July 22, 2019

It's Ironic 7

Educational VR: The Irony of it All


The trendy presence of virtual reality these days leaves me with a sense of irony. (Please look at previous posts in this series for the context.) I am struck by the incongruity of the past and the future colliding in an uncomfortable way. I am describing something we’ve seen before—when we were pushing for 3D visualization tools in the classroom from 2010 through 2015. Virtual reality is all the rage today, but in the past, things didn’t look quite so bright. Though the technologies are really quite similar, something has changed. Here's my last effort at ironic sentiment: 



Complaint: Our 3D content won’t run on that other hardware platform.

Educator response to 3D (5 years ago): “Why do I need to buy that type of hardware and not just use what I’ve got?” “The content is too hardware specific.” “Our district won’t support that brand of equipment, sorry.”

Educator response to VR (today ), though VR also lacks unifying standards: “I don’t care—how can we do it?” “It’s just sexy!” “I’ll find a way.”

Of course, my entire message for this entire series plays on the irony of the times we are in. Virtual Reality is succeeding in the education market today, well, because, well, it’s… sexy. How long that will last? Who knows, but I suspect these questions won’t just go away. For now, here is how the education market works: over the next year or so, suppliers need to fill in the missing pieces and answer the unanswered questions or VR will be left in the backwaters of time and will be replaced by the latest trending whatchamacallit or gadget. Welcome to education. And P.S.: don’t show this article to your local VR enthusiast. Why not? Incongruity overly frustrates their sense of forward progress.


July 15, 2019

It's Ironic 6


Educational VR: The Irony of it All

The stout and trendy presence of virtual reality these days leaves me with a hefty sense of irony. (Please look at previous posts for the introduction to this series.) I am struck by the incongruity of the past and the future colliding in an uncomfortable way. I am describing something we’ve seen before—when we were pushing for 3D visualization tools in the classroom from 2010 through 2015. Virtual reality is all the rage today, but in the past, things didn’t look quite so bright. Though the technologies are really quite similar, something has changed. Here's my next effort at ironic sentiment: 



Complaint: I just can’t find enough 3D content.
Educator response to 3D (5 years ago): “There is not enough academic content to justify our purchase of this technology.” “Isn’t student-created content too difficult and time consuming to make?” “I just don’t see the curricular traction, sorry.”

Educator response to VR (today ), though VR also lacks comprehensive content and is difficult for students to construct: “I don’t care—this is really innovative, i.e. sexy!” “Where can I find more free content?”


It's ironic...

July 8, 2019

It's Ironic 5

Educational VR: The Irony of it All (5)

The stout and trendy presence of virtual reality these days leaves me with a hefty sense of irony. (Please look at previous weeks' post for the context to this series.) I am struck by the incongruity of the past and the future colliding in an uncomfortable way. I am describing something we’ve seen before—when we were pushing for 3D visualization tools in the classroom from 2010 through 2015. Virtual reality is all the rage today, but in the past, things didn’t look quite so bright. Though the technologies are really quite similar, something has changed. Here's my fourth effort at ironic sentiment:

Complaint: Laptops, projectors, 3D glasses—how do we manage all this stuff?

Educator response to 3D (5 years ago): “How do we store, disburse, and collect all this paraphernalia?” “How do we possibly keep the 3D glasses at full charge?” “How do we switch between 2D and 3D?” “Sorry, this is just too much to handle. I’m a busy teacher.”

Educator response to VR (today), even though VR headgear have increased size, storage and management concerns: “Oh, so sexy! Gotta get some.” “Managing these resources—huh? Is that really necessary?”

More irony coming next week...

July 1, 2019

It's Ironic 4


Educational VR: The Irony of it All (4)

The stout and trendy presence of virtual reality these days leaves me with a hefty sense of irony. (Please look at previous weeks' post for the context to this series.) I am struck by the incongruity of the past and the future colliding in an uncomfortable way. I am describing something we’ve seen before—when we were pushing for 3D visualization tools in the classroom from 2010 through 2015. Virtual reality is all the rage today, but in the past, things didn’t look quite so bright. Though the technologies are really quite similar, something has changed. Here's my third effort at ironic sentiment:

Complaint: 3D glasses can spread lice and diseases easily to children.


Educator response to 3D (5 years ago): “How do you expect us to stop and clean these devices between each use?” “This just isn’t on my radar, sorry. I’m too busy to be a janitor.”

Educator response to VR (today ), even though VR headgear offers the same concern: “My, this is sexy!” “I’ve got to have this for my classroom.” I'm not going to worry about cleaning them.”

Ain't it ironic?