How will technology shape learning?

Technology has become an imperative part of education in the past decade. The introduction of immersive technologies meant interactive classes had an unparalleled experience in learning. A study conducted by Justin Tosco, a master’s student at Saint Catherine University, revealed that students prefer lessons that use technology. The study found that there was a 16% accuracy rate in short answers and an increase in engagement for students taught with the aid of technology.

We are currently living in a fully digital world with the average adult spending over 6 hours a day on the internet. Generation Z kids have grown up along with this digital boom, making them quite familiar with the use of technology in everyday life.

Research by Geer and Sweeney (2012) showed that the use of a variety of media applications including Augmented Reality (AR) to explain concepts increased the understanding of teachings and supported greater collaboration between students.

AR provides an efficient and effective way to represent a model that needs visualisation. This immersive technology provides seamless interaction between the real and virtual world. Furthermore, it facilitates field visits within the classroom, thereby increasing visual retention.

Key benefits of technology adoption in education:

  1. Improves knowledge retention
    Taps the potential of visual memory. Students learn multiple subjects at school and need to remember all the content from each class. Technology like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality brings content to life. Studies suggest that visual memory appeals to the mind in 0.01 seconds! Subsequently students learn as they see, retaining more knowledge.
  2. Prompts interest in students
    Immersive technology provides a wide platform for students to self-explore and helps facilitate self-learning, in a fun and engaging manner. Subjects like History, which are narrative and quite visual, can be easily learned through immersive technology applications.
  3. Facilitates holistic learningLearning using immersive technology is believed to complement the traditional forms of teaching. It aids in the process of learning and promotes the use of visual, auditory and speech senses simultaneously.
  4. Reduce classroom disruptionsTechnology adoption in the classroom can aid students with limited attention spans and engage a big class. Learning and paying attention to new concepts can be challenging for students with special needs. AR and VR have been proven to improve their attention span, aid in expressing themself and improve their interactive behaviour. Furthermore, these technologies act as students’ centre of attention, thereby reducing any possible distractions.
  5. Improves mastery of abstract subjects
    Learning about obtuse triangles or the explanation of the food chain through mere theory can make a students life difficult. These are abstract concepts which can be understood better when demonstrated. Augmented Reality (AR) and other immersive technologies can bring abstract subjects to life with their visual overlay and video demonstration capabilities.
  6. Visualisation of theoretical conceptsLearning by viewing animated objects leads to better understanding and simplifies what is taught. Immersive technology such as Virtual Reality (VR) can enable students to feel or experience some theoretical concepts like air pressure, or the Archimedes principle.
  7. Simplification of complex subjectsThe introduction of powerpoints and projectors meant students had a visual aid to breakdown important points while learning. With a high level of mobile use with today’s generation, technologies like 3-D learning, AR, VR, MR and AI can all be accessible at the touch of a button. These technologies enable students to revisit and learn at their own pace.
  8. Objectification of content
    Some subjects may have relatively easy concepts to understand but can be quite monotonous if learnt theoretically. Use of technology in such subjects enables objectification of content and provides a skeletal frame to what is taught. For example, when learning about legislature or an assembly, students can play-out scenarios of a majority, coalition or stages in creating a law. These are effective methods of teaching and enables students to grasp concepts better.
Advantages of AR in education
  • Supports a seamless interaction between the real and virtual environments whilst allowing the use of a tangible interface for object manipulation.
  • Provides instructors with a way of strengthening students’ understanding in the classroom by augmenting physical props with virtual annotations and illustrations.
  • Allows students to learn outside of the classroom hours and school limits.
  • Enables the visualisation of interactions such as, amino acids and protein building processes as static 2D/3D images and 3D dynamic images (animations).
    (Source: University Teknologi Malaysia Research)

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Applications in medical training

AR and VR are widely being used to train medical students in a number of ways. VR can be leveraged in training medical students and residents on procedures for a more truly immersive experience before engaging with real patients.

The use of virtual cadavers in anatomy training is one example of how AR can be used to enhance a practice session.
(Excerpts from Deloitte Digital Trends report)

The way forward

Technologies such as AR, VR, MR and AI are fast changing the face of learning and education. Integration of these technologies benefit teachers along with students. With the aid of technology like AR, visualisation of subject matter improves. Teachers can impart knowledge and facilitate learning in a simple way.

Use of technology in learning should be focused on student centered learning. As observed earlier immersive technology has a vast use in almost every field of work. These technologies have become the new basic skill set to work around just like emails and mobile applications.

Businesses are adopting AR and VR to enhance processes. They have proved to save time, cut costs and improve efficiency.

As disruptive technologies grow, thousands of jobs will be created, and several others’ skill sets will widen. Introduction to these technology concepts from school will better prepare students for a digital world ahead.

Appearition brings immersive technology to your world in a range of fields and industries. Our education solution EducART Pro is the ideal tool to use in the classroom or for remote learning. Teachers can access a range of immersive learning content and share it with the class for them to explore and better understand complex concepts. For a free trial click here 

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