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Extended Reality (XR) and the Impact on Business, Workforce Development, and Education

VR

What Is XR

Extended Reality or XR is an emerging umbrella term given to all computer – generated environments that either merge the physical and virtual worlds or create an entirely immersive experience for the users. This is also known as augmented, virtual, and mixed reality.

Mobile devices (phones, tablets, watches and eventually eye wear) can leverage and interact with the technology.

Industries leveraging this emerging technology include business, manufacturing, retail, healthcare, hospitality, education.

Marketing, safety training, technical training, workforce development, DEI, soft skills are finding benefits from leveraging this technology and the environments that can create.

Benefits result from the individual’s ability to interact, engage, and immerse in the content that they are learning. Having researched and followed this space for over 5 years combined with my 25 years of training, learning and workforce development experience I have developed an understanding of the best solutions to enhance the training, education that is in place and exist today. Consider this technology as a new vehicle to bring the training and learner together.


Advantages of incorporating immersive experiences in the educational process

It's How We Learn

Before diving into the details of how immersive learning will help improve the education process, it’s important to understand why we need to improve the quality of education in the first place. Historically, most technologies designed to aid learning have been aimed at enabling access to information — facts and observations about the world. Before computers, we had a powerful tool that helped us retain facts: books. In the era of digital technologies, books are being turned into eBooks. Modern search engines make fact retention really easy, with just a few clicks you can find and experience answers to many questions.


Better Sense of Place

Immersive reality can be incorporated in the classroom to enhance student learning and engagement. It can transform the way educational content is delivered; it works on the premise of creating an extended world and allows users to interact with it.

Being immersed in one learning motivates one to fully understand it. It will require less cognitive load to process the information. It is also a safe environment to practice and receive feedback and practice again.

Thanks to the feeling that virtual reality provides, students can learn about a subject by living it. However, it is easy to forget that VR experiences are not real.

LEARNING BY DOING

It is a well-known fact that people learn best by doing; however, if you inspect modern education, you’ll see how little learning actually happens by doing. Students are focused on reading instructions rather than using them in practice.

Immersive environments provide an experience anchor to the instruction. Learners are inspired to discover for themselves. Students have an opportunity to gain experience by doing things rather passively receiving information. They receive immediate feedback or experiences that are unique to their interaction.

Individuals are captivated in the learning experience and less likely to be distracted by other external non-related activities. By submersing the learner in the learning atmosphere, they are more likely to be absorbed in the subject matter.

FASTER LEARNING

Because of the sensory and experiential of VR and AR, learners of all three modalities – kinesthetic, visual, and auditory – benefit from Augmented and Virtual Reality education and achieve faster learning while developing higher level cognitive skills.

ATTENTION THROUGH GREATER LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT

These immersive technologies combined with education solutions and lessons create an environment in which individuals are actively participating in their learning material and are incentivized through gamification as well as assessment levels achieved.

TEACH EMPATHY AND CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING

The magic of the technology that creates immersion is that it brings different places throughout the world right into the classroom. These new perspectives can result in fostering empathy and cultural competence because they take students outside of their normal daily experience. The use of VR and AR helps students understand people’s unique situations across the world. For example, teachers can use VR applications to enhance language teaching by exposing students to the cultures of the people who speak the language. Using technology to build culturally responsive environments helps students respect cultures different from their own.


How the inyourface program works

The program utilizes the current technology immersive learning. The solution is brought to the learner. This allows us to take the experiences and programs directly to the participants. Examples of locations are:

• After School Programs
• YMCA’s & YWCA’s
• Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs
• Church Programs

Specific applications that are educationally focused will be used. A curriculum is developed around each application that will be part of the activities. The curriculum will promote:

• Team work/Collaboration
• Communication
• Problem-Solving
• Creativity

Benefits of the inyourface Program

This program offers multiple benefits to participants:

• Introduces people with limited access to emerging technology.
• Leverages young people’s interest in technology and gaming applications.
• Highly interactive and immersive educational activities.
• Promotes self-discovery and applied learning.
• Highly portable program that can be brought to the participants verses transporting participants to the program.