Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality — Changing the Way We Teach and Learn
In today’s world pandemic, the virus has taken over and is bringing changes in our daily lifestyle. In the UK, until today has reported more than 43,000 deaths due to coronavirus. Thus, social distancing has become of immense importance in all gatherings.
Due to the changing precautionary measures, educational institutions issued many changes. There is a change in the conventional style of teaching and learning. All students are taking most of their classes online. In many countries, a smart lockdown continues up to date. In such times, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in the education system can greatly aid to student learning. It helps educators create an environment suitable to have the students’ focus and concentration on the subject. Before delving into details how AR and VR assist in education, let’s understand what AR and VR are.
What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
Augmented Reality refers to technology that offers users an interactive experience of the real-world. In the AR system, computer-generated perceptual information enhances the objects that exist throughout the real world through visual, auditory, and sensory information.
What is Virtual Reality (VR)?
Virtual Reality (VR) refers to the simulated experiences that are created with the help of computer technology. It puts the user within an experience, unlike conventional user interfaces. Users feel submerged and can connect with 3D environments.
Importance of AR and VR in the Education
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality both offer remote learning. Thus, it is gaining popularity and grabbing a lot of attention in times like COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, schools and colleges are conducting online classes on applications like ‘Zoom’. However, many institutions aim to achieve an interactive learning class using ‘Augmented Reality’ or ‘Virtual Reality’.
Augmented and Virtual Reality allows educators to offer in-depth knowledge of any subject with a realistic approach. For example, virtual trips to any museum or landmark for a history lecture. Using these advanced technologies; teachers can recreate and develop a history for students to witness. This interactive and experiential learning leads to better awareness of a subject and thereby enhancing students’ learning.
AR and VR systems offer students to have a different exposure from the previous generations. Their way of thinking and analyzing is also developed. With the help of AR and VR, schools can encourage students to travel and explore different places in the world without leaving their room. Students can learn and empathize with different communities facing a crisis. This motivates a curious mind to create different solutions to benefit society as a whole.
Unlike previous career-fairs, nowadays, Virtual Reality allows students to experience different careers firsthand. Moreover, VR and AR in the medical field can greatly help students in better understanding of the human body.
Benefits of AR and VR in Education
- Innovative Teaching Style
It facilitates students learning in an interactive session through gamification. Besides, AR and VR education apps help students understand complicated concepts and topics with the help of interactive audio-visual factor. Educators and students can now construct and animate different projects using extensive libraries of objects, shapes, and many actions, thanks to AR and VR.
- Improves Quality of Education
AR and VR greatly help in enhancing students’ engagement as they can see the visual representation of any subject. Students can have a better understanding of their complicated subject due to experiential learning. It enhances the inclusivity of diverse students having varying disabilities. For instance, use of Near Sighted VR Augmented aid facilitates learning of visually impaired students.
- Helps a Student Think Outside the Box
Real-life stimulation in any subject helps in improving high-order thinking skills among students. By incorporating Augmented and Virtual Reality in the education system, students are encouraged to think outside the box and focus on developing creative ideas. This is because these advanced technologies enable students to experience situations which are usually out-of-reach.
- Improved Concentration
AR and VR technology helps in improving the students’ concentration as they can see the visual representation of what they are reading. Students are less likely to get distracted or lose interest in the lectures, exercises, and overall course as AR and VR have made them more engaging and interactive.
- Increases Efficiency
AR and VR experience in education fosters increased collaboration and is being used to provide practical training. Imagine working your way through self-defense class in virtual Reality that helps you train your mind to tackle real life-threatening situations.
- New Career Opportunities
Students who are intrigued by computer sciences and aim to become a software engineer or developer can greatly benefit from AR and VR. Moreover, these advanced technologies as a module may seem to be appealing to them. Students are then motivated to focus all their efforts in contributing to bringing new ideas and revolutionize the existing technology.
- Language Is Not a Barrier
Students who wish to study abroad and face problems in understanding foreign language can benefit from Virtual Reality. This technology allows students to eliminate language barriers by using language translation software that is built-in Virtual Reality.
Downsides of AR and VR in Education
- Highly Expensive
In many instances, only private education sectors are able to include Virtual and Augmented Reality as a part of their education system. It is because these technologies and related gadgets are quite expensive.
- A Decline in Human Connections
In a classroom, where students are physically present, they constantly learn through the hidden curriculum and their interactions amongst each other play a vital role in shaping their personalities. However, in online classrooms where AR and VR are being implemented, the communication becomes impersonal among students, and thereby they lose the human interaction they need.
- Software Crash
One of the limitations of AR and VR is a software crash that affects students’ learning. For instance, if any issue or error occurs in the system, it can disrupt the student’s flow of learning, resulting in unnecessary time wastage.
In conclusion, implementation of Augmented and Virtual Reality in any field has its own benefits as it provides great convenience and experience to its users. In the education system, there may be some points of concern when it comes to students’ learning.
However, with proper monitoring, these downsides of AR and VR can be overcome. This modern method of teaching students using AR and VR is the future of education, and institutions must keep up with the technological advancements to promote innovation in their students to create future leaders.