Learning in the Virtual Classroom: What Changes Will We See?

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a major cultural shift towards online learning, resulting in a heavy impact on the education sector. In fact, it has reportedly caused the largest disruption of all education systems in modern-day history — with school closures as a result of the pandemic affecting nearly 94% of students across the globe. As online learning quickly became the new normal, access to better and more immersive learning technologies has become more than just a privilege for students — it’s become a right.

Microsoft HoloLens 2
Image credit: Microsoft

Online learning has also posed a list of challenges for both students and educators. Many young learners have cited difficulties with virtual classes — such as lack of in-person interaction with their instructors, difficulty with understanding materials or a hard time staying focused. Likewise, instructors have cited challenges with keeping learners motivated, creating engaging materials or connecting with their students on a more personal level.

To assist students’ learning contexts, more advanced technology has been presented as an alternative to these pain points. While we’ve already covered how VR has started transforming the future of education, the metaverse is sure to show us the next step in how learning materials will be accessed, how institutions will monetise from learners and how instructors will find new ways to engage with students. What might be next and how might we see the metaverse reshape the future of learning? Let’s take a closer look.

A more immersive learning experience

With the help of VR, education in the metaverse will offer a highly immersive and interactive experience. Students will be transported to a myriad of different places, times, universes and spaces where they can collaborate with their peers.

At the start of the pandemic, US-based metaverse company VictoryXR launched its own remote learning services through its ENGAGE platform. Through ENGAGE, young students were able to access interactive science curriculum content and virtual animal dissections through VR headsets. The programme was met with success, with all materials being taught virtually by a range of qualified educators. 

As most are now aware, one of the biggest headlines in late 2021 was Facebook’s great rebranding to Meta. As part of his mission to turn Meta into an “embodied” metaverse platform, CEO Mark Zuckerberg released a video presentation outlining the ways in which the metaverse will revolutionise our lives — with education being a key focus. 

Zuckerberg aims to make immersive education an integral part of Meta, with promises that students will be able to “teleport” to any place, time or environment and bring any type of object with them as part of their learning journey. To achieve this, Meta plans to launch its own Immersive Learning programme. This project is part of Meta’s larger goal to invest $150 million into “developing the next generation of metaverse creators, [funding] high-quality immersive experiences that transform the way we learn, and [increasing] access to learning through technology.”

Learning on digital twin campuses

Digital twin campuses have become one of the key building blocks of the educational metaverse. In this case, a digital twin campus is a highly complex virtual model of a real-life institution — serving as a real-life counterpart of an existing space.

A digital twin campus has the capability to make an institution more bilaterally collaborative — with functions allowing for both virtual instruction and real-time classes. However, unlike a real-life classroom, a digital twin campus can provide virtual resources and objects that allow for greater levels of manipulation or duplication. For instance, consider the possibility that anatomy students will one day get to dissect a human cadaver in the metaverse before getting to hold, observe and even magnify each organ in previously unforeseen detail.

Immersive Healthcare
Photo by © EPStudio20 – Shutterstock.com

VictoryXR has recently announced a partnership with Meta to launch more digital twin campuses across the United States in the following year. These online hubs will serve as replicas of actual existing campuses in fully spatial 3D, allowing students to learn, socialise and compete in activities virtually. In the spring of 2021, VictoryXR worked with Morehouse College to launch the first digital twin “metaversity” — where students were required to check out a VR headset at the start of their school year and then return it at the end.

According to Steve Grubbs, CEO of VictoryXR: “Universities are looking for better ways to deliver labs and learning for remote students. Beyond the capabilities of 2D screens, VR can help enhance the learning experience for students studying biology, chemistry, history and other subjects by offering a more immersive learning environment.”

New ways of monetising

Experts believe that the metaverse will also change how academic work and university education will be monetised. For instance, university lectures are traditionally conducted in real-time, with lecturers only being able to deliver to a limited number of students. Virtual spaces, on the other hand, can be configured to host an unlimited number of people and provide an uncapped number of resources.

We may see a future where instructors are able to teach both real and virtual audiences simultaneously. Both these in-person lectures and virtual seminars would represent two separate commodities — both of which could be sold to increase profits. Offering lectures in multiple formats in the metaverse can also help institutions increase their global outreach and generate more revenue.

