Role of AR/VR in the education system

What learning experience would you prefer: a chapter in a book telling you about Ancient Rome or a completely immersive virtual tour of an ancient Roman town? Most likely, you’d go for a Virtual Reality (VR) tour and so will millions of students all over the world.

VR can be used to teach lots of things, from history to human anatomy.

Now imagine that you want to teach biology to children; needless to say, getting them interested in the learning process can be difficult.

But there’s a way out – you can use an Augmented Reality (AR) mobile app through which students will direct their smartphone cameras at images in their books and virtual objects will appear on smartphone screens.

Educators can use augmented reality to teach whatever subject they need – from the alphabet to geography to chemistry.

Difference between Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality

1. Augmented Reality is the result of using technology to superimpose information – sounds, images, and text – on the world we see.

AR adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone.

One of the most popular ways AR has infiltrated everyday life is through mobile games. In 2016, the AR game ‘Pokémon Go’ became a sensation worldwide, with over 100 million estimated users at its peak, according to CNET. It ended up making more than two billion USD and counting, according to Forbes.

2. Mixed Reality (MR), sometimes referred to as hybrid reality, is the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

A prime example being civil engineers that need to find pressure spots and weaknesses in their bridge designs, or someone studying our brain’s function and seeing what happens to the brain if it is being put under immense stress.

3. Virtual Reality is the term used to describe a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.

VR implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world.

Example, instead of having a classroom setting being taught about History, students can be taken virtually back in time and see events unfold in front of them.

Role of Artificial Intelligence, Augmented and Virtual Reality in education

AI, VR, AR are the realities of the future education system. Classroom learning is undergoing change at an unprecedented rate. Technology is making its way to the classroom, increasing the interactive elements that many students are benefitting from.

Students today are already familiar with various technologies, which is why computerized tools and apps make sense in a classroom setting.

Technology is the biggest factor impacting Indian education now, with digital content and classrooms, online assessments and cloud-based platforms augmenting the academic and administrative processes of the K-12 sector.

Experiential learning techniques, the use of artificial intelligence in education, and personalised learning techniques are some of the major trends which will continue to revolutionise the Indian education system in 2019 as well.

Experiential learning is being implemented in India in the form of virtual labs, social media platforms, virtual and augmented reality tools, and gamification of learning.

1. Gamification of learning is an effective pedagogy which maximises student motivation and engagement by integrating game elements in learning environments.

2. Virtual labs are interactive environments for creating and conducting simulated experiments based on real-world phenomena so that students can interact with an experimental apparatus or other activity via a computer interface.

3. This eliminates the problem of accessibility as well as the lack of physical infrastructures for lab-based learning, especially in science subjects.

4. VR allows students using e-learning platforms on mobile devices to directly interact with study material. This keeps their engagement levels high and motivates them to learn more and better.

5. On the other hand, AR facilitates teachers and trainers in performing tasks, they previously haven’t or cannot, in a safe environment.

Together, all of these are engaging students in ways like never before and are poised to become a lot more widespread in their usage and impact in the future.