Today we are increasingly seeing the potential of Augmented Reality (AR) in various sectors and industries. The technology is advancing, along with AR enabled devices. Many manufacturers of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are using AR solutions to increase the value proposition of these devices and enhance the user experience. This coupled with AR software development kits for easier development and creation of AR apps and experiences and growing commercial use of AR is triggering fresh and innovative ideas on how to use AR, including in learning.
Technology has revolutionized teaching and learning—whereby lectures, seminars and classes no longer have to be in a confined physical space. E-learning has been around for sometime, with businesses adopting e-learning in the early 2000’s and with the explosion of social media and online learning around 2010. But we could say that e-learning, virtual learning or distance learning experiences have been a two-dimensional or flat experience. Now imagine the use of AR that provides an immersive and three-dimensional experience that can inspire creativity and spark imagination. In short, AR offers tremendous possibilities to redefine e-learning.
AR coupled with e-learning can greatly increase learner engagement by letting learners participate actively and authentically with the learning content, versus being a passive recipient of information. Imagine—through the use of AR—geometry students being able to check out 3D geometric forms from multiple perspectives and where they can rotate the shapes and view them from the inside. Imagine a technology that can help to teach challenging concepts in biology or math and to innovatively teach about different cultures and places in the world. AR can help learners enhance and manage their own learning, throughout the active interactions with the real and digital environments. Students can easily manage their own learning and change objects which are not real in an augmented environment in order to obtain and acquire understanding and knowledge.
Traditional methods of education as we know it are becoming a thing of the past. They are becoming increasingly digitized, and being driven by technology innovations. In fact, EdTech, the education technology industry, per a study by EdTechXGloba, is expected to reach $252 billion by this year. And a significant trend is the use of AR, with more than 1 billion users expected to join the trend in 2020 —opening opportunities for educational institutions and businesses.
And top eLearning stats from the eLearning Industry reinforce the opportunity for eLearning providers and platforms in the Global eLearning Market, which they estimate to reach $325 Billion by 2025. Other notable stats include:
· 65% Of US Faculty Support Open Educational Resources
· 43% Of US College Students Find Digital Learning Technologies “Extremely Helpful”
· 67% Of Organizations Offer Mobile Learning
If you are working in EdTech or a user of e-Learning platforms and tools using AR, we invite you to share your experiences, insights and predictions for AR in learning.