Report: Almost Half of US Colleges Use VR

It has been clear for some time that virtual reality (VR) has some considerable implications when it comes to the area of education and many schools, colleges and other educational institutions have recognised this. What had not been previously clear was the extent to which schools and colleges were adopting the technology.

A report compiled from a survey conducted by Internet2, an advanced technology higher-education consortium revealed some details about how VR is being deployed in universities and colleges.

The report showed that in total, 18% of educational institutions in the US who responded to the survey had ‘fully deployed’ VR, and that 46% of colleges employ VR in come form on campus.

One expert who commented upon the survey results noted that K-12 level schools are also beginning to use VR devices, and that a majority of incoming freshmen will have some experience with the technology, leading to students expecting to have access to it in the college environment.

Colleges and universities are exploring a range of uses for VR technology, from offering virtual lab facilities for remote learning students, to simulated surgical procedures to help train medical students.

The report also mentions how areas such as ‘virtual stacks’ could be created in the library to help students access needed information, or take tours anywhere in the world to check out examples of architecture, or archaeology.

According to EdTech, experts commenting upon the report say that the private sector needs to also consider how to explore this area for if higher education fails to exploit the technology to its fullest extent.

Finally, the report indicates that the deployment of VR will continue to increase as the cost of the hardware decreases. While high-end devices such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive along with its accompanying PC hardware can be extremely expensive, lower-cost alternatives such as the Google Cardboard, or the newer standalone devices like the Oculus Go will make things easier.

For further coverage of VR use in training and education, keep checking back with VRFocus.