The original use case for augmented and virtual reality was not so much practicality, but rather entertainment. The entertainment factor remains, however, perhaps it is this which makes it so practical, in terms of education.
Teachers are more commonly introducing AR and VR into education, as these technologies can make certain subjects, and learning as a whole, more stimulating and effective. It isn’t so much the topics students were learning which were unengaging, but rather the traditional teaching methods.
So, let’s discuss how implementing more technology into classrooms, in particular, augmented and virtual reality, can evolve students’ learning in education.
Teaching Methods Are Becoming Outdated
One of the main reasons for the introduction of technology has always been to improve something. There’s no reason education shouldn’t be the same.
Traditional teaching methods can tend to concentrate on fact retention and simply informing students. Being informed, however, isn’t the same as being educated, especially if students don’t find the topic mentally stimulating, which is particularly the case with younger children.
How VR and AR Can Improve the Learning Experience
It’s no surprise that students find VR and AR more stimulating and engaging than traditional teaching methods. But does this, in fact, benefit the learning experience? The human brain naturally remembers what it does or simulates 90% of the time. Whereas it only remembers 10% of what it reads and 20% of what it hears.
Rather than relying on their own imagination, students are able to visualize their learning. Whether it’s for biology, history or geography, virtual reality can introduce new senses to education, which enhances the effectiveness of how students absorb information.
Virtual reality was first introduced as a means of entertainment, rather than a more functional use such as education. The gamification of learning is an educational method which uses video game elements to engage and educate students. VR technology can enhance the entertainment of this approach, which in turn boosts learning.
More common for younger students, gamification can involve reward systems, problem-solving, social connection, competition and perhaps most importantly, scaffolded learning. Scaffolded learning can track a student’s individual progress, and tailor challenges according to their own capabilities and previous scores.
Even aspects such as immediate feedback and bright visuals can encourage students to want to continue with gamification in VR, rather than having to take tests on paper and wait for the mark.
Freedom to Experiment
VR and AR in education can enable students more freedom and independence when it comes to exploring topics and subjects.
In a textbook, students read or listen only to the words on the page. With AR and VR, however, they have the responsibility to explore their own flow of information and learning.
For example, one of the main elements of VR used in education is the ability to break down geographical boundaries, being able to view iconic and historic locations on the other side of the world. If experiencing this through textbooks, students would be limited to the words on the page and perhaps a few images. With VR, however, students are able to break away from the group and explore even finer details, which they would be unable to with traditional teaching methods.
Augmented reality and virtual reality can help with concentration levels and reduce the chances of students becoming distracted.
First of all, students usually become distracted due to more engaging diversions of attention, such as mobile phones being more interesting than a subject. If however, the subject is taught with engaging technology such as AR or VR, then this eliminates the need for students to find entertainment somewhere else.
This is especially relevant to virtual reality even more so than augmented. The fact that VR learning requires a headset completely reduces any distractions which may be in the student’s physical surroundings. This is particularly beneficial to students who have trouble concentrating, and struggle to take in and remember information. This enables students to retain more information than they would gain from more traditional teaching methods.Guest Post