By also reducing the need for students to attend a brick-and-mortar institution, the metaverse may also provide students with greater access to global universities. This could make institutions more inclusive, potentially seeing room for them to cut international fees or better serve students from lower-income backgrounds.

Lastly, we may even see instructors find ways to enter the creator’s economy in the metaverse. With reduced requirements to teach inside physical classrooms or lecture halls, the future for university instructors may lie in self-employment — allowing them to break away from centralised platforms or create customised materials.

More enhanced learning via gaming platforms

Various studies have shown that learning experiences are most efficient when they allow students to, well… have fun. For many, this will make gamified learning and the metaverse an ideal place for online classrooms.

Leading platforms such as Minecraft, Fortnite and Second Life have already been used to enhance lectures or allow students to remotely visit online campuses. In an effort to scale its presence in schools, Roblox recently announced a $10 million fund to support its creation of online learning. This effort would allow the company to combine the perks of its special community and user experience with educational materials.

VR Education chemistry
Photo by © Gorodenkoff – Shutterstock.com

Roblox’s head of education, Rebecca Kantar, says that the gaming giant is “ready to find and reward developers and organisations who can figure out how to really lean into [their] great physics, strong immersive 3D capabilities and multiplayer experiences to teach in a deeper way.” 

Someday, Kantar hopes that this opportunity will pave the way for virtual classrooms on the Roblox platform, offering completely new ways for children to read, write and collaborate on real-life projects. In the shorter term, however, the company hopes to use the platform as a computer science education tool, in addition to teaching subjects in more interactive, 3D environments.

Final thoughts

The metaverse is sure to change education in ways that were never before imaginable — offering a future space for unlimited collaboration, community and creativity. To get ready for this new age of learning, schools and institutions should get a head start by incorporating more XR technology into their classrooms and providing more online courses.

We still have a long way to go before things like digital twin campuses, metaverse classrooms and fully collaborative software will become ubiquitous. However, if we consider how quickly we were able to accept technology as a learning tool in the pandemic, we should be able to embrace the improved technologies that will be ushered in by the metaverse.

A VR Human Cadaver Lab is the Latest Teaching Tool for Students

Fisk 5G-VR-Cadaver-Lab

The teaching and training potential of virtual reality (VR) is massive, nowhere more so than in healthcare. The latest example of this comes from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, partnering with HTC Vive, T-Mobile and VictoryXR on an interactive VR human cadaver lab for students.

Fisk VR Cadaver Lab7

In the virtual lab, students in pre-med or studying biology-related majors will be able to explore the complete skeletal structure, muscle structure and eleven organs, dramatically reducing the high cost and maintenance associated with cadavers. “With this cadaver lab, our pre-med students will no longer need to rely on other universities for advanced anatomy and biology classes,” said Dr. Shirley Brown, Dean of Fisk University in a statement. “Virtual reality technology takes our university to a level equal to the most advanced schools in the country.”

Students will be using the latest HTC Vive Focus 3 all-in-one (AIO) headsets to step inside the virtual cadaver lab developed by VictoryXR. They’ll be able to engage with other students and professors, removing organs that can then be passed around the class. Students can also enlarge any of the organs to a size where they can look inside and see how it works.

In the future, the virtual cadaver lab will be upgraded with new specialities like surgical procedures, comparative learning between humans and animals as well as microbiology at the cellular level.

Fisk VR-Cadaver-Lab4

“We’re combining the best aspects of virtual and in-person learning, and this is the future of education,” said Dr. Vann Newkirk, President, Fisk University. “Fisk University is emerging as a tech leader among colleges, and our effort to bring a virtual reality cadaver lab to campus exemplifies our commitment to provide students with a state-of-the-art education.”

It’s not just virtual cadavers Fisk University will be deploying in VR. The institution is set to offer in-person VR history courses allowing students to visit important historical areas like civil rights locations such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

Virtual training has grown in prominence in the healthcare industry because of the huge cost reductions and the versatility in remote learning. Companies like Osso VR and PrecisionOS are just two VR surgical training specialists utilising the technology to help train the latest surgeons. As the growth of virtual learning continues, VRFocus will keep you updated.

