Classical education is dead. No more universities with boring books and exhausting cramming. Pupils and students find new ways to learn. Just look at millennials who prefer DIY education because it’s cheaper and more effective. Why bother going to the university if there are Coursera and Udemy?
Look more attentively: modern kids learn how to play games on a smartphone much earlier than they learn how to read. They know how to type messages with eyes closed and how to mine bitcoins earlier than they learn about Greek myths (who needs them with bitcoins, anyway?).
So new generations are challenging modern education. Will education take a punch?
Well, those schools and universities that implement modern technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality in education, can stimulate interest in studying. Other forms of education (=boring and outdated) are on the brink of extinction like old clumsy dinosaurs.
And you still don’t know about the applications of AR & VR in education? Luckily, I am here to help you. I know, reading this long and boring text will be too much for you.
That’s why I offer you to imagine that I am a friendly and a very polite chatbot (which I am not by the way) that can answer all your questions regarding augmented and virtual reality in education.
Augmented reality teacher tools are breathtaking today, believe me. The only necessary thing is the motivation of teachers to use them.
For instance, not every kid has a chemist set in his room (luckily). But most children are interested in chemistry if it’s taught in an exciting way. That’s when augmented reality in education can help.
But with AR apps there is no need for stuffing your room with those old vials and safety glasses. Today there is an AR app that turns you and your kid into no, not into the guys from Breaking Bad, but into the team of cool chemists.
With this AR application you have a safe environment for experiments and 5 new chemical reactions each month delivered to your door. Besides, the company includes Google Cardboard VR headset in their first kit. No need to replicate these reactions if you can see them on the screen of your iPod.
As you see, augmented reality in education is a good way to reconsider the way to spend family time together.
More than that, with the help of virtual reality tours for schools, you can actually influence kids’ mindsets. If you’re a teacher, you can help kids travel to the places they have never been before and won’t have this chance to visit them. Because these places don’t exist anymore.
This company offers its users to travel inside the Roman Colosseum or the Acropolis of Athens. Speaking of Greek myths, that kids forget to learn busy with bitcoins and zombies. What kid would say “No” to the possibility of listening to myths somewhere in ancient Athens?
For example, your kid can explore the Solar System sitting in the kitchen eating yogurts. WeAR studio has animated magnets for kids’ yogurts so kids received the opportunity to learn new facts about planets, comets, and constellations playing with the AR app on their phones.
All the animations were accompanied by auditory information and some facts were also printed out on magnets. Isn’t it the funniest way to help your child to learn?
This AR app offers you to take a look at 700 3D models that include volcanoes, dogs, and water molecules. The animated images move and provide visual and auditory information.
The developers of the app suggest that 86% of pupils who used visual models improved their results. Well, it’s worth trying. So augmented reality teacher tools like this one should appear in classrooms as soon as possible.
Teachers of maths, biology, geography, astronomy, physics, anatomy, chemistry are really excited about learning opportunities for their children. They say that studying 3D objects the way they are is very stimulating and engaging.
For instance, the developers of this app suggest that Physiology is fun if you have a t-shirt with your body organs and skeleton pictured on it.
And if you want to tell that VR headsets are too expensive for school kids to use them, you have probably missed the news about Google cardboard which costs $10.
And I am not even mentioning augmented books – the books that can stimulate interest in even the least motivated pupils. Augmented books are similar to those which you could see in Harry Potter those that “come to life” the moment you open them.
Again for those teachers and parents who want to actually teach kids using technology, there is plenty of opportunities.
Yes, using VR/AR/MR can be really serious and important for future doctors, for example. Medical students didn’t have much choice for centuries: they had to learn by either dissecting corpses or studying these lifeless images in anatomy textbooks.
Now they can finally see how the human brain is processing information or how muscles work under pressure. Virtual reality tours inside the human body, so to say.
