Students who are enrolling in Spanish classes, will soon have the opportunity to use virtual reality headsets as a way to enhance their learning.
Spanish instructor Ian Caldon is implementing the idea for Laramie County Community College.
“What first planted the seed in my mind for language acquisition was last year I was down in South America and I saw ‘Ready Player One,’” Caldon said.“I saw where we were headed probably as a society and I realized as much as we do need to monitor these types of technologies and curtail them with children not to let them get addicted, I saw its power in terms of language acquisition.”
Caldon said that he and fellow Spanish instructor Juan Antonio Bernabeu first became interested virtual reality after attending at a national conference. . While there, Caldon said he and Bernabeu went to specific workshops that dealt with virtual reality as well as geo-location workshops.
“Instead of opening a book to page 135 to look at Macchu Pichu, we could actually do a virtual reality tour of Macchu Pichu and look 360 degrees to see what it looks like to be on top of that mountain. Maybe even be afraid of the heights,” Caldon said.
While some students may be able to use virtual reality as a learning tool, Caldon said that virtual reality is not for everybody. He said that some students learn better with more traditional methods, like textbooks. Caldon also said virtual reality has the potential to cause motion sickness.
While virtual reality may still be relatively new, Caldon hopes that he and his students can interact with other students from around the world.