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Benefits of Virtual Field Trips in Education

The remote learning process during the COVID-19 pandemic has made educators find new and innovative ways to deliver curriculum to their students. It’s no secret that the world has gone virtual. With the advent of YouTube and Google Earth, there has been a better time for education. Also, with the digital world comes the need for virtual field trips for students. It’s a tool that can be used to learn so much more about the world we live. 

Virtual Field Trips in Education provides digital explorations of our world through images, videos, audio clips, animations, and sounds. It is an excellent way of engaging students in learning experiences in the real world. In this article, we have discussed how Virtual Field Trips enhance the learning experience in education. 

What is Virtual Reality?

Virtual Reality is a computer-generated simulation that creates an environment with scenes and objects that appear real, immersing the user in their surroundings. The background can be perceived through a VR Headset or helmet. The experience seems so impressive that the surroundings feel real. 

Brief Description of VR Field Trips

Virtual Reality can change how people learn. It also represents a significant evolutionary step forward, transforming the delivery of educational content. Imagine visiting a temple or fort built 100 years ago or watching dinosaurs graze and roar around you. Imagine flying through outer space, exploring distant planets that humans never before set foot on, or travelling inside the human body and learning about various organs. In real life, these adventures are impossible. But with the help of Virtual Field Trips, imagination becomes a reality. 

So what is a Virtual Field Trip?

Before we dive into the benefits of the virtual field trip, let’s know what it is. After all, it is a relatively educational new term, and the metaverse is home to many different kinds of virtual experiences. 

A virtual field trip is just like an excursion or a guided exploration through the internet into places and experiences that are pre-screened and thematically based to provide a structured learning experience. It is an interactive and dynamic form of learning available free of charge. 

With the help of VR trips, students can study the subjects and explore the places to learn in real time. Besides, it is cost-effective and less prone to risks compared with traditional field trips. 

Learning Scope through Virtual Reality Field Trips

Students can experience VR trips through virtual reality headsets. This experience is an essential part of modern-day classroom requirements. Below, we have provided the scope of learning through virtual field trips. 

 

Wide Range of Subjects

With the help of 360-degree virtual field trips, students can benefit from understanding subjects such as history, geography, biology, etc. The pupils can learn about the photosynthesis process, the solar system, the functions of cells and human organs, explore significant events in the past, and many more. 

 

VR Trips can be helpful for students with unique abilities.

Traditional trips can be challenging for students with physical or mental disabilities. Such students might skip or be forced not to avoid getting involved in the trips without gaining experience. 

Using VR headsets in classrooms provides students to travel and analyze things that are not practically possible. Hence, schools can save time and money, providing students with an incredible experience.

Moreover, long after the VR is finished, students can remember the experience, which can help them to grasp concepts for future lessons. There are two ways in which virtual reality can be implemented in the classrooms: 

  • Through VR headsets
  • Through Immersive classrooms.

 

Here, Virtual Field Trips come to the rescue. It can be beneficial for students who have difficulties. The trips will allow students to experience real-life learning together regardless of their hardships. In addition, they can explore the content in their comfort. 

VR content applies to all.

People of all age groups can access virtual learning. However, the only requirement is to pick the most suitable and tailor-made trip for the age group. Virtual Field Trips are designed for different age groups and difficulty levels. 

Benefits of Virtual Field Trips in Education

Now that we understand virtual reality, let’s explore the benefits of education VR. We can divide the help of virtual field trips into a few main categories, which are discussed below.

 

  • Virtual Field Trips help to improve the learning experience and simply learn the concepts. 
  • It is more engaging and convenient to study than a traditional learning experience. 
  • The VR trips are more accessible, especially in the remote learning environment, where students can get an impossible experience to visit. 
  • Besides that, virtual learning allows students to collaborate across boundaries, learn and interact with each other and share their ideas. 
  • In addition, the virtual field trips provide opportunities for students to develop social-emotional learning experiences. 

Advantages of VR Education Trips (in detail)

 

Learning Benefits 

With the help of virtual field trips, students get a lot of exposure to the learning process. They tend to gain benefits in knowledge retention, skill-based learning, and comprehension. A virtual learning experience can fully engage your senses and provide more realistic simulations. 

VR Trips are used in various school subjects are –

  • STEM Subjects – (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths)
  • Social Sciences (mostly history)
  • Sports
  • Social and Emotional Learning Skills

Engagement Benefits

Traditional school trips provide limited experience to students. But with virtual trips, students can access the most recent, relevant, and diversified information from various resources. The VR trips are highly interactive, giving students complete freedom to navigate, wander, and explore new topics. It also keeps the students engaged and makes them feel empowered and motivated to learn further information. 

Accessibility Benefits 

Virtual Reality benefits students to learn more and makes learning more accessible. VR trips are cheaper to see far-off destinations and more adaptable and accessible to many individuals. In addition, VR education tours can be an excellent option for all the following –

  • Students having mobility restrictions.
  • Remote learning environments.
  • Immersive classrooms, etc. 

Last but not least, collaboration benefits through virtual field trips.

Virtual Field Trips in education can enable collaboration in various ways, such as

  • Students from different classrooms can interact or communicate by sharing information in VR trips through avatars.
  • Educators can adapt and share virtual resources. Compared to planned trips, VR excursions are more flexible and can be accessed between schools and classrooms. 
  • In addition, students can learn and gain skills and knowledge from experts from various regions and countries. 

In conclusion, virtual tours in the education sector are an excellent way to keep students engaged and motivated in the learning process. It also enriches skills and knowledge by providing students access to real-life situations. However, with technological advancement, virtual educational field trips can give students an immersive life that can help integrate theoretical learning with practical knowledge and insight.

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