Virtual Planet: The Societal Impacts of VR

XRI - Together

Since the inception of virtual reality (VR), there has been much deliberation over whether its positive effects on society outweigh the negatives. With the power to go pretty much anywhere you want, and experience anything you want, you would expect that VR has the potential to be one of the best technological advancements in modern times. However, there are a few arguments against this, which we will discover later on. 

Throughout this article, I will be diving into both the positives and negative effects of VR on society and what this means for our social interaction as a whole. After all, humans are incredibly social creatures (for the most part) and our civilisation thrives off other human interactions. But how does VR impact this?

Image credit: Spatial

Positive Effects on Society

Socialising without leaving the house

Of course, we all know that physical human interaction is the backbone of society and how we, as humans, stay mentally healthy. However, VR offers a great alternative to this. For those who are either unable to leave their house for various reasons, VR gives them a way to link with friends and family without being physically near them. This may be through gaming or other VR avenues.

We can take the latest COVID-19 pandemic for example. Many of us were quarantined for months on end, so just like Zoom and other video conferencing tools took off, VR was also able to engage people with human interaction. This is hugely beneficial for society as a whole because it means that even though we are not physically with others, we can still connect and hear other people’s voices. This can be an easy cure for loneliness or other mental health ailments.

Treating mental health

The issue of mental health is growing with each passing year, and with good reason. With 1 in 4 of us having to combat a mental health problem at one stage in our life, there is more demand for the right help and attention. This is where VR can help.

Mental health professionals often require extensive training for years on end, and waiting for the right medical professional can also take a while, but VR can bypass this. One of the best ways we are able to beat a mental health condition is through what is called ‘in-situ’ coaching. This is where we deal with our fear head-on and get put into situations that make us feel uncomfortable, with the aim of becoming more confident when facing that situation. With VR, we can be placed into these circumstances virtually and tackle them head-on.

Also, due to the fact that it is virtual, people will be more likely to enter situations that make them anxious as they know it is only a simulation. Furthermore, it is much more time and cost-effective to repeat the treatment if it becomes too much for the person. The virtual environment can be easily tapered back to suit.

Better education

If we go back before interactive smartboards and other technological advances in education, we learnt from textbooks (and often still do). However, it is known that that is not the most optimal way of learning. As humans, we like to learn through seeing and doing. VR checks both of those boxes.

Through the use of VR, we are able to jump into situations which would otherwise be impossible to re-enact in the classroom, such as visit Machu Picchu, perform surgery, or carry out a science experiment without the right equipment. Learning by performing is our best way of retaining information which is why VR is a great solution to improve education across the world.

Of course, we still have a long way to go before there are VR headsets in every classroom, but once there are, I believe that this can only benefit the human race and society as a whole. If you’re interested in more of this topic, here is a write-up of why VR will be the future of education.

Vive XR Suite
Image credit: Vive XR Suite

Negative effects on Society


Gaming addiction has always been a problem for society and a lot of people have had to deal with it over the last couple of decades. Now with the start of VR and environments becoming even more immersive, there is always an extra risk.

Due to the fact that VR is so immersive and the stimulus on the brain is heightened due to it being a simulation, the possibility of getting addicted does increase. If users do become addicted, this can become a major problem. Users can become isolated, negatively affecting their mental health and become dependent on the use of VR. 

They can become antisocial and lose basic social skills, which can then form into social anxiety and other mental health problems. This is of course something we need to be wary of as a society.

Obviously, these are very extreme cases, and as long as VR usage is moderate and not abused, then the majority of people will be able to use VR without any problems.

Physical harm

There have been cases where users who have played on VR headsets for a prolonged period of time have experienced nausea or ‘cybersickness’. This is due to the fact that you may be moving in the simulation, but your body is not physically moving in the real world and your brain gets confused.

As well as nausea, users have been known to experience eye soreness. If we stare at a computer screen or TV for too long, our eyes start to strain, and this is exactly the same with VR. Ergonomic designers for VR headsets have yet to create a lens that mimics the wide-angle our eyes naturally have, so this can be a problem if used for long periods of time. The continual abuse of VR may cause long term impairment of vision, however, not much study surrounds this.

