Is that a Dinosaur on my textbook?

So you thought dinosaurs were creatures from the past? Say no more! With the advent of Augmented Reality, you can play with that dinosaur hopping on your textbook easily via your smartphone. Augmented Reality refers to the addition of digital elements by a smartphone through its camera lens. Technological advances are innovative and infinite and amongst them, Augmented Reality has shaken the world nowadays. The least complicated method of deciphering Augmented Reality is using Snapchat filters, the tongues waggling out of our faces are a composite view owing primarily to the superimpositions of a computer generated image on the live view. Most recently, people were besotted with Pokemon Go! running around chasing imaginary creatures. That is Augmented Reality. It is there but it’s not there, is it?

Why only limit Augmented Reality to games and Snapchat? Why not create an engaging classroom as well? Traditional teaching methods as we know them are becoming a thing of the past. We need to integrate technology with education in such a manner that our students are captivated by the teaching methods and are able to grasp educational concepts smoothly.

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Analyzing Augmented Reality

Let’s have a take on Augmented Reality for education, benefits include:

  1. Accessibility and Engagement: Over 80% of the population possesses a smartphone therefore making it easier to apply AR in the classroom. Miscellaneous apps pertaining to different subjects can be downloaded for example the anatomy of the human body can be studied by pointing your smartphone camera on the human body model and a live preview of the bodily functions can be seen and taught. Remote based learning can be implemented as students can use such apps outside the classroom in their leisure time as well. Students need not reply on textbooks or printed material for information or run to their institutions for practical sessions when they can operate on a heart surgery or design interior sitting anywhere from their smartphone. AR can be universally applied to any kind of learning.
  2. Safety and Cost Efficiency: Students can receive hands on practical experience safely and in a much more cost effective way as they perform complex functions such as in medicine where they are not at the risk of causing collateral damage in terms of finance or human life. A student might be the best assignment writer in their class but if they are unable to execute tasks practically then their chances of accomplishing in professional life may be deterred.
  • Enriched collaboration and interactivity: With the internet, students can perform group operations and can remain occupied with gamified AR Learning which makes education effortless and fun. If you are majoring in sales for example and browsing through marketing dissertation topics and need to conduct surveys, you can utilize AR in the provision of composite live views for accurate results.

However, all innovations carry with their challenges as well and AR’s case includes the following challenges as well:

  1. Dependence on hardware: All technological hardware is prone to malfunction at one point and so are smartphones. A perfectly operating smartphone is essential for AR based educational learning.
  2. Requires operator to be tech savvy: Elder teachers may suppose it strenuous to adjust to technological innovative methods of teaching and might not be able to comprehend the functionality of smartphones and AR methods.

Do we have a winner?

On the whole, AR does not pose as many challenges and retains more pros than cons. In spite of its rising usage, its success is still not palpable as many sectors including the education sector are yet to replace such innovative methods with the conventional teaching methods. AR is not limited to the youth but can be used for teaching kids and children as well. Parents can teach their pre adolescents with the aid of AR. Therefore, as the pros carry more weight than the cons, we may witness the enforcement of AR in the educational sector in a heightened usage in less than a decade which may shape the world of education as we know it.