Few verticals in edtech have received as much hype lately as the use of virtual reality in education. With the MOOC phenomenon cooling off, or arriving in the reality of having to find a viable business model, virtual reality carries the hopes and dreams of teachers, entrepreneurs, and investors alike.
According to Fortune, VCs have put more than $4 billion in VR startups over the past five years, and then there is of course the acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook for $2 billion.
With the long-awaited release of a consumer version of the Oculus Rift just around the corner and cheap alternatives like Google Cardboard, virtual reality seems to be poised to take over K-12, higher education, and corporate training by storm. Based on the success of Cardboard, Google also has plans to dig deeper into the vertical by launching its own virtual reality headset later this year.
According to market research by Digi Capital the market for virtual reality is expected to hit $30 billion in revenue by 2020. Makers of virtual reality headsets and other gear are expected to sell millions of units with annual sales reaching half a billion by 2025. KZero, another research firm, expects that paying users of VR will reach 28 million by 2018.
While all this is still speculation, it is obvious that students are really captured by VR experiences in the classroom. Google Fieldtrips and other projects receive overwhelmingly positive feedback. If VR leads to better learning outcomes is still to be proven in the years to come, of course.
Similarly to smartphones and tablets in recent years, VR headsets will surely work their way into schools through adoption in the consumer market. As soon as children and parents have VR devices in their living room VR will eventually arrive in classrooms and the workplace.
This Reading List Virtual Reality in Education offers you a selection of over thirty news articles, reports and opinion pieces along with use cases of virtual reality in K-12, Higher Education and Corporate Training.
As a bonus we added a list of selected edtech startups in virtual reality.