Augmented reality for education 

Imagine the learning possibilities when students are engaged and receptive in the classroom. The paradigms of learning are being challenged by technology. Instead of whiteboards or textbooks, students interact with lessons on devices in real time. Nevertheless, experiential learning allows students to use real-time experiences with augmented reality to learn faster and help achieve a higher retention rate. Hands-on learning puts theory into practice. Learning by doing has an average retention rate of 75%. 

AR for education by Bakerbuilt Works

WHAT IS AUGMENTED REALITY? 

Augmented reality or AR overlays digital information over real-world objects. It can provide creative, mental stimulation to help learners retain lesson concepts. AR is not new. Furthermore, according to interaction-design.org, it was first achieved in 1957 when a cinematographer, Morton Heilig, invented Sensorama. This delivered visuals, sound, feel and smell to the viewer. It was not computer controlled, but it’s considered the first example of augmenting the viewing experience with additional data. 

WE EVALUATED A COUPLE OF SYSTEMS 

Conceptual shot with Hololens2

Concept shot using Hololens in manufacturing

We recently dove into the capabilities of 2 AR platforms currently on the market. The HoloLens from Microsoft and the dynaEdge AR Smart Glasses by Toshiba-Dynabook. What’s more, these platforms approach AR from totally different perspectives. The HoloLens is a fully immersive environment with a microcomputer in the headset. And the AR Smart Glasses by Dynabook uses a micro screen placed in the user’s peripheral vision with an ultra-small pc that the user wears on their belt. 

With the Hololens, you’re actually in the PC’s display with the UI and elements being overlayed onto your field of view. 

Whereas the AR Smart Glasses by Toshiba-Dynabook has a very small TC screen in your peripheral vision, and you interact with that screen with a touch-controlled mini-pc attached to your waist. 

Both are delivery systems for augmented reality that are great for education and/or training but don’t come with any educational software. They can deliver the experience, but the software to train or deliver a lesson plan is not included. There are off-the-shelf platforms for creating a lesson plan, but this was not in the scope of our exploration. 

AR IN EDUCATION 

Imagine medical training and education where AR can lead to a deeper understanding of a process or procedure that could lead to better outcomes in patient care. 

Moreover, architecture students could use AR to place their designs into a virtual environment to help realize the scale and proportion of the building they’re designing.

Hololens for architecture

Concept shot of Hololens2 in architecture

 

Industry 4.0 relies heavily on automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. Including IoT, cloud, and cognitive computing, and creating “smart factories.” Augmented reality could play nicely into those, preparing students for a modern workforce. 

Both of these systems have their strengths and weaknesses. The Hololens2 had a few hiccups, and the Dynabook is just a tiny screen with simple touch controls on the glasses and on the belt-attached computer itself. 

 If you have the wherewithal to create your own content, both AR solutions would work well.