• AR
  • Augmented Reality

Integrating AR in a Learning Environment: Use Cases and Benefits

Yura Velichko
12 Jan 2022
6 min
Integrating AR in a Learning Environment: Use Cases and Benefits

Today’s education heavily depends on digital means, and Covid-19 has made the impact of digitalization even stronger. Yet, showing short educational videos might not be enough for Gen Z and even Gen Alpha students accustomed to extensive device usage. AR learning can motivate and engage children by combining digital and physical information and requiring active user participation. 

Unlike VR, which faces barriers in global adoption by schools due to the high cost of implementation and learning curve, AR doesn’t require investing in hardware. Students can use their own devices like smartphones, tablets, or laptops—no need to buy expensive AR glasses. Even without specific means, AR can facilitate learning and offer new experiences that would help mitigate cost and distance barriers. 

Augmented reality introduces many use cases and benefits in the educational field. Let’s review where exactly AR experiences will be the most relevant.

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    Application of augmented reality in schools

    The educational areas where AR apps can bring benefits are numerous: from naming letters to understanding complex scientific phenomena. Here are a few fields where integrating AR has already shown excellent results.

    Elementary education. AR can add gamification to the learning process, grow children’s motivation, and positively influence their learning achievements. For instance, using the AR app to improve the phonics skills of first-grade students who struggle with reading resulted in significant growth in phonics performance.

    Distance learning. Augmented reality makes it possible to perform hands-on work traditionally done in studios and labs without entering the school space. All students need is to run the required application and complete the necessary lab experiences. The study conducted in Saudi Arabia showed that using AR in the virtual classrooms was more effective in supporting academic achievement and skill acquisition.

    Simulation. When it comes to STEM subjects, students find it challenging to use their reasoning skills to imagine and visualize abstract scientific concepts. With the help of augmented simulations, students can explore phenomena over any period and fit them into a lesson. Besides, AR allows students to manipulate potentially dangerous equipment without any risk for their wellbeing. 
    Merge EDU is a perfect example of engaging students in science and STEM by using AR 3D objects and simulations students can touch, hold, and interact with.

    Integrating AR in a Learning Environment: Use Cases and Benefits - photo 1

    Augmented books. Nothing inspires reading more than augmented characters appearing from the printed pages. AR books can boost the students’ interest in studying, explain complex concepts, and make reading as engaging as ever. For example, learning physics with 3D animations and videos by using ARLOOPA app is way more interesting than struggling with theory only

    Integrating AR in a Learning Environment: Use Cases and Benefits - photo 2

    Open learning environments. AR can mitigate distances and help educators create a fully customizable and collaborative open learning environment full of hands-on lab experiences with live demos, educational courses, and live sessions. Last year, the Ministry of Education in Malaysia recommended schools to use augmented reality as a part of their Open Distance Learning program.

    In a nutshell, AR has the power to make the learning process way easier and more thrilling. No matter how dull the topic may seem, AR will inspire students to investigate it, understand it, and use the knowledge in practice. 

    Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of AR for students, teachers, and institutions.

    The perks of AR in the educational process

    Improved distance learning, a more engaging educational process, and easier memorizing aren’t the only benefits AR learning offers. 

    What AR can offer to students

    Augmented reality improves the learning experience for students in fun and captivating ways.

    • Fostering students’ involvement

    The attention span of Gen Zers is only eight seconds, and for Alphas, it’s even shorter.

    Since today’s youth is more accustomed to gadgets than textbooks and handouts, why not allow more immersive use of smartphones and laptops for studying? Various surveys and researches prove that students demonstrate a higher level of attention when interacting with educational resources in augmented reality.

    • Visualizing the invisible or complex phenomena

    AR can help students see and experience phenomena that are either impossible in real-world circumstances, invisible to a human eye, or difficult to observe (e.g., creating certain chemical reactions, studying microscopic processes, examining stellar synergies, etc.). As a result, students can better understand complex processes, memorize difficult concepts, and visualize the theory. 

    • Facilitating learning inclusion

    Augmented reality in schools allows children with disabilities or special educational needs (SEN) to understand concepts faster and better. Studies conducted among SEN students with auditory limitation, visual limitation, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and dyslexia showed that AR could catch their interest and facilitate learning. One of the examples is the Siasitok app: it creates interactive sign language flashcards for deaf and hearing-impaired students.

    Integrating AR in a Learning Environment: Use Cases and Benefits - photo 3
    • Reducing cognitive workload

    AR technology can help students develop skills and gain knowledge more effectively even compared to technology-enhanced learning environments with extensive use of digital materials. By integrating multiple sources of information, augmented reality reduces the cognitive workload and helps students memorize concepts faster. 

    What AR can offer to teachers and institutions

    Educational institutions and teachers can find a much-needed ally in AR technology.

    • Capturing students’ fleeting attention span

    Traditional learning methods may be less engaging for today’s children and youth, especially when it comes to remote studying. 76% of the US undergraduates and 56% of graduate students surveyed in 2020 acknowledged a lack of motivation for online learning. 

    Teachers can capture students’ attention and rekindle their motivation with augmented reality apps that allow learners to examine objects from different angles, use safe artificial scenarios and digital simulators, and sharpen practical skills. 

    • Offering new ways to reduce costs

    With 95% of the US teens having access to smartphones, educators don’t need specific AR equipment—students’ devices already have the hardware to run AR apps. Moreover, AR solutions significantly reduce educational expenses by simulating experiences and substituting expensive lab equipment and practical materials. AR-powered alternatives are much easier to acquire and update to the latest version. 

    • Simulating practical learning environments

    Students need practical learning to master a subject area. AR allows institutions to reproduce realistic situations without breaking the bank. And the sky’s the limit when you only need to tweak virtual reality. Schools and universities can craft sophisticated in-field situations without purchasing expensive equipment and machinery.

    AR experience constitutes 25% digital and 75% existing reality, which means it doesn’t completely replace the real environment but rather integrates digital objects into it. 

    The technology has the power to move the learning process from classrooms to homes, parks, or wherever, without worrying about heavy and costly equipment. It all results in the growing students’ interest in subjects, improved motivation, reduced handout costs, and advanced open learning environments. Greater efficiency in the learning process allows institutions to save money in the long run.

    Entering new learning era with AR

    Augmented reality can maximize students’ motivation by providing a new exciting learning environment via high-quality apps. Both learners’ and teachers’ experiences will depend on AR content and the app’s quality. And while the content is in the hands of teachers and educational institutions, Postindustria can have your back with AR app development. Contact us now to find out how we can help you integrate augmented reality into your learning processes. 

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