Samsung Gear VR (Image courtesy of Samsung)
Troy High School

Opinion: Virtual Reality offers vast potential for education

As of now, Virtual Reality is the new frontier in the video game industry. However, its capabilities can be extended to offer a larger impact through education. When Microsoft Powerpoint was first released, it changed our entire approach to multimedia education. Now, it’s VR’s turn. After all, what better way to visualize and explore the mysteries of the world than through immersive technologies?

My favorite part about reading my history textbooks has always been the pictures. I mean, can you imagine reading a history textbook without those colorful prints and political cartoons that provide much needed context? For me personally, those are what help me relate to the experiences of life in the past.

What if we could bring these pictures to life, seemingly right in front of our eyes? With VR, that is now a possibility. I envision a sims-like “Colonial Life Simulator” that allows students to experience our nation’s beginnings with overly priced tea, British oppression, and the organization of our minutemen militia.

VR can also allow us to travel to faraway landscapes, such as the Pyramids of Giza in the lush Nile Valley from thousands of years ago, or as far back as the prehistoric days when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. All these experiences enable students to possess a better understanding of their past while generating unprecedented interest in the classroom.

Visiting Italy in Google Earth in VR (Source: Google Earth VR)

VR isn’t just useful for social studies. In biology or chemistry class, imagine the ability to view the world on a microscopic scale, with the option to zoom in or zoom out at will. VR would allow us to look at different atoms, molecules, their chemical reactions, all the way down to the proteins and organelles that define a cell’s life. VR can also be used for the opposite: exploring the macroworld. We can utilize VR to venture into the depths of space, where we can study and interact with planet movement, the art of gravity in the celestial realm, and the intricacies of stars and galaxies.

Universe Sandbox in VR:

Transportation plays a huge role in society. Thus, it is imperative for people to learn how to drive themselves to their desired locations. With VR, Driver’s Ed can be a lot safer in the sense that the user can still experience what it is like to sit behind the wheel, yet be safe from damage or injuries. You can even learn how to fix cars or rebuilt entire engines through VR right now!

Job Simulator, a VR experience (Image courtesy of

It is time for VR to step out of its shell of gaming. It is time for VR to make a bigger impact on the world. Through education, VR can provide almost infinite benefits for students across the globe.