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Augmented Reality: The Rising Phoenix of the Education Industry

By Prateek Saxena
June 25, 2020 6. min read
Last update on: July 15, 2020

Augmented Reality or better known by its abbreviated moniker AR, is one of the hottest trends in the Edtech industry, with other equally hyped technologies being AI, VR and Blockchain. The technology has existed for quite some time biding its way to maturity. 

But with scientific advancement in graphics, animation and multimedia user experience, AR has come to fore with real-world applications customized for mass consumption. Its utilitarian cases in the education delivery are enormous, to say the least, and promising, to be polite. 

The ground realities of K-12, college or professional certifications, are being augmented by digitized learning initiatives. It’s true that the digitalisation of education substitutes classroom training for remote learning. At the same time, it is Augmented Reality that acts as the value-added layer, covering up for the lack of quality in standalone “internet-enabled” training.    

But before we declare our pronouncement of jumping on to the AR-bandwagon, it’s important we shed light on the role Augmented Reality is playing in upending the education industry. In addition to what makes it one of the technologies that are taking the education domain to the next level

Table of Content

  1. How Does Augmented Reality Impact Education?
  2. Augmented Reality Application in the Edtech Market
  3. Ways AR Can be Incorporated in the Education Sector
  4. Top AR apps Pushing The Envelope in the Online Education Industry
  5. Final Thoughts

How Does Augmented Reality Impact Education?

There are strong reasons to suggest that AR is as revolutionizing as we think it is. This supporting pillar of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 has grown relentlessly with the global AR landscape expected to be worth $198 billion by 2025. 

Similar research into the subject forecasts Augmented Reality gaining 1 billion worldwide users by 2020. Humans are on an ongoing, fast track course to make all aspects of life, be it professional or personal, multi-dimensional. 

That said, Augmented Reality trends will impact the education sector – more than any other technology in a similar fashion to other domains. Let see how that’ll pan out: 

global education expenditure in technology forecast

Education + Entertainment = Edutainment

Student comprehension is catalyzed by using visual learning toolkits. As a matter of fact, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than texts. Additionally, 90% of the information broadcasted to the brain by our senses, happens to be visual in nature. 

Surmising that we are creatures of habit, and our habits involve learning through watching, therefore deploying Augmented Reality in education makes for an unfailing argument. Students would retain more of a lesson that involves immersive experiences than otherwise and this would, in turn, push the accelerator on increased participation during the classes. 

Simplified Conceptual Breakdown 

STEM subjects, especially science often proves a challenge for trainers with its hard to explain concepts. For instance, a lecture on human anatomy that relies heavily on theoretics and a cardboard sample, may not invoke curiosity in all the students. 

Yet, were you to introduce AR and let students learn for themselves, it would let all learners sulk into the experience with the added power of 3D modelling. You can have an AR application that gives each student the freedom to learn at his/her pace without the need to rush. There’s more, teachers can create personalized content based on the aptitude of student groups making education that much more effective – all this, and a lot more is possible with a partnership with an AR-skilled education software development company.  

Cost-Effective 

As per the rule of thumb, technologies go through a hyperbolic curve that starts from the age of discovery. This is the time when most fundamental breakthroughs transpire and the access to technology is limited to a select few. 

However, Augmented Reality is in its age of implementation in the educational industry which signifies there is a considerable workforce in the form of application developers that can bring any AR-idea to life. At the same time, the number of pocket-friendly smart devices has also increased. It is estimated that about 53% of US teenagers are phone-owners by the age of 11

It is safe to assume that this number would go up in the future in conjunction with software developers achieving economies of scale with AR-apps. The affordability factor for such student apps would further come down allowing more innovation to seep through. 

growth of ar vr market

Augmented Reality Application in the Edtech Market 

There is not just one AR market forecast but plenty that suggest the domain is going through a boom. Back in 2015, the total value of the AR industry was $3.33 billion. However, with the democratization of smartphones, AR apps have multiplied in numbers and the industry is braced to grow at a common annual growth rate of 46.6% from 2019 to 2024

By this estimate, the industry shall be well worth $72.7 billion by 2024. And although healthcare is being propped to play the most substantial role in AR-adoption, education management will not be that far off. Come to think of it, Edtech could put Augmented Reality on steroids, as this industry is pushing the needle at an exciting pace itself. 

But if both the trajectories are to consummate, what form factor would usher the implementation of Augmented Reality in Education Management? 

If the AR trends and predictions for 2020 are anything to go by, then we can expect this industry to be a hotbed for godspeed innovation in the foreseeable future. Further, it is not a far-fetched idea to believe that short and long bursts of such innovation and technology will be contributed towards automotive education. 

But Why?  

There is researched evidence that suggests technology involvement is inclined to produce better academic results in students than otherwise. In another research, it was uncovered that more than half of college students prefer classrooms that envelope digital technology. Whereas to a neutral observer, these discoveries might make for an interesting read, field experts are hardly surprised to find such epiphanies make it to online journals.

ar vr headset growth forecast

The race to localize Augmented Reality and manufacture educational apps will be aided by the fact that by 2023, there will be an expected 68.6 million AR devices in the world. In other words, more than half the world population could begin using AR apps by that time, although think tanks are yet to determine how much of this demographic belongs to K-12 and college students. 

Nevertheless, we can be sure that it’ll be a huge number if we increase the sample size by considering spare tablets at home and other forms of Edtech delivery methods being deployed by institutions. Here’s how Augmented Reality could mobilize the digital learning movement. 

