As Metaverse technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) continue to gain more popularity,
Experts have mentioned how the use of Augmented reality (AR) in education can help improve the way that students learn and implement those things they’ve learnt.
However, Despite AR technologies becoming increasingly popular in education, the implementation of AR technologies in classrooms comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, which need to be well researched before implementing AR technologies.
Table of Contents
- Pros (Advantages) of Augmented Reality in Education
- Cons (Disadvantages) of Augmented Reality in Education
Therefore, it’s important we look into the pros and cons of augmented reality in education, understand the concepts of augmented reality, and its uses in education.
Augmented reality is a technology that forms a new environment containing real-world and virtual-world properties (objects) by overlaying virtual properties onto real-world properties to enhance the user’s experience.
Unlike virtual reality, which creates a completely virtual environment, augmented reality uses both virtual and real-life properties to create a new environment for the user.
Augmented reality can be implemented through your phone and head-mounted displays such as AR glasses and helmets, etc.
Pros (Advantages) of Augmented Reality in Education
1.Interactive learning experience
Augmented reality in education paves the way for an immersive learning experience that enables students to become more involved in the learning process and access real-time information while learning.
Apart from reading information from a textbook and other informational materials, students also get to learn through interactive, auditory, and visual 3D models with practical exercises.
2. Enhanced students’ interaction and engagement
As opposed to conventional education that is solely reliant on the abilities of teachers, AR increases the avenues for learning and engaging the students.
AR can provide supplementary information to the textbooks and study materials currently used during a lecture, with additional information such as 3D images, audios, videos, worksheets, and other additional information that helps explain further what is currently being taught.
It also makes learning more memorable and interesting (especially in cases where the topics are complicated and boring) since it’s a highly interactive learning method.
Teachers can create a narrative and assign roles to students to spark curiosity in their students and increase their interest in class.
3. Expanded training and research opportunities
Augmented reality makes training better through the multisensory experiences it provides, making it easier for students to understand complicated concepts and grasp all the essential details in the training.
For example, Human Anatomy Atlas 2021 is an app that helps students and healthcare professionals understand how the human body works with 3D simulations and models of male and female anatomy.
Using Human Anatomy Atlas 2021, users can perform virtual dissections, view animations, and do a host of other things.
Touch Surgery is another app that serves as a surgical training simulator and helps doctors and surgeons learn about different surgical procedures.
4. Acts as a bridge between e-learning and traditional learning.
As education and methods of learning continue to evolve, questions have been raised about whether virtual classes or real-life classes are a more suitable method of learning.
Augmented reality in education incorporates both methods and bridges both the digital and real-life methods of learning.
5. Increases the viability of distance learning
Despite the growing interest in distance learning in recent years, distance learning has faced some challenges in terms of experience, practicality of learning, and lack of engagement between teachers and students.
AR eliminates these shortcomings by bringing to life experiential and practical learning methods to enhance the impact of lectures on students.
6. Increases students’ knowledge
Research has proven that augmented reality can help increase students’ knowledge as it makes information more comprehensive, realistic, and memorable.
In addition, AR aids the retention of information and motivates the students to participate in classroom activities.
7. Simple to use
Augmented reality is easy to use. It’s a mobile-friendly technology that doesn’t require you to use special equipment or have knowledge of how to use one for your lectures.
AR systems can be accessed through your smartphones and can be easily used by students and teachers as most smartphones meet the requirements to run AR systems.
A school doesn’t need to break the bank to incorporate augmented reality into their learning methods.
Unlike virtual reality, which requires special equipment such as VR headsets and VR treadmills, it’s not expensive to run AR systems.
Cons (Disadvantages) of Augmented Reality in Education
1. Inadequate Privacy and Security
To create an immersive experience for students, it’s important for AR systems to collect sensitive user information on a large scale.
The use of facial recognition technology, geolocation, biometric data, and augmented data can make getting this user’s information intrusive.
Furthermore, AR technologies are also vulnerable to hacks, cyber attacks, and other types of digital security threats.
2. Challenges to Adoption of AR Technologies
Using augmented reality in education faces obstacles in terms of adoption. Firstly, AR and other Metaverse concepts are yet to go mainstream.
In fact, Mark Zuckerberg (Meta CEO) predicted at the Connect conference in 2021 that the Metaverse would be mainstream in 5-10 years.
In addition, there’s no guarantee that AR technologies will achieve widespread adoption on a global level when they go mainstream. As it is guaranteed, it will go through a phase of rejection and ridicule that most emerging technological innovations face at first.
In short, the pros and cons of augmented reality in education will be irrelevant if teachers and educational institutions as a whole are not willing to adopt augmented reality systems of learning.
AR in itself is an emerging technological innovation that will keep improving over time with consistent updates even after it goes mainstream.
Teachers and students will have a hard time getting used to AR technologies and finding the right ways to implement them so as to improve the education sector.
4. Health Challenges
Addiction to AR technologies can cause harm to a user’s health.
Dangers associated with reality modification, blurry vision, ear problems, and mental issues are some of the health challenges allegedly associated with augmented reality.
5. Developing and maintaining AR technologies is costly.
It’s expensive to develop and maintain AR systems, which means only a few companies have the capital to finance AR projects.
Having highlighted the Pros and cons of augmented reality in education.
It’s important to know that just like other emerging technological innovations, augmented reality is still in its early stages and will continue to evolve with some of Its disadvantages being tackled as things improve.