The role of augmented reality and virtual reality in the classroom of the future

In other posts we have already talked about all the possibilities offered by the insertion of Virtual Reality in the processes of any study, training or learning centre. Beyond being able to take your students to the top of Machu Picchu, send a moving tornado to their desks or help them share their own stories with their classmates, with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), it is possible to add a new dimension to the curriculum of any center.

At Simlab IT we have developed a platform that allows you to create an interactive virtual environment for your students to explore or give them the tools to create their own VR experiences. Let your students look inside an ancient Egyptian tomb or take them on a tour of the solar system. With Augmented Reality, virtual elements can now be incorporated into the classroom.

In education, technologies are increasingly being incorporated to enrich the teaching-learning process. 

Augmented reality is a technology that provides resources to the educational world that can improve our learning in different areas of both everyday life and in different disciplines of study. It is worth reflecting further on its use in the field of education.

What is augmented reality? 

Augmented reality could be defined as that additional information obtained from the observation of an environment, captured through the camera of a device that previously has installed a specific software. The additional information identified as augmented reality can be translated into different formats. It can be an image, an image carousel, an audio file, a video or a link.

Necessary elements to bring RA to the classroom

What elements are involved? In order to access the use of this technology, it is necessary to have different elements: 

  • Device with camera: 
  • PC with webcam
  • Laptop with webcam 
  • Tablet or Smartphone 
  • Wearable with camera (watches, glasses, etc.)

2.- A software in charge of making the necessary transformations to provide additional information. 

3.- A trigger, also known as “information trigger”: 

  • Image or physical environment (landscape, urban space, observed environment)
  • Bookmark 
  • Object or QR Code

There are different levels of augmented reality, which is defined as the different degrees of complexity presented by applications based on augmented reality according to the technologies they implement. 

In this way, the classification defined as follows is established: 

– Level 0 (linked to the physical world). Applications hyperlink the physical world through the use of barcodes and 2D codes (for example, QR codes). These codes only serve as hyperlinks to other content, so there is no 3D registration or marker tracking. 

– Level 1 (VR with markers) The applications use markers, black and white images, quadrangulars and with schematic drawings, usually for 2D pattern recognition. The more advanced form of this level also allows the recognition of 3D objects. 

– Level 2 (VR without markers). Applications replace the use of markers with the GPS and compass of mobile devices to determine the user’s location and orientation and overlay points of interest on real-world images. 

Level 3 (Augmented Vision). It would be represented by devices such as Google Glass, high-tech contact lenses or others that, in the future, will be able to offer a completely contextualized, immersive and personal experience.

Content creation tools, in the hands of users, can make learning more authentic, generating empathic experiences, and increasing the active participation of students.

As pedagogical strategies that enhance student-centred learning approaches continue to take hold around the world, tools such as virtual reality or augmented reality, which offer more experimental and active assimilation opportunities, are increasingly valued.

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