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...

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