Explaining the Future: Guide to Augmented Reality for Educators

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.”

– Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

 

We all see how quickly the world changes with disruptive technologies and innovation tend to be the main reason for that. Let us travel back to the past and try to remember how it was at school back in the days. We had pen and pencil, a blackboard and a piece of chalk, a teacher who was explaining us things about life, world and science. The experience from school we got was relevant to our time.

Time changes and each year new things come up to make our life easier, more interesting and exciting. Mobile phones changed our lives and even when they come up on the market it was not really clear why would anybody need them if we had a landline? Now we can’t imagine our life without a mobile phone that connects us to the world of information, to our friends through social networks and messengers, video calls and gives us updates via apps and even makes our life easier on the go! Back in the days, those mobile phones were a disruptive technology and at present, they are just normal life attributes.

What we can be certain about is that there will be new ways of accessing information, interacting with the environment, and the ways we learn and know things. This technology is even more valuable for education because education creates the future of our kids. The immersive education creates the future of our kids from early years.

If our day to day life changes in all spheres what happens to our classroom? Is it still the same? Education technology has brought online learning, tracking tools, online reading and maths, interactive boards and projectors on the walls, flipcharts and markers, whiteboards and other instruments to ease up the learning process and make it innovative. Education for our kids is the future of our kids!

Augmented reality is the future of education as it is radically changing the landscape of teaching methods as one of the most innovative approaches. Augmented reality combines real world and cyberspace. In other words, augmented reality represents an additional layer of information to our real life and, let us name it, making a connection between existing real objects and known information about them, i.e. it gives us a better knowledge about reality. One of the benefits of Augmented Reality is that it is controllable, the user can clearly differentiate real life and cyberspace because cyberspace is seen through a mobile device as it creates a so-called hybrid environment where a user of a mobile device can interact with virtual objects in real time through his device.

As an innovative tool, Augmented Reality has found several applications in the education space as it brings a number of benefits including opportunity to visualize abstract concepts like in geometry or science, develop imagination of the kids by travelling the world with a mobile device from the comfort of your home by just installing the right mobile application and having the marker at your hand. Marker or trigger as it is also called is a picture, can be a QR code or anything that was taken initially to be the starting point of launch of augmented reality. The number of elements in the picture as well as a number of pixels can reproduce to a user a pre-programmed scenario of augmented reality.

Augmented reality has different levels. Everyone has experience with QR codes that retrieve links with useful information. The next level is trigger or marker that represents a printed picture or a picture that can be used directly from the screen. So pictures-markers can be embedded in a combination of images however only they will reproduce augmented reality scenario when the relevant mobile application will be installed on a device with a camera pointed at the picture. This is the most widely used in technology. Another trigger for augmented reality scenario is GPS coordinates. An example of it can be Pokemon Go game that used to be very popular a couple of years ago.

Technology in our hand becomes technology of the future and augmented reality becomes an essential part of educational technology because it optimizes learning, improves comprehension and increases motivation for learning, especially for kids who can’t imagine their lives without mobile devices and computers. Augmented reality helps with visual, auditive and kinestetic senses and it engages all of them and, therefore, augments perception of reality.

Why it gets so popular? It is already natural, intuitive and easy to use and creates natural interest of discovering. Thanks to these features there is a huge potential for improving kids learning process and makes a life of a teacher easier in the sense of equipment and getting ready for a lesson. Teacher can create, visualize and manipulate objects with one device and an application right in the classroom. Thanks to cloud base technologies, exactly sae can be done at home, where parents can helps kids to learn and get engaged in this playful process. It is already crystal clear that Augmented Reality apps will change the way we educate our kids. The question is are you still in the Stone Age with the way you deliver information in your classroom?

Due to the capabilities of augmented reality kids can easily explore the physical world and it helps not only in abstract learning but also engages kids in learning subjects like geography right from their classroom or home. Technology can help them to travel the world based on the learning scenario behind the app. This changes educational content relation and brings new experiences as well as helps to acquire material 3 times quicker due to engagement of all perception channels: visual, auditive and kinesthetic and develops more interest in any subject where this technology has been applied. Augmented reality proved to be more efficient learning because now it is a 3D image based learning era.

What teachers can get by using augmented reality in their classroom?

  • Animations and simulations;
  • 3D modelling from easy to complex subjects;
  • Learning by experimenting and interacting in a controllable cyber environment;
  • More significant exploring of complex science subjects;
  • Use of interactive multimedia;
  • Bring new experience with books and schoolbooks that contain augmented reality;
  • New reading and exploring experience;
  • Interactions with teacher at home;
  • Stretching imagination limits;
  • Gamification of learning process which is vitally important especially at early stage;
  • Learning new competencies and abilities;
  • Information browsing;
  • Facilitation of practical e-learning.

Augmented reality creates simple and free tools for educators: 3D presentation, video augmentality, geo located augmentality, visual search and much more. This depends on a scenario behind the program. This is a vitally important part because like in every book the content takes always the first place. Every teacher needs to be careful in selecting augmented reality content provider in order to obtain quality product with quality content.

To conclude, it is important to mention that Augmented reality is a very powerful magical tool available for all teachers now because it works on both Android and Apple devices as it provides learning and acquiring information in any place. This is learning connected to life as if you can travel Africa from your classroom physically when you decide. You have to get ready with many things. Augmented Reality eliminates this and you can travel and explore new things any time YOU WANT and it will be learning connected to life!

This immersive technology is already changing the way we learn! Are you, as an educator, jumping on the right train? The way we teach kids today predestines what they become tomorrow.

 

Explaining the Future: Guide to Augmented Reality for Educators