Virtual Reality As a Multi-Sensory Interaction for Kids
11.07.2019 | Altairika Franchise
Virtual reality has become a cornerstone of the XXI century technology symbiosis with spheres, that are considered to be not tightly depended on one another, like, for instance: gaming and education.
The functions of VR turned out to be beneficial not only for tech "geeks", but also for a growing up generation. Lately, an online media has been occupied with the completely new areas virtual reality can be applicable to education, however no one really took time to explain how exactly this tool, we hardly know something about, affects children's brain and senses, making it safe to be used. In order to understand the nature of VR, we should simply find out how it works, especially with kids.
From early childhood, kids begin the process of getting familiar with the world using their senses: listening, touching, looking, smelling and tasting, this is why perception and activity is very important for learning. Let's take a closer look at the most crucial ones: vision and audition, as they are being exploited in virtual reality.
Out of all senses, it is vision that gives us a first-hand information about ourselves and the world around us. Used for recognition and identification, it also provides a means of communication, as for the kids, with the help of perception of distance and shapes, this sense helps children to navigate and understand the surroundings. For VR, as well, vision is a major component, as it aims to recreate a typical or not image of the world for those using it. By seeing virtual objects, children immerse into what they see, as it seems so realistic and, therefore, they are likely to memorise specific landscapes or places much faster, using their visual memory. For instance, while teaching a complex of abstract ideas virtual reality is useful as it provides a means of visualization and allows natural hypothesis making.
Audition is as important for individuals as vision, especially when growing up. It is used for recognition, communication and spatial perception and helps kids to understand fully the way things function around them. Audio is vital for creating a persuasive VR experience. Due to the key role that audio plays in children's sense of being present in an actual, physical space, an audio system used in virtual reality technologies will contribute powerfully to the user's sense of immersion.Through audition itself, users are living the actual virtual experience, being able to sense things happening behind them, or elsewhere in their virtual environment, which is, together with their sight, creates an enormous learning practice.
An interaction between senses described above and the benefits of sensory integration VR provides, supports the use of this modern technology in education and learning. Virtual reality creates amulti-sensory, interactive environment which is engaging and it allows kids to construct meaning from experience. For example, while teaching historical events to children, VR sets these events within a multisensory context; it provides the possibility of learning by allowing the user to experience a subject matter. All in all, VR systems facilitates interactivity and multi-sensory stimulation which is extremely vital for kids and their education.
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