Augmented reality will be the next-generation classrooms. Augmented reality and virtual reality are big breakthroughs in the learning sector. Today learning means not just remembering facts. Learning is done in more depth and is made more understandable. India has shown her advancement in all sectors with the implementation of state-of-art technology from aerospace to agriculture and marketing, but these advancements are not seen in the education sector. Covid has brought a change to this line of thought. The smartphones and laptops that were taboo in the schools are now platforms used for education. This has opened doors for a colossal change in the education sector. implementing technology in education sector is important as well as it is also important that there should be guidance from teachers in using this technology. There is a famous quote by Bill gates which says
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.”
Augmented reality is the technology that allows adding virtual elements to real images that are visualized through an electronic device by using markers or codes. It is also possible to project virtual images to reality, thus enabling us to create a transformed reality. We could see many examples of augmented reality in our daily lives. Looking at the mobile camera and seeing ourselves as old or as opposite gender or with any added effects such as beautycam in our mobile phones is an example for augmented reality from our day to day life. Cricket fans are already familiar with it as they are able to get a 360-degree view of the ground and could see lines along the field to show the path of ball.
Using the AR technology in teaching could be a revolutionary move. With the implementation of technologies like virtual and augmented reality, the teaching styles in schools will change from a conservative way of sitting on the bench and listening to the teacher to learning through experience. This will create interest and interactive participation from students. Also visualizing something makes it easy to understand and memorize, thus making the education fun and engaging. Also AR helps in replacing books and other printed materials by easily portable smartphones thus making education more mobile and accessible. Unlike Virtual reality no expensive hardware is needed for AR just a smartphone is enough for this, which will be there with almost everyone. Also through games the learning process would become less boring.
AR could be used in experiencing practical sessions so that every student could virtually experience labs with high facility irrespective of the place they live and collage/school they study. So that students don’t have to travel long distances to fulfill the dream of high-quality education. This could be a real advantage especially in the current situation of our country where more than half of the schools lack good infrastructure and basic facilities. This could make sure that all students get education in the same level. Thus helping to enhance their productivity.
In the present situation of covid, online education has brought some changes in the methods of teaching. A few months before an elephant appeared in the classroom in a rural village school near Valanchery in Kerala making students jump out of excitement. Teachers used AR in creating an elephant during online classes. So changes have started but still, we have to travel a long distance. AR can also effectively used in higher education. It will be advantageous to use AR in fields such as engineering, MBBS, science degrees etc. Experiencing labs and classes virtually could help students to understand better. Most importantly, AR is more cost-effective than VR. Although there are VR headsets starting from Rs. 2000 in the market, the prices of good ones are exorbitant. On the other hand, AR apps are supported on smartphones, which are easily available in almost all households, and no additional costs are involved. Also the virtual education content is available anytime anywhere. So in near future we could see a drastic change in education sector with AI,VR and AR changing the face of education and schools.