The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Virtual Reality
Available in Kindle and paperback.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Virtual Reality
by Mfon Akpan
The purpose of this book is to give educators—K–12 and university professors—a practical and tactical method for using virtual reality in the classroom. I want educators to understand why it is important for students to be exposed to virtual reality, even if they’re not able to use virtual reality in the form of headsets or other accessible technological hardware.
Students can understand, comprehend, and touch the technology with their minds and in their hearts, which will allow them to transition to using it in its ever-evolving forms. Technology is changing continuously and at a faster pace than we can ever keep up with. The current forms of virtual reality will not be the same which students will see when they get into high school or graduate from college. When we think about students as they move through the education process, it is imperative that we make sure they are exposed to technological understanding so they will be able to use technology in the future and lower the shock to the system.
The reason I say “shock to the system” is because there may be students who have no idea that this technology exists. By being exposed to it and understanding it in the classroom, they will greatly enhance their learning journey. As educators, we owe it to them to expose them to technology and give them as many tools as possible.
One of my favorite explanations about the future significance of virtual reality is seen in the Uber analogy seen on page 25. Highlighting how the concept of ride sharing with strangers was an abnormal and unaccepted cultural norm. However 10 years later and ride sharing has become a cultural norm. I appreciate this analogy so much because it highlights just how quickly social norms can change when convenience and innovation is introduced to a problem facing the masses. During the age of the pandemic, Mfon does a wonderful job in highlighting how distant communication and learning can be the unexpected way of the future.
The book then delves into multiple topics that are necessary for educators and businesses to consider: its incorporation into education, and the digital divide. As technology proceeds at a rapid pace the pitfalls of this pace, and the effect it has on those educated in schools that lack the funding necessary to stay on the cutting edge, is expounded upon with the frankness necessary to be able tackle all problems that may arise. Topics ranging from 5G internet, virtual reality labs, and others. All of these points are very necessary for all educators to consider, whether interested in virtual reality or not. But it is also important for VR companies to consider as well. There’s a level of fiscal responsibility that may force companies to skew towards the premium spectrum, but for the survival of the entire platform accessibility by the masses need to be reached. This includes offerings for those who will otherwise be left behind by the digital divide. Overall, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Virtual Reality is a wonderful entry to the world of virtual reality for educators, and businesses looking to target education as well. With this guide and the continuing developing technology, the future looks bright.
-Elijah Obasanya, AnthroPod VR
When I read Hitchhiker’s Guide to Virtual Reality it feels like I am getting a one on one presentation with Mfon Akpan, the author. Mfon explains things with such ease and purpose for his book. It makes you want to learn more about what Mfon has written in his book. The suggestions and examples he gives to you from Virtual Reality Information makes for good reading to learn more about his book Hitchhiker’s Guide to Virtual Reality.This book provides valuable information for teachers, students, businesses and medical professionals.
-Theresa W. Wright, Educator Retiree
As an educator, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Virtual Reality is a call to action to push the boundaries of technology and incorporate VR in the classroom. Mfon Akpan states “there are always limited resources that create limited availability to give students access to hardware and software;however, there are ways to give exposure.” That statement spoke to me helping to overcome the hangups I had about VR and limited technology at my college.After reading this book, I understand the importance of exposure to virtual reality for my students. This book has also given me some strategies to enhance my lessons and instructional content with virtual reality.
-Vivian Elam, Professor