Augmented reality (AR) is set to change the foundations of education, irreversibly modernizing it in ways we don’t yet fully understand. It will make classes more accessible and engaging, and it will provide new ways to study.
Teachers understand that education needs to be about more than just reading and listening to lectures. It also needs to involve interaction and creativity. To make learning enjoyable for students and ensure that they stay motivated, those students need to be engaged, and augmented reality is a superb way to do that.
Technology and Youth Culture
More kids than ever before are using smartphones and tablets. They use these to browse the internet, watch videos and chat with friends, but few of them are using this technology to learn. These are superb resources for finding out information that will help them finish their homework or learn more about a research project, but that’s not how they are being used.
The youth of today love their technology and they are used to it permeating every inch of their daily lives, so why not take a new and engaging technology and use it to captivate their attention and draw them into learning like never before? This is the potential of augmented reality. It can be used to make education more enticing and to engage students in new ways to ensure they develop a love of learning.
Augmented Reality in the Classroom
Many teachers are trying to make their lectures more interesting to students by supporting the learning process with AR. They are hoping to motivate students to learn and study more, helping them to interact with facts about history or science in a way that makes it more real for the student. If successful, using AR can help students to gain a better understanding of topics that would be difficult for them to learn any other way.
Many teachers have been able to create historical reproductions using virtual reality and walk their students through times and places in history to help them better conceptualize what was being experienced at those times.
Augmented reality can be used to scan in pictures to get more information on them or to scan pages to receive messages, help and homework. Scanning a book’s cover could give students a short summary of the book. Some applications are already in place that allow students to scan book covers and upload reviews about them.
It Can Make Difficult Concepts Easier to Understand
Using AR technology, three-dimensional models can be created of just about anything. Teachers can take very abstract or complex concepts and make them virtually tangible for students. The students can approach the problem from different ways them and have a more concrete understanding of what the problem is.
This is ideal for visual learners, as well as those who need something solid to make the theoretical seem possible. There are universities that are already integrating this kind of technology into their classrooms. At the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, AR technology is used to provide support to oral teaching and textbook materials. The students said that using the AR support with their learning made it easy and entertaining.
Interactions and Involvement Are Changing
Getting all the students involved and on board for each assignment and lesson is a challenge that teachers face every day. Some students will be reluctant to learn and others don’t want to engage with other classmates or with the material. They can be drawn out of their seclusion and inspired to participate through the use of 3D models and AR interaction.
This technology can capture their attention like nothing else, which means that they are more likely to learn and retain new information. AR interaction can be treated as a precursor to the greater lesson, piquing students’ interest and ensuring that they are paying attention to the rest of the lesson.
AR can also be used to teach students specific real world skills they might not be able to gain in a conventional classroom. They can be placed in a safe environment and learn how to operate machinery, perform tasks and develop skills, all without ever leaving the classroom. They can prepare for their chosen profession with invaluable training created by industry experts.
Students no longer reed to be passive observers, but they can be active and become engaged with the content. This should make the learning process a much more rewarding experience and ensure that the knowledge they gain sticks with them.
Teachers are looking for ways to help their students learn faster and retain that knowledge better. They also want to get students participating who may be hesitant to engage with the rest of the class. AR technology can allow them to do that, providing incredible benefits that will prove invaluable to students for the rest of their lives.
AR technology is new to the field of education, and the potential for new teaching methods and for benefits to the teaching sphere are incredible. Innovations in teaching and learning are right around the corner, as educators are just starting to get access to AR tools. The classrooms are going to change, but the progress toward more engaging lessons and improved learning is likely to be a gradual process.
Thankfully, the potential for benefits is tremendous with VR, and even parents will be able to use these tools to help their children learn and to make education fun for them.