How to Use VR and AR in the Classroom

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virtual reality headset

The idea that it is important to use the most advanced technologies in everyday education remains in the minds of not only modern researchers but also most people in general. According to experts in the field of linguistics and psychology, the most favorable conditions for the assimilation of new knowledge is in childhood and adolescence.

But lack of interest, dispersion, and the inability to concentrate on difficult things do not allow us to effectively study at any age. And the modern education system competes with the entertainment sphere and needs perception mechanisms that will allow students to be involved in the process of learning new knowledge. After all, effective learning is driven by an interest that needs first to be formed and then maintained.

In the 21st century, it is hardly possible to captivate students with drawings, watching old films, or reading rapidly aging literature. Therefore, today in education, devices with VR and AR support are becoming more and more popular.

Still, in many countries, the path to new knowledge is paved through books, pencils, and heavy backpacks. At the same time, already from middle school, not every child is ready to cope with a load of knowledge that a typical school course throws on them. Remember your school years – the unsatisfactory grades of the majority of the class prove this. To solve this problem, the solution was founded in foreign public and private schools: the use of augmented and virtual reality.


  • The Reason for Using VR and AR in the Classroom

What is the reason for using VR and AR for studying? Imagine: school teachers no longer need to monotonously tell about the Egyptian pyramids and the peculiarities of their construction. With the help of virtual reality helmets, you can go through the tunnels with sarcophagi right at your desk, hear the rustling of mazes, and independently assess key historical events that unfolded thousands of years ago. Under such studying scenarios, it is possible to grow a whole generation of such professions, which today remain less in demand in society, but are still essential for maintaining the diversity of modern science.

What is the advantage of virtual and augmented reality? They allow you to create an environment that is perceived by man through the organs of sensation. In fact, VR/AR can simulate comfortable conditions for obtaining new knowledge, and especially for the education of children, adolescents, and young adults. Nobody thinks about the student, who rethinks all the perceived information. Who knows, maybe VR and AR will solve the problem of “cleanliness” of new knowledge and information in the learning process.

Not only beginner start-ups, but also large companies offer their virtual reality solutions for educational purposes. For example, the project CLASSVR gained particular prominence in Europe. Its creators offer not just a full-fledged set of virtual reality tools (device + software), but a comprehensive solution that allows implementing mass studying.

With this set, you can conduct studying not only in small groups, but also in the most real classrooms with a large number of students. Within the framework of the project, teachers can create plans, develop programs, and create visual elements of a studying course using an adapted and understandable interface. In addition, teachers absolutely do not need to have any programming skills.


  • AR’s Special Place in Learning

Augmented reality gradually takes a special place in learning. A feature of AR is that it allows you to expand the understanding of the ongoing processes in the environment. Updated sensory data is formed not in a new setting, but in a familiar environment. Placing any objects in a specific environment in which they are initially absent allows you to simulate the most unusual practices for the implementation of educational tasks.

The appearance of augmented reality is largely due to educational tasks. It is precisely the drawing of additional arrows and signs in various teaching materials that makes it possible to point out certain objects, making them more visual for perception.

One of the earliest in the field of augmented reality was the project Handheld Augmented Reality, the authors of which were scientists from the three largest American universities. The project was implemented with a grant from the US Department of Education. As part of the study, the developers posted in free access a significant data array dedicated to the creation of augmented reality algorithms for the purpose of teaching American schoolchildren. Moving through his or her school, depending on the locations, the student received educational tasks that had to be solved not only with his or her own knowledge, but also with the help of certain skills using the augmented reality system. But if scholars have problems with their tasks, they can always use WritingCheap to get their assignments done.

But are technologies of virtual and augmented reality able to help in teaching adults? Yes, they are. Modern education is not about age limits and frameworks. In addition, virtual and augmented reality are becoming more accessible, because in the current period for their use it is necessary to have only a modern smartphone. In just a few years, mobile app stores have filled with thousands of VR and AR-enabled programs.


  • VR and AR-Enabled Apps

Not only among astronomers but also ordinary users, have the advanced Star Walk and Solar Walk applications from VITO Technology been particularly famous. In 2010, these applications were demonstrated by Steve Jobs himself during the annual presentation of Apple. More than eight years ago, the head of the largest technology corporation in the world pondered how such applications allow not only to train professional astronomers, but also to acquaint ordinary users with the virtual reality technologies.

We expect a trend towards the integration of VR and AR solutions in the mobile industry, because users want to have wide opportunities in one device, which is near 24 hours a day. Many of us cannot imagine life without mobile communication and fast internet access. Few are willing to pay for additional equipment that may be difficult to manage. Therefore, the active expansion of VR and AR technologies in the mobile industry meets consumer expectations.

Quite originally, foreign language studies were approached in Japan. The Tokyo Shoseki publishing group has released a series of English-language tutorials and a mobile application that supports augmented reality on smartphones. The company offers a new look at the familiar world of learning and not to discount the old books, combining the usual things and modern technology.

The more practical printed tutorials of the English language with AR elements may not yield in terms of interactivity to the typical learning of a foreign language on the iPad screen, but will remain a more accessible solution for the educational system.


  • Effective Usage of VR and AR for Studying

Perhaps the most visual application of AR and VR technologies is possible in the study of exact sciences and engineering sciences. The project of Hannes Kaufmann and Bernd Meyer, called  PhysicsPlayground, is focused on modelling physical experiments in the field of mechanics. A huge number of tools for analyzing the effects of force, mass, trajectory, speed, and other characteristics of objects of the physical world allow the in-depth study of processes taking place and experiments in three-dimensional virtual space, excluding the cost of the original tests. The program operates on a modern physical engine, which was originally created for gaming, but its capabilities more than provide the implementation of educational tasks in practice.

Formats for AR and VR in education may be different, but their advantages over full-time study are obvious. The transfer of experience and pictures through virtual and augmented reality is primarily due to the effectiveness of the involvement, and, consequently, the improvement of the educational process. More than 90% of students successfully learn such material, which gives hope for the effective use of virtual and augmented reality in education.

The developer community has one important problem that stands in the way of the full integration of these technologies into the educational environment. The rapidly growing amount of knowledge about the world around is very difficult to implement in a timely manner in interactive forms. For any modern scientist, the publication of the book does not present any particular problems, because, in order to fix their studies, it is enough to open only an office application on a computer. However, the mechanisms that everyone understands to create interactive content without using specialized knowledge using virtual and augmented reality are simply absent.


Nicky Quinton is a professional writer and blogger. With more than 7 years of experience, she has collaborated on different educational projects. Nicky is writing a book that is going to see the light of day by the end of 2019.




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