“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” This famous quote by the ex-CEO and co-Founder of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, became words to live by for the Founder and CEO of iScuela Learn, Mr. Maninder Singh Bajwa. A software engineer by profession, Maninder always had a knack for technology and envisioned creating a solution that would be valuable for the world. This is what pushed him to leave his comfortable position in a technology firm in Melbourne post his engineering degree from Monash University and come back to India to set up his software development company. He then conceptualized iScuela which is a unified learning ecosystem that gives teachers the resources they need to provide students with a streamlined and integrated learning experience.
Most schools operate on a similar model that involves teaching a fixed curriculum to students for an entire year and testing their memorization of facts at fixed intervals. While this seems like a model that would work at the surface, it is actually not an ideal or even a fair way to go about education. Just like the five fingers of a hand, not all students are equal or comparable. All of us have different patterns and abilities when it comes to learning, which is why different methods of teaching appeal to our unique genius.
In the last few decades, thorough studies have been conducted to make education more engaging for all, based on which education models of today are fast changing. The latest trend in education is technology-based learning that essentially involves using different types of tech to make education more engaging, easy, and fun for students. Let us see in detail how technology has come into play in the education sector.
Technology in education
Recent times have seen comprehensive evolutions in the way education is imparted in schools and other such institutions. The adoption of technology has been prevalent across the different operations of the academic sector. In this scenario, immersive technologies and extended reality has emerged as some of the popular choices for academia. Augmented reality, especially, has been at the forefront of tech in education. An overview of how AR is expected to change the learning landscape is provided below.
Five ways in which AR will change the way we learn
AR makes it possible for students to learn in an interactive environment. AR superimposes virtual content in the material world and thus makes it appear real. In this way, by bringing a virtual lesson ‘to life,’ AR makes learning easier and more enjoyable for students and adults alike. Most people are visual learners which means that they learn and retain better by viewing and experiencing things. Through AR, on-paper lessons can be experienced in the 3D world. This helps learners to not only grasp the concepts in-depth but also retain the learned information for longer intervals.
Distance learning is a relatively new type of education that is gaining rapid prominence in today’s date. It essentially involves learning ‘outside the classroom.’ This form of virtual learning has become an important part of the COVID-struck world where physical learning is not an easy possibility. It allows students to learn online from their place of comfort.
The inclusion of AR into distance learning can prove to be really substantial. This is because AR, by projecting the lessons into reality, will make distant learning seem closer to physical learning, which will help bridge the common concerns of virtual learning not being as efficient as a physical one. Further, it will also allow those students to avail education who cannot afford physical schools and resources. Since the internet is a relatively cheaper resource and AR can be accessed through the internet without any additional costs, it helps boost inclusivity and equality in education.
AR-based toys and apps
Learning, as established, comes at us from all directions and is a continuous process that occurs throughout life. It is an integral part of the lives of both children and adults. In this scenario, AR has also become a famous inclusion in toys and online applications. AR-based toys are also said to promote confidence and cognitive development in children, making them the perfect learning partner. Further, AR-based apps are easy to access and use which facilitates engaging learning in adults. Thus, the inclusion of AR-based training through toys for children and virtual applications for adults has become a well-embraced way of learning and growing.
Increased affordability and accessibility
AR does not require any special equipment and can be used through any digital gadget. This enables people from all walks of life to access AR-based tech without shelling any extra costs. The inexpensiveness and widespread accessibility combined with the many benefits of AR makes it extremely well suited for leveling the playing field in a domain like that of education where people from all economic brackets seek the same goal- knowledge.
The norm of the day is hands-on learning. This is because the present-day industries call for candidates who are not only academically qualified but also have the relevant soft skills and other capabilities required to perform a given job properly. In this scenario, practical learning where students get to physically perform what they have learned in a real environment has emerged as an important teaching tactic. AR, by making learning experiences ‘real and liveable’, facilitates such practical education and makes people ready to confront real-life situations based on their learning.
Learning, as opposed to common beliefs, is not something that is restricted to the four-walled classrooms of schools and colleges. In fact, learning is an all-pervasive process that continues throughout life. The latest trend in the education sector is that of tech-based learning. Immersive technologies, especially augmented reality, have been growing in on the sector, owing to its several benefits. This article seeks to provide an insight as to how AR is fast changing the world of education.