These factors are a relatively easy fix, just use VR for short periods of time and take plenty of breaks. Of course, these effects may not affect everyone and some may feel the toll heavier than others.


When used correctly, VR can be an amazing tool for various things, such as education, socialising and treatment. However, it cannot be abused. This level of technology is fairly new and studies still need to be done to show the true impact addiction and the physical ailments caused by VR has on us in the long term.

If used in moderation, there is no reason that the benefits of VR can far outweigh the negatives, and this will only become more clear when we learn how to best make use of this wonderful technology.

GENESIS: Exklusive Zeitreise in der Magenta VR App (sponsored post)

VR-Brillen sind nicht nur interessant für Gamer, sondern ermöglichen es uns auch, Geschichte erfahrbar zu machen. In Genesis begebt ihr euch auf eine Zeitreise, welche die Vergänglichkeit des Lebens auf der Erde in eindrucksvoller Weise zeigt. 

Das Lehrbuch zum Eintauchen

Es gab in der Geschichte der Erde immer wieder zerstörerische Katastrophen der Superlative, welche unsere Erde prägten: Kosmisches Dauerfeuer, vernichtende Meteoriten, endlose Sintfluten, gewaltige Riesenechsen. 

Genesis nimmt euch mit auf eine Reise durch diese Zeiten und zeigt, wie schön und gleichzeitig vergänglich das Leben auf diesem Planeten ist. So werdet ihr beispielsweise gigantische Dinosaurier treffen, durch die Tiefen der frühen Ozeane tauchen und euch in einem kosmischen Trümmerfeld wiederfinden. 

Genesis steht ab sofort exklusiv und kostenlos in der Magenta VR App für iOS, Android und Oculus Go bereit. 

Der Beitrag GENESIS: Exklusive Zeitreise in der Magenta VR App (sponsored post) zuerst gesehen auf VR∙Nerds. VR·Nerds am Werk!

VR is the Future of Education

Virtual Reality (VR) has evolved over the years, with the first physical VR machine being produced in 1956! With technology becoming more and more sophisticated as we enter the 21st Century, it’s no surprise that VR now has a firm imprint on how we teach, and the current Coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated this fact.

So, why will VR be the future of education? The following will delve into the various ways VR will be used in the industry as well as why it will help the future of teaching and learning.

MEL Chemistry VR
Image credit: MEL Chemistry VR

Why Virtual Reality Will Improve the Future of Education

Traditionally, we are taught by learning facts from books and other sources. But this does not suit everyone. A lot of us are visual and physical learners and need various stimuli to get the most out of the learning experience.

Through VR, we are able to jump into learning and interact with it, meaning that our ability to retain information is greatly enhanced. This is due to the fact that we are not required to use as much cognition compared to reading words out of a book for example. Below are a few reasons why learning can be improved in the future with the help of VR.

Turning physical into virtual

With the use of VR technology, we are able to enter into different virtual areas to learn. For example, if a science lab is not available in a real-life scenario this can be transformed into a virtual lab where experiments can be taught.

Practice makes perfect

As mentioned before, traditionally, we are taught by reading textbooks or off smart-boards and repeating this process until the knowledge sticks. However, it’s been proven that people learn more effectively (and efficiently) when they take part in an activity that directly relates to what they are learning. VR gives us the opportunity to learn by actually performing a task when it would otherwise be impossible in a classroom.

With students being able to enter into environments that are interactive, it makes the information much easier to process. Examples of this in the real world will be outlined later, but platforms that enable virtual school trips and virtual training are extremely beneficial for students to get a good grip of what they are learning by experiencing everything hands-on. This also makes the teacher’s life much easier as it removes the need to explain things in a complex way that could be misunderstood. The quicker the students learn, the happier the teacher!

Understand the world around us

Through VR learning, we are able to jump into a whole new world while sitting in a classroom. Whether it be going back to Ancient Rome in History class, or travelling across the world to New Zealand in Geography – VR allows us to experience the world first-hand.

Excitement for the technology

It’s true that VR is usually associated with the gaming industry, however, demand for its use in education is growing rapidly. Many famous personalities, such as Sir David Attenborough, have been endorsing the use of VR and how it can educate the public. Attenborough has been involved in a few VR projects over the years including Micro Monsters. This endorsement from public figures will only contribute to the growing excitement of VR’s capabilities.

