Despite our work being predominately in primary schools, we are excited about the future of virtual reality in secondary schools. As students get older, VR experiences become more immersive and more realistic. Using high-end headsets, students can physically walk around in a different environment, see their hands in a virtual world and even interact with make-believe characters. This opens up a world of possibilities for secondary schools; imagine giving students the chance to complete remote work experience, dive into a range of scenarios to test critical thinking and even teach the coding required for pupils to create their own VR world. As high-end VR becomes more accessible and projects become more educationally driven, we’ll continue to partner with the very best companies to bring you new, exciting experiences.
VR headsets and their respective experiences can be split into two main categories: three degrees of freedom (3DoF) and six degrees of freedom (6DoF). To put it simply, 3DoF headsets allow users to turn their head left, right, up and down. 6DoF on the other hand, allows users to physically move forward, backwards, laterally and vertically. A 6DoF headset offers a far greater level of immersion to 3DoF but the practicalities and cost associated with it increases the barrier to entry for schools. The cost of a 6DoF headset is continuing to decrease and in five years, who knows, secondary schools and colleges may be running science experiments in VR. At PrimeVR, we currently use high end 3DoF headsets from our educational partner, Pico.
When investing in VR, secondary schools and colleges don’t just have the decision about whether to buy 6DoF or 3DoF headsets. They also need to decide whether PC enabled VR or standalone (without any wires) is more suitable for their learning objectives. PC enabled VR offers a higher quality experience with sharper graphics because of the hardware which is supporting the headset. Standalone on the other hand compromises on the graphics but provides a greater degree of mobility at a much lower cost. With standalone headsets making significant strides over recent years, we’d recommend going down this route. At PrimeVR, we use standalone headsets to ensure we are mobile and quick to setup any VR experience in schools.
Transporting students to places around the world that are difficult to access is a huge draw to educators but VR doesn’t just provide the opportunity to travel to far flung places. Students have the opportunity to create their own VR experiences using 360 cameras, coding 3D worlds and even presenting inside VR. Imagine students capturing their geography field trip using a 360 camera or designing their own product in 3D. The possibilities of VR are endless and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream in education.