K-12 Spaces

VR is great, but here’s why hands-on learning can’t disappear


"This trend sparked a national conversation around keeping children focused in the classroom. While some may argue that the spinner is not classroom-ready and may serve as more of a distraction than an aid, tangible toys and gadgets are undeniably the best way to engage with children and it is important that we utilize tools that effectively teach math, science and the arts.

With the help of technological tools and toys, children can now engage with worlds that they could have only experienced before in their dreams. However, we must find a way to teach children to utilize these tools to interact with the world around us, not just the digital world.

AR and VR have enabled teachers to augment the scene of the classroom to not just tell, but also show lessons of the past and lessons of the future. But while our children are exposed to the many benefits of augmented and virtual reality, it is important that we avoid at all costs the distortion of reality.

Physically engaging with tangible toys is the best way to take a lesson that is taught on a computer screen and apply it to everyday skills. Pairing augmented or virtual reality with physical products gives children the ability to learn through virtual technologies and simultaneously interact with digital tools. It is proven that the most powerful learning happens when the integration of body and mind are engaged at the same time.

While VR is an amazing technological advancement, opening up a whole new world of possibility for our children, it is important that we do not forget to empower them with tools that they can use with their hands and not limit their own imagination.

There is no doubt that technology will continue to advance numerous aspects of our life, but it is important that we do not forget to physically interact with our world and teach our children to do the same. If we are constantly plugged into a device, we will inevitably miss out on creating physical connections that bring us closer to others and the world around us."

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