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Learning Models

The VAK Learning Styles Model was developed by psychologists in the 1920s to classify the most common ways that people learn. According to the model, most of us prefer to learn in one of three ways: visual, auditory or kinesthetic (although, in practice, we generally “mix and match” these three styles).

  • Visual: a visually-dominant learner absorbs and retains information better when it is presented in, for example, pictures, diagrams and charts.
  • Auditory: an auditory-dominant learner prefers listening to what is being presented. He or she responds best to voices, for example, in a lecture or group discussion. Hearing his own voice repeating something back to a tutor or trainer is also helpful.
  • Kinaesthetic: a kinaesthetic-dominant learner prefers a physical experience. She likes a “hands-on” approach and responds well to being able to touch or feel an object or learning prop.

A variation on the acronym, developed by New Zealand-based teacher Neil D. Fleming, is the VARK system, or visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinaesthetic:

  • Reading/Writing: a reading- or writing-dominant learner uses repetition of words and writing. Clearly, there is an overlap with visual and auditory styles, as words and writing can be both, but, commonly, a person who prefers to learn this way remembers or organises things best in his mind by taking down notes.

So where does VR fit in?

Virtual reality addresses all of the needs described in both the VAK and VARK learning models. Whilst experiencing the virtual world the subject matter is presented to the user thus stimulating the visual and auditory senses. When Mixed Reality is used, a user is able to physically manipulate the  virtual environment by turning their head or using arm movements.     

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Virtual ,Augmented and Mixed Reality…How real can they be?

Virtual Reality is an immersive experience that only occurs in the digital world. Placing a VR headset on isolates the user from the real world and places them into a virtual world. Walking amongst dinosaurs or floating through the Solar system is an experience that most of us can only dream about, but with Virtual reality the experience is right there in front of you.  Awesome high resolution graphics are coupled with sound and with images that move when you do.It’s just about as real as it can be! But experienced from the safety of the classroom.

Augmented Reality takes place in the real world of the present. Digital imagery and sound are projected into the headset and the user is transported visually to another place . Enjoy the spectacle of the Northern Lights or take a walk around the Tate Modern without the crowds to obstruct your view.  Totally engaging and immersive, it’s easy to see why A.R has become so popular.

Mixed Reality is a combination of both VR and AR. Placing virtual artefacts into the real world environment further enhances the experience of the user.

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BETT 2020

In January we took some time out to attend the BETT2020 show in London.The BETT show is a must for educators and a brilliant way to see how new innovations can be applied to the classroom setting. It was great to see both teachers and students enjoying themselves and really engaging with the new technologies that are being developed for the classrooms of tomorrow.Even the most tech savvy students were impressed at the awesome virtual, augmented and mixed reality content that was on offer.

Whether it was flying with the Red Arrows, investigating DNA and Cell structure or even standing in a WW1 trench experiencing the battle of the Somme, the  students were totally engrossed and engaged with the whole VR experience.  A captivating look into the past, present and future and a great way to learn.  Can’t wait to see what’s on offer next year!