What are augmented reality and how can it help me in my classes? This is one of the most common questions that I hear from professors wanting to include more technology and computer training into their classroom. They are very curious how this technology will help students learn and retain what they are learning. If you are a professor of education and you have not heard of this concept yet, do a quick internet search and find out how you can implement it into your classes now. The good news is that the concept is here to stay and its application in education is here to increase.
Augmented reality is simply computer generated imagery that is used to present information to students in a new way. Instead of looking at a picture on a screen the sight will tell the students where the object or image is located, height and other factors. It is a lot like having a camera with a video camera inside it but in an entirely new way.
In everyday life we take for granted many of the things that surround us. For example you can clearly see cars passing you on the road because of the reflection of the light from their headlights on the road surface. However, you cannot see these cars unless you are driving at night, which is why most people use their headlights. When the driver of a car needs to turn in a certain direction, it automatically adjusts the reflectors of the headlights so that everything can be seen clearly.
This same technology has been applied to education and in particular the teaching of science and technology. By applying the new dimension to teaching students a new subject such as biology, engineers or physics students are presented with the visual images that help them understand the material better. Whether it is a slide show presentation of a scientific demonstration or a live demonstration, students will have a clear understanding of what is being taught.
As well as helping the students understand the subject they are learning, this new dimension gives them a view of the world around them. For example, when you look at a plant you do not see just the leaves but the whole plant. This helps the student to relate the knowledge they are learning to the real world around them. The digital component of augmented reality helps to create this relation between the virtual information and real world. For example, by using a 3D reconstruction tool students can see exactly what plants would grow in a specific climate under a given set of conditions.
University education has always had a focus on learning through hands on learning experiences. However, over the past few years this has changed. Students spend long hours sitting in front of computers, playing video games. This new approach to learning is changing the way that students learn and makes them more receptive to the new ways of learning that are now available. By applying this new knowledge to their subject they are better able to understand the subject and are able to demonstrate the new knowledge they have gained. Augmented reality in education can help with this.
There are many other ways that this new learning approach is benefiting students around the world. By combining virtual reality headsets with whiteboards students can enter into an entirely new world of learning. By having access to a real life environment that they are immersed within, students are better able to grasp concepts and retain them. This can be hugely beneficial in the modern university environment as struggling students can find it extremely difficult to retain any knowledge that they have learnt.
Creating this new learning environment is advantageous for everyone. It is good for students that are struggling. It is good for employers who need workers that are up to the minute. A classroom that focuses on augmented reality is the perfect setting for this new way of learning. As augmented reality headsets become cheaper and more readily available, more universities and colleges will be using them in their teaching.