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.
Privacy is a major concern as gadgets interact with users in close proximity. Reaction times, eye tracking, facial recognition, and ease of movement and are all ways in which the VR/AR products interact with consumers. However, the data that is stored and processed may amount to sensitive personal data. A number of VR/AR applications focus on shared experiences, with repercussions for the sharing of user details including location with appropriate permissions. Educational institutions will need to ensure that they choose their software, hardware and content providers with a view to their data protection practices and appropriate safeguards need to be in place. These may include the collecting of explicit consent, age-gating and ‘privacy impact assessments’.
Teachers need to be aware of the nature of the content that they are sharing with students. The VR/AR industry is mostly self-regulated at present. However, it is reasonable to expect an extension to the current classification standards regime to deal, not only with the nature of the content but also with the potential impact on students considering the inherently more involved nature of VR/AR experiences.