Global Health Blogs with Professor Swahn

Student Reflections on Topics Covered in our Class

Global Health Blogs with Professor Swahn

VR in Public Health

December 7, 2020 · No Comments · Technology

International Education Week (November 16th20th) gives us an opportunity to celebrate cultural diversity at Georgia State and highlight the benefits of international education and global exchange. This time is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This initiative only furthers the promotion of programs that prepare the youth of America for a global environment and attract future leaders here and abroad to learn, study, and exchange life experiencesInternational Education Week & Generation Study Abroad - YouTube

Participation of all institutions and individuals interested in international education should continue to promote exchange between schools, colleges, universities, businesses, international organizations, embassies, and local community organizations. Nowadays during the current Pandemic, these efforts are being challenged now more than ever. Luckily, we live in an age of innovation and groundbreaking technology.  

The Virtual Exchange Initiative is at Georgia State! It promotes a global network of learning, collaborative online learning, and teaching and learning that promotes intercultural competence across multiple environments. Through the use of Internet-based tools and innovative online pedagogies, virtual exchange fosters meaningful exchanges between teachers and students with peers in geographically distant locations and from different lingua-cultural backgrounds.Virtual Learning for Teachers – BSD Education

At Georgia State, virtual exchange collaborations range from shared discussions to a co-taught online course. These short-term projects or long-term collaborations give time for the exchange of cultures, languages, backgrounds, and experiences that enhance the learning experience of students! This virtual exchange initiative promotes the development of intercultural communicative competence in our university community and is an essential factor in the production of globally competitive students.

Virtual experiences can be impactful, and essential, especially during the Pandemic. One amazingly effective method that is catching the eyes is the use of VR learning experiences. Virtual learning environments (VLEs) are more important nowadays more than ever and have proven to be effectively used to deliver training materials as well as assist the progress of communication within training modules. Virtual learning environments (VLEs) can be defined as “computer-based environments that are relatively open systems, allowing interactions and encounters with other participants” and already come in many forms. Altspace VR for example is currently a thriving online meet-up location that is gaining popularity. Other VLEs like Mozilla hub and window swap have been around for a while and have added new tools to expand the online learning experience!

While Virtual reality (VR) is defined as “developing simulated expertise which is somewhat similar to the real-time situation”. The concept was first introduced in 1994, where the first virtual reality-based modeling language program was first developed, and used for making the virtual world more norm, in order to overcome the trend of headsets. Today, there exists a vast range of applications offered by this technological innovation, some examples are medical training/simulations, video games, military exercises, and more. VR is essentially an imitation by utilizing the communication devices beyond their original boundaries. 

In the world today, learning can take place in a traditional classroom setting, as well as online. Although both of these are great methods of educating students, there are pros and cons that benefit or hinder the specific learner. As we navigate through social distancing in society during the pandemic in the coming months, we may see new innovations in the online learning experience.Virtual learning has strong, effective impact

Making the transition to online learning has been the primary goal ad trend for the year. Technical glitches are apparently rampant, with teachers reporting on disastrous and awkward Zoom videoconferencing sessions, complicated learning management tools, and even some reporting removal of teachers’ live recorded lectures from YouTube for violating community standards. Many teachers have also brought up their concerns about students not having access to online content, students with disabilities struggling to be able to learn through the web and, mostly, their own ability to master the technology.

In short, if any indication, the higher education response to the coronavirus has been a struggle for all institutions and communities. The coronavirus pandemic has forced most universities to shift most of their courses online. Millions of students also were ordered to leave campus congregate housing and find living situations somewhere else. Many students found themselves moving back in with their parents. But this is okay! Just about every aspect of life these days seems to be a struggle. Have you tried to buy sanitizer or toilet paper since the start of the pandemic!?

But while toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages will for sure turn into a thing of the past and will be forgotten about a month after we are all allowed to emerge from our houses. The impact of how schools operated during the pandemic may stick around a lot longer. Even overlooking the financial issues many schools are certain to face, the effect of the coronavirus response on higher education, in general, maybe around for a long, long time, and mya in fact become the new norm.

In the current pandemic/COVID-19 situation, both the features and proposed theories of the use of virtual reality can be quite effective in public health related applications and can now be effectively implemented to solve and confront many of the concerns arising nowadays. The proposed concepts and ideas of virtual reality will also assist to provide useful learning sessions to COVID-19 response and medical staff, which will no doubt improve the effectiveness throughout this pandemic COVID-19. The advantages discussed earlier of virtual reality can certainly play an important role in solving the concerns of many during the ongoing pandemic COVID-19.


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