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Virtual Reality


Virtual reality is a sophisticated technology that relies on a combination of software (programs), media (3D), and hardware (sensory equipment). About 10 years ago, VR and artificial intelligence received much attention as representing our future (human/machine combination)...but the hype didn't become reality. Yet developments in VR have continued. Airlines, military, manufacturers, etc. use VR to reduce costs, increase experimentation, and provide training.

Education institutions are able to use the vast experiences of game makers/research organizations in finding ways to implement VR. However, the development of VR is expensive...and it may be a long time before the technology is common in learning. It will continue to grow...but at a specialty level...in organizations and fields that require specialized/sophisticated training that is not always possible "live".


Virtual Reality: An Overview
"Virtual Reality (VR), a technology that began in military and university laboratories more than 20 years ago, may be called Artificial Reality, Cyberspace, or Synthetic Reality. VR is a computer-created sensory experience that allows a participant to believe and barely distinguish a "virtual" experience from a real one. VR uses computer graphics, sounds, and images to reproduce electronic versions of real-life situations."

Virtual Reality Learning Environments: Potentials and Challenges
"The practical potential of VR is still being explored. Of the number of application areas that suggest themselves, education is clearly worth immediate investigation. VR was devised to enable people to deal with information more easily, and it has been successfully developed to facilitate learning and task performance for over 20 years in the U.S. Air Force [Furness 1978]. Public education and training applications are a natural extension of this work."

What is the Value of Virtual Reality for Conceptual Learning? Towards a Theoretical Framework
"In the enthusiasm for promoting Virtual Reality as a major factor in future (and present) environments for training and education we believe there is a need to investigate the various properties of such environments in promoting conceptual learning."

Creating and Using Virtual Reality: a Guide for the Arts and Humanities
"Creating and Using Virtual Reality is intended for those who are interested in how virtual reality can be used within the arts and humanities. This Guide to Good Practice concentrates on accessible desk-top virtual reality which may be distributed and viewed on-line via the World Wide Web. It is concerned with the variety of virtual reality models that may be produced and how to ensure that these can be delivered successfully to users and preserved for future reuse."



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