How Virtual Reality Can Encourage Empathy

Published:
Topics: Future of Learning

An experiment challenged parents with the same fine motor limitations as their toddlers, using virtual reality. Find out what happened! I’m still having trouble reconciling myself to the fact that I’m not really alone when my husband is wearing his VR headset in the same room as me, so I was surprised when I watched this experiment that challenged parents with the same limitations as their toddlers, using a VR headset and gloves that restricted their fine-motor skills.

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What struck me most was that the headset and gloves were being used to encourage a very human trait: empathy. In The Future of Learning: Redefining Readiness from the Inside Out, empathy and perspective-taking are identified among the key social and emotional skills that students of the future will need to thrive, and the notion that we can nurture these skills using technology is pretty cool. If a parent can have more patience with their child because they can experience what it’s like to lack the coordination to do even the simplest tasks, where else could we use technologies like these to encourage people to challenge their perceptions, extend grace and empathize?

Learn more about what learners of the future will need to graduate ready for college, careers and life in The Future of Learning: Redefining Readiness from the Inside Out.