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Impact Of AR/VR In Immersive Learning

11 min read
Immersive Learning

In the last twenty years, the world has seen a boom in technological advancement, and classroom teaching has adapted to this. The ever-changing landscape of education has embraced the emergence of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Immersive learning is a more contemporary style of teaching which uses technology to engage all your senses in a way that the more traditional lectures would never be able to.

There are seven different styles of learning, visual, auditory/musical, verbal. Mathematical/logical, kinaesthetic/physical, solitary, musical, and then a few combinations of these. Typically, the traditional classroom, added with the occasional use of visual illustrations would only engage your written and auditory learning styles. This type of learning would help in a few subjects like English, but subjects like the sciences always benefit more from an inclusive lab experiment. In the same sense, immersive learning helps in adding new elements to teaching which can engage more senses making the learning experience better. An immersive learning experience could be about anything, for example, taking a virtual tour of the world to understand its geography.

Virtual reality or VR is a computer-generated environment that can be experienced from all angles by people. The two forms through which VR is typically used are either through a computer or a special headset. With a computer, students can click around their digital environment whenever they find something interesting. A good example of VR is the street view option on google maps. What the special headset does is that it makes you feel like you’re a part of the virtual world. It does this by blocking your peripheral vision when the video is being projected into each eye.

Through the magic of VR, students can have a fun learning experience and allow them to be put in an environment which they otherwise would never be able to experience. The possibilities are endless, imagine taking a tour of the great barrier reef or looking into the human anatomy.

Augmented reality or AR on the other hand allows you to add a digital image to the real world. There are various apps that use augmented reality technology and that are compatible with your smartphones. How this works is that it allows you to look through the phone’s camera lens and view the augmented image onto the screen of your smartphone. Popular games such as Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, use this technology by which the apps access the cameras on your phone and put their characters in the real world. AR could be used as an addition to the traditional style of teaching as it is rooted in reality.

There are a number of ways in which the education industry could use this new immersive technology to help their students learn better. Following are the benefits of AR and VR:

  1. Cater To Different Learning Styles:

    It is well known that no two people are the same and hence no two people can learn the same. AR and VR would help those students who learn better through say kinetic and visual aids than the traditional style of lectures. This technology also helps with auditory learning and can help the students be more participative in class.

  2. Recreating History:

    Imagine teaching children about the colonial period and being able to transport them into that era. Allowing them to see first-hand how the world looks like at that time. Through VR technology all of this is now possible.

  3. Visual Aid:

    It is a known fact that when you are able to visualize something you remember it better. There are several concepts that you just won’t be able to visualize or imagine by reading a textbook. For example, anatomical concepts, molecular structures, planets, etc.  With the use of AR and VR students will be able to retain information better with the help of the visual cues provided in their lessons

  4. Controlling The Learning Experience:

    With the help of VR teachers or even the students could have better control of their learning environment. They can choose which element they want to focus on and then concentrate on that exclusively. This allows them to concentrate on their interests or gives them help in the field that they need it in.

  5. Increased Engagement:

    Most importantly through this kind of immersive learning style students find themselves more engaged in the topics. This technology gives them a new and exciting way to interact with their environment. It allows them to properly visualize the concept, more than what their imaginations could think, and make it easier for them to grasp it.

  6. Being Able To Practice New Skills:

    Hands-on training is the best way for anyone to pick up any kind of skill. By placing you in a visual environment, VR gives you an opportunity to learn new tasks by performing them. These scenarios help you not only in technical training but also facilitate soft skills.

  7. No Risks:

    The kind of immersive learning provided by AR and VR allows you to be in a safe environment. You are able to learn and master your skills without being in any actual danger. This mode of education allows you to explore, make mistakes, then learn from them, and then repeat the process if required.

VR and AR work by creating a virtual world for all, allowing the students to not only see and visualize it but also interact with it. As you are completely immersed in this world you are able to comprehend and learn things much better. Technology is constantly evolving and so is the classroom curriculum with it.

VR and AR is an extremely powerful tool which supports immersive learning. It provides students with enjoyable experiences, engaging and interactive content, immensely hands-on training, independence, and flexibility. This tool can be used to enhance the training and learning process for people of all age groups. With the use of this technology, students are able to have never before seen experiences from the safety of their classrooms.

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