A New Age of Learning – Inclusion of Virtual and Augmented Reality

Technology has changed the education industry to a large extent. Since the internet and personal computers have become ubiquitous, education is no longer confined to textbooks and within the classroom. E-learning was one of the earliest jumps in the technology-driven road to a more futuristic education. Millennials have grown up with technology shaping them through the years and now, the current age of students are tech savvy who can benefit from these areas of technologies.

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are two new technologies that have made a lot of sensation in the tech industry. Though most of the current attention is going to gaming, there are a lot of areas where these technologies can be used. Education is one of those areas, where it has been experimented and with positive results. It has been found that VR and AR can help to make learning a fun and engaging activity.

After online courses, VR and AR learning can be the prominent areas where the education industry can focus their interest.

VR learning

Virtual Reality in Education

“Virtual Reality is a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person.”

– Virtual Reality Society

Imagine if you could join a virtual classroom from your home. Wouldn’t it be great to be not able to miss your class due to heavy snow or other distractions? VR will empower students to take classes from anywhere in the world and get the education that they deserve. Though VR education is still an experimental one, there are a lot of potential in this industry and educational organisations will adopt it in the future to make learning a more engaging activity.

With the advent of prominent VR devices like Google Cardboard and Oculus Rift, the base for VR is all set. The educational organisations only have to unlock the power of these devices which can bring another revolution in the world of learning. Here are some of the ways in which VR can benefit the learning industry:

Immersive learning experience

VR would be a great tool to make students have an immersive learning experience. Through the use of VR, you can virtually transform the classroom to the topic of learning.

E.g. Archaeologist students who want to study the ruins of a particular region can take the help of VR to transform the classroom into those ruins virtually and have a stimulating learning session. Similarly, architecture students can understand the architectural styles of various prominent buildings with the help of VR.

There are endless learning opportunities like those mentioned with the help of VR. One can take the example of Lecture VR app by Immersive VR Education, which simulates a lecture hall in VR. In this app, there are different learning features, like turning the VR classroom into a space shuttle.

Easy practical learning

A traditional classroom often lacks the ability to provide students with an instant practical lesson of what is being taught. For example, if medical students want to learn about how to make incisions, they will at first be provided with a theoretical course in a classroom and then, there will be a practical classroom where they are shown how it is done. Through VR, students can at the same time learn practically how to make different incisions. One company that provides such learning experience is zSpace.

VR will help in the easy practical learning of different areas of studies. Another company called Alchemy VR creates practical learning courses like a tour through a museum or exploring the Great Barrier Reef. This type of courses will help students to understand the subject better with practical lessons.

Uninterrupted learning experience

As mentioned earlier, VR turns any place into a virtual classroom. Whether you are travelling or sick at home, you can always connect to the classroom in just a few seconds. The education process will not stop and it will help students to continue their education.

Augmented Reality in Education

Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

AR differs a little from VR in the fact that instead of trying to replace traditional classroom education, it can aid it and make it more immersive. In other words, AR can make traditional education a lot more exciting through the use of holograms, 3D graphs, and other AR tools.

EON Reality is a prominent company which uses AR technology to create a blended learning environment for teachers to make the use of 3D graphics content to make students learn better. AR can also be very helpful during school trips. It can help students to learn better about the things around them and learn easily through visual interactions.

The Bottom Line

We are currently in the edges of an educational revolution through the use of new technology and online learning is going to get a new twist, with the use of VR. AR is another area of technology which might enhance the learning experience of students and equally help teachers to make their classes more exciting. Now, we will just have to wait and see how it transforms the education industry.

Hasib is a professional writer associated with learning.naukri.com. With an interest in new technology and gadgets, he follows the industry closely. He has written a number of articles related to technology, marketing, and content on various blogs and websites. He is also an avid reader and passionate about the beautiful game of football. Follow him @ twitter

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