Commercial, entertainment, and educational augmented reality (AR) apps are becoming the norm. AR companies use enhanced computer-generated sights and sounds to depict real-life scenarios, creating massive testing, learning, and advancement opportunities without the use of physical objects.
Educationists can leverage this technology and bring its enormous benefits to the classroom. AR can completely change how teachers teach and how students learn. Here are four top benefits of augmented reality as it has to do with education and learning.
1. AR Enhances Interactive Learning and Engagement
Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of augmented reality in education is increased student participation in the classroom.
The usual, and I dare say boring, way of teaching and learning doesn’t allow many students to actively engage with lessons.
Also, teachers are limited to textbooks and monotonous teaching techniques. This is not unrelated to the lack of education and learning models to bring lessons to life in classroom situations.
On the other hand, AR encourages students to take the initiative in learning. Instead of relying solely on predetermined thinking patterns, the augmented reality learning experience stimulates broader thinking in the students beyond what the teacher may even want to teach.
In other words, the learning experience with AR allows students to not only learn by following a lesson plan but also create their own content.
AR apps are interactive by design; little wonder they bring about increased student participation. Plus, because the apps help students grasp concepts better and faster, it is a lot easier to get students to participate in learning activities both in the classroom and at home.
Students tend to develop deeper, more stimulating questions and well-thought-out contributions in the class with augmented reality.
2. Augmented Reality in Education Speed Up Learning Time
Learning is only one-dimensional with traditional teaching techniques. On the other hand, educators can present information to students in a two-dimensional format using AR apps. This makes it easy for students to grasp spatial and abstract concepts because they can readily observe and manipulate models and virtual 3D objects from different angles.
The ability to listen to theories and observe and even feel what they learn goes a long way to positively enhance students’ sensory development. That’s because learning through sight and feeling allows students to engage with lessons on more than one level.
For example, AR apps in a science class provide the opportunity for students to “witness” the growth cycle of plants through several seasons without ever leaving the classroom. This would have been otherwise impossible with traditional teaching and learning methods.
One of the closely related benefits of augmented reality in this regard is a safer learning environment provided by AR apps in education. Handling chemicals in a chemistry or science class might not be completely safe or require some extra levels of precaution and safety measures.
Augmented reality eliminates such risks because class activities involving chemicals and substances are all virtual and not real, making it a safe alternative for practical classes, especially for younger students.
3. AR Switches Seamlessly Between Timelines
AR in education makes it easy for teachers to take students into the past or future and bring topics into the present without even taking a field trip.
Imagine being able to travel back in history to vividly observe events and then compare that with projected outcomes in the future. This can bring about powerful understanding and insights that will solve some of the current problems in society while providing students with a more immersive experience.
If there is a need for a physical world trip for the class, AR technology can make excursions highly informative. Augmented reality is becoming a more common feature in historical sites and museums, as it now tends to replace the somewhat outdated guided audio tours.
AR immersive technology allows students on class trips to customize their learning experience using their screens and digital technology.
Educators and students can be sure they are getting accurate and well-sourced information on their mobile device, thanks to the involvement of curators during the creation of excursion-specific AR apps.
4. AR is Less Expensive in the Long Run
Traditional teaching methods involve spending money on educational materials. Unfortunately, educational prototypes, posters, physical 3D models, educational illustrations, and other teaching and learning supplies are not particularly cheap.
Educationists will be quick to acknowledge the high cost of staying up-to-date in providing instructional materials. Worst still, some of these materials get worn out, outdated, or even damaged and will need to be replaced.
However, if students must receive the best education, schools need to provide current learning tools and maintain them. This is where augmented reality technology comes into play.
Purchasing and maintaining AR for education is considerably cheaper. The learning tools don’t get stolen, lost, or even damaged because they are all virtual reality. That means students can access the learning tools on the go, whether they are in the classroom or at home.
With AR in education, there is no need to invest in physical instructional materials that will require constant replacements. While buying some of the more complicated AR tools and set up may be expensive up front, they are comparatively cheaper in the long run.
In most cases, the requirements for setting up an AR system in the classroom include:
- A strong internet connection
- Mobile device (tablets or smartphones)
- AR educational apps
- AR markers or triggers, such as objects, images, and more
In a nutshell, one of the biggest benefits of augmented reality for educational purposes is the cheaper cost of buying and maintaining educational materials in the real world.
Thanks to the great strides in emerging technologies, AR is continuously becoming accessible and the most cost-effective method for teaching at all levels of education.
If you are considering using AR technology in your school, an effective way to allow students to gain the full benefits of augmented reality technology is to design open-ended lessons that encourage learners to take ownership of their projects. This will boost the students’ sense of responsibility and also increase their engagement with the material.