Virtual Reality (VR) has nearly universal applications in educational technology. From engineering to surgery to foreign language to military training, this technology offers advantages in almost any discipline. It offers students risk-free access to practicing combat techniques, fire rescue, surgical practices, and the like. VR offers students an opportunity to interact with people in different countries while working to learn a foreign language. It offers researchers an opportunity to analyze hypothesized models of operations with real-world limitations and test the fidelity of their predictions.
VR is a both flexible and malleable. It offers programmers the ability to set limitations (or loosen them) and works with users' various movements (ranging from hand gestures to eye movements) to provide an authentic experience.
This authenticity often translates to a constructivist application of instructional development (ID). Along with many other burgeoning technologies, VR offers the learner a realistic experience to gain insight into other cultures, the thrill of experimental triumphs, and the repercussions of error under critical conditions. Cutting-edge though it may seem to be, it has a longer history than may be expected; its development having been accelerated (as much of the gains in research in learning and its advancements for the educational realm) by the investments of the U.S. government during World War II, primarily in pilot training. Virtual Reality continues to prove itself an exciting world, both as a stand-alone technology and the many applications it offers for the future of instructional design.