Future Learn (the university based online education platform) has put a useful Virtual Reality summary on their blog. If you’re new to the whole VR in Education thing it’s worth a read.
Virtual Reality in education in some ways reminds me of “Gamification of education” or “Virtual worlds for education”. Lots of hype, lots of gee whiz articles, and handful of expensive, one off, exemplars usually from big organisations. Perpetually the next big thing until quietly sliding into a logical niche.
Don’t get me wrong it is very cool tech. Amazing stuff. In the right niches (like areas of Medicine) it looks like a game changer. But it has massive overheads in content development, hardware management, tech support and staff training, so the idea that it has widespread application is, at the moment, a bit fanciful.
But there was a time when DVD burners were $10,000, and computers were only in special labs in wealthy private schools. Also, there is a growing community of organisations creating and sharing VR assets for free. The tipping point will depend on your field so it is definitely worth keeping an eye out for articles in your industry journals and presentations at education conferences.
To me, smartphone based Augmented Reality (digital information overlaying real world images) looks much more viable. If you want to try it out have a look at the apps in this article on Tom’s Guide.