Modern society challenges not only students but teachers as well. It is long forgotten when students would enjoy traditional lessons and traditional methods of teaching and learning. Nowadays students are emancipated; they have already acquired some life experience and knowledge and so they reject information that does not interest them, therefore the teacher must learn new things and improve his/her skills as well.
Teachers of „Židinys“ adult gymnasium constantly seek for professional improvement, attend courses and, when possible, learn from their colleagues from abroad. On 24-28 of September 2018, a group of six teachers attended a qualification courses in Portugal with KA1 project No. 2018-1-LT01-KA104-046731 „IT=IQ“. Course topic „IT=IQ“ is especially relevant in modern curriculum because students no longer remember days without digital technologies. In general, modern technologies is a part of contemporary student‘s life. For them virtual reality and augmented reality are completely understandable, useful and common technologies.
There is no wonder why these technologies are starting to appear in schools and in teaching. Virtual reality equipment and software is getting cheaper so more and more schools can afford them and, of course, students love them so.
Traditional teaching methods provide big quantities of information and facts that students have to memorize and it makes them feel bored. A teacher has no other choice than to learn more about new technologies and apply them in his/her lessons so the students would be more interested and engaged.
The course lecturer, Evora university graduate, PhD Ricardo Monginho, introduced Portuguese methodologists Alberto Manzi and Bruno Munari and emphasized how important it is to teach students through games, also to constantly praise them even for smallest achievements; teachers should remember that students study in order apply their knowledge in life and not only to pass exams. And of course, using new technologies is essential.
It was genuinely interesting to spectate possible ways of using virtual reality in a lesson. The lecturer offered us to take a ride on American rollercoaster! For some of us this ride allowed to learn something new about ourselves and even overcome a fear which seemed impossible in real life, but the most important part was that it showed us a vast range of possibilities that this technology offers. It is not complicated to use as there is plenty of visual material on different internet platforms and it can be played and watched using VR goggles. The only thing a teacher has to do is to select what is suitable and appropriate for his/her subject and simply use it. When students try on virtual reality goggles, they are engaged in the learning process because they can actually see how things work or look like instead of just reading facts from a textbook. That is much more effective and thrilling!
When it comes to explaining something that is not easy to describe only using a textbook, you can actually see how useful virtual and augmented reality can really be. For example, you can download an app like Body VR and use it during biology lessons in order to teach about human body structure in a much more interesting and faster way than textbooks.
To sum up, virtual reality and augmented reality are technologies that have a vast variety of ways to use it and apply it in a lesson, it only depends on a teacher and if he/she wants to introduce topics in a new way which is extraordinary, nontraditional and convincing.
I invite you to step up, forget your fears and take a ride on a roller-coaster much more often!
Prepared by Jūratė Vainorienė, Vilnius „Židinio“ Gymnasium for Adults, teacher-methodologist of Lithuanian language