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Here at Igloo, we know a thing or two about immersive technologyafter all, we don’t know of anyone who has installed more spaces in more places to more people. 

Immersive technology is shaping up to be one of the largest markets in the world. In the US alone, immersive technology is estimated to be worth over $68.4bn by the end of 2024 and $228bn worldwide by 2032 per Global Market Insights 

One of the primary sectors fuelling this investment is education, but why?  

There’s been a wealth of research into the benefits of the technology, including the National Training Laboratory measuring retention rates from VR learning at a staggering 75%, compared with 10% for reading and 5% for lectures.  

Additionally, PWC concluded a 4x gain on focus and learning speed through VR compared to classroom learners, 3.75x more emotional connection and 2.75x more confidence to act on what they learned. 

At Igloo, we’ve been working in the education sector for 6 years, working hard to embed immersive spaces across the curriculum. And, with a cohort of generous clients who share their use cases, we’ve seen the technology grow from its formative years into one that is transforming education. 

So, let’s look at five reasons why education is betting big on immersive technology. 

You can deliver an enhanced learning experience 

All educational institutions seek the same thing – to provide their students with the best possible learning experience.  

By placing students in immersive and interactive environments you both engage and involve them more, leading to better understanding and retention of information and ultimately, greater academic attainment. It also creates real-world validity to the theory learned, as you envelop learners in the practical settings they will inhabit once they enter the world of work. Additionally, it familiarises students with emergent technologies they may encounter later in life. 

Engagement extends far beyond just the lesson itself however, as immersive technology can galvanise student enthusiasm for learning beyond the classroom. Through continued use of their system, students can learn to create their own content, such as 360° video, or 3D models to view in greater detail. 

Allows for gamification 

In addition, technology opens the door to the practice of rewarding students for progress made in real-time, known as the gamification of learning. As the name would suggest, this is a technique taken and converted from the gaming industry and works by providing clear goals and rewards for completing specific actions. In an education setting, this provides gratification for the student and reinforces learning, rather than the gaming industry's motivation to have players invested indefinitely. 

Gamification has a number of benefits for the student. By engaging them on an emotional level, you release endorphins and dopamine, increase attention, and help facilitate the storing and recall of information better, further helping to engage those who do not respond as well to traditional learning styles. 

Engages students of all abilities and learning styles 

Technology also provides more accessible learning opportunities for students with diverse learning styles and needs. It offers a complete and personalised range of ways to present information either audibly, visually, or written – and these can be combined using the parameters of the immersive environment, benefitting auditory, visual, and kinaesthetic learners. 

Not only this, but investment in immersive technology demonstrates a commitment to your students' learning and an embrace of future technology. When prospective students look at which institution they want to entrust their learning to, decisions like this will be important to them. 

The ability to take students wherever, whenever, with no risk 

Many institutions are also using immersive spaces to take virtual field trips. This is especially useful for remotely located organisations, students with accessibility needs, and for visiting locations that are otherwise inaccessible or far away. Viewing locations in an immersive space is the closest imitation to viewing in the real world. 

Furthermore, for students involved in medical, engineering, site work, or other potentially hazardous environments, immersive spaces allow you to simulate the conditions they may encounter with zero risk to the student. We have seen immersive spaces used in conjunction with real-life props to further enhance validity, and the use of these spaces also grants a sense of scale and height that is not possible with other methods. 

All the benefits of best-in-class collaboration 

Collaboration is a core aspect of immersive learning, both in a micro and a macro sense. Locally, shared immersive spaces offer the benefits of VR headsets combined with the ability to communicate directly with a group of people and provide feedback in real-time – granting the teacher greater control over the lesson and further increasing engagement and lesson satisfaction for students. 

On a global scale, becoming a user of immersive spaces opens you to a network of other institutions that are also investing in the same spaces. This leads to idea-sharing and greater potential to find effective use cases across the curriculum. 

 

The Igloo opinion 

Ultimately, with any investment you want to be sure that you’re going to get a good return on your money. Often seen as pioneers of the industry, we’ve been around for over 15 years, and we've put that experience into making the premiere software for immersive systems. 

With Igloo Core Engine, our software platform for immersive spaces, any content, from any source, can be displayed in any format. So, all existing VR content will work in your immersive space, alongside any web-based content, meaning you can craft the ultimate mixed-media lesson utilising all the digital tools you’d usually use. 

Unlike other, more one-dimensional VR solutions, this means you will have access to the widest variety of integrations and the latest and greatest in immersive educational tools – ensuring maximum return on your investment and engaging and inspiring students of all types. 

But don’t just take our word for it, check out our education case studies to see how institutions are deploying immersive technology right now. 

If you are interested in learning more about immersive spaces and how they can benefit your institution, book a demo with us here. 

 



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