How Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) is Transforming Education
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With the unexpected events that took place in 2020, education systems across the globe were upended. Instead of sitting at desks, heads buried in textbooks, and surrounded by their peers, students of all ages rapidly transitioned from in-person to digital learning. With their teachers, they learned to navigate Zoom and all its technical difficulties: the infamous mute and camera button, bad internet connections, unclear audio, and the distraction of a screen.
Now, as students slowly transition back to in-person classes, the technology they became acquainted with is returning with them. New methods of learning like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are becoming valuable assets for interactive learning in and out of the classroom.
Google Arts & Culture, formally known as Google Expeditions, is working to feature content from over 2,000 museums globally. Google users can receive free admission into The Palace Museum in Beijing, solve a puzzle of Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, walk inside the Colosseum in Rome, create their own music with Blob Opera, or discover their art doppelganger, all through using AR and VR. Watch how they build Stonehenge in VR or see Botticelli’s Madonna of the Book in AR.
Scan this QR code with your phone to see something awesome! Or to go.echo3d.co/4rLs
Using mixed reality, the Microsoft HoloLens 2 can be utilized for manufacturing, engineering and construction, healthcare, and education. The Microsoft HoloLens 2 helps to reduce downtime and speed up onboarding and upskilling, accelerate the pace of construction while mitigating risks, enhance the delivery of patient treatment, and improve student education with experimental learning. Click here to see how Case Western students in the HoloLens lab scored 50% better on retention and required 40% less class time.
With all-in-one computers that have built-in tracking, styluses, and a stylus sensor module (SSM), zSpace provides AR/VR learning for K-12 education, career and technical education, and postsecondary and advanced sciences. Over 2,500 partnered organizations have used its innovative technology to inspire curiosity about learning, integrate AR/VR in CTE pathways, and enhance programs for core academics and career readiness.
© zSpace, Inc.
Because of quarantining and social distancing, many people are having trouble socializing, more so than before. In addition, 77% of the population already has some level of anxiety when it comes to public speaking. The solution is Virtual Speech. Users can take courses on presentation skills, leadership, sales, and more. Then using online simulations or VR scenarios, users can put their learning into practice and get instant feedback to identify areas of improvement.
© VirtualSpeech Ltd.
Users can even create their own educational experiences in AR/VR. With echo3D, they can build custom AR travel experiences, virtually exploring landmarks and exotic locations. Users can also explore a solar system in AR, visit their own VR zoo, and even manage a virtual art museum where they decide what art will be on display. Visit here to learn more about seeing art in your own space.
Purchasing VR headsets and all-in-one computers for each student, let alone 10 for a school’s experimental learning lab, may not be the most cost-effective and plausible option for many. However, operating off a smartphone or tablet, is a viable and just as practical alternative. Apps like SkyView, Froggipedia, JigSpace, Assemblr EDU, and Math Ninja AR are fun and affordable AR mobile apps that teachers and students can download on their compatible devices.
Advancements in AR/VR technology are significantly improving learning experiences. Students are getting the opportunity to experience innovative forms of education that most of us wouldn’t even be able to fathom a few years prior. Engaged students leads to motivated and well-educated individuals that will succeed in the future. When it comes to AR/VR, the sky’s the limit.
by Megan Yamauchi
echo3D (www.echo3D.co; Techstars ’19) is a cloud platform for 3D/AR/VR that provides tools and network infrastructure to help developers & companies quickly build and deploy 3D apps, games, and content.