Virtual Reality is a technology that replicates environments, whether based on fictional or real environments, and simulates a user’s physical presence on said environment allowing an immersive yet artificial sensory experience. With its reliance on sight, hearing, touch, and sometimes smell, it is not a surprise that VR Technology is well suited for Art Education.
The Importance of the Arts and How VR Helps
Many recent studies have posited that an introduction to the arts greatly helps in people’s development of self-confidence, critical thinking, and resourcefulness. The arts, as they say, serves as a universal bridge between a vast array of cultures and disciplines unhampered by language barriers or cultural differences.
The main problem with studying the arts is that the programs usually needed, such as field trips, assemblies, performances, are usually cut due to budgetary constraints and logistical problems. This is where VR comes in: imagine if instead of going on a field trip to a museum, which costs money and requires students to leave the familiar safety of their school, an entire class can instead take students on a virtual trip of a museum? Not only is it safer and cheaper, it is also more efficient as there will be no time lost to the commute.
What’s even better is that VR greatly expands the reach. There is no way a class from California would be able to decide, on a whim, to visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence in order to see the Renaissance sculptures and paintings – it would simply be too expensive and time consuming. But with Virtual Reality, the class could do that and then the next day visit the Brooklyn Museum and study its Egyptian collection. Cost and the hassle of travel is never a concern. In most cases, it is as simple as running a different computer program.
Not a Replacement, But a Great Help
Virtual Technology can never, should never replace an actual field trip or experience of the arts. But it is a great complement that helps improve the reach of education, in some cases facilitating art education in situations where it is not feasible. The use of Virtual Technology therefore helps not only in improving the teaching process; it also helps in improving the adoption rate. As the tech advances and the hardware becomes even more affordable, we can only expect hybrids of VR and Art Education to become even more widespread.