Augmented reality (AR) is quickly becoming mainstream and for good reasons. It allows us to test products and scenarios, improve learning, conduct training, and a host of other uses. All this in a virtual space without using up a lot of time, effort, or money.
The education sector is not left out of this advancement, as augmented reality in the classroom is becoming commonplace. No doubt, AR technology is attention-grabbing, but this is not the only reason that educators should consider including it in the classroom.
AR increases students’ comprehension rates, improves engagement through interactivity, and eliminates the risks associated with some practical classes. Check out this article for the in-depth benefits of augmented reality in the classroom.
Now, let’s see how teachers can use this technology to improve student learning experiences in the classroom.
How to Use Augmented Reality in the Classroom
1. AR for Enhancing STEM Lessons
AR apps, such as Elements 4D by DAQRI, can help students grasp STEM lessons better. Students can pair various special cards with specific apps to bring chemical equations to life in chemistry classes.
Working in small groups in the classroom, students can test different element blocks to see if they react (of course, in a virtual space).
Other AR apps like Lifeliqe, are designed to teach STEM lessons for grades K – 12. Teachers can use apps in this category to give students a closer look at different 3D models, ranging from geographical features to animals and plants.
Many STEM-based AR apps include hundreds of lesson plans to help teachers deliver highly interactive and easy-to-understand lessons to a class.
2. Create AR Projects
Instead of merely guiding students through AR experiences, teachers can take things a step further by encouraging them to create different 3D models.
Fortunately, creating AR media is not difficult and does not require students to write codes. That means teachers can facilitate this type of activity in nearly all subjects and for both kids and teens. Platforms such as Metaverse (discussed in the next section) are extremely easy to use for kids of all ages.
Allowing students to create their own AR projects is not only fun but gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility.
3. AR Field Trips
Teachers can use GPS coordinates to include AR experiences at physical locations. To augment a field trip, teachers can add several experiences at places of interest on a map on their computer. During the actual trip, students will use their devices to scan and interact with the AR experiences.
4. Gamify the Classroom
You can gamify your classroom or the entire school by adding AR experiences in the form of QR codes to different physical objects.
Students can go on scavenger hunts to find items and explore new experiences. Teachers can include different instructions in the AR experience to gamify the activity.
For teens, teachers can add AR experiences to spaces such as a faculty photo wall. Students can scan the photos to see the images come to life as well as know more about their teachers.
5. Find the Right Balance
While augmented reality in the classroom can improve learning, teachers must make sure they use the tool to bridge the gap in areas where students struggle.
It is important for teachers to approach the use of this technology sensibly if they want to achieve their goals. Keep in mind that AR is not just some attention-grabbing gimmick but a tool to enhance learning.
Examples of AR Apps for the Classroom
Here are some great AR apps designed to improve the classroom learning experience:
1. Merge Cube
Merge Cube is an exciting way to bring augmented reality into the classroom. The cube allows students to literally hold digital 3D models in their hands! Think of it as a hologram of some sort.
Students can merge the cube with different teacher-designed lessons in the form of apps to create digital 3D pieces. By pointing their device camera at the cube, students can hold, view, and interact with different objects, including the human skull, the solar system, different animals, and more.
AugThat was developed by a former teacher. The AR app features learning materials in a few different formats, including a 360-degree virtual environment, 3D models, and animated lessons.
In addition to the expected “wow” factor of AR apps, AugThat targets elementary and middle school children who may have difficulty coping with their lessons or are not as fully engaged in learning as other classmates.
3. Fetch Lunch Rush
Fetch! Lunch Rush is a multiplayer math game that uses printable cards. Bring this free game into the classroom, and watch how kids improve their math skills without even realizing it.
Suitable for kids ages 2 to 8, the game introduces math skills by letting children help Ruff the dog feed sushi to a movie crew!
Quiver brings coloring pages to life. The AR app improves coloring skills in school-age kids from grades K through 5.
The coloring pages become animated when paired with the app. For example, children can practice coloring a fish swimming in the water. All they have to do is scan the image using the app and watch as the fish pops off of the page, and swims in the water!
Quiver offers a fun and exciting way to promote creativity and art skills in children.
Augmented reality in the classroom doesn’t get any simpler than Metaverse. This app gives students complete control over whatever project they want to create. Most importantly, it’s available for free and it’s so easy to use that even school-age kids can create amazing projects with it.
Metaverse is an excellent AR tool to increase student engagement and interest in the classroom. Students will feel more in charge of their learning experience and, in turn, learn better.
AR possibilities in the classroom and education are boundless. The technology may still be relatively new to many educators but early birds are already leveraging the innovation and taking their teaching methods to a whole new level.