Imagine teaching a lesson about the Earth to a group of elementary school students. Do you unfold an atlas, read a textbook, or spin a globe? All are viable visual options, but there’s another that is changing how students conceive and interact with knowledge. Augmented reality (AR) has entered the classroom, redefining how we teach and learn with exciting potential.
Students can use an Android or iOS device to superimpose educational information — images, sounds, and text — onto the world around them. Picture the interactivity of the “Pokémon Go” app. Students can explore an AR environment at their own pace, selecting the information that’s relevant to them with the tap of a finger. Whether it’s a visually dense subject, such as anatomy, chemistry, or astronomy, or basic phonics and storytelling, augmented reality can be applied to the learning space to create deeply immersive lessons.
But, how can you utilize augmented reality in your next lesson? Here are just a few ways AR education is changing the way we teach.
Augmented Reality Can Keep Students Engaged in Lessons
Educators are racing to keep children’s attention at school. As more and more students adopt smartphones and tablets, it’s proving difficult to compete with the visual stimulation children are exposed to on a regular basis outside of the classroom. Augmented reality is helping educators combine learning with enjoyment by using interactive and educational lessons that engage students on multiple levels.
Not only can students hold and touch a device to explore their AR realm, but they can also walk “around” a virtual object, exploring it from different angles as they physically reposition themselves. This combination of movement and interaction, referred to as kinesthetic learning, is integral to the development of many young learners who prefer physical activities over lectures or videos.
AstroReality provides a virtual expedition of our solar system, helping students learn about the planets and universe while developing key skills in literacy, numeracy and more. Follow in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong using LUNAR, explore Sputnik Planitia on Pluto, or lose yourself in the unimaginable depths of Valles Marineris with MARS Classic, all while maneuvering around high-quality 3D printed replications of each celestial body.
Augmented Reality Creates a More Interactive Learning Environment
Augmented reality in education bridges the gap between the real and the virtual, providing an innovative and interactive learning experience that encourages natural inquiry. Unlike virtual reality, which uses technology to separate people from the real world, augmented reality applies an interactive interface over real-world objects and enables users to manipulate 3D objects at the same time.
An English professor can attach notes, videos, and lectures to a book which students can scan to reveal. The same concept can be applied to homework, allowing students to uncover additional tips and instructions from their instructor. This interactivity enhances any learning environment, whether it’s in the classroom, at home, or in the library.
Students can explore an interactive timeline using our AstroReality EARTH model. By visually retracing the history of Earth with their fingertips, students will be immersed in a virtual encyclopedia of knowledge that changes as they pivot from one moment to another. Students can learn about the major environmental issues our planet faces in a unique and novel way. The world’s 4.5-billion-year existence is impossible to imagine in our mind, but with the EARTH model, students can watch as oceans form, species evolve, climates change, and glaciers recede.
Students Retain More Information Through Visual Aids
Research shows visual cues help us retain and remember new information. The human brain not only processes images faster than words, but the part of the brain we use for visual information is significantly larger than the part that interprets words.
Try teaching words like pig, wig and dig without visual aids and you end up with a highly repetitive lesson and confused students. But show an image of a pig wearing a wig that likes to dig, and you’ve not only captured their attention (and possibly gained a few laughs), but you’ve also linked the words to visuals they can associate with and will likely remember.
Now imagine an advanced astronomy lesson that incorporates new words and concepts related to our planets and moons. Such information is hard to grasp on a page, let alone visualize in our mind. With the AstroReality Solar System Ultimate, students can hold detailed 3D printed-models of each planet in the palm of their hand. They can overlay new information in AR while seeing the distance of each planet from Earth and other neighboring worlds.
Learning about the solar system in such a way isn’t just easier than a text or image based lesson, it’s proven to be more effective. This hands-on approach revitalizes the classroom while enhancing the depth of each students understanding.
Introduce Augmented Reality in Your Classroom
Augmented Reality in education is a new teaching tool brimming with potential! Whether you want to modernize your lessons for an increasingly tech-savvy generation of learners or introduce a rich and captivating world of images and interactivity to your class, AR is enhancing traditional classroom teaching.
We want to make your next science, maths, history or geography lesson an exciting and captivating experience for the entire class. Bring AR learning to your next lesson and discover a world of possibilities.