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How to get started using virtual robotics in the classroom

by Dan Thurber on October 12, 2021

For some time now, there has been a debate around the use of technology in the classroom. Many educators view digital learning as an opportunity to enhance teaching and open doors for students; others see it as a distraction that takes away from essential skills like critical thinking and writing. The key to navigating this dilemma is finding ways to integrate technology into the curriculum effectively, so students will get opportunities to learn without feeling overwhelmed or disengaged. One way teachers can accomplish this goal is with virtual robotics in the classroom. Virtual robotics offers many benefits, including increased engagement with STEM subjects by allowing students to have fun while still developing essential skills such as problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, teamwork, and more. 

 

With today's technology moving into new and incredibly sophisticated directions, Stemfinity reached out to Dan Thurber, a leader in VR technology, for his knowledge and expertise when it comes to bringing VR technology into the school classrooms. Dan Thurber, the Founder and President of IonVR and Learningflys, initially started in 2013 with 2D videos that he converted to 3D within the VR headset. Thurber's success within the VR world was by using more PPI (pixels per inch), more GPU processing power, and his unique patented optical system to reduce motion blur, which separated them from others in the market and eliminated VR sickness. 

 

The initial mobile VR prototypes built in early 2014 involved Legos and have come all the way to today by harnessing the processing power of technology and bringing it into the classrooms by enabling the teachers and students to learn how to code virtual robots and complete gaming missions online. Based upon his expertise in this field, Stemfinity backs VR technology 100% and wants to help find ways for teachers to incorporate virtual robotics into their classrooms easily.

 

 What is virtual robotics in the classroom

Virtual robotics is a new trend that has been gaining momentum in schools and colleges. It's an engaging way to get students excited about STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) topics like coding or engineering while they are still at the younger ages when it would be most effective. Virtual reality is now available for students, teachers, and parents. It's called virtual Robotics in the Classroom (VRiC) - an educational program that allows users to explore different classrooms from around Earth and build their very own robots anywhere at home or school without ever touching them yourself. They're controlled by other humans remotely through computer software. There are many benefits, including improving the interaction between peers while fostering creativity through exploration dimensions like problem-solving dimensions, which will enhance critical thinking skills.

 

Benefits of Virtual Robotics in the classroom

The benefits of Virtual Robotics in the classroom are many. Not only does it increase student engagement, but it also teaches them responsibility and self-discipline while developing problem-solving skills that will help prepare them for careers as well.

The use of virtual robots in educational settings is becoming more popular today with all its advantages, from increased interest in learning to better teaching methods. They encourage creative thinking through interactive exercises based on real-world problems presented during class time. Also, there are homework assignments where students can figure out how to complete tasks given at school without any assistance needed from instructors who can finish them within their own homes.

Virtual Robotics can be used in the classroom to promote creativity, imagination, and innovation. One way to achieve this is by allowing students access to real robots that they may not have an opportunity for otherwise due to restrictions on where or when these types of equipment are typically utilized during their courses at educational institutions across America.

 

How to get started with Virtual Robotics

The first step of using VRT as your teaching tool requires purchasing a VR kit and downloading some software onto a computer, so it's ready when you are. There is no need for bulky hardware here because all that matters are smart devices these days (laptops/desktops). You can either go through pre-made lesson plans included with the software or create one from scratch based on the student's interests and tailor it specifically. The kits designate how complex tasks should be depending on age groupings, such as younger kids versus older teens.

 

Ideas for how Virtual Robotics can be used in the classroom

Virtual Robotics is a fun and engaging way for students to learn about science. Some of the ways that VR can help in education are by allowing them to see themselves as a robot or insect, giving them a new perspective on what it feels like. It can also provide more interactivity than traditional schools by allowing kids control over their Robo buddies with gestures such as nodding heads yes/no answers while simultaneously seeing how they move on-screen, based on provided commands from the teacher. These things force children into active participation during class time and outside of school hours where we work towards solving real-world problems.

 

Challenges and solutions for using Virtual Robotics in the classroom 

The use of Virtual Robotics in the classroom can be a challenge. Challenges include ensuring that students are engaged with their learning and can retain it for an extended period since there are no physical robots or other materials involved. We've found one great solution: mentors who teach by demonstration while working alongside the live class members.

 

How to prepare your school or district for implementing robotics into your curriculum 

Robotics is an exciting field that will rapidly grow in the future. To prepare for it, you should start by modeling good practices and making collaborative links with other schools or districts that are also considering incorporating robotics into their curriculum (and not just those already doing so). The next step is to develop a plan of action to help students understand why they do things at school each day, including time devoted to studying subjects outside class. This could be anything from clubs & sports/ art performances/ music lessons - Collaborating on shared resources like robots or program code development among teachers working together across different disciplines.

 

You've heard all the arguments. Digital learning versus traditional teaching, technology as a distraction or an opportunity to enhance critical thinking and writing skills? The key is finding ways to integrate technology into the curriculum effectively. One way teachers can do this is with virtual robotics - it offers many benefits by allowing students to have fun while developing essential skills such as problem-solving, creativity, collaboration, and teamwork. If you want your class to benefit from these valuable lessons of life without having to worry about safety risks posed by real-world robots in classrooms, try out one of the fantastic robot kits today.

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