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 virtual reality in 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 the development of infrastructure to support this.
The immersive learning experience that the incorporation of augmented reality and virtual reality provides is slowly replacing the traditional learning method, and we can expect it to revolutionize the education sector in the coming years. This article explores the advantages and highlights some of the ways AR/VR is used as an educational tool.
By 2023, Augmented Reality is expected to cross $5.3 Billion, paving the way for several educational institutions and business opportunities.
Immersive technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have massive potential for 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 virtually interact with virtual objects or visit a historical place. 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:
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.
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 worldwide.
Contrary to popular belief, AR & VR tech innovations in education are 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 platforms. 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 and knowledge and focus more on the “thinking” oriented approach as against the conventional syllabus-oriented approach.
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 of the traditional approach. AR/VR has made it possible to curate content, customize, and share in regional languages, making it easier for students & parents who are not used to English as a 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 continue 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 better understand 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 it 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. The immersive education platform Class VR was created by Ed-tech provider Avantis47, which includes both the hardware (plastic VR headsets) and curriculum-aligned immersive educational content that teachers can control centrally.
- 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 model 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 straightforward approach to learning complex theories of science and simplify abstract concepts by offering hands-on experience to students. The use cases are more comprehensive than the subject of science and extend to the humanities and other skill development areas as well. Students can develop essential 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 into EdTech Sector
With the rapid advancements 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 provide them with theoretical explanations in a fun-interactive way
Augmented Homework, where teachers can assign worksheetsand students can explore the same at home and scan the filled answers to know the results immediately.
Making small incremental changes to traditional teaching by implementing AR/VR in education can dispel common myths, such as it is too futuristic, highly expensive, or difficult to use.
More education institutions must look at implementing these innovative ideas and ensuring policies are in place, addressing any challenges, and providing an immersive experience to students and teachers, thus transforming the education sector.
Cloud plays a massive role in implementing Augmented Reality / Virtual reality in EdTech Sector. Getting a cloud expert onboard from the initial phases can smooth the journey for teachers, students & parents.
To know how the cloud can help your educational institution, contact a Rapyder Cloud Expert today!