Keyur Bhalavat

The Future of Learning Experiences – Augmented Reality

Blog Post created by Keyur Bhalavat on Jun 30, 2018
In this article, let me take you through at how Augmented Reality (AR) technology will transform the future of learning and training not just in schools but also in other educational institutions and on e-learning platforms.   
Augmented Reality technology or say AR-based applications is not a new thing, it has been used in various fields like healthcare,designing, robotics, manufacturing, automotive, military and so on. Displaying information by using virtual things that the user cannot directly detect with his/her own senses can enable a person to interact with the real world in the ways that have never been possible before. This AR technology augments virtual information on top of the real world with continuous and implicit user control of the point of view and interactivity. This technology can offer learners seamless interaction between the real and virtual world, just by combining augmented reality interfaces with educational content.
How cool it would be for students to watch that dinosaur or any other endangered species in front of them without even going to a zoo or another national park? How amazing it will be to bring those dead textbooks to life? And take both learning and teaching to adequate level of realism.
The user can change the positions, play with different color and shape variants, or other graphical features of virtual/augmented objects with the interaction techniques this technology supports. AR is being used for learning and training purposes in manufacturing industries, or to give a next level experience to the audiences in the entertainment industry something quite similar to the sci-fi movies, by enhancing a user’s perception of interacting with the real world.
In a practical situation, people still prefer reading books instead of e-books or facing screen. Although the education pattern is changing for the current generation and things are getting more digitized, but textbooks are still widely used in schools. Using AR applications/systems, learners can interact with the 3D information, objects and events in a natural environment.   
The educational experience offered by Augmented Reality is different for a number of reasons as Mark Billinghurst (2002) mentioned:  
  • Support of seamless interaction between real and virtual environments.
  • The use of a tangible interface metaphor for object manipulation.
  • The ability to transition smoothly between reality and virtual world.
Let’s take a look at few reasons to use Augmented Reality in education.
  • Harness the impossible – Learners can bring object onto their classroom desks that would not be possible to do in real life. Remember the days, when we used to prepare a model of volcano using different chemicals to exactly learn how it works. Imagine having an active volcano right in front of you without having spent hours on making that model. AR can produce some truly breath-taking moments in the classrooms.
  • Perspective Control – Learn 3D models at any angle, distance, or scale them with AR. It gets difficult for teachers to provide individual 3D models to each student and at the same time the student gets enough time to understand the model from all perspectives. This is where well-designed AR allows students to view models more naturally, moving around them to change perspective and getting closer to it.
  • User Interaction and Boost Engagement – AR provides highly interactive learning experiences as it is about bringing content to life. Students can interact with AR content to develop deeper understandings of the subject matter. And also students engage readily with AR content and are motivated to learn independently.
  • Stimulate the senses – A well planned and designed AR experiences will be more than just a static 3D model. It is more integrated with voices and other visuals that also engage the students through sound and touch controls, thus this creates multi-sensory experience.
  • The Budget – It’s a matter of logistics and economics when it comes to providing all the resources to each student in the school. AR can definitely help in this regard. We are not saying to replace physical resources completely, but being able to supplement it with virtual resources, can lead many schools towards AR in the next few years.
There are many more ways where Augmented Reality can be the most helpful tool in the learning and training areas especially education. Augmented Reality Showreel || Plutomen Technologies - YouTube 
The possibilities of Augmented Reality in teaching / learning are great, it is providing new ways of learning. It is a win-win situation for all, parents, teachers and students – by engaging the children to study with playful applications. The most obvious benefit of AR in education is that it changes the way that students interact and the way they learn their subject content. 
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