherwise inaccessible locations, like outer space or the interior of a volcano.
- 42 percent of high school teachers (grades 9-12) would like to use virtual reality to tour college campuses to encourage students to pursue higher education.
Teachers across generations have a positive perception of technology in the classroom. However, millennial teachers are more likely to say they are “innovators” in the use of classroom technology – 79 percent, compared to 67 percent of Gen Xers and 57 percent of Baby Boomers. Also, more millennial teachers report having already experienced virtual reality for personal or professional purposes (22 percent), compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers (both 15 percent).
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