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AR is here. Is your classroom on board?

Augmented Reality (AR) is more and more present in a variety of domains. Education is one of them. And this is not surprising since the current generation of students have lived all their lives surrounded by technology and always in contact with it. So, everything they do is related one way or the other to the ever-evolving technology.

No wonder educators find it hard to relate to students' needs who in turn feel misunderstood since their personal development and knowledge acquisition is not always done through the use of the so familiar technology.

This is a current struggle for teachers who, in between the lack of resources and lack of funding for professional development, can hardly manage to keep up with the constant changes in teaching methodology and the ICT market.

Students nowadays are not constructed to learn in the traditional pen and paper way. Schools have to include education technologies as much as possible in the instruction process. It is well-known today that learners acquire knowledge better by doing and experiencing, so using AR, for instance, offers exactly that.

Read more: Education and Augmented Reality — Really?

AR is here

According to statistics offered by Markets and Markets, the AR market is estimated to grow from USD 10.7 billion in 2019 and projected to reach USD 72.7 billion by 2024. This growing trend can be witnessed now and will continue in the coming years in education also since all students will have been born with technology in hands by 2025.

Therefore, education has to be adapted to serve this generation of learners. For them, AR is one solution schools and teachers should consider.

AR blends the real-world with the online world by overlaying digital information over the learners' own environment. In this way, the whole learning experience is more and more appealing to students because they are more engaged and motivated throughout their instruction.

Using AR in class helps students develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, but also teamwork skills. As a consequence, a larger number of teachers turn to AR to create memorable learning experiences for students. This is not difficult to achieve due to the limited equipment needed (compared to VR) which makes it pretty cost-effective.

Read more: 3 Ways AR works in real-life classrooms

Is your classroom on board?

We already know technology attracts students like magnets. So, are you ready to take your teaching one step further and include AR in your lessons? The possibilities are endless. AR can be used in different subjects like maths, physics, chemistry, biology including live experiences like field trips.

Read more: 6 Awesome AR apps for the classroom

Students already know how to use the current technology sometimes better than most teachers, so what can you do to include an extra sparkle in your classroom? AR gives you a lot of unexplored or partially explored paths.

Assignments and projects

Students frequently receive different assignments and projects to showcase their knowledge. Teachers can make them more interesting by including an AR experience. For instance, have a video with further instructions and explanations pop-up when a student scans a page in their book or even use your students' contributions to create book reviews for different titles so that anytime someone scans the cover that review should appear with all the details.

Using different apps students can add to their projects a pop-up section with extra information or word-walls in which students collaborate to give details for a specific entry that anyone could see with an AR app.

Extracurricular activities

In terms of trips, really going outside the classroom walls to explore different subjects can be tricky. With AR students have a better feeling of how a place is/was bridging the time and space gaps. Students can "visit" an ancient site or "see" the dinosaurs as well as "travel" to different countries of the world with their famous landmarks.

Safety measures and regulations

Each school has a set of regulations that students have to follow, which they tend to forget. Having them overlaid around school would help everyone refresh their memories.

Moreover, lab safety measures are also important and there are some procedures and a protocol to follow when using the equipment, so overlaying pop-up clarifications over the existing elements which students can scan will help them learn the information and be safe.

Equal learning chances

For students with hearing deficiencies learning is limited to seeing and touching. AR helps them explore subjects in-depth and allows them to experience a complex way of learning. By overlaying sign language flashcards as a way to fill in the communication gaps offers DHH students a fair chance to learning.

Creative legacy

Yearbooks have always been part of a students' journey. Now, they can be made more interactive portraying with the help of AR more than just photos. Ranging from video profiles to academic and sports achievements, to school magazine contributions and more, yearbooks can be enhanced by offering a more vivid legacy.

Closing thoughts

AR is still far from being present in day to day teaching, but its usefulness can easily be seen. Including AR in class will increase students' motivation and engagement. What is more, AR stimulates creativity and critical thinking, but also facilitates collaboration, which means it contributes to the development of 21st-century skills.

Thus, keeping an open mind and up-to-date mentality will only benefit the ones involved in the educational process helping them retain and apply information better and more successfully.

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