I found some of the points in the VR video interesting. Specifically, the use of vr to make “devil”(misbehaving) students see their fellow “devil” students as “angels” instead, slowly changing their behavior to reflect that of the “angel” students as well. This speaks to the social constructionism and social cognitive theories we’ve discussed throughout this class.
The increase of teacher “gaze” time to increase student engagement was also interesting. These kinds of social engineering, to me, are a bit perilous though. Call me a luddite (or maybe I’m just too cynical), but I see too much potential for manipulation and nefarious uses of this technology and/or psychological manipulation.
I think there could be potential uses for VR in maker education. The HoloLense could offer simulation/experimentation possibilities for learners that wouldn’t normally be accessible due to economic or logistical constraints. (Taking apart and reassembling a jet engine, virtually, for example.) Also, as VR evolves, it may become a more usable tool for “live” demonstrations from fellow makers. This could be a bit more immersive than standard video instruction. However, one would still need to “watch” the demonstration, then remove themselves from the VR environment, before actively making something in the real world. You can’t wear the Oculus and operate a drill at the same time. At least, not without drilling through your hand. My favorite maker space VR tool is called Panoform. You print out a grid on a piece of printer paper, color/decorate any way you choose, take a picture of it with your cell phone and run it through Panoform’s website. Panoform converts the photo you took with your phone into a “VR panorama” that can now be placed in a set of Google cardboard glasses (or one of the myriad of commercial headsets available). You can then look up/down and left and right and be surrounded by the drawing you just created on paper. It’s a really neat use of physical and virtual activities combined.
At this point, I don’t think VR instructional methods and/or platforms mentioned in the video/article would add a huge amount of benefit to a maker education online module. I think the addition of VR may end up confusing learners and be the opposite of the real world, physical building interactions maker education wants to promote. As the tech grows I’m sure there will be a plethora of viable uses. I’m just not sold yet.