In of one the earlier blog, we did talk about the Use Cases of Augmented Reality and in another we discussed how it will be beneficial to the real estate industry.
In this article, let’s take a look at how Augmented Reality (AR) technology will transform the future of learning and training not just in schools but also in other educational institutions and on e-learning platforms.
Augmented Reality technology or say AR-based applications is not a new thing. It has been used in various fields like healthcare, designing, robotics, manufacturing, automotive, military and so on. Displaying information by using virtual things that the user cannot directly detect with his/her own senses can enable a person to interact with the real world in the ways that were never possible before. This AR technology augments virtual content on top of the real world with continuous and implicit user control of the point of view and interactivity.
How cool would it be for students to watch a dinosaur or any other endangered species in front of them without even going to a zoo or another national park? How amazing will it be to bring those dead textbooks to life, and take both learning and teaching to adequate level of realism?
The user can change the positions, play with different color and shape variants, or other graphical features of virtual/augmented objects with the interaction techniques this technology supports. AR is being used for learning and training purposes in manufacturing industries, or to give a next level experience to the audiences in the entertainment industry, something quite similar to what we've seen in sci-fi movies, by enhancing a user’s perception of interacting with the real world.
In a practical situation, people still prefer reading books instead of e-books or facing screen. Although the education pattern is changing for the current generation and things are getting digital, textbooks are still widely used in schools. Using AR applications/systems, learners can interact with the 3D information, objects and events in a natural environment.
The educational experience offered by Augmented Reality is different for a number of reasons as Mark Billinghurst (2002) mentioned:
- Support of seamless interaction between real and virtual environments.
- The use of a tangible interface metaphor for object manipulation.
- The ability to transition smoothly between reality and virtual world.
Let’s take a look at few reasons to use Augmented Reality in education.
- Harness the impossible – Learners can bring object onto their classroom desks that would not be possible to do in real life. Remember the days, when we used to prepare a model of volcano using different chemicals to learn how it works. Imagine, you can see a mock volcano, and to get a better idea of everything that happens inside a volcano, you then see virtual cross-sections. AR can produce some truly breathtaking moments in the classrooms.
- Perspective Control – Learn 3D models at any angle, distance, or scale them with AR. It gets difficult for educational institutions to provide each student with individual 3D models. Such AR applications will let the student own their 3D models and also gets enough time to understand each element from all the perspective. This is where well-designed AR allows students to view models more naturally, moving around them to change perspective and getting closer to it.
- User Interaction and Boost Engagement – AR provides highly interactive learning experiences as it is about bringing content to life. For instance, lessons on the World Wars might resonate better with students if they can scan maps to see how a particular geography was fought for, or who the regional forces were and how they were arrayed against each other.
- Stimulate the senses – A well planned and designed AR experiences will be more than just a static 3D model. It is more integrated with voices and other visuals that also engage the students through sound and touch controls, thus creating a multi-sensory experience. For example, it will get much easier for a child to learn how wild animals, what they eat, what their sounds are like and other details using such AR applications.
- The Budget – It’s a matter of logistics and economics when it comes to providing all the resources to each student in the school. AR can definitely help in this regard. This does not mean an all-out replacement of today's norm; instead, the practical approach would be to use every tool at an educator's disposal to enhance true learning.
There are many more ways where Augmented Reality can be the most helpful tool in the learning and training areas especially education.
AR is a win-win situation for all, parents, teachers and students – by engaging the children to study with playful applications. The most obvious benefit of AR in education is that it changes the way that students interact and the way they learn their subject content.