Since technology is developing as we speak, we must keep up with its growth. In this day and age, we should embrace these new advances and use them to give better educational opportunities to people of all ages, with a particular focus on young people, since they are our future.
One of these advances is Virtual Reality. VR is the use of computer modeling and simulation, which enables a person to interact with an artificial three-dimensional (3D) environment. This means a person can wear VR glasses and be completely transported to a different dimension. For example, one can visit space and look at the planets, asteroids, and even galaxies up close. One can also visit museums and theatres and even play sports. One of the reasons VR is better than just looking at regular pictures and videos is that it uses 3D visuals, allowing a person to see things as if they were standing in front of them in person. The simulation of all five human senses can transform a computer into a vehicle, which can drive into new worlds.
Another benefit of VR is that it can be programmed in many different ways in order to cater to various needs. It is not limited to museums and the space they can afford but is limitless. It can take a person to a place they have never been to before and can include critical thinking, developing games, and brain workouts. VR can also be used to help people with mental health problems. For example, it can have a de-stressing program to help with the user’s anxiety issues. Other examples include assisting people who experience burnout since specific programs can be created where users can alleviate the pressure and stress of daily life.
Even though VR’s benefits are endless, it can be dangerous in the wrong hands. The way to prevent that is to implement program blockers so that youth centers and schools can only use programs designed for educational purposes.
“We are using VR in our non-formal education clubs for education. Every Friday, we meet with youngsters to discover new VR programs and the possibilities they open up in the educational field. We also cooperate with the private sector to initiate new VR programs. In the last two years, we have been involved in VR programs that prevent burnout syndrome, teach welding, and teach young people how to care for the environment,” explains Petr Kantor from Petrklíč Help, z.s., who is currently working on the development of virtual reality in education.
To sum it up, we should take advantage of VR usage in education and mental health to help young people become more knowledgeable on general or specific topics and help them with stress and anxiety. While doing this, it is also vital that we remain aware of its dangerous sides and strongly regulate what types of programs are available to young people.
Author: Petr Kantor
Images: Leonardo AI and Petrklíč help, z.s.