Augmented Reality in Education: Trends, Benefits, Examples

Augmented Reality in Education: Trends, Benefits, Examples

Education is at the stage of rapid development because digitalization has brought changes in different areas of our lives. Thus, it is not surprising that one of the most significant spheres in human development is affected by modern technologies as well.

Notably, the global eLearning market is expected to grow exponentially and reach over $370 billion by 2026. We won’t be mistaken by saying that the learning process is about engaging students and enabling creativity and interaction.

AR is capable of turning the studying methods upside down when applied correctly. However, its area of influence is not limited by colleges and universities. Nursery kids and pupils, as well as workplace training, can also benefit from implementing AR programming and add value to their learning. Significantly, the researchers mention that the AR market will grow to $31 billion by 2023, while 70% of technology leaders assume that AR programming will exceed the VR market’s revenues.

In this article, Qubit Labs will take a more in-depth look at augmented reality in education to define how it can change the traditional understanding of learning processes, see emerging trends, and go through some of the most notable apps.

What is AR in Education?

One can divide the concept of augmented reality for education apps into three elements, including:

  • Contextuality. This one implies the natural introduction of virtual objects into the surroundings in a way they don’t look like something redundant. In fact, the environment and virtual objects are the parts of code that are displayed simultaneously, but that’s exactly what contextuality means.
  • Interactivity. It is possible to interact with virtual objects as if they were real, for example, moving or destroying them. Although physical sensations are not engaged in the technology yet, augmented reality education apps are still capable of taking learners to another dimension.
  • Spatiality. Augmented reality apps for education offer interaction with 3D virtual objects that have their own coordinates in the area. The user can freely move in space to review the object from different angles and perspectives.

Augmented Reality in Education

In most cases, the virtual objects are overlaid over the real images by using smartphones, yet, some of the most advanced applications of augmented reality implement AR glasses like Google Glass, Dream Glass, or Vuzix Blade. A new virtual environment is created by superimposing programmed virtual objects on top of the video signal from the camera. It becomes interactive through the use of special markers.

The basis of augmented reality technology is an optical tracking system. This means that the camera becomes the “eyes” of the system, and the markers become “hands”. The camera recognizes markers in the real world, transfers them to the virtual environment, superimposes one layer of reality on top of another, and thus creates a world of augmented reality.

Apart from other AR benefits, its remarkable visibility stands out the most. Educational augmented reality examples don’t just convey specific facts but expand the functionality of familiar educational materials or teach to understand anatomy and veterinary medicine literally “by touch”.

Research conducted by Mindshare Futures in Partnership with Zappar explored the applicability of augmented reality in education. The effectiveness of its implementation was defined by questioning users, interviewing experts, and conducting various experiments with the monitoring of brain responses. A few key takeaways are:

  • Over a third (36%), rising to half (50%) respondents aged 18-34, suggested that they can think of many ways to fit AR into their lives, namely in the spheres of entertainment, education, and communication.

 

  • During the measurement of cognitive function changes, AR gave almost twice higher engagement levels than the results not related to AR.

Speaking of modern students, in particular, we can suggest that it is easier for them to consume information in technological ways rather than traditional methods. The digital transformation is a response to the demands of time. Present-day children were born and raised surrounded by a digital environment, so augmented learning allows us to adjust to new generations’ ever-changing demands. It helps to establish a comfortable environment for learning, scientific research, and creative activities.

Indeed, augmented reality examples include the opportunity to take a look at, say, the human heart from different sides by interacting with a realistic model increases the chances of understanding its work better rather than simply looking at the pictures or videos. Besides, students can travel through time to visit the ancient Romans’ civilization. They can go to space and look at the conditions on other planets. One of the most crucial augmented reality benefits is that a person puts some effort into using interactive content and independently takes a step towards improving one’s knowledge.

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AR Trends in Education

Augmented Classrooms

Although it might seem quite a challenge to make students interested in the lesson’s topic, augmented reality in education is on its way to face this problem. Currently, there are different kinds of apps, like the ones that use flashcards at which a student can point their phones to see a real-like object. In the means of complicated theoretical explanations, Marker-based AR apps come in handy. Students can scan their textbooks to see illustrations that will increase their understanding of the subject.

Augmented Homework

To make the homework less burdensome, there are AR-enabled worksheets that are not only informative and oriented towards checking learners’ knowledge, but also allow to reinforce the knowledge. In case the question in the test is too complicated, a student can scan the paper to see some hints given to him/her by applications of augmented reality.

