How is AR, VR & XR taking the education system into creation mode?

The time we started mentioning AR back in 2016, people would often tell us that it isn’t practically possible to create such a technology where textbooks could be visualized using 2D and 3D content and the concept of environment with a virtual world was constrained to Sci-Fi fiction movies only.

The founders of Zucate back then would search for platforms and apps which would enable them to create such experiences where students get the look and feel of the real world just by sitting at the comfort of their homes. A very known phenomenon now, thanks to study from home concept and post pandemic limitations, was then considered a very vague idea like firing in the dark.

By the end of 2017 there were a lot many tools which could do such wonders in the world of 3D visualization. We demo-ed our AR product for the first time at the Canada India Acceleration Program 2018 and were declared one of the winners in the same. This boosted our passion to take a deep dive into the world of Augmented Reality.

So, what actually is Augmented Reality (AR)?

When you have the real world as well as virtual world coincide, then the resultant experience of placing a virtual object on top of the real world is what is known as Augmented Reality. Some such examples of real world AR apps and games are Pokémon Go, Google AR Animals, Cadbury PlayPad App. Augmented Reality uses your mobile’s camera to create experience by superimposing a virtual object right in front of you.

Virtual Reality (VR), on the other hand, is something that is purely fictional. You actually feel that you are inside that fictional world doing things in that simulated environment. Some such examples of real world VR apps and games areStar Wars: Squadrons. Virtual Reality display requires a headset device like HTC Vive to engage with the experience.

Also, to give you a fair idea of what Extended Reality or XR is; it is the combination of AR and VR where real and virtual world experiences are combined to create immersive experiences for the user. Some examples of real world XR games/apps are Trover Saves the Universe. Top XR devices include VR headsets like HP’s Reverb G2 VR, laptops like the HP OMEN, and AR displays like the Microsoft HoloLens 2, which can track your hand and eye movements for a seamless blend between the virtual environment and the real world.

It depends on educator’s imagination to teach any subject from visualizing magnetic fields in Physics to explaining body systems in Biology. The experience can be clubbed with sounds, images and text to enhance the reality feature and bring in the real life experience of the world we see.

The Feasibility Study of Assessment Of Higher Education Learning Outcomes by OECD shows that the introduction and use of technology in an average classroom makes 87 % of students more likely to attend class and 72% of them more likely to participate.

A unique pedagogy which is a blend of classroom learning with a mix of AR, VR, XR experience and digital assignments and assessments as an addon is the future of educational technology transformation. This eliminates the problem of accessibility as well as the lack of physical infrastructures for lab-based learning, especially in science subjects and thus reduces the education costs drastically.

The educators who earlier used to put their recorded videos in video streaming platforms are now resorting to DIY AR, VR apps for content creation to explain the concepts to the students. These platforms provide an array of 3D models to chose from to create lessons for every subjects. While AR can give the students a hands on experience of the concept to be studied, VR on the other hand can transport students to different places, and even different times through virtual environments where they can be a part of the scene themselves.

Interactive holograms are another space being tapped by educators across the world wherein they create their 3D avatars which is there at students’ tap to access and appears before them as if the real teacher is teaching in front of them. Students are taught by a holographic educator and have the capability to directly engage with their course content during classes thus increasing the interactivity element in teaching.

The future of education definitely belongs to AR, VR and XR and more so, after the pandemic hit us and crumbled the education system to a large extent across the globe. New implementation methodologies are being researched upon as we discuss this. The more we rely on deep technology to cater to the ever growing needs in the education sector, the more likely we're to seal the gaps plaguing this sector.

As an AR Edtech Startup trying to reform the sector, we would like to know your thoughts on how you foresee this and how we all can positively contribute to Extended Reality Education Ecosystem?

Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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