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Introduction

Since decades, home schooling was not a preferred method of education by nations worldwide. Nowadays only 3% of the students are educated at home (Redford J., Battle D. & Bielick S., 2016). According to Gwen Dewar (2011), home educated students had at least one grade level higher in the most subject than public students. The research results show that being in an environment of choice correlates to scoring more accomplishments and therefore, it can be disputed that this choice for education is a feasible option to the declining schooling institutional systems.

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Virtual Reality (VR) is characterized as an artificial environment in which the player could interact in a natural manner using electronic tools (L. Freina, R. Bottino & M. Tavella, 2012). VR has become an affordable and accessible to the wide public with the recent technological advancements. The general public’s opinion for VR is mainly connected to entertainment which directly eliminates the possibility of using it with a different purpose. A study carried by Yonit Nissim & Eyal Weissblueth (2017) shows the results of students using VR to have a better development of creative learning, increased problem-solving skills and the ability to associate what was learned with real life. Consequently, using the VR technology as a tool for education may create more immersive experiences for students which could result in improved behavior and cognitive abilities. Therefore, the focus of this report is mainly on how VR technology could contribute to the home schooling process.

Methodology

The research data was gathered through semi-structured face-to-face-interviews of two groups in different studying environments with the addition of two academic articles. The conversations were recorded with the approval of each person. The first group consists of one 24 years old who has studied the past 2 years with three dimensional VR technology and group two consists of two male siblings aged 19 and 22 who have studied only with devices such as a computer with a keyboard and a mouse. The transcription of these interviews can be located in the appendices.

The used sample strategy was purposive, which is a non-probability type of sampling. The reason for choosing this method of sampling is because it focuses on specific characteristics of a person that is of interest to the research (Laerd, 2012). The participants have relevant interests and history for the study and are all in the same age group. The analysing was done under the inductive approach also known as the “grounded theory method” which is used to generate a theory by discovering emerging patterns in the data. Additionally, the interviews were coded using the “Grounded Theory Coding” approach which contains first open coding, following by focused coding and finalizing with theoretical coding. Three repeating relevant patterns were discovered in the interviews. Unfortunately, with the interviews of three persons, the scale of this research is not sufficient enough to be representative of the whole population.

Results

Beneficial Way of Educational Usage

Beneficial Way of Educational Usage

Throughout the research interviews a correlating pattern was clearly visible – the emergence of a positive learning experience with the usage VR and computer devices. The noted improvement of group one who have been using advanced VR headset to study several topics of matter for over two years now has enabled the educational level to advance into a further level of understanding and immersion (George, personal communication, November 11, 2017). This technological advancement can be used from simple mathematical task to its full potential when complex subjects are being examined. For example, the vast astrology and biology could be visualized within a click of a button via a program from the Internet. Nowadays books could only create a vivid image in the mind of the reader, using a VR headset for education can immerse the user deeply into the atoms of the particles (George, personal communication, November 11, 2017). That is an advantage which no teacher could be able to accomplish. These outcomes from the interviewee’s experience support the claim that the VR and other technologies could be used for a new distinctive and highly valuable manner of education.

Diverse Utility Functions

Nowadays availability is a key factor in every industry, including education. Having important components of the learning process by your side is crucial. Only recently has VR enabled the public to accommodate themselves fully controllable into all digital subjects of expertise. The person with the device is able to select between hundreds of different topics and download them anywhere via the Internet (George, personal communication, November 11, 2017). The children who are based in their home to study can download programs and experience through VR an accelerated and more cohesive way of understanding diverse subjects with increased interest (George, personal communication, November 11, 2017). The possibility of a huge advancement in this technology is not short, giving the fact that the adoption will keep increasing. In the future, if big companies strive to develop the educational devices mankind could see a rapid advancement in the learning process (Willem, personal education, November 19, 2017).

Possible Negative Health Side Effects

In the past years, the technological devices have become present all around us. With the advantages of using them not many people think about the negative health effects that they could carry with them. Protecting the body from an extended use of electronic devices can limit the blue light and radiation exposure, as well as prevent eye strain (Daniel, personal communication, November 19, 2017). The VR technology may cause additional temporary symptoms such as nausea and dizziness from the rapid virtual movement. Moreover, these devices create electromagnetic waves around them and they should not be used over a long period of time (George, personal communication, November 11, 2017). With the continuous use of this devices, some people may become addicted to them due to the entertaining state that they are in. Nevertheless, if people are using this technology for educational purposes and control themselves it will not result in a bad situation (George, personal communication, November 11, 2017).

Discussion

As stated in the research by Y. Nissim & E. Weissblueth, VR increased the ability of students to associate with what was learned in real life as well as it transformed the learning process into a more entertaining form. Their researched sample group developed increased creativity, stamina and endurance while performing tasks resulting in a beneficial use of the VR technology for studying. The VR headsets allow the user to interact with the world inside of it with ease, delivering more interest learning and technology (Y. Nissim & E. Weissblueth, 2017). The students who are educated at home could engage in their field of study using VR and may result in a more dynamic and desired method of learning. Undoubtedly, using VR technology for educational purposes should increase the person’s interest while learning and therefore, the level of memorizing. Home educated students could acquire the benefits of this method of studying easily due to the relatively low price and begin to experience a new proven and positive way of studying which in most cases may improve their learning environment. Consequently, when the demand increases and corporations increase their investments into this technology home schooled students will have even more enhanced virtual settings to learn theoretical subjects.

Implications

It could be recommended that the usage of VR technology for home schooling can be adopted as a potential effective addition to the studying tools. The students are going to be more inclined to receive constructive results rather than unfavorable. The VR technology has been proven to have beneficial educational functions which will keep evolving. Moreover, a substantial percentage of the students who are home educated achieve higher scores on the most subject and the VR technology could increase the level of learning beyond their current capacity. Nonetheless, with the small sample size of this particular research, the results are not sufficient to answer the research question. Therefore, a more large and detailed qualitative research should be organized in order to give a full answer to the research question.

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