Augmented Reality in Education : Advantages and Opportunities
Augmented reality is an environment where physical world is supplemented directly or indirectly with digital data in real time. To do this, users need smart devices - tablets and smartphones or innovative gadgets, such as Microsoft HoloLens and special software.
Statistics show that more than 71% of youth aged 16-24 years has personal smartphones which makes possible to think about augmented reality apps for education in schools and universities.
Now, people engaged into educational process are thinking about whether these devices will distract from the learning process or vice versa, to promote acquisition of new knowledge?
Most specialists are inclined to a positive response, since AR can become a real opportunity for schools and universities to promote their services, as well as improve communication and interaction with students.
Using AR, you can add digital content onto printed materials, as well as to geographic coordinates and digital objects. A user can scan an object and and see data on his or her smartphone screen. Digital information can be presented as a website link, an invitation to a phone call, a video, a 3D model or any other data that is supported.
What benefits does AR technology provide for students?
There are great opportunites for using AR in computer classes. For example, students can assemble virtual computers from the blocks in front of a monitor and a webcam. They can study interactive 3D models of a processor or a hard drive. Students can make physical or chemical experiments using augmented reality. Imagination draws huge opportunities for the new technology in teaching, not just only in computer games.
Examples of AR apps in Education:
SCARLET project (Special Collections using Augmented Reality to Enhance Learning and Teaching) has been one of the first AR educational apps. It contains a special collection of rare books and manuscripts which students can access using AR technology, SCARLET is actively used at Manchester University: it scans tags connecting with the augmented reality browser Junaio.
This project is an online game where any miracles can happen. Second Life will be a very useful educational tool that has a huge potential in reaching a wide audience. Also, it can give authors new ways to teach students. In short, these are online lessons, demonstrations, discussions, lectures, presentations, debates, and other events.
This is a game through which students can reconstruct the famous historic battle of Lexington, using GPS and smartphones. This AR experiment also explores the riddles of this battle, for example, lets students know who made the first shot. Users themselves act as soldiers and take part in the battle on a real map in Massachusetts.
The project is suitable for use at schools. Using labels, students can give answers as well as view a visual display of any real objects. For example, in biology these can be the bones of a person or internal organs, in geology - minerals.