Virtual Reality: Innovation in Higher Education

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July 1, 2021

 Michael Mathews

VR, AR, Higher Education, Academia

What you’re going to hear today: we really believe that education can be transformed; transformed from not just saying “We did it,” or “digitized it,” but that we can reach millions of people around the world because there’s seven billion people around the world, not just 330 million in the United States.


One of the things I’ve done is to get rid of technology, and that may sound shocking to many people, but oftentimes on a college campus, at a university, there’s too much technology. And so, I call it the merging of both the science of technology and the art of technology coming together. The science of technology, smartphones and anything you can imagine, is almost a commodity today and anyone can buy it, anyone can service it. But not anyone can actually imagine what it can do when it’s used effectively.


Virtual reality and augmented reality is phenomenal from this standpoint. It took the telephone 75 years to reach 50 million people. It took the television 38 years, it took the internet 7 years, Facebook 3.5 years; but suddenly this year, when the internet in July hit its ten thousandth day of invention, augmented reality – Pokemon Go reached 50 million people in 38 days. And so, we’re trying to reach millions of people, and we understand that the digitization, the smartphone device engaging the learner is critical. So, we decided to invest in the whole enterprise edition of augmented and virtual reality. We’re not about playing with classes, and technologies, and this brand, or that brand; we’re about, “How do we take something systemically, and make it available to millions of people around the world from a smartphone?”


Gamification has not benefitted education very much at all. In fact, it hasn’t made a dent. However, game casinos have made a fortune off of it. And why, is simply this: You cannot step in with the technology and ask faculty to change everything they do, the way they do it, how they teach, what they’re good at. However, augmented and virtual reality, from a pedagogical perspective, allows faculty to do what they do well: teach! Be experts in their field. And now, virtual reality is beyond flipping the classroom – we call it “flipping the university” – around the world. In supplement, what a faculty member wants to do versus replace.

Michael Mathew

Michael Mathews

Chief Digital Advisor,
VP of Innovation & Technology at Oral Roberts University

Michael has over 24-years of experience as a senior-level IT executive bringing creative solutions that value the end-users of technology and business process management.

Comment (1)

  1. July 24, 2023
    Samantha Duran - imaginX

    […] ‣ Innovation in Higher Education […]

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