Technology Is Changing Education

Technology is changing education in many different ways. Although technology comes with challenges, it can enhance the learning environment if implemented correctly. Two newer technological advancements introduced to education are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).

As more schools are implementing AR and VR into their classrooms, people are starting to realize that these new technologies have the potential to improve education. Gartner estimates that by 2021, 60 percent of higher education institutions will use VR to create an enhanced simulation and learning environment. In addition, the IDC predicted that worldwide revenues for the augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) market are forecast to increase by 100% or more over each of the next four years.

Keeping Students Engaged

With AR and VR technology, students can now actively engage in the learning material. Instead of looking at pictures in a textbook, students learn by doing. Virtual reality and augmented reality allow students to have experiences that weren’t possible before. For example, zSpace allows students to examine the human heart and layers of the earth’s atmosphere. It makes learning come alive and engages students in new, exciting ways.

These immerse experiences help keep students engaged in the classroom. Because they are visual, hands-on, and interactive, AR and VR are also helpful for visual learners. According to research released at ISTE 2016, 93 percent of teachers say their students would be excited to use virtual reality and 83 percent say that virtual reality might help improve learning outcomes – from better understanding of learning concepts (77 percent) to greater collaboration (71 percent) and motivation in the classroom (84 percent).

Supplementing Course Content

VR and AR can be used to supplement course curriculum and help students better understand course concepts by simulating experiences that are relevant to course content. This can be especially helpful when concepts are hard to grasp or difficult to picture. Students can travel across the world, conduct experiments, explore locations that would be otherwise inaccessible, and have experiences that wouldn’t be possible in real life.

AR and VR also help make education more personalized for each student. This new technology has the ability to assess individual skills and analyze data on each student’s progress, which means the teacher can offer tailored instructions for improvement. This also allows educators to focus on problem areas where students need the most help.

Implementing It into the Classroom

AR and VR aren’t meant to replace books or teachers. Instead, this new technology should be used as a helpful tool to enhance learning for students. Schools and teachers will have to decide which classes this technology is appropriate for, as well as determine the appropriate time and place for using it. Finding the right balance with new technology is key!

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