With its merging of the real and digital worlds, Augmented Reality can simplify complex ideas and make the process of learning immersive as well as fun. It can also revolutionise the education sector.
In July 2016, there emerged this phenomenon that suddenly took over the world, called Pokemon Go. From kids to old people and from working professionals to college grads, everyone was playing the game. It was downloaded more than 500 million times by the end of 2016. It was the number one trending topic on Google and news media was rife with stories about some or the other incident related to the game almost on a daily basis. In between sending imaginary creatures onto the player’s reality and using cutting-edge technology which resulted in the game’s immense popularity worldwide, it also brought focus onto something which not many people had heard about before—Augmented Reality (AR).
After the immense popularity of the game, many industries around the world started exploring AR and its various applications. Industries as far removed as construction are today using AR to visualise building plans, structures and are planning their work with the help of AR. The game’s popularity with kids prompted the education industry to adopt AR to make lessons more interesting, engaging and immersive for students. In the last couple of years AR has proved itself to be a valuable platform for learning because of its unprecedented benefits. Research suggests that the brain absorbs new information faster with AR. It is also known to increase spatial and visual awareness, creativity, imagination and other important aspects of brain development.
With AR, the ability to blend reality with digital content is opening new opportunities. Starting from simple exercises like drawing shapes, AR can be used to understand complex concepts, view works of art like sculptures from every angle and immerse oneself in the exploration of space. These are just a few of the benefits. In reality, the scope of AR goes far beyond the confines of traditional learning.
Entire scenes from historical incidents like wars to space events like the birth of new stars, black holes and falling comets can all be presented on the AR platform. Children can see the planets, galaxies and entire constellations right on their study table. Imagine asteroids from space landing on your table, how would that feel? Yes, it would be enthralling, exciting and engaging. This way AR promotes experiential learning by helping children learn by experiencing things. They get a sense of how things work and look. This is very effective in engaging them further in complex subjects that require a lot of focus. Increasingly it is also being used to teach phonics and languages. AR, thus, is enhancing the whole learning experience for children.
More and more children these days are using AR to discover new things in the surreal world of AR. Since AR is a visually stimulating platform with bright, colorful 3D graphics, it maximises intellectual stimulation and response in children. It also brings an unprecedented level of interactivity to reality and creativity to learning. It is not always possible for kids to go on trips to museums, botanical gardens or factories, but with AR, they have a convenient platform to examine things from a closer perspective. Even extinct animals like dinosaurs can walk around in your room. The possibilities of AR in learning are endless. Today, at the mere tap of fingers on a mobile phone or tab, they can unravel things like the human DNA, microbes, cellular structures and users can see them in great detail. The intricacies of the human body can also be explored in great detail with AR. This is beneficial to children who want to pursue a career in medicine. With such advantages, AR is really changing how kids view reality and interact with the world.
A great way to introduce AR to children is through Augmented Reality flashcards.Recognising this growing need for AR-based learning, Next Education has recently launched an Augmented Reality Kit in the market. Instead of just seeing plain pictures of animals, children can now experience how they look like in real life, with motion and sound. Next Education is the first educational solutions provider in India to collaborate with schools to develop AR Flash Cards that are integrated with the curriculum. Studies show that AR improves the level of motivation in children and that they can achieve more learning goals. With this AR kit, parents can involve children in a learning activity that is both engaging and academically helpful. The kit is designed for a preschool learner at home who is ever curious about
Utilisation of platforms like AR is the need of the hour. AR’s influence on diverse sectors, like engineering, marketing, manufacturing, medicine and others has been unprecedented. The industry itself is projected to grow by more than $160 billion by 2024. Its fast adoption is proof positive of its effectiveness. It is always beneficial to utilise the latest available technology to enhance a child’s learning process and make it more effective. For kids who are ever curious, AR is a great platform and a colorful add-on to their
It is true that technology has brought into reality what was previously only in fiction. AR is one such technology. Though it’s the new buzzword in education, it’s surely not a passing fad. The scope of its application is tremendous in the K-12 segment. AR is not only changing the learning environment for young students but also igniting the spark of curiosity in their minds. We shall never know if the lines between AR and the regular classroom will become blurred in the coming years.
The author is co-founder and CEO, Next Education India