Virtual & Augmented Reality in Education

Oh, Boy. It makes you excited right by knowing what VR & AR are. Even though you are not entirely aware of VR & AR, it is not an issue. Because you already know about that if you watch Hollywood movies. Yes, I am right. If you have a habit of watching Hollywood movies, you will come across these technologies in any one of the movies. For instance, take the Iron Man movie where Tony Stark, aka Robert Downey Jr., Uses AR to make Iron Man suits & uses the same in his helmet for communication and monitoring processes. Now, you got it, right? The same technology can be used in education also, but it needs more time for such fineness. But we already have many tools that use VR & AR in the real world. So let us dig into how VR & AR impact education.

Technology has become an integral part of our lifestyle. As a result, technology plays a vital role in modern education. With vast information available so readily on the Internet has changed the landscape of education, thanks to powerful search engines. It helps in emphasize student engagement, learning by doing, & broader & in-depth understanding of complex subjects.

Even though we are using online platforms for education, we still lack engagement due to critical factors. Educational contents and answers to so many questions are just a few clicks away. Still, many learners have difficulty retaining knowledge.

We are having some critical challenges in the present Education system.

  • Teaching methods are about fact retention- Still, fact retention is considered the key to a successful education system. Students have access to every info & still, but they are struggling to learn from that.
  • Comprehension of a lot of information is often tricky- We have plenty of information on the Internet & receiving a lot of information in a short period is overwhelming to learners & it results in learners’ disengagement & reason for boredom.
  • Lack of engagement in Internal & External Environment- Individual education depends on both the internal & external environment of the classroom. Present teaching tools & other aspects are not many motivating factors for learners to continue the active & engaging learning tools.
  • Student-Teacher ratio- It is a fundamental problem faced by many learners. The optimal Teacher-student ratio in India is 1:30. But due to a lack of facilities student & teacher ratio becomes imbalanced. So, lack of active participation & engagement.
  • Poor Infrastructure & Lack of facilities- These are serious challenges many learners face in India. Lack of facilities such as lab & equipment is also taking a toll on the learners, efficient oriented concepts.

The optimal solution for these types of challenges is the integration of technology throughout the learning process. Integration of VR & AR in education resolves major problems & enables learners to learn more effectively & efficiently.

VR & AR in EdTech

VR/AR technologies have great potential for getting students interested in the learning process. The infinite possibility of the virtual world enables the creation of education & training content that leads to an in-depth understanding of advanced & complex concepts. In addition, it allows the active & engaging participation of learners during the lessons, and personalized educational content improves the learner’s creativity.

Leverage VR & AR technologies in novel educational tools to create an immersive & blended environment in which users can interact with objects & active participation. With this technology, you can assemble, disassemble, manipulate, & modify the objects & environment in a way that was never possible earlier.

With the advancement of VR & AR, integration of VR & AR has become popular among educators. This advancement enables the usage of AR lab classes, which allows students to learn through the interaction with 3D models of objects, animals, & other aspects.

Besides the VR & AR in EdTech, many other enterprises have started to integrate VR & AR for employee training & use it in other necessary aspects of the industry. As a result, learners can achieve “impossible” feats, such as the journey of VR & AR-aided education. However, these technical transitions showed no such thing as “impossible.”

VR & AR in EdTech Statistics

VR & AR transforms education by creating unique ways to learn and teach. The clear objective of immersive technology in education & training is to bring life into the information that lies ideally in the books and make that information more interesting & exciting.

According to MarketsandMarkets, the augmented reality (AR) market is projected to grow from USD 15.3 billion in 2020 to USD 77.0 billion by 2025; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 38.1% from 2020 to 2025. The virtual reality (VR) market is projected to grow from USD 6.1 billion in 2020 to USD 20.9 billion by 2025; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 27.9% from 2020 to 2025.

So, we already know about VR & AR concepts and how it works. Let us get to know the challenges & benefits as well.

Benefits of AR in EdTech.

The benefits are numerous when it comes to the Integration of VR & AR in Education & training. Let us see some of the vital beneficial aspects.

