When schools are looking at incorporating virtual reality hardware into their existing technology, the question of where is the best place for students to utilize this new technology invariably pops up. If a school is looking to invest in the higher-end of virtual reality, the discussions over where the technology will be used can become very expensive.
With Oculus Rift and HTC Vive bundles costing over $1000 per system (the computer and the VR headset) few schools can offer a 1-to-1 setup in a classroom. This shouldn’t hold a school back from making an investment in VR though.
Many schools are choosing to set up “VR hubs” in their building.
With growing popularity of STEM labs and “makerspaces”, schools have a natural home for VR hubs. While VR is an individual experience, that doesn’t mean that every individual needs to experience it at the same time. In fact, some VR educational products, such as VictoryVR Science, are not meant to be 1-to-1 but instead are intended as more of a “station” experience instead.
When students divide into groups to work on projects or have individual study time, a group can be using a set of three or four VR computers to learn supplemental lessons in science, history, or geography. Sometimes these lessons can be as short as 5 or 10 minutes which means that several groups could use the VR hub in an hour.
An investment in VR hardware shouldn’t be seen as restrictive because it isn’t 1-to-1; rather, it should be seen as an opportunity for many students to have individual experiences that they would not otherwise be able to enjoy. VR gives students the chance to learn in new and different ways and will open up a whole new world of educational opportunities for educators and their students.