For Parents, raising kids may be one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world but it is by no means an easy one! How can it be as looking after the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of one’s child is energy-sapping? Educational institutes also play a huge role, no doubt, especially towards intellectual development, but balanced learning both at school and home is necessary for a well-rounded education.
Finding ways to enhance their kids’ learning while at home is always a challenge and parents are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to do so. The most common sources have been bookshops and off late the internet and with the internet being a more convenient option, online learning ends up becoming the preferred choice for most parents. This trend increased dramatically in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, there were over 1.3 billion children from 186 countries out of the classroom and learning from home. E-learning became the “new normal”, and parents ended up taking on even more responsibility for their kids’ education. Parents and educators scoured the internet for learning material, and one of the newer methods they discovered, was learning with Augmented Reality (AR).
Augmented reality is an emerging technology that brings virtual objects into the real world. It merges the real and virtual worlds to create a new reality. These virtual objects are multidimensional, usually in 3D, and the viewer can interact and manipulate them to study and observe from up close. Now, imagine, being able to see an animal, or building, or even a planet right in front of you, and being able to turn it, move it, and examine it from every angle, it’s every little detail. The potential of such a tool in education is incredible.
Today’s kids are “digital natives” and the way they absorb, see, and understand information has completely changed from the ways of the past. Educational and learning methods are trying hard to keep up but are lacking and is perhaps the reason why it is getting harder to keep kids engaged in learning, and why kids are increasingly spending more time on non-productive screen activities. Introducing AR into learning perhaps can change that, it is an engaging, innovative, and interactive technology available on their devices of choice and it makes studying fun and potentially easier. Instead of spending hours reading page after page and trying to understand something from a textbook, with AR students can do both, not just read the text but also interact with the topic they are learning about. This multi-sensory learning would assist them in understanding a topic faster – suddenly studying becomes easier and activity of choice rather than a chore.
It would potentially take learners a lot less time to understand the different parts of the human circulatory system, for example, if they were to interact with a 3D representation of it. At a glance, they would know the difference between an artery, vein, and capillary, their various functions, and their location within the human body. They could see a digitally animated heart pumping blood to every part of the body, carrying nutrients, supplying oxygen, and removing waste. Being able to see the entire process up close as if it were real keeps students engaged. Being able to interact with it, and examine every detail, makes it experiential learning that will assist learners with deeper memory retention and easier recall.
Every parent would love to be able to have their children experience new places, cultures, and traditions, and with AR they can achieve just that. They can teach their children about the world and beyond. They can visit architectural and historical sites around the world. They could travel to rainforests and deserts and explore the flora and fauna of different regions. They can bring the museums, the zoos right into their living rooms, they could even go off on space explorations – distance is not an issue with Augmented Reality.
If children are enjoying learning, it will keep them motivated to self-learn and that could spark curiosity to learn more, discover more, and would give them fodder for plenty of stimulating conversations at home! There is an ever-growing library of apps for all age groups from pre-schoolers to high schoolers, covering a range of subjects, from science to geography and from art to architecture.
A big concern parents could have is that it will further increase their kids’ screen time and make them less mobile. Augmented reality in fact does the opposite as it encourages physical mobility, with the 3D object in your real world, you would be moving around, above, and below it to explore it from all angles, and because you control the object, you can plant the virtual object in the real environment of your choice. Why wouldn’t you want to have a dinosaur in your backyard and a shark in your bathtub! It will even help develop creativity among kids. It is relatively safer for the eyes too as it is not too dissimilar from looking at any normal object and with good apps with quality 3D content are working hard to ensure that soon looking at a virtual object in AR is the same as looking at a real object.
Introducing AR learning at home can be relatively inexpensive, although there are slightly expensive high-end AR devices like headsets and smart glasses that provide you a fully immersive experience, there are however plenty of AR apps compatible with your favorite tablet or mobile too, giving you a highly immersive experience. With no additional hardware required and most AR apps being reasonably priced, and some being offered for free, introducing AR-based learning into your home could not be easier.
The potential of augmented reality in education, whether at home or at school, cannot be understated, and it is for this reason that AR is seen as the future of education.
If you would like to introduce 3D or AR in your child’s at-home learning, then we can provide you with the best solutions. At Hart RXR, we have developed the Immerse Learning Solution, which helps make science education more fun while helping students achieve their academic and professional goals. Contact us today for more information.