The term AR or more precisely ‘Augmented Reality’ as the name suggests, is an extension or enhancement of real life. From a technological perspective, it refers to layering or overlay of 2D or 3D graphics on real-world views. Unlike the case with virtual reality, AR has real-life components as well and its experience doesn’t usually need any bulky headsets or devices. Most of the times, it just requires your mobile phone and its camera to enable your experience with the wonderful world of AR.
Due to its amazing scope, industries are trying their best to utilize AR for better outputs. Education is one of the most prominent industries as it holds the responsibility of empowering human minds to lead inventions, discoveries, and management of technology itself. Consequently, through technological research and development, future of all other types of industries will ultimately depend on how the coming generations learn. So, this answers why this industry deserves the best of technology advancements.
How Does AR Fit into Education Industry
In the simplest sense, the fundamental components of the education industry are learners, teachers, information/knowledge and channel of communication. To clarify further, education involves the transfer of knowledge from the source to the receiver through some channel of communication. Needless to say, the teachers are sources and learners are receivers of this knowledge. While both teachers and learners are human components, the channel of communication, an extremely significant intermediary, is a mix of resources. The final outcome of learning greatly depends on this and so it is an area which, if handled effectively, can enhance the whole experience of learning as a part of education. Let’s have a look at some of the ways AR technology can transform the education industry.
1. Better Accessibility of Information
Ease and effectiveness of information sharing have immensely helped educational institutions and students, through effective harnessing of the AR technology. Institutions inviting admissions, with the use of AR-enabled prospectus, can give the prospective students a glimpse of their courses, campus life, culture, and facilities offered. Students can thus get to know about the institution even before applying for admission or joining. While for the newly admitted students, institutions with large campuses can conduct AR enabled, remote orientation sessions giving them directions and guiding them about the facilities, thus providing them a comfortable induction to the new environment. It would not be surprising if institutions start using AR based exciting treasure hunt games for their new entrants to guide and help them familiarize with their new environment.
2. Flexibility in Learning
AR has added to the reach of the education industry thus increasing the possibilities of growth of learning across the world. Learning is not restricted to just classrooms and AR apps can be accessed by students at any location of their convenience. This is extremely helpful for full-time working professionals who, while still managing their job and hectic lifestyle, want to attend vocational courses or training in specialized disciplines, offered by the most prestigious universities. Students from remote locations can now gradually hope to have access to the same standard of education remotely, as available to their counterparts from some of the best universities of the world. In fact, the individuals who aspire to become entrepreneurs can have easy access to the online training programs by legitimate consultants. They can access it on weekends or during free hours of the day. Through AR apps, vocational training and hobby classes can also be made available to aspirants conveniently by eliminating the time and commuting hassles.
3. Experiential Learning
It is a commonly known fact that learning through experience and experimentation increases retention. This gadget savvy generation is more comfortable with smartphones and tablets compared to just reading lengthy theory from hard copy books. AR-enabled apps can magnify learning by making the students practically experience the concepts with real-life views and detailing as required. While teaching about a famous monument, an AR-enabled session can give the students feel as if they are actually visiting it. Students can delve into the subject with as much depth as they want, as the app can be configured to include information about a subject from different angles and disciplines. While some students are just interested in knowing about the height and tilt of Leaning Tower of Pisa, some others would like to know its complete history and there would be many who want to explore its 360-degree views. Based on individual preferences, the AR-based educational apps facilitate information availability as much as needed by the student and with realistic views.
4. Superior Learning Material
Quality of the learning material can enhance or diminish the whole learning experience. It is obvious that at all levels of education, the study material should be of good quality to keep the students involved. AR is being largely used to make comprehensive, informative, yet interesting study material. AR capabilities can be suitably utilized in making educational material for all age groups and grades right from the kindergartens like the famous Quiver, Color Alive or Animal 4D+ apps to adult education apps like Anatomy 4D. VR apps can be used for even business school education or company training programs. With its real-life views, the study experience becomes engaging and interactive which promotes learning. Effective use of sound, animation, video, 3D graphics and even GPS adds fascination while the real-life overlays contribute to its realistic feel. This quality of being closely associated with real life makes AR based material a boon for learners.
5. Safer Learning for Complex Tasks
AR facilities can aid convenient training or learning of very difficult and otherwise risky skills. While theory cannot suffice in learning how to fly an aircraft, conducting practical sessions is generally very risky and even expensive. Most of us can recollect our school days when we were introduced to some difficult yet wonderful biology and chemistry concepts theoretically but were not given practical training on it as conducting such training was unsafe and costly. For obvious reasons, the schools couldn’t have arranged a practical class for high school students teaching them about the functionality of the human heart by conducting a surgery in reality. Also, using a school chemistry lab to learn nuclear fusion or fission reactions through experiments is too horrifying to imagine. With AR, its possible to explore all such amazing fields in education, that too with ease and definitely without the risk of hazardous consequences.
To summarize, AR has removed barriers of time and location from the endless scope of education thereby making the world smaller for this omnipresent industry. It has increased student engagement through interactive and realistic study material. Even for risky and complex tasks, where any other forms of training are not feasible, AR-based training is applicable and more cost-effective. We can reasonably conclude that there is no limit to what the society can achieve overall, with education industry utilizing the fabulous AR capabilities well. It is not difficult anymore when the top AR development companies are there to do it!
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