Micro Monsters

How We Will Use Virtual Reality In Education

With VR, we can make almost anything possible – especially in education. From virtual classrooms to hands-on training, VR allows the user to experience situations they are usually unable to in the traditional classroom. Below are a few examples of how we can use VR for learning in the future.


As stated above, VR enables us to enter into experiences that we would otherwise not be able to in a normal classroom. A great example of this would be in the medical industry. With VR, students can learn using 3D imagery as well as performing examinations on virtual patients. 

This is extremely beneficial in the surgical field as users can virtually carry out surgery and learn before moving to real patients. St George’s University Hospital in South London has actually adopted Fundamental Surgery to teach their students. This surgical teaching platform was created by software company FundamentalVR.

School Trips

Students studying Geography or History can also benefit from VR. Using the technology, we are able to run virtual school trips. This is extremely beneficial as students get a real sense of the location they are learning about, instead of just reading about it in a textbook.

Another benefit of this is the feasibility and cost-effectiveness. By taking a virtual trip to Machu Picchu, students can experience the surroundings without the need to pay for the cost of the trip or take the time to get there.

We’re not saying that VR should completely replace real school trips as it is necessary to experience the real world. VR just allows a more diverse learning experience with virtual school trips.


A massive aspect of learning is communicating ideas in groups with other peers. With VR, we can use virtual rooms and avatars to create virtual classrooms with people on the other side of the world. This opens up the possibility of exchanging ideas with peers that are from different sides of the globe which will only enrich the learning experience. 

Apps such as HTC’s Vive XR Suite provide a remote collaboration centre where users can engage in conversation and discuss ideas. As technology becomes more advanced, more platforms like this will become available.

Deciding a Career Path

A common problem with many students in today’s society is that they are unsure of what career they want to pursue. VR can help alleviate a portion of this problem by helping students enter into the shoes of a person that may be in a specific field. Through this, the user can understand the career a little bit better and get an understanding if it’s something they want to pursue further.

Learning Language

Similar to the virtual field trips, with VR, language students are able to visit the country of the language they are learning and communicate (virtually) with others. The user will actually get the feeling of being there which will help them get a better understanding of how to communicate as the virtual environment tricks our brain into actually thinking we are present.

An example of this being in place is MondlyVR by ATi Studios. This platform guides the user through various pronunciations in real-world situations using an avatar ‘teacher’. It engages the user in conversations and gives constant feedback due to its chatbot technology.


Final Thoughts

VR opens up the possibility of learning that we have never experienced before and it has the potential to change the way we educate and learn forever. With the technology steadily becoming more advanced, students will become more engaged with the classroom and therefore be able to absorb information more effectively.

Of course, we still are not there yet technologically for VR to take up the majority of our learning experience, however, it may not be far away. VR technology has come so far already, with wireless headsets such as the Oculus Quest 2 it makes learning far more feasible and frictionless as compared to a wired PC HMD. Who knows where the next few years take us but VR will become even more advanced and this will only make the learning experience more accessible.

We will also be relying on the people in education to adapt and then adopt this technology to make it happen. The common goal for everyone across the world should be to make education as accessible as possible and VR can achieve that goal.

First UK Unity Centre of Excellence Spearheaded by Playstation VR Pioneer

PlayStation VR third anniversary

When it comes to the development of virtual reality (VR) videogames Unity is one of the most popular engines, so if you want to get into the software side of the industry it’s a good program to know. To help in that endeavour it runs Unity Centre of Excellence Academy’s around the world, and there’s a new one opening in Salford, UK. Its training programme will be run by Simon Benson who should know a thing or two about VR, he was previously director of Sony’s Immersive Technology Group which created the PlayStation VR.

Unity Centre

Benson is now director of immersive technology at HOST, the innovation hub located at MediaCityUK where the Unity Centre of Excellence programme will be based. HOST’s partnership with Unity will see the organisation launch a 12-week remote learning course in June, teaching students all they need in technical and soft skills to become a Unity Certified Professional Programmer.