Turning Abstract Concepts into Reality

It’s not a secret that when it comes to biological concepts, the picture is worth a thousand words. Augmented reality in education enables the usage of object recognition and 3D modelling, so medical students will have the ability to experience the touch and feel of operations right in the class.

Uptick Student Engagement Rates

One of the benefits of augmented reality in education is that it is possible to turn a conventional PE class into one that would be focused not only on the physical state but also on mental.

Augmented Reality for Content on Demand

Progress does not stand still, so both teachers and students will demand more personalized augmented reality education apps. These might include applications that allow creating virtual content from any device and location, informational sections, and the ability to run simulations on the app to check hypotheses.

 

Augmented Reality Apps for Education

Augmented reality in education offers a variety of tools to choose from, and thousands of apps come to the market each year. There are different types of applications; some are oriented at students, others at kids, and some at self-learning. We want to highlight one of the benefits of augmented reality by mentioning that it allows one to dive into the subject and, when it comes to distance learning, prevent learners from missing out on the advantages of being in a collaborative environment. Having that said, let’s move on to the specific examples.

Star Walk

Looking at the stars at the pictures in the books and actually seeing them in real life are two different things, right? Due to light pollution, people living in big cities can barely see the stars. Star Walk is an app that can turn the smartphone into a virtual planetarium. Everything the user has to do is move the gadget on the particular part of the sky to find out what cosmic objects can be seen there.

Quiver

This app uses AR to combine education and entertainment. Kids can color pages and then scan them through the app to bring the characters into life.

Human Anatomy Atlas

Speaking of, for example, medical students or health workers, Human Anatomy Atlas enables people to learn anatomy with thousands of 3D models. Users can interact with every structure by rotating and zooming in and out to study deep and hidden structures. The app also allows delving into the microanatomy of tissue and special organs. It includes detailed definitions and pathology information, Latin names, and English pronunciations.

Google Expeditions

This app helps to explore the history, science, arts, and the natural world by guiding students through 360° scenes. Different 3D objects allow teachers to focus on significant sites and artefacts on the way.

Narrator AR

This app is oriented at inspiring children to pick up pens and write. Kids connect to their written words, and the app launches letters of the page in AR. Letters turn to levitate off the page in the forms of rockets or rainbows to teach children to write letters correctly.

Elements 4D 

Chemistry lessons will become much more interactive with this app because it is connected with paper or wooden blocks, which have symbols of the periodic table on them. When moving the phone on them, the app transforms the objects into a dynamic, 4D representation of each element.

CoSpaces Edu

This app is adaptable to any subject and grade and enables students to build their own 3D creations. They can then add interactions with block-based coding and explore their creations.

Exoplanet

The app enables to explore discovered exoplanets, find out about their physical properties and locations, and see their host stars. It has a sky map and a visual model of the Solar System.

 

Best Blogs About Augmented Reality

Array

This blog explains the benefits of augmented reality, its future, and trends in the area. It focuses on the topics in the public eye and those that aren’t that popular yet forward-looking.

 

Stambol Studios Blog

A Canadian AR blog reviews the latest trends, applications, and events in the tech world to keep its followers informed about the upcoming updates in the area.

 

DAQRI Augmented Reality Blog

This company is actually a world-leading enterprise that produces innovative hardware and software products. It shares valuable AR ideas and explains them in a way understandable for people who use artificial intelligence and those who are just wondering about it.

 

Catchoom Blog

The company provides top-notch image recognition technology with the easiest AR tools worldwide. The blog informs its readers on the latest trends and news related to artificial intelligence usage.

 

The perspectives of using augmented reality in education cannot be overemphasized. It provides thousands of possibilities to turn conventional learning processes into an engaging and interactive environment that will enable the development of various skills among learners. Speaking of AR benefits, we can highlight some of them: improved collaboration capabilities, more effective learning process, efficient workplace training, and higher student engagement.

In this article, we have reviewed several augmented reality examples to give you a grasp of the technology and show what you can expect from the implementation of augmented reality in education.

Undoubtedly, AR has great potential, and its adoption by mobile technologies helps it to spread out and develop with a superior speed. If you consider applying AR programming in the upcoming projects, Qubit Labs will be happy to help you out in finding the most skilled developers.

Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation and receive a quote. 

 

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Julia Kravchenko
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Julia Kravchenko is an author at Qubit Labs blog, sharing her experience in team management and Ukrainian market updates.