The Future of Learning: Augmented Reality and Education

Augmented reality (AR) is slowly but surely entering the educational sector. While AR is already favored by the marketing and entertainment industry, its application in education has a lot of advantages. Besides, compared to the VR (Virtual Reality), the AR usage doesn’t require any special, and often, expensive equipment. It’s enough to have some mobile device (a smartphone or a tablet) and/or AR apps. In the next 8 years, there will be many companies hiring for augmented reality jobs – adding to companies like Facebook, Google, & Apple who are already hiring.

Why Use AR in Education?

When the educational institution is facing a dilemma: to introduce or not to introduce AR as part of the educational process, it’s better to move ahead with the new technology and bring in AR into the classrooms. And here are some of the advantages of AR application in education:

  • Visualization. With the help of AR, it’s possible to visualize even the most complex concepts. At times, it’s not enough to describe things in words, – and this is the case when visualization becomes handy. With the help of some AR app, it was possible, for example, to visualize fractions in space. And who wouldn’t love Math after such an experience?
  • Distance and global learning. With the help of AR, students do not have to be physically present in the classrooms. These days, one can learn a lot of things while staying at home. And AR-learning materials can make the learning process much easier. Just imagine looking at a 3D model of the brain, heart, liver. Isn’t it exciting?
  • Improving professional practical skills. Medical students, for example, need to practice a lot to become professional doctors. AR can help such students to refine their skills by using a special application. For example, they can even perform the operation on virtual patients.
  • AR is also a helpful tool for making education more interactive, and, thus, more interesting and fun. And when the students are more engaged, they tend to remember the material better. Not to say, that with the help of AR, students can understand the information better, for example, some spatial concepts.

So, there are a number of reasons to start using AR in education. It’s not only a fun way of learning, but it’s also a very practical and useful tool.

Conditions for AR Use in Classroom

The conditions for AR use in the classroom are very simple:

  • first of all, each student should have a mobile phone or a tablet. And since the number of people using mobile phones is constantly growing, this condition can be easily met.
  • There should be a good Internet connection in the classroom, and each student, ideally, should also have a mobile Internet.
  • There are several AR apps, and some of them are specifically tailored towards education. Depending on the purpose and the audience, one can find and download the necessary educational AR app.
  • Some AR apps require the so-called “triggers.” These could be locations, objects, images that are used to trigger an action on the device screen.

These requirements are easy to follow these days. And taking into account the benefits of AR usage in education, it’s not that challenging for educators to meet such conditions.

Best AR Implementation in Education

AR is already successfully implemented in the educational sector, as more and more educational establishments realize its practicality and effectiveness. With the help of AR, students absorb the material better, as well as have a chance to virtually practice a lot of things (like in the case of medical students performing virtual operations).

AR for Educating Kids

AR can be used for educational purposes even for small kids. Children like playing, – and with the help of AR, they can learn numbers, letters in a more interactive and playful manner. The basics of mathematics can be also taught by using AR technology: for example, an educator can show 3-D objects associated with a certain number. Besides, special AR textbooks also make the educational process more fun and engaging.

AR for a Chemistry Class

Chemistry is a very interesting subject to learn, but at times making all the experiments can be rather dangerous. What’s the way out? The solution is to apply AR technology and let students make experiments virtually. In such a case, they will be more interested in the subject and will have a chance to experiment without any possible danger that might be caused by some chemical substances.

AR in Healthcare

Not only medical students can operate virtually by using AR technologies, but they can also learn more thoroughly about the human body with the help of AR simulators. Besides, some medical schools already use AR to better assess students: for example, when the students (with the help of special glasses) can see the hologram of human anatomy.

AR in professional training

AR can be used, basically, in any professional training. For example, it’s often applied in the military sector.  AR can reproduce the setting, where soldiers could operate so that they can develop their professional skills without any danger to their lives.

Similarly, AR is used to train astronauts how to act in certain situations and how to deal with possible difficulties. Engineers use AR to practice and develop their skills as well.

AR can be applied in any sector and is a helpful tool in making the learning process more fun, effective, and without any risks. AR use in education is not a far-away future, it’s already here, so why not take full advantage of it?

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