Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR) are valuable tools in expanding the application of remote learning, enabling users to be ‘in control’ of their learning experience. However, there are numerous issues in implementing the exotic technology in education.
Health and Safety Issues
VR/AR can have physical effects like nausea, eye strain, the risk of seizures, and the risk of collisions as a result of having real-world sight distorted or hidden, and the teachers should be well aware of these. Health and safety law will apply to the use of VR/AR technology in schools. Teachers may want to ensure that the VR/AR systems they offer to students provide appropriate protection from other users. AR,VR’s ability to interact with other students that are situated remotely is an appealing aspect of it but it could be abused by third parties looking to target vulnerable users. It’s necessary to lock out inappropriate users from the safe’ areas in VR/AR. The potential for anonymity in using a VR/AR platform with an avatar may mean that parents and teachers push for greater disclosure of real-world identities before allowing access to such ‘safe’ areas.
It’s a well-known fact that the game Pokémon Go was criticised for its potential to encourage trespass on to private land raising questions as to whether a user’s trespass could incur liability for the VR/AR provider. This logic can also be extended to confer liability on the educational institution that enables the use of the technology. VR/AR licence terms usually require users not to break the law, and to avoid liability arising for the educational institution, it would seem sensible that teachers ensure that student users (or their parents) also accept such disclaimers as part of their use.