The programme modules will feature real-life industry projects covering sectors including manufacturing, health, architectural engineering, and creative media. Students will also be supported via personal mentoring, employability workshops and more. Upon successful completion, the academy even guarantees a job interview.

“With Unity’s UK Centre of Excellence as an integral component of HOST’s capabilities, we are ideally placed to lead the immersive and interactive revolution that is already influencing many industries such as video gaming, architecture, healthcare and manufacturing,” said Benson in a statement. “Establishing Unity’s UK Centre of Excellence at HOST brings a fantastic blend of high demand skills generation, cutting edge innovation and unparalleled business support, ensuring that MediaCityUK is the only place to be if you’re in the real-time development space.”

Simon Benson
Simon Benson, Director of Immersive Technology at HOST

“The Unity Centre of Excellence at HOST will define a new premium standard of skills generation in Unity,” Nicole Zingg, Global Head of Channel Partnerships, at Unity adds. “With the pace of innovation across industries, the academy is built to support the next generation of skills needed both for the roles of today and tomorrow.”

HOST’s Unity Centre of Excellence programme starts on the 21st June 2021 and spaces are limited, the fee is £5,500 GBP (£458 per month interest-free). Over the three months, the course will require around seven hours of study each day. If you want to learn more the academy is hosting a free webinar on Monday 7th June featuring a panel of industry experts.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of the latest Unity news, reporting back with further updates.

Digital fashion designers sought for UK’s first degree in virtual couture

Environmental concerns and tech boom have conjured ‘perfect storm’ for master’s course in fashion and gaming, says professor

The seemingly sci-fi world of digital couture – in which social media users can buy virtual clothing to be worn online, while gamers can dress avatars in flamboyant “skins” – is increasingly being hailed as the next big thing in the industry.

Now, virtual clothes designers can take a master’s degree course on the subject, the first of its kind in the UK, at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham.

Continue reading...

Digital fashion designers sought for UK’s first degree in virtual couture

Environmental concerns and tech boom have conjured ‘perfect storm’ for master’s course in fashion and gaming, says professor

The seemingly sci-fi world of digital couture – in which social media users can buy virtual clothing to be worn online, while gamers can dress avatars in flamboyant “skins” – is increasingly being hailed as the next big thing in the industry.

Now, virtual clothes designers can take a master’s on the subject, the first of its kind in the UK, at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham.

Continue reading...

10 fun ways to entertain kids over half-term

Escape that Groundhog day feeling by trying out our creative tips on cooking, crafting, ‘camping’, and chucking stuff at Dad

Christmas, Easter, Bonfire Night and Halloween – the events that usually punctuate our year – haven’t felt sufficient in the pandemic, so in my family we’ve gone all out for occasions that would usually pass us by. Cultural appropriation maybe, but it has livened up Groundhog Day dinner times. We had a Diwali party in November, taking advice from an Indian friend on how to do it right, and cooked pakoras, wore new(ish) clothes, played games and covered the kitchen with fairy lights. For Burns Night my four-year-old helped make frozen cranachan, we ate haggis, played a bagpipe Spotify playlist and recited poems, including a welcome address penned by my seven-year-old, whose lines included: “I don’t know why but my dad is wearing a skirt …” (In lieu of a kilt, a peach silk number had to suffice.)

Continue reading...

10 fun ways to entertain kids over half-term

Escape that Groundhog day feeling by trying out our creative tips on cooking, crafting, ‘camping’, and chucking stuff at Dad

Christmas, Easter, Bonfire Night and Halloween – the events that usually punctuate our year – haven’t felt sufficient in the pandemic, so in my family we’ve gone all out for occasions that would usually pass us by. Cultural appropriation maybe, but it has livened up Groundhog Day dinner times. We had a Diwali party in November, taking advice from an Indian friend on how to do it right, and cooked pakoras, wore new(ish) clothes, played games and covered the kitchen with fairy lights. For Burns Night my four-year-old helped make frozen cranachan, we ate haggis, played a bagpipe Spotify playlist and recited poems, including a welcome address penned by my seven-year-old, whose lines included: “I don’t know why but my dad is wearing a skirt …” (In lieu of a kilt, a peach silk number had to suffice.)

Continue reading...