The Future of learning: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Ever imagined the possibility of designing your own car model, or a situation where learning is no longer restricted to the four walls around you and the characters in your books can be brought alive?

With the constant commitment in technology to making life easier, the Virtual reality and Augmented reality are the next big thing in making learning much more adventurous and although we are not fully there yet but that is the destination!

Augmented Reality

AR (Augmented reality) is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer generated perceptual information cutting across multiple sensory modalities including visual, auditory, somatosensory and olfactory whereas VR (Virtual reality) completely replaces the user’s real-world environment with a simulated one.

With the aid of AR in a learning environment, learners are able to visualize a concept rather than reading which helps them have better understanding and insights about the topic while keeping them excited with the interactive experiences. It’s now possible to bring virtual items into the learning environment by giving the students a peek inside an ancient Egyptian tomb or take them on a tour of the solar system.

Virtual Reality

The use of VR headsets with its 360- degree view gives the content of any subject a more realistic feel helping to immerse learners in the content and improve their concentration power as they get less distracted by the world around them. A virtual reality app lets them create an interactive, virtual environment to explore or give learners the tools to create their own VR experiences.

Whereas virtual reality replaces what people see and experience, augmented reality actually adds to it and the best thing about AR is that no special hardware is needed, as all that is required is any AR app installed, and all the student need do is use the AR application software by placing the smart phone camera in front of a textbook and see a 2D image turn into a 3D animation.

While the VR needs to first create an artificial environment and then build animation around it, it looks more real compared to AR albeit it needs a dedicated VR headset to run. Asides making learning interactive and immersive, the AR and VR technology is able to inspire learners’ creativity and explore new interests while at the same time stimulating learning and enhancing critical retention.

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