Finance Digest predicts that the Education Technology (EdTech) industry will reach US$252 billion by next year. Augmented Reality (AR) developments make up a large volume of this EdTech growth. AR’s promise to innovate education lies not in its perceived ability to replace teachers altogether, but rather in how it makes learning accessible to a host of students.
Immersive learning in virtual spaces
Experiential learning is still the best way to engage students. Tech writer Daniel Ling notes how the widespread use of iPads and phones in schools provide the perfect backdrop to create more immersive learning experiences. AR can create this immersive environment, either through the use of specific headsets or interactive holographic interfaces. These virtual spaces can display layers of data, whether it’s through information about a painting or outlining the steps required to solve a math problem.
AR for exams
The Imperial College of London is in the process of testing out AR technology to be used in medical student examinations. This technology bypasses the issue of allotting resources while also ensuring more objective testing standards. Diagnostic tests can also be run through VR, with the possibility of conducting group examinations simply by having a group of students wear VR headsets together. This experiential testing could then go into other fields; but education is a perfect example, as you’ll be able to test potential teachers through virtual classroom demonstrations.
Soft skills development
The newfound growth in EdTech coincides with organizations looking to bolster students’ practical knowledge. The US Department of Education launched the Virtual Reality Opportunities to Integrate Social Skills (VOISS) last year to help students with autism adjust to everyday situations. Students can walk through a virtual space and interact with avatars to improve their social skills. The tech can simulate a variety of situations, allowing for comprehensive learning.
Personalized learning materials
Developers are aware that not many educators have a solid grasp of AR right now, which is why apps are being created to help teachers quickly incorporate AR into their classrooms. For example, teachers can download apps that display augmented data when the device hovers over a picture or an object. Operating these apps is as simple as selecting the chosen image or object and inputting the data to be revealed, with no other programming required.
Facilitated administrative processes
The uses of AR can go beyond the classroom and into educational spaces as a whole. Educators can set up interactive instructions in science labs, libraries, and music rooms that students can easily refer to at their own pace. These instructions can be delivered through Conversational AI built into the AR to tackle quick troubleshooting issues (such as which chemicals shouldn’t be tampered with or how to request books), thus freeing up administrative staff to assist students with more serious concerns.
As our previous post on AR and hospitality shows, this technology can help facilitate social interactions and create deeper, more incisive connections. The growth of AR within education shows just how much technology is changing how we communicate with each other, proving that the technology isn’t just for tech-heavy fields.
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About the Author
Linda Pierce has always loved to chat; to her friends, toys, even to her parents, she was always nattering away. So it was only natural that she took to SMS and IM like a duck to water. Then when Twitter and Facebook came along, of course Reese leapt on the services while her friends were still going on about MySpace and Blogger. Now she sees writing on tech matters as an opportunity to talk to even more people about the things she loves. We shouldn’t forget, Linda is also a die-hard fan of iOS and console games.