Ways AR Can be Incorporated in the Education Sector

Augmented Classrooms   

AR can easily be baked into conventional classroom training by introducing Marker-based AR apps. Students can scan their textbooks subsequent to which the app will demonstrate illustrations on complicated theoretical explanations. As learners experience first-hand the principles of a subject, the entire experience could turn value addition into a fun-filled, extra-curricular exercise. The quality of training in critical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) subjects could vastly improve as a result of AR. 

Octagon Studio is one startup that has leveraged the power of Augmented Reality to good use. It uses AR-based flashcards to lend students an illustrative and engaging learning experience be it history, biology, technology or art. 

Augmenting Homework

Who said homework has to be burdensome? Teachers could assign students AR-enabled worksheets to explore educational concepts at their own pace, from the comfort of their couch. For instance, a given worksheet could contain a few questions on a particular topic. If the students are unable to crack the answer by themselves, they can scan the worksheet with the AR-based app and avail pointers towards the right answer. Edtech startups should pick and choose a curriculum and align their AR-app towards imbuing widely taught concepts to maximize their student user base.

ClassVR is one company making strides in the AR-direction. Its Augmented Reality apps are tailored towards Science, History, Design and Technology in addition to English. 

Turn Abstract Concepts into Reality

Since AR makes use of 3D modelling and object recognition, it can take students by the hand and morph hard to understand biological concepts into engaging anatomy lessons. With each student, and future doctor, able to extract the touch and feel of operating on a patient, per capita learning will be much higher. The experiment has been put to test in Portugal’s Polytechnic Institute of Leiria where AR applications are just as effective as their human counterpart teachers. The institution deployed AR-apps developed by Visible Body that makes biology lessons easier to demonstrate pailing whiteboards and charts in direct comparison. 

Uptick Student Engagement Rates

Classroom education is a humble subset of Augmented Reality in Education Management. Skilled mobile learning app development professionals can easily integrate AR applications for next-level recreational periods, wherein simulated reality allows working each muscle and tendon of an athlete’s body and contributes positively towards mental and physical growth. This AR-as-a-service model is being deeply explored by some e Learning app development companies as we see next. 

Canadian Tech Company SAGA prototyped an AR-based Interactive Gym that uses this concept. Geometric projections are cast on gym walls under synthetic lighting challenging toddlers to target and smash the shapes with rubber balls. SAGA’s computers use 3D camera vision to monitor the interplay of physical objects with the wall projections. From the looks of it, the Augmented Reality future scope is blinding, not just gleaming. 

Augmented Reality for Content on Demand

Once the teachers and the students have a hang of how Augmented Reality works the next step is content on demand. For the bulk of education mobile app development, AR apps are a pressing need that demands immediate attention. Considering the bigger picture, AR would soon be synonymous with imagination. Both the teachers and students are likely to begin demanding more content than the average AR-app would offer. What the education system would need then, is Augmented Reality As a Service (ARaaS) the practical examples of which are already before us. 

Metaverse is an AR-Platform that allows users to create virtual content on the go. They are customizable to the extent of one’s location. Teachers can create informational AR pop-ups on the spot to clarify concepts. Similarly, students can test their hypothesis by running simulations on the app. In the end, such a succinct level of personalization would ensure the level of education/understanding goes collectively up. 

Top AR apps Pushing The Envelope in the Online Education Industry 

brands using ar for education purpose

There will always be an eLearning app development company someone to pick up the slack and build on the shortcomings of prior projects. But what these Augmented Reality Apps symbolize, is a wave of acceptance from large sets of teachers and students and credible grounds to take this journey for Edtech entrepreneurs. 

CoSpaces edu 

Build your own 3D animations and savour them in Augmented Reality. Students can project their virtual projections onto surfaces and use the MERGE Cube to literally hold your creations in your palms.

Google Translate 

Few people know that this app is AR-enabled. With its location-based tracking, Google Translate is the go-to app for travellers to fetch directions. At other times, you can use its Augmented Reality mode to scan a foreign language which will be translated to English instantly. It also comes as a chrome extension. Do we need any more proof of concept for the promising future scope of Augmented Reality, than Google mainstreaming it?

QuiverVision  

The AR app is designed to polish the recreational genius within infants by making colors come to life with 3D modelling. It has three versions. Its developers offer the app in 3 variants, namely the flagship version Quiver, second is the Quiver Education and third is the Quiver Fashion app. The reception that Quiver has generated from every academic nook, parenting guardians and children points to the fact that the future of education is digitization. 

ABC AR – Space Discovery 

The skies have always fascinated us all and the children are no different. ABC AR Space Discovery introduces interactive 3D learning, to incept the idea of space adventurism in young ones. 

Civilization AR

This is a smartphone AR app, by the BBC to prod the curiosity bug into learners of all ages. Created in association with 30 museums, users can discover history like never before. From ancient Egypt to paintings and hidden treasure troves, Civilization AR packs a punch with its multi-device compatibility and high-resolution graphics. 

Final Thoughts 

In the foremost section we promised, we’d give you enough reasons before asking you to jump on to the AR bandwagon. In the course of our discussions, we hope you found enough proof in the pudding to believe that Augmented Reality is blowing up fast and thick and that AR has the potential to boost businesses. Single-handedly, it solves the problem of interactive learning, in both classroom and remotely. AR offers Edtech entrepreneurs a model to create economies of scale digitizing learning in cost-effective ways. Last, and most important, it foments the notion of personalized learning for all and visibly augments tutoring by custom-tweaking the lessons to each individual’s IQ.

Prateek Saxena
Prateek Saxena
Co-founder of Appinventiv
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