As technology is changing the face of education, traditional classroom learning techniques are becoming obsolete. Emerging technologies are making education more digitalized, engaging and interactive. At the forefront of all these technologies is Augmented Reality (AR).\
Talking of Augmented Reality, it isn’t a novel technology and has been there for a long time. Remember how Pokémon Go had become all the rage among gaming enthusiasts a couple of years back. Then the lenses on Snapchat and Instagram we all use regularly are nothing but applications of augmented reality. The technology is expected to show unprecedented growth over the next few years.
The market for augmented reality is estimated to grow from 3.5 billion USD in 2017 to 198 billion USD in 2025.
This is likely to open a torrent of opportunities for players operating in the education sector be it schools, colleges or Edtech (Education Technology) companies.
Augmented reality is all set to revolutionize the conventional learning space. By offering visual representations that blend seamlessly with the real world, AR can make learning sessions more engaging and interactive. It can make students comprehend concepts in a simple manner. Students can understand how things work in real-life and retain this information for a longer time.
Let us have a look at the key benefits of augmented reality in education:
Anywhere, Anytime Access to Learning Material: AR can replace the conventionally-used textbooks, printed manuals and physical models. Thanks to AR, students can access learning materials from anywhere, anytime.
Improved Engagement and Interest: Because AR makes learning an immensely interactive and gamified experience, students remain highly engaged during their learning sessions and take more interest in their subjects.
Effective Learning Process: By offering visual representation, AR helps explain concepts in a simple manner. So, instead of just reading about a topic, students can understand how things look and work in real life. As a result, they grasp subjects better and retain what they learn for a long time.
Enhanced Collaboration: AR allows students to learn as a team-this enhances their collaboration capabilities. Practical Learning Experience: Instead of cramming subjects without understanding them fully, students can now visualize how things happen in real-life.
Augmented Reality in Education: Top Augmented Reality Apps for Education Now that we have discussed the benefits of using Augmented Reality in education, let us look at some stunning augmented reality apps for education that are revolutionizing this industry. So, let’s begin.
Developed by QuiverVision, Quiver is an app that allows children to interact with 3D objects created using AR. QuiverVision website has free trigger images that users can download and print. Children can color and customize these printed images.
When the colored images get scanned through the Quiver app, AR gets activated and lends the pages a 3-D realistic touch. Children can witness and interact with three-dimensional figures popping out of these pages.
Anatomy 4D is an app that aids school students and medical professionals understand human anatomy better. All they require is a simple printed image of the human body. Once a part of the image is scanned using the app, users can view a life-like 4D image of the part scanned. They can even zoom-in and take a closer look.
Anatomy 4D thus uses an interactive AR experience to make users explore everything related to human anatomy- organs, organ systems and bone structure-and comprehend how these parts are interconnected.
DAQRI has developed scores of apps on augmented reality. One of these is the educational app Elements 4D that can help science students memorize the elements of the periodic table better. All they require is paper or wooden blocks developed by DAQRI. These blocks when held in front of a device camera show the elements in AR.
Students can use these blocks to learn about 36 different elements-their names, structure and atomic weights. They can also bring any 2 element blocks together and understand how these elements react (or don’t react).
Have you ever gazed at a group of stars and wondered if it is a constellation? If yes, Sky Map, a specialized app on solar systems and astronomy, is there to help you out.
Users can open the app on their devices and point it towards the sky. The app uses your device’s compass as an orientation to locate planets, stars and galaxies. The app also lets you search and identify the location of a specific star or planet at a given moment.
Sky Map was initially created as ‘Google Sky Map’ but later on donated by Google, made open-source and rebranded as ‘Sky Map’.
Arloon Geometry is an app that aids students strengthen their fundamentals of geometry. The app provides students with a range of 3D models that explain different geometric shapes. Students can interact with various AR-based geometrical figures and improve their spatial visualization skills i.e. the ability to visualize the figures in 2D and 3D.
In addition to helping students visualize complex geometrical figures such as pyramids and prisms, the app provides formulae to calculate their area or volume and helps them solve questions using these formulae.
An added benefit of using Arloon Geometry is that the content offered by the app is in line with school curriculum.
Available on both android and iOS platforms, the Barcy AR app allows students to explore the underwater world in an entertaining way. Designed to teach very young kids, the app introduces kids to several intriguing marine animals using an imaginary submarine ride-a distinctive feature of the app.
The AR app also allows students to design their favorite marine character.
Experience Real History is an AR app that helps students assimilate historical events in an interactive, engaging manner. All they need to do is to use 3D Augmented Reality Board Set or Trading card offered by Experience Real History that shows AR graphics once used with a mobile device.
The app offers an in-depth description of each character or event in history and elucidates how they shaped human history.
An app built to assist young designers, ARki creates a three-dimensional model of a design and renders it in AR. This helps these designers understand how their designs would look in real-life.
The app offers other functionalities as well-material selection, recording customized views of the models in both movie and 3-D format and sharing the same through email or social media. The app also allows scaling of projects with ease.
BlippAR is an AR app that can be used in conjunction with other educational tools. One of these tools is Brainspace magazine. Brainspace magazine is an award-winning magazine for kids. By scanning the pages of this magazine, students can bring alive 3D experiences on their mobile devices.
The magazine gets released in form of issues. Users can opt for a regular subscription or buy single issues from the website.
Each issue of the magazine covers a range of topics. By understanding these concepts in AR, students can have clarity on these topics.
Available on both android and iOS, Google Expeditions uses a combination of AR and VR to offer immersive experiences that are both entertaining and educational.
The app allows students to attain knowledge on an array of topics through its 100 AR and 1000 VR tours. So, students can virtually tour historical places, explore the solar system and comprehend complex atomic structures, all at the tap of a button.
So you see how all these apps are reinforcing (or, in many cases, replacing) the traditional learning methods. With exponential growth in mobile technology and advances in hardware, AR will certainly become more accessible and mainstream in the next couple of years. So, it’s not long before you will witness an AR-centered education system.