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?

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