As our professional and personal lives are moving towards a more digital environment, it’s no surprise to see new and emerging technologies making their way to educational institutions as well.
Today, EdTech Magazine reports that 63% of teachers are using technology in the classroom daily to improve student engagement — from making use of blogs, to playing educational games. A rising concept that some institutions are looking to use is augmented reality (AR), which blends our real-world environment with immersive, video game-like graphics through the use of everyday mobile devices. Given that today’s generation of students have grown up surrounded by digital technology, integrating AR within classrooms should be relatively easy and fun for them to adopt.
But how exactly can AR help students learn better? And how will it shape the future of our classrooms? Let’s examine how AR is currently disrupting education today, and how it may continue to positively influence learning methods in the near future.
Improved learning experience and recollection
In a recent neuroscience experiment, media digital agency Mindshare found that AR experiences elicit significant emotional encoding spikes in users’ brains. As long-term memory is linked to strong emotional experiences, the experiment has found that AR can actually help students recall information better. The robust learning cycle provided by AR experiences also creates a high level of curiosity, which will ultimately imbibe a passion for learning and creative inspiration in students.
More student engagement
The success of any learning institution relies on a high rate of student engagement. With AR, today’s classrooms can incorporate content that makes learning more efficient, faster, and much more fun. For instance, interactive learning activities with AR are great for keeping students’ interest, as the technology provides something new and visually exciting. One AR development that really brought the technology to public attention was the release of Pokémon Go in 2016, which paved the way for other AR games such as the Harry Potter-themed Wizards Unite and soon, Minecraft Earth. This booming success is what introduced the concept of AR to education, with applications such as Wonderscope, a story-telling app, and Shapes 3D, a geometry app, popping up shortly after. The gamification of lessons can help teachers explain models and theories better, leading to a much higher understanding and eventually, more motivation for students to learn.
Better collaboration amongst students
Any activities with AR can help improve teamwork, as students who are involved in the same learning process are more likely to share ideas and analyze potential alternative solutions based on different viewpoints. As AR technology continues to evolve, the potential for students to communicate and collaborate is endless.
Less cost for AR
As AR technology is at our fingertips (or, more accurately, in our mobile phones), avoiding the costs of damage, loss, and theft is relatively easy. Students will also have access to AR on-the-go, at home, their classroom, or even at the mall with their friends. As AR provides an interesting way to learn, it can also motivate or inspire students to try it outside of the classroom. Despite the risk that they may lose their phones, the AR application itself reduces the expense of repetitively buying learning materials, taking classes out on field trips, or updating lesson plans — overall making learning more fun, and less expensive.
The future of our classrooms is digital
Augmented reality is not the only option. Our CEO Dr. Ani Atanasova points out that virtual reality (VR) is also on the rise in classrooms as costs for VR technology decreases. VR provides a completely immersive digital environment, changing the entire landscape around its user and providing a new sensory experience.
All in all, as AR and VR technologies continue to expand and enrich the learning process, the impact it can have on the students of tomorrow is endless. Educators and learners today are at the cusp of an exciting revolution, and with AR, how lessons will look like is entirely up to teachers’ digitally enriched imaginations.
Piece specially prepared for pixelhunters.com
Prepared by: VRbyJen