ChatGPT is getting a lot of attention, and one area driving dialog is education. While the attention is warranted, another innovation is quietly making advances. Historically, education has been a bridge between eras — something that I explored in depth here. If you accept that signals point to a transition between eras, then education will be looked at to provide a bridge. But the question that must be answered is this: can education in its current form be that bridge? I maintain that the answer is no. Can that other innovation help? Virtual reality has quietly advanced. This article explores those advances.
After all, there are many things we can teach through books and lectures, but we can’t teach students to internalize the vastness of a billion stars, or the profound smallness of a billion atoms. But in the metaverse, students can discover it for themselves. The possibilities have always seemed endless, but the technology was never quite ready for mass deployment. Until now.
Louis Rosenberg, Unanimous A.I.
The article authored by Louis Rosenberg describes Dreamscape Learn, a company poised to revolutionize education from K-12 to college through the skillful use of VR experiences. As described in the article, the company was formed as a partnership between the VR entertainment company Dreamscape Immersive and Arizona State University. In a world where storytelling drives understanding and learning, the approach embraced by Dreamscape resonates with me. They combined the power of movie-quality storytelling and cinematic visuals with deeply thoughtful educational principles and clearly defined learning goals.
I have long been a believer that immersing oneself into a domain, whether it be history, medicine, or other, is the most effective and engaging way to learn. The author shares this belief, as he said “I believe immersive media is about to revolutionize learning.” He provides evidence to support that belief. He referenced studies from researchers at ASU that found students who used VR scored 9% higher when graded on the learning goals, and reported higher enjoyment and engagement. Here’s hoping it’s a growing trend.