Thursday, April 12, 2018

Virtual Reality and Children

According to a report by Common Sense Media, the concept of virtual reality and how it impacts children’s development was discussed. The report’s key findings include:

1.     Virtual reality (VR) is likely to have powerful effects on children because it can provoke a response to virtual experiences similar to a response to actual experiences.

2.     The long-term effects of children’s use of immersive VR on their still-developing brains and health are unknown, but most parents are concerned, and experts advocate moderation and supervision.

3.     Only one in five U.S. parents (21 percent) today report living in a household with VR, and the majority (65 percent) are not planning to purchase VR hardware. However, the interest levels of U.S. children are high, while parent interest is mixed.

4.     Characters in VR may be especially influential on young children, even more so than characters on TV or computers. This can be good or bad depending on the influence.

5.     Students often feel more enthusiasm for learning while using VR, but they do not necessarily learn more through VR than through video or computer games.

6.     VR can potentially be an effective tool for encouraging empathy among children, though most parents are skeptical.

7.     When choosing VR content, parents should consider whether they would want their children to have the same experience in the real world.

Common Sense Media (2018). Virtual reality 101: What you need to know about kids and VR. San Francisco, CA: Common Sense Media.

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