Looking at the future of immersive education in a post COVID-19 world.
Multinational technology company Lenovo recently announced several game-changing updates to its VR education platform designed to assist schools in creating blended learning curriculums using their Lenovo VR Classroom 2 headset powered by ThinkReality, Lenovo’s AR/VR enterprise software platform.
To amplify the combined superpowers of the Lenovo VR Classroom 2 and Think Reality, participating schools will have access to a suite of distance learning software aimed at keeping students connected with teachers as well as each other. These updates will also address concerns regarding cybersecurity & student safety, give instructors the tools for remote class management, and offer a plethora of instructional resources.
Teachers will have the tools to augment the learning experience in either a physical or virtual classroom.
The Lenovo VR Classroom 2 is a 3DOF VR headset featuring a 110° field of view, Qualcomm 835 SOC processor, and up to 256GB storage. It not quite up to par with other standalone devices, such as the Oculus Quest, the Classroom 2 still manages to deliver engaging educational experiences perfect for the classroom.
The headset features a simple lightweight design composed of sanitizable parts, making it easy-to-clean between users. Having a single controller makes learning how to interact with the world much easier.
During an interview with VRScout, Rich Henderson, Director of Global Education Solutions at Lenovo said, “Immersion is better learning. Studies show that learning through VR versus traditional means result in measurably higher retention rates and performance gains,” Henderson adds, “The benefit of VR learning with a solution like Lenovo VR Classroom 2 is the ability to engage students and immerse into subjects and scenarios that are beyond paper or screens.”
Henderson talks about how a virtual field trip has the ability to immerse students and expand their world view. For example, he talks about how VR can place you into situations that are impossible to do recreate in a traditional classroom, such as standing next to a jaguar in the Amazon rainforest or being inside a leaf and witnessing the stages of photosynthesis.
“Under the current circumstances, where children don’t have opportunities for field trips, or are learning at home and are potentially very distracted, immersive digital can offer a lot of value for students and their teachers,” said Henderson.
Of course, moving classrooms into virtual environments comes with new concerns. One of the biggest is how do you keep student information safe? With students already using products such as Google Classroom and other online tools, they find themselves under attack from botnets, malware, phishing, as well as harmful content on the internet directed at students.
Keeping students safe in a way that complies with the Children’s Internet Protection Act is important for Lenovo. As a result, the tech company has partnered with some of the best-in-class software developers to enhance student safety.
Through a partnership with DNSFilter and Bark, Lenovo’s LanSchool offers a highly effective and affordable solution for protecting students. Teachers are able to manage the VR experiences that students will experience.
To help educators manage the classroom, Lenovo has partnered with LanSchool Air to give teachers the tools to manage and control all of the VR devices from a single source, just in case a couple of students decide to venture over to YouTube VR.
Lenovo has also packaged their VR classroom solution with pre-installed apps designed to launch students beyond the confines of their desks and into a more immersive learning environment:
- Veative Limited was developed specifically for the Lenovo VR Classroom 2, and features 40 VR modules including science, mathematics and virtual tours. You also have the option to upgrade to Veative Lab’s complete library of 550 interactive STEM courses either on Lenovo computers or on VR Classroom 2.
- VICTAR VR is a platform designed to engage with young learners through interactive VR environments that gamify the exploration of career planning.
- Wild Immersion is the world’s first virtual wildlife reserve that shows animals in their natural habitat through multiple 360° immersive experiences. Students are able to work independently and are able to access exciting animal experiences as well as come to understand the challenges of nature conservation.
For more information about the Lenovo VR Classroom 2 please visit their website.
Image Credit: Lenovo