This ending ignited a new beginning in me

In this post, I start writing about some meaningful considerations on Virtual Reality, ethical awareness generally speaking. Later I talk about some educational considerations – such as the risks and how to prevent the students from the overuse of VR. Finally, I cover some of the most relevant content I have found in the course I completed the last week. And I hope the new beginning I have discovered will also ignite your interest as a teacher, as a parent; as a  reader.

Two articles to promote our opinion and critical thoughts about VR.

Not exactly focused in the educational field, Michael Madary and Thomas K. Metzinger, Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany, in their paper: ( consider some risks that may arise with the commercial and research use of the VR. The authors show a table in the paper mentioned where there are some normative points that can be refined and expanded for future discussions. But the list covers the recommendations for research ethics and for the general public use of VR.

Paul Davarsi, in his article (, comments on some of the strengths and virtues of using VR in different fields (to help autism, improving personal skills, etc.). Also, as an educational tool, Paul Davarsi mentions the Google Expeditions, the Public Speaking Simulators by Samsung, and a 3D art creation tool called “Tilt Brush”. However, the point that is liked the most in this article is where he explains the Ethical Considerations. He advises the reader about the psychological and physiological impact that VR could have on students («The illusion of embodiment» effect, for instance).

VR risk prevention within our educational framework. How to prepare a programme?

We have to be careful about the long-term effects, especially with prolonged exposure. As mentioned in this previous post, students should know and be aware of at least some recommendations. Speaking of recommendations, you can’t be too careful, but the point concerning the time exposure could be the most important of all: never use VR glasses for more than 20 minutes.

Obviously, at school both time and scope are controlled. But when one thinks of the potential use of the VR as a tool to promote other student-centred instructional strategies (flipped learning, gamification, social media, role play, video games, …) where the availability at home will raise, then parents and teachers should curate content, limit exposure and monitor the students’ responses and reactions.

Topics to cover with the educational community.

Some topics to speak openly about with parents, students and teachers would be:

  • The eyesight effects after long exposures.
  • Psychological effects on some introverted personality types.
  • Some advice on privacy and public data.

As we show in the video (follow this entry to watch it), our pedagogical approach tends to consider our students as the protagonists of their learning process. I believe that as teachers we need to listen to our students’ considerations and get the benefit of their opinions to openly show the virtues of using VR in the classroom with a deep sense of responsibility. So, the best way is to promote our students’ voice in the classroom. In this way, I believe, they will be responsible at home as well as at school.

Educational content and instructional design to introduce the VR into the classroom.

As a student of this VRMooc, I have learnt some techniques to get used to the applications and platforms suggested by my teachers and colleagues.

First and foremost, I would like to mention the creation of my first 360º photo tour as the one that surprised me the most. Primarily because I was surprised by my students’ reactions when they discovered this photo tour accidentally in their spare time surfing the internet. As a result, I realised that the students learning speed naturally seemed to increase when everything is explained in detail and followed step by step, as the 360º photo tour technology recommends itself.

However, personally the most satisfying results I achieved concern the creation of Augmented Reality (AR), even though we didn’t work as much on AR as on VR. From the beginning of this course, we have differentiated between VR and AR.

As time went by, my excitement about using some AR application in the classroom grew exponentially so much so that I couldn’t wait to try it out two weeks later. Although initially, I found some difficulties, for example, the results cannot be applied yet to any iOS device (yes, I have said yet!), I am most definitely going to continue investigations in order to get as many results as I possibly can.

If this technology is the future, we teachers should be ready, be as creative as we can, curate all upcoming content and monitor our students’ learning process in the best way we can foresee at present.

I want to thank all my colleagues and teachers for their inspiring work and comments during this super-intensive course on VR. I feel that this ending of that super intensive VR course is actually the beginning of my own personal process of learning and applying Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to the educational field.

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