The aim of the project of Leiden University and the Leiden University Medical Center supported by HoloLens is to give medical students a more realistic view of human anatomy. For example, biomedical students receive the chance to explore the anatomy of the ankle in the movement.
Moreover, they can learn from their own movements when studying a virtual model. The best thing about such an immersive learning is that students can study a concrete case and learn from it.
Today medical students can finally visualize muscles, veins, neurons in 3D and even interact with them by deconstructing or moving them. AR for medical training is very promising, no doubts.
For handicapped people, virtual reality is like the portal to parallel dimensions in which they are healthy and risky. They can try and master the things that could never be accessible to them without virtual reality. Learning how to snowboard or diving? Why not? Even playing football along with NFL stars.
All these possibilities are now accessible to handicapped people who can finally forget about limits. VR for handicapped is the thing that can make you believe in VR with all your heart.
Or take autistic children who want to learn how to drive and just can’t do it under normal conditions. Yes, there are different simulators available to help people with special needs in learning but Vanderbilt VR Adaptive Driving Intervention Architecture (VADIA) is created specifically for young autistic children who want to learn driving.
This system adapts to the unique driving style of autists, and then creates a specific program to target all the weaknesses of learners. The program also spots teenagers who are unable to drive safely at the initial stage.
Even people with minor traumas can benefit from VR training now. They could train physically with just a 10% load and squeeze all 100% out of mental training. And mental training is the weak spot of many sportsmen.
Many companies face one serious challenge in the process of employees’ training: they need to train new employees in critical situations. However, if they simulate those critical situations in the working environment, they disrupt normal operations and lose money. What’s the logical way out of this situation? You’re right. It’s a VR training for employees.
Walmart, for instance, is training its employees to handle Black Fridays with dignity and resilience. If you have ever been to Walmart during Black Friday, you know how difficult it is not to start panicking that it’s the last set of glasses for $12. Now Walmart employees can enjoy this stressful experience in a safe environment.
The spheres of VR corporate employee training are expanding: today football players, social workers, teachers can also have virtual reality training. And there are more.
You can use a virtual platform for meetings, training sessions, and seminars. Take a look, there is a whole virtual campus in which you can visualize as many avatars as you need to conduct the event of your dreams. Imagine gathering all your international team under one virtual roof for a meeting?
You have heard it a thousand times that the best way to learn a language is to immerse into the natural linguistic environment. Well, most of us can’t afford to quit a job and move to China for several years. But there is another more affordable and more innovative solution to this problem.
Now you can test your speaking and understanding skills by plunging into the virtual language environment full of avatars that speak to you in real life situations. Yes, I can attest that when a virtual woman appears in a virtual restaurant offering you a menu, your brain starts working faster.
Physical interaction with the environment reinforced by realistic social interaction creates a strong feeling of presence.
“Do you want anything to drink?”
“Think”- your brain is telling you,- “She is staring and waiting.”
The effects of immersion and presence in the linguistic environment are priceless, believe me.
Virtual reality training is one of the most popular methods of military training today. For instance, Australian officials have decided to create a special VR and biometrics training to improve the resilience of soldiers. For this training, a special VR environment will be developed to examine the stress resistance of soldiers.
This environment will replicate the real battlefield with a high degree of accuracy so that soldiers who get prepared for their first task would be able to do it better. VR for military training is probably the only way to immerse soldiers in the real dangerous environment without any risk for their safety.
Confucius said that: I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand. Virtual and augmented reality are are the most effective combination of seeing and doing that’s why education needs these technologies so much.
Today AR and VR can turn boring (almost hypnotical) school education process into the exciting and breathtaking experience. Because what’s the point of taking away kids’ smartphones and tablets during lessons if you can fill them with useful AR and VR content instead?
And teach maths, anatomy, chemistry, physics, biology, geometry much more effectively.
You can use VR/AR for adult education as well – to train employees without disrupting operations and to get soldiers ready for the battlefield experience.
And handicapped people can finally play basketball in VR. That’s checkmate of VR and AR.