Augmented reality allows students to visualize concepts and objects in 3D. This makes it much easier to understand the human body, a motor or heavy machine and even complex chemical structures.
AR also helps students learn by allowing them to follow instructions in real time. This can be especially beneficial for professional training courses, like those for welders or engineers who need to understand how complex machines work.
Educators are using AR apps to elevate learning experiences and energize everyday lessons. These applications are transforming the educational experience for students of all ages.
Marker-based AR uses physical markers (like QR codes or images) to recognize a particular position in the environment and superimpose virtual content. It’s a popular feature in education and makes it easy to bring posters, textbooks, and even birthday cards to life.
It’s also used in medical schools to help students understand anatomy and practice surgery without risking expensive equipment or patients. Similarly, AR helps students learn chemistry by showing them 3D models of molecules and chemical compounds.
Augmented reality can be applied to all levels of education and training, from learning games for kindergarteners to on-the-job training. Whether you need to teach a student the basics of welding or prepare an engineer for a field trip, these apps can help you train your employees with safe and effective methods.
Virtual field trips (VFTs) take students on immersive experiences that connect classroom learning to real-world applications. Whether designing buildings in augmented reality or practicing medical procedures on simulated patients, AR allows students to apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios.
Virtual experiences are engaging, motivating, and memorable. They also offer opportunities to practice key skills in a low-stakes environment and provide instant feedback on student performance.
Educators can choose from a wide range of VR resources, including videos and interactive websites. Most of these experiences are free and can be revisited anytime, making them an excellent complement to traditional field trips.
For example, Discovery Education has created a collection of virtual field trips that allow students to explore the world of STEM. Students can visit a recycling center, observe slime as it reacts to microgravity in space, or even learn about the anatomy of a frog.
The immersive nature of AR allows students to learn in a hands-on way, encouraging engagement and exploration. This helps to increase the amount of information that is retained, fostering deeper understanding and knowledge acquisition.
Studies have shown that AR can help to overcome the cognitive barriers that often exist in workplace training, allowing learners to experience workplace activities without having to be present on-site. This can lead to a more effective learning process, resulting in higher levels of retention and a reduced dependency on trainers for training support.
This is a promising technology that can be used at all educational levels, from Pre-school to Higher Education. It can also be adapted to different student profiles, from the most active to those with less engagement. Research indicates that using AR promotes student leadership, experimentation and discovery learning. It also enables collaborative work, facilitating social learning, and is particularly suitable for teaching the most difficult subjects. Moreover, it promotes the use of a constructivist style of teaching and supports learning through visualisation.
With the proliferation of digital publishing platforms, it is now possible for teachers to create AR content quickly and cost-effectively. Students can also use these tools for self-learning at home, which is particularly beneficial for special needs students.
Using AR to make abstract concepts more tangible will improve understanding and retention for students. For example, a theoretical lesson on human anatomy will not engage students whereas a real-world video showing the complexity of a muscle or nerve impulse will be more relatable and memorable.
Another way AR is transforming education is by creating interactive experiences for readers. By scanning an AR code, a reader can bring the page to life with 3D models of complex ideas such as a molecule or planetary system. This makes learning much more engaging and helps to build students’ curiosity and motivation for the subject matter. This is also useful for educators as it gives them the flexibility to adapt to the individual needs of their students.