Virtual reality’s (VR) potential impact on education is obvious, but while many working within the VR industry are talking about that potential only one school in the US is actually acting upon it. Charlotte Latin School, an art, engineering and programming institution in Charlotte, North Carolina is to start using the Oculus Rift head-mounted display for its Upper School engineering classes.
The class has tasked students with creating simulated worlds using the Unity Game Engine and open source 3D graphics and animation software Blender. The Oculus Rift is used to create experiences in which players will become completely immersed in these worlds. This involves visual arts, engineering and computer science students working together as part of the schools science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum.
Granted this isn’t quite the educational experience many have envisioned for the Oculus Rift, using it as a development tool instead of a product that could teach history lessons and more. But this is no doubt an essential step in the technology being incorporated into educational systems across the US. And as the technology finally becomes consumer-ready more and more schools will no doubt be looking to use it.
VRFocus will continue to follow any and all applications of the Oculus Rift, reporting back with any further updates.