Augmented reality (AR) continues to gain importance in our everyday lives. In the classroom, AR technology can enhance learning by providing students with interactive and immersive experiences, improving their understanding of complex concepts and enabling them to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. The use of AR can make learning more accessible while increasing the engagement of all students. Recently, EdSurge spoke to field experts about the benefits of integrating AR in the classroom.
How is augmented reality different from virtual reality?
You are not alone if you are confused by the terms augmented reality and virtual reality (VR). Both technologies have made their way into classrooms, leaving educational researchers wondering about their differences and implications for learning. We asked Robert Spierenburg, the chief executive officer at All Things Media, to help explain how AR and VR differ and what that means for the classroom.
“Augmented reality is when you take something that you can already see in the world and add an interactive or experiential layer on top. So it’s not replacing what you see. We’re not taking you to some magical fantasy world. We’re staying in our world and giving you superpowers in it, per se,” says Spierenburg. Virtual reality, in contrast, is a technology that creates a completely immersive digital environment that blocks out the real world and replaces it with a virtual one. Spierenburg continues, “A lot of people think they’ve never used augmented reality, but that backup camera in your car uses AR to draw those lines to guide your driving in reverse.”
AR can be used in the classroom to create interactive learning experiences that enhance traditional instruction. For example, an AR app can create interactive 3D models of historical artifacts or scientific specimens that students can learn from and explore. AR can also create digital overlays on printed textbooks, allowing students to access additional content, such as videos or animations, with their mobile devices. Spierenburg likens AR to a safety net for students. “It gives kids this safe space to try things without repercussions in the real world.”
How does augmented reality engage all students?