There has been less engagement on that end than expected, but that could be because the devices weren’t quite what they need to be, the content hasn’t caught up with expectations, and so on. Personally, I feel that there is still a future for VR in those areas, but I don’t know.

On the education side, I am much more bullish. VR provides an opportunity to isolate abstract, complex concepts and make them more meaningful for learners. There is great power in that! Because of this, VR is and will become a necessary part of the educational process. There are a great number of ways to learn a topic and VR is not ideal for everything. But for those ideas which are difficult to visualize or imagine, the VR becomes a valuable and necessary tool. Why so valuable?

The VR affords us a distraction-free environment, also free of judgement. These are vitally important elements in student affect, lessening the chance of distractors being present in the learning process. Once we know we have an engaged, open learner, we know that there is a deeper connection with ideas and concepts, and this creates a valuable environment for learning. Couple that with real interactivity (not just “selecting”) where a student moves themselves in an environment to learn more, interacts with the content (drag/drop, assemble/disassemble, select and move items, and so on), then it becomes an active, experiential exercise. Add assessment into the environment and you attend to working memory and true learning.


All of these things exist today, and have been in use by schools around the world for the last couple of years. These are not in the future, but exist in the present.

So is VR the future? Well… VR in education is the present, and it will be so much better in the future.

Virtual reality will begin to take over things, like the porn industry, who already has a great share of virtual reality pornography, and it will bleed into games, as it's now doing with the release of the commercialized version of the oculus rift, and the htc vive.

As the technology becomes cheaper and easier to run, we will see it bleed into communications, where you will in fact be able to enter a virtual conference room with your co workers, or a virtual classroom where you can see and interact in real time with the learning materials.

I ultimately believe augmented reality will supersede virtual reality in time, as it will allow easy virtual interaction as well as a full screen overlay of a virtual environment. Once the technology is refined enough to be able to be shrunk down to the size of something that is like a contact you put on your eye, you can begin to imagine the applications for that!