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...

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