Do you know that the brain's intellectual capacity does not fully develop until an individual is in their early 20s? For some of you, it may be surprising, and for some, not really. But, we jumped straight into this fact because while discussing education for children, we cannot neglect this factor. Due to traditional teaching and learning methods, we consciously or unconsciously target their cognitive system, burdening them.
Let’s see the impact of traditional approaches on students with an example shared by Todd Maddox, in the report “Immersive Learning – A Neuroscience Perspective”.
Imagine a young student studying human anatomy from a textbook.
She’s trying to create a 3D dynamic picture of the human body from a series of 2D static, abstract images. This activity in itself requires a great amount of cognitive effort.
Too many steps, right? Imagine each student with a different caliber trying to achieve this. Each step requires an enormous amount of cognitive capacity (in the form of working memory) and cognitive energy (in the form of executive attention). Any time working memory load and executive attentional demands are taxed, a student is more likely to make an error and generate an inferior mental representation.
However, this in no way suggests that information is unnecessary. Rather, this means that information is best absorbed when it is accompanied by a rich experience. And as Einstein said “Experience is at the heart of learning”, so why not use it to enhance the information present around us? But, you might ask-
What must the students experience to enhance their learning?
Learning by experience or Experiential Learning is the idea that experiences are the result of our constant interactions and engagement with the world around us, and learning is an inevitable product of that experience.
Studies suggest that putting students in an environment where they can interact and engage with the learning content, increases student motivation and engagement drastically.
Why Immersive Learning?
Immersive learning approaches to education such as Extended Reality (XR) simultaneously activate the brain's Experiential, Cognitive, Behavioral, and Emotional learning centers.
Thus, with immersive learning technologies you not only “spread the wealth” broadly across learning systems in the brain, but you also “spread the burden” of learning so that the learner does not have to rely on the cognitive system exclusively.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if every educator could create these immersive, holistic, and outcome-driven XR learning experiences for each one of their students? Seems too far-fetched? It isn’t really. With the right technology, people, and mindset, the future can become the present in no time. At Myracle.io, something similar is happening. We have made this possible for many educators in the STEM field already, and this is what some of them have to say-
Because in the end, what truly matters is building an environment for learners where they not only learn but connect the learning experience to life, beyond the school or classroom!