E Learning

Augmented Reality as Educational Technology

Augmented Reality as Educational Technology has a huge number of possible applications in different sectors, but without a doubt, its use as educational and training technology is something that offers us unbeatable opportunities. First of all, Augmented Reality as Educational Technology provides us with a friendly channel with the student, so that at all times they can be part of a more enriching experience.

The development of the study, therefore, frequently entails an associated development of fun, which optimizes the stimulus and the capacity of attention and motivation of the student. In this situation, the student performs the assigned tasks almost as a pleasure, rather than as an imposed obligation. In addition, the fact of being able to see the information in a different way than the traditional way will make the study more accelerated and effective. The development that these innovations can create in the different training and academic processes is great. Integrating original techniques such as these make it easier for us to measure said development and begin to adapt to a technological future that is getting closer and closer.

The term Augmented Reality is not something new. This technology has been in development for several years, was coined in 1992 by Tom Caudell and has a long history, from its beginnings with experiments at NASA. It is an ideal technology for implementation in the educational environment. It can be defined as the vision, directly or indirectly, through a technological device, of a real physical environment. Environment in which layers of information are added digitally to existing real information, and can sometimes also interact with the added digital layers. This differentiates it from virtual reality, since it does not replace the environment, but rather enriches it with layers of information, whether in video, image, text or audio format. We could summarize it as the result of combining digital elements with palpable physical elements through a digital vision device.

Augmented Reality, as Educational Technology, helps us to better understand, assimilate or add new knowledge and new skills within the educational environment and classrooms. For this we can use already available tools such as tablets or the smartphones of the student community and the teaching staff. Additional elements prepared for it can also be used, such as textbooks that implement Augmented Reality or applications made to measure for this experience. To date, there is already a wide range that covers from the areas of anatomy, showing us the human body in a totally innovative way, to applications that provide added value in teaching such as history, art or mathematics.

In summary:

  • Merge the real and virtual worlds by adding digital layers to the former.
  • It allows you to interact with the virtual elements generated, consulting them, making them play audiovisual content and even modifying them.
  • Make 3D projections that adapt to the real environment on which they are projected.
  • It adapts perfectly to the context where it is applied, it allows the physical environment to be modified in a virtual way with elements that would require an enormous effort if they were really made. All this in a fully adapted way and in real time.

Augmented Reality in the classroom

Augmented Reality applications became, in record time, a teaching resource highly valued by the teacher when teaching a subject in an enriched way, providing a visual sample or prompting students to test their understanding of the subject. topic they are dealing with at any given time.

Education is surely the area with the most developed content in the wide world of Augmented Reality. Today, a specific Augmented Reality application can be found for practically any area of ​​knowledge that is taught in the educational institution. From grammar or programming to geometry, chemistry or medicine, passing through biology, history and even philosophy.

Benefits of Augmented Reality in Education

Study materials are accessible anytime, anywhere: Augmented Reality has the potential to replace paper textbooks, physical models, notices, etc., by offering less expensive and portable study materials.

You don’t need a huge outlay on equipment. In contrast to virtual truth, augmented reality does not require expensive hardware, especially if we remember that 73% of children and young people have a Smartphone with which they can use Augmented Reality applications.

The friendly and gamified study has an important positive impact on the students, keeping them more concentrated and passionate throughout the subject, in addition to making the development more entertaining and attractive among them.

Interactive teachings based on Augmented Reality increase collaboration skills among students, advancing teamwork skills.

A more accelerated and effective study development is created through monitoring and total immersion in the subject. Don’t you assure that an image is worth a thousand expressions? Then, what better than seeing the theory in an activity, instead of have to read it.

In addition to regulated education, job training can be favored through the use of Augmented Reality. Among other things, the accurate reproduction of the conditions of a workspace can help control the practical skills required for certain expert functionalities.

Opportunities

Augmented Reality represents a technology with enormous potential in the field of education. It greatly expands the possibilities and resources of teachers. It presents us with new and innovative contexts where we can practice teaching and where students can really enjoy learning, in a totally experiential and immersive way.

It brings us the opportunity for them to interact in a controlled environment with goals and perspectives that are very difficult to achieve if we transfer them exclusively to the physical world.

It also represents the opportunity to develop specific physical skills due to their ability to interact with the real world. They act as a catalyst to enhance spatial reasoning with new models and rules. And on the other hand, they can contain specific elements that make them improve their social skills through collaboration and group work.

Augmented Reality allows teachers to transfer the discovery and exploration of subjects and environments that would require a huge investment of resources or displacement to the classrooms themselves.

challenges

On the other hand, the challenges posed by this technology must also be highlighted. We do not want to present these challenges as insurmountable obstacles, but as part of the difficulty of working with this kind of technology in the current context.

Technological advances and access to them are not universal. This is so, and we must take it into account, since in general in Augmented Reality we need the availability of internet access or a specific electronic device. Although this availability and access are growing. We understand that there is still a large number of people who do not have technologies that enable them to interact with Augmented Reality.

Teaching study subjects with this kind of technology also requires additional training for those who teach. They need part of the curricular design to be modified so that it is not just a grade or a mere “recess” different from what the traditional class is. We cannot pretend to introduce a technology like this without prior training and without the support of institutions in a general way.

As we are seeing, Augmented Reality as an Educational Technology has enormous potential, which is just beginning to take the first steps on a path whose end is far from even being broken. With the current adoption of mobile technologies and recent hardware advances, the barriers in the implementation of Augmented Reality are disappearing, making this technology one of the most accessible and used. The current moment is key to give in this direction and position itself as an innovative educational institution in its implementation.

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