Like traditional visual aids, many types of three-dimensional (3D) and virtual reality (VR) (which is also known as cyberspace, artificial reality, or synthetic/virtual environment) technologies are widely believed to be capable of enhancing student-centered (or self-organized) learning through an almost realistic exploration, interaction, navigation and/or manipulation of objects in the virtual 3D world. In particular, they can help students develop their ability to visualize, understand and mentally construct the details of complex scientific data and models which will otherwise be lost, distorted or easily misinterpreted in planar 2D projection (or monoscopic images). VR technologies can also simulate environment with potential hazard and provide ways of perception from an advantageous or prescribed perspective which is not possible in the real world situation (e.g. viewing of the solar system or any molecules in any preferred position). With the advent of inexpensive high-speed multimedia computers and many user-friendly 3D/VR software, the application of 3D/VR technologies for science education in schools is no longer a dream. Using various types of 3D/VR technologies, we had created seven sets of resource kits, of which some were placed on the Internet (with website address http://www.ied.edu.hk/has/ised/3dvr.htm) to provide some value-free knowledge to the public and some were adopted to support the teaching of some Science lessons in eight classes of student-teachers at HKIEd. A questionnaire survey was administered to 124 student-teachers to collect information about their prior knowledge and perceptions of these technologies and their likelihood of adopting those technologies in their teaching profession. A preliminary report on the survey findings will be presented in this paper which will include the receptivity ranking of those technologies as perceived by the student-teachers as well as discussion on the future application of those technologies in school environment.
|Publication status||Published - 1999|