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Virtual reality has been all the rage in the past few years, with the technology becoming more and more popular by the day. Not only are VR headsets being worn by consumers, but VR is also being used to train employees and to help military veterans deal with PTSD. But until recently, one of the most popular uses of VR was in gaming, not in education.
2016 was an important year for Virtual Reality. Not only did Facebook, Sony, Samsung and others release hardware like Oculus Rift, Playstation VR and GearVR, but new content for these devices started to appear as well. There’s still a lot of content out there to be created – so what are some of the big trends that will impact education next year?
All of that is about to change, thanks to immersive technology. The virtual-reality firm Vivid Vision recently released an update for its software that allows users with visual impairments to take advantage of a tool called foveated rendering, which creates a sharper image around their focal point and blurs everything else. Now I feel like I’m teaching again, says Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab and a pioneer in virtual reality research.
Stanford University is offering a pilot program that allows students to earn their master’s degree in computer science online. To complete their master’s, students will have to attend an intensive 5-day boot camp that teaches them how to use virtual reality (VR) headsets like HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, as well as Unity and Unreal Engine development software. The technology used for these classes is significantly more advanced than what you might be accustomed to—you’ll learn how to develop 3D graphics from scratch!
Stanford University Students Taking Their Course entirely in VR
For some students, class is in session in VR! But it wasn’t until last year that the Stanford professor felt the technology was good enough that he could actually teach a class in VR. Several organizations are currently developing immersive learning programs for schools around California and across the globe, but Stanford has been at it longer than anyone else. Making sure students aren’t distracted by other students or teachers while they’re taking a virtual field trip.
Teaching in VR: Are You Ready?
Last year, when Stanford University offered a new course on AI (Artificial Intelligence), it was only available online. Now there’s a new option for those wanting to learn about AI: enrolling in an online program taught by Sebastian Thrun, one of Google’s early employees and founder of Udacity.
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