On an alien mission in virtual reality

Today I saw this tv-commercial for a new toy. To be more precise, a toy that seems to be based on some crude possibilities of virtual reality (VR). The essence of the toy is that it gives children the chance to battle aliens with a laser gun in their own home.

A concept that’s not only useful to learn how to zapp aliens in your living room

Far from being an Oculus Rift, this simple toy offers children a first encounter with the concept of virtual reality. A concept that’s not only useful to learn how to zap aliens in your living room and gaining points to get to the next level, but especially to learn all sort of new skills or to improve and expand existing ones. For children as well as adults alike!

Jenna Scott published a nice article on e-Learning Studio Blog in 2014 on why we should use VR in learning activities. Scott mentions four main reasons:

1. Learners can safely try new techniques.

2. Learners can practice in hazardous environments

3. Learners can practice how to react to emergency situations.

4. Learners will have the freedom to fail

In short, for Scott the reasons we should use VR as instructional designers, lie mainly in the fact that it gives learners the possibility to practice new skills without real life consequences.

As VR is still alien territory to most of us instructional designers, we must need to put on our goggles, fetch our laser gun and conquer. For our own and our learners sake, because VR will become more important for our profession. Zap!

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