  • Materials can be accessed anytime, anywhere: AR has the potential to replace paper textbooks, physical models, posters, equipment, printed manuals, & other materials in a short period. In addition, it is portable & less expensive compared to traditional education materials. As a result, education becomes more accessible & mobile.
  • It does not require special equipment- Unlike VR, AR doesn’t require any expensive hardware or wearables. As of now, nearly 95% of teens have access to smartphones in the USA alone. Recent developments result in the immediate availability of AR in smartphones that can be used by most of the target audience.
  • Greater student engagement & active participation- Interactive UI & UX, gamified AR can have a higher rate of student engagement & active participation & has a significant positive impact on students. It makes the learning process effortless & straightforward yet effective.
  • Improved collaboration capabilities- AR apps offer vast opportunities to diversify & and shake up boring, suitable old classes through visualization & interactive content. In addition, engaging & interactive lessons, where all students are involved in the learning process at the same time, help to improve teamwork skills.
  • faster & effective way of learning- AR in education helps students to visualize & immerse themselves in the subject matter. The saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” , AR will provide a seamless experience in the learning process.
  • Practical Learning- AR has a tremendous potential impact on professional training for teams other than academics. It is also cost-effective & more efficient in the workplace.
  • safe & efficient workplace training- AR, on the other hand, provides a seamless experience & gives better practical training that has less risk & more significant benefits. Ex: Microsoft sells AR goggles to the US army.
  • Universally applicable to all levels of education & Training- AR reality in education can be a universal solution, be it games for children or immersive sessions for on-the-job training. In addition, AR can be used in different levels of education & training.

Challenges faced by AR in EdTech.

Despite the benefits of AR, certain pitfalls need to be considered in EdTech.

  • Lack of necessary training- Teachers that are new to this type of technology might struggle to put it into practice due to their lack of background training. Only innovative & top-minded teachers have the required skill sets in using AR apps in education.
  • Optimization of contents based on platforms & devices- Different platforms & OS are challenging issues to optimize the apps and contents. It isn’t easy to provide the same AR content, UI & UX on any device.
  • Hardware issues & accessibility- Even though AR is integrated with EdTech, there still be issues with Hardware & its compatibility, as well as it is expensive for the masses.
  • Limited Contents- AR-developed contents are limited & it requires considerable time to develop content & it is a complex process & also expensive.
  • Public skepticism- Still huge masses unaware of AR’s actual benefits & applications in any field. This requires a considerable effort to educate the masses on the value of AR.
  • Cyber sickness is a new type of sickness due to prolonged usage of devices that supports the learning process using different aspects such as VR and AR. Therefore, it is also needed to be considered a potential challenge for integrating AR in EdTech.

Most of the opportunities & challenges found in AR can be found in VR also. Still, for VR, the major challenge is the usage of devices such as VR glasses that are expensive & require a significant amount of prior training & knowledge.

Applications of VR & AR in EdTech & Training

Applications of VR & AR in education & training are diverse. The use of these technologies has shown us many benefits compared to traditional teaching methods. Additionally, they can improve the overall experience of a learner ten-folds.

  • Virtual tools for real-world learning The first & foremost application of VR & AR can be used as a virtual tool for real-world learning. This helps the learners remember more about the concepts through direct experience. The critical factor here is setting up the content that appeals to the target audience.
  • Virtual field trip sounds vague, but hear me out; it is a more exciting part of this technology. You can experience, for example, learning about spatial inequality in the classroom and then take a VR tour of the Wall of China. In addition, you must know that AR can bring abstract concepts to life & allow you to interact with objects, the environment & more. Isn’t it exciting?
  • Training- Nowadays, technology development has helped us achieve a lot. Integrating VR & AR in the technical fields such as military, engineering & medical sectors creates significant benefits to quickly understanding the concepts. Moreover, it helps students to learn from simulations & realistic scenarios without much risk.
  • Virtual Labs Get excited, guys. This will blow your mind. Virtual labs are another level of application of VR & AR in education. These technologies offer you a realistic experience that lets users perform experiments and practice skills in a fun & risk-free learning environment. In addition, the VR & AR labs have many opportunities not available in a regular lab, such as the ability to view life science at the molecular level, to examine scenarios that highlight the connection between the lab experience and the real world, and to speed up experiments so results can be seen faster.

The use of VR & AR tools in education & training is so exciting and has a profound impact. These technologies help learners to keep engaged & simplify complex concepts. This immersive experience adds an extra dimension to the learning process.

Educators believe that VR & AR can be a game-changer once integrated into the education & training process. It also provides interactive & entertaining content for sure. However, the roll-out of VR & AR in education takes a significant time frame. It requires specialized software & Hardware & to use these educational institutions need experienced personnel.

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