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Challenges and Future Prospects of VR in Special Education

Challenges and Future Prospects of VR in Special Education

In the 21st century, virtual reality has taken up the spotlight like a raging fire. VR in education is creating history within the education system across the globe. With the help of this technology, students can take a tour of the solar system, stroll around the molecular structure of various chemical compounds, examine the functioning of human anatomy, and explore the ruins of ancient monuments from the comfort of their homes. With that, virtual reality has revolutionized the teaching methodology for exceptional students. 

Now imagine what wonders it can do for students with special needs, where they face daily difficulties, including education, social performance, and personal relationships. This article will discuss VR’s challenges and prospects in special education and how it can be a boon for them. 

Virtual Reality in Education Highlights

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO) stats, 250 million people worldwide have sight problems. 
  • Around 97% of the students are willing to study through virtual reality. 
  • Education is expected to be the 4th most significant sector for VR investments. 
  • VR technology in education will increase to $700 million by 2025. 
  • Almost 80% of the teachers have access to virtual reality, of which 6.87% use them regularly for educational purposes.
  • 7 out of 10 teachers want to use virtual technology to simulate experiences relevant to the material covered in class. 
  • 93% of teachers said their students are interested in learning from VR. 
  • According to Statista research, 92% of USA residents know “Virtual reality.”

How can VR create a difference for students with special needs?

Equality is an important aspect that must be considered for well-being. Our schools and universities have made significant progress in this aspect. However, there’s more development to create. Disabled students face a lot of issues in their daily lives. Thus, keeping that in mind, VR in special education can provide students with the following benefits -

  • Customization
  • Inclusion and 
  • Participation

Customization - Special students may require specific needs due to their physical impairments. For example - If a student has partial eyesight loss, then in a typical sitting classroom, a student with clear vision may understand the student’s necessities. For such students, VR goggles and other gadgets are available, which allow them to see clearly. 

Participation: When an individual knows what is being taught in the lecture, he can engage in the conversation with all his senses. This will enhance students’ learning experience and motivate them to immerse themselves in the subject. 

Inclusion: Special students must become a part of the learning process. So, when their requirements meet, they can participate and engage enthusiastically. Also, they will be able to achieve their goals more efficiently. 

Benefits of VR in special education

  • One of the most exciting aspects of VR in education is its capacity to bridge the gap between theoretical concepts and real-world applications. Students can apply their knowledge in practical contexts through virtual simulations and scenarios, solving problems, and honing critical thinking skills.
  • VR can provide a safe and controlled environment for students to practice social skills, communication, and problem-solving. 
  • VR allows individuals with physical disabilities to experience activities they may not be able to do in real life. 
  • Life skills such as cooking, shopping, and money management can be taught in a controlled environment. 
  • Travel, culture, and history can be experienced through VR without leaving home. 
  • Academic skills such as math, science, and language can be taught interactively. 

Challenges and Future Prospects of VR in special education

Virtual Reality (VR) technology has great potential to revolutionize special education. Despite many achievements, there are specific challenges that need to be addressed -

  • Lack of competency
  • Limited instructional design
  • Limited environmental diseases
  • Lack of focused attention
  • Limited environmental resources

The functionality of VR is a challenge, especially when teaching in large student groups. VR in special education can provide a safe and controlled environment for students to practice social skills, communication, and problem-solving. It can also help students with learning disabilities to better understand complex concepts by providing interactive and engaging learning experiences.

Future Prospects of VR in special education

Despite these challenges, the prospects of VR in special education are up-and-coming. VR technology can transform special education by providing exceptional and innovative ways to learn and develop skills. With continued research and development, we can overcome the challenges and ensure all students have access to high-quality education and resources.

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