As mobile technologies are increasingly evolving into 'wearables', Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) solutions continue to capture the imaginations of millions and are expected to exceed 24 million in device sales by 2018. Whilst on work experience Gabriella Freeman (Yr10 student) from St. Mary's Catholic School looked into its many possibilities for enhancing and improving the education system.
Augmented Reality is the technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world. This is highly popular within the gaming world as seen through the popularity of the Pokémon game: Pokémon Go.
Augmented Reality in Education
- AR could also be used with mini homework lessons or mini catch up lessons in which the student would receive a life-like lesson without having to bother their parents or other adults.
- It could also help deaf or hearing impaired students with AR flashcards, consisting of a vocabulary of words that contain a video overlay showing how to sign a word or phrase.
- Students could also conduct experiments through the AR that can’t be completed physically as are too dangerous, for example looking inside the human anatomy. There are already apps for some of these like Elements 4D and Anatomy 4D.
- AR can help develop and improve mapping skills through scanning a map and then layering it in a virtual form of the city.
- Children could improve their vocabulary with the use of AR. This can be done through scanning in a key word so that the definition gets shown along with a picture that is relevant. This could help children put two and two together and is a far more engaging way to learn than just repeated copying. Aurasma is one example of this.
Virtual Reality in Education
Virtual Reality is the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real way. Virtual reality (VR), like its sibling Augmented Reality is popular among gamers and is likely to be used in education. However its uses in education are a bit more limited. Examples of VR in education are:
- Famous pieces of art and buildings can be replicated through VR. They can then be shown to children without even leaving the classroom meaning students can develop a greater understanding of the way the architecture and sculpture are created.
- It can help students understand how land features were formed and what they really look like through the use of virtual images within either AR or most likely VR.
- Cities, towns and people can be recreated through the VR. These can then be used to look at events like 1066 and can help bring the scenes to life for the students. Virtual tours around the museums via VR could also help save money in the future.
- Virtual reality apps could help children understand 3D shapes in maths. One example of this is Arloon Geometry.
- Students could also conduct experiments through the VR that can’t be completed physically as are too dangerous, for example looking inside the human anatomy.
- Students can design products in the virtual reality to test whether they would be good in real life, this would help them develop an understanding of testing and errors.
There are also many companies investing in both VR and AR for example Immersive VR Education who created Lecture VR, a program that shows virtual lectures in Virtual reality and Curioscope who have created T shirts with the 2D code to release the virtual element of Augmented Reality. However, in my opinion, like in gaming, AR is set to be more successful in this field (It is already popular and highly used – Pokémon Go) and could be more beneficial because it complements the teaching system that is already in place, through adding a level of more engaging ideas without losing the teacher’s key input. VR on the other hand could threaten the teacher’s position through its virtual lectures and lessons and therefore may find less success in schools but more success online and at universities.