Role of Augmented and Virtual Reality in EdTech 

Role of Augmented and Virtual Reality in EdTech
September 7, 2023

There has been a rapid adoption and incorporation of technology in education, especially since the Covid-19 Pandemic, to make education more accessible in a more effective, engaging and interactive manner. As per research conducted by various institutions, the EdTech industry is likely to boom and reach $680 billion by 2027, rapidly growing at a rate of 17.9% annually. Further, a report by Omidyar Network India and RedSeer Consulting predicts a 120% growth by the end of 2022.  This growth can be credited to the adoption of technology and development in infrastructure to support this.  

The immersive learning experience that the incorporation of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality provides is slowly replacing the traditional method of learning, and we can expect it to completely revolutionize the education sector in the coming years. This article explores the advantages and highlights some of the ways AR/VR is used as educational tools.  

By 2023, Augmented Reality is expected to cross $5.3 Billion paving way for several opportunities for educational institutions and businesses. 

Advantages of AR/VR in Education 

Immersive technologies like Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality have massive potential when it comes to providing virtual learning experiences and sharing information in engaging, affordable, and easily accessible ways. It enables students to grasp complex concepts or information and gives them hands-on experience as they get to interact with virtual objects or visit a historical place virtually. Such real-world experiences help them understand and remember things for a longer time. Here’s a look at how Augmented and Virtual Reality offers tremendous benefits to students and teachers: 

Affordable and Easily Accessible Learning Materials 

Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality enables students to learn from anywhere with a device at hand. The learning materials could include medical simulations, arts, humanities, technical education, STEM courses etc. This makes learning materials more affordable as the cost of publishing physical learning materials is reduced and easily accessible as well. 

Makes Learning Fun 

When students are taught in interactive ways, they can understand the concepts with real-life experiences through Augmented reality and learning no longer seems like a boring obligation. They rather become curious and excited to learn. This kind of experience simulates real-world experiences and allows individuals to learn in real-time while interacting with peers from across the world.   

Enhanced teacher-student engagement 

Contrary to the popular belief, AR & VR tech innovations in education is helping greatly with teacher-student engagement. Technology has taken the mammoth share of sharing information regularly, which is automated using AR & VR. This leaves the teachers more free time to engage in meaningful conversation, be a part of technology dialogue and discuss the knowledge imparted by tech platform. While this is the student part of learning, the teachers on the other hand also get time to explore more domains of interest where they can upgrade their skills, knowledge and focus more on the “thinking” oriented approach as against the conventional syllabus-oriented approach.  

Better access to Differently abled 

Students with learning disabilities have been known to benefit from AR and VR immensely. It has been instrumental in curating specialized learning modules for differently abled children thus helping a wide range of people acquire knowledge without facing the difficulty that comes with the traditional approach. The use of AR/VR has made it possible to curate content, customize and share in regional language making it easier for students & parents who are not used to English as primary language. This is helping students in rural areas to gain access to knowledge easily & overcome geographical and linguistic barriers. 

Current Applications Of AR/VR Technologies In Education 

Let’s look at some of the prominent applications of Augmented and Virtual Reality in EdTech that continues to make learning through these technologies more fun: 

  • Some apps make concepts much more comprehensible for students. One such app is Star Chart which helps astronomy students get a better idea of their subject by providing a detailed description of the constellations as they point their device at the sky. The app has information about 12,000+ stars and 88+ constellations making is a fun learning experience for students and anyone interested in Astronomy 
  • Institutions also keep resources to enhance classroom learning. Let’s take the example of the Smithsonian Institution offering 3D models to show items from Smithsonian museums’ collections. Users can see these in their physical environment simply by using Augmented reality on their mobile phones.  
  • AR also finds its application in Edtech services. Immersive education platform Class VR is created by Ed-tech provider Avantis47, which includes both the hardware (plastic VR headsets) and curriculum-aligned immersive educational content that can be controlled centrally by teachers. 
  • A cross-platform app developed for med students & physicians provides 17,000+ human body structures in 3D model format. The app allows students to interact with each of the models and project body parts on a flat surface and gain much more knowledge than if done conventionally. It also helps medical students learn about human anatomy replacing the traditional method of doing the same making the process easy and cost-effective. 

Apart from these, AR and VR tools are especially beneficial in STEM education, as they provide a creative and easy approach to learning complex theories of science and simplify abstract concepts by offering hands-on experience to students. The use cases aren’t limited to the subject of science and extend to Humanities and other skill development as well. Students can develop important skills in the humanities, such as critical thinking and literary analysis, and they also learn the fundamentals of VR development.  

Future Ways in which AR /VR can be incorporated in EdTech Sector 

With the rapid advancement made in technology and the use of technology in the educational sphere, Augmented and Virtual reality in Edtech no longer seem futuristic. They are slowly becoming a part of the educational curriculum and will soon become commonplace.  

Augmented Classrooms, where students can simply scan their textbooks and app provides them the theoretical explanations in a fun-interactive way 

Augmented Homework, where teachers can assign worksheets and students can explore the same at their home and scan the filled answers to know the results right away 

By making small incremental changes to traditional teaching by implementing tech in the form of AR/VR in education can dispel common myths surrounding it like it is too futuristics, highly expensive or difficult to use.  

More education institutions must look at implementing these innovative ideas and ensure there are policies in place, address any challenges and provide an immersive experience to students and teachers, thus transforming the education sector. 

Cloud is playing a huge role in implementing AR/VR in the EdTech Sector. Getting a cloud expert onboard from the initial phases can make the journey smooth for teachers, students & parents.  

To know how Cloud can help your Education Institution, contact Rapyder Cloud Expert Today! 

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