Religious Education (RE) is an important subject taught at both primary and secondary schools. The purpose of RE is to help children develop their understanding of the world around them by learning about different religious and non-religious views, ethical viewpoints, celebrations, and ways of life. However, this subject can be daunting for students, especially when they are learning about religions that are unfamiliar to them.
To enhance the learning experience and make lessons even more engaging, virtual reality (VR) technology can be used to provide students with a deeper understanding of the key principles and beliefs of various religions. With VR, students can experience the sights and sounds associated with different religious practices, which makes learning more memorable and engaging. VR also helps promote empathy and understanding by allowing students to experience and appreciate different cultural and religious practices.
How Can Virtual Reality Enhance RE Lessons?
The use of VR headsets brings new possibilities to religious education, allowing students to become virtually immersed in distant religious environments at a low cost. With a range of resources available from ClassVR, students can explore how different religions worship and celebrate their faith, from Mamemaki in Japan to Christmas in Canada. These experiences help to build an empathetic understanding of religious places, rituals, and behaviours in light of theories of religion.
ClassVR provides explorable scenes which students can navigate and experience in virtual reality. This provides contextual learning in a highly immersive way. Scenes are available for the main world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.
In ClassVR’s latest release, students can explore different Religious Celebrations, from Easter to Vaisakhi. Each scene includes multiple points of interest, allowing students to explore and teachers to pose questions to students promoting independent learning and group discussion. These scenes can be used alongside your Religious Education syllabus to increase understanding and engagement, or could even be used to celebrate Religious Festivals in schools to promote inclusivity.
360° Photos and Videos
Students can also use VR technology to explore 360° photos and videos of religious sites and practices. They can visit key holy locations for pilgrims across the world, observe how people express love in religious ceremonies, or even experience places of worship. Such experiences are a great way to build empathy for other cultures and traditions, helping students to understand that their worldview is one of many.
ClassVR provides 360° photos and videos on their portal. However, teachers across the globe can also create their own content. This is a great way for teachers and pupils to share their own religious experiences. If you have a school trip planned, taking along a 360° camera to record the visit and allowing students to experience it in virtual reality can be a great way of reminding them of the experience and ensuring the activity is inclusive for the whole classroom.
360° photos and videos can also be accessed on the ClassVR community library, which offers a huge bank of community generated content. Teachers are able to upload their own content and, once approved by our team of educators, this can be accessed by all subscribers. Using content which has been generated across the globe to teach RE is a great way for students to experience culture and build their understanding of the world around them.
Overall, using VR technology in religious education lessons has the potential to transform how students learn about different religions and cultures. By providing them with immersive experiences, teachers can help students gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for other cultures and traditions and gain a broader perspective on the world around them.
New Explorable Religious Scenes
With Judaism being one of the world’s largest religions and oldest monotheistic religion, in our new Passover scene students can explore the streets of ancient Egypt and learn about the festival of Passover in detail.
With Christianity being based on the life of Jesus Christ, in this scene students can explore the last week of Jesus’s life and learn about the key events of Holy Week.
Those who follow the Islamic faith are called Muslims, who may celebrate the festival of Ramadan at home or inside a Mosque each year. In this scene students can explore inside a Mosque and learn how Muslims celebrate the festival of Ramadan.
In Hinduism there are many deities who take on unique forms. In this scene, students can explore the streets of India and learn about the colourful festival, Holi and why it is celebrated.
Buddhism: Nirvana Day
In Buddhism, the Buddha became enlightened by understanding the cycle of Samsara and learning about the four holy noble truths. In this scene, students can explore the streets of the Punjab and learn about the life of the Buddha.
With Sikhism being the youngest world religion, students can step inside a Sikh Gurdwara and learn about the importance of the Khalsa.