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  • Writer's pictureDaniela Vidal

Enhancing Education with Virtual and Artificial Reality




One of the most amazing tools that have revolutionized education is virtual reality and augmented reality.


Both technologies allow the students to have an immersing learning experience, enabling pupils to watch the topics literally from different perspectives.


In this blog, we are going to explain the difference between Augmented reality and Virtual Reality, we are going to review how each one of these technologies can be helpful in the education field and finally, we are giving some examples of startups that works developing VR and AR for education.


Let’s start understanding what’s the difference between Augmented and Virtual Reality.


Difference between Augmented and Virtual Reality


In the next diagram, we show what Tulane University says about the difference between AR and VR.




Virtual Reality in Education


Virtual reality is an immersive technology that creates an environment generated by a computer, which can be experienced through a headset.


In the education sector, VR technology has been used to enhance learning experiences by immersing students in interactive simulations of real-life scenarios.


VR is an engaging tool to attract students' attention.


With VR, people can watch and interact with the matter of study.


VR has been used to study history, science, and geography, among others. Students can have an immersive experience and visit, for instance, ancient Greece!


Can you imagine your history lesson visiting their most important constructions, watching by first hand their clothes and landscapes?

Or imagine your science subject exploring the universe and understanding the sizes and materials of the planets by watching them in front of you.


History, science, and geography can use this tool to engage students in the subjects and they can gain a deeper understanding of historical events or scientific concepts.


This is something brand new, and before, we could only do that by reading a book, something that is not attractive to many children.


Another significant benefit of VR in education is its ability to simulate dangerous or challenging situations.


For example, medical students can practice surgery in a virtual environment before operating on real patients, improving their skills and confidence.


Similarly, flight simulators can be used to train pilots, and military simulations can be used to train soldiers for combat.


Augmented Reality in Education


Augmented reality (AR) is the real-time use of information in the form of text, graphics, audio, and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects. It is this "real world" element that differentiates AR from virtual reality.


Augmented Reality (AR) allows virtual elements to be superimposed onto our vision of reality.


I mean, you can watch a tiger on your desktop or near your pal. You are not immersed in a virtual world. You are in the real world with virtual objects.


AR is an enhanced, interactive version of a real-world environment achieved through digital visual elements, sounds, and other sensory stimuli via holographic technology.


Zspace is a company that works on developing AR; they say that learning with this tool enhances kinesthetic learning; “Engaging tactile learning with movement, testing, and trial and error in a non-traditional learning environment supports retention and recall of information.”


Imagine your child seeing a frog in 3D and, with a simple movement, can see its skeleton, muscles, and organs. I am sure it is a memorable experience for students.



AR and VR Companies


We wanted to bring you some companies that are revolutionizing education by developing software and hardware for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.


1. Nearpod: Nearpod is an education technology company that offers an interactive, multimedia platform for K-12 classrooms. Their platform includes a library of VR lessons and virtual field trips, allowing students to explore different environments and concepts in a more engaging and interactive way.


2. Unimersiv: Unimersiv is an AR/VR education platform that offers immersive experiences for students in various subjects. They offer a library of educational content, including virtual tours of historical sites, science simulations, and language learning.


3. zSpace: zSpace is an AR/VR platform that offers educational content for K-12 schools and universities. Their platform includes a library of immersive, interactive experiences that allow students to explore topics such as anatomy, physics, and engineering in a more engaging and hands-on way.


4. EON Reality: EON Reality is a global leader in AR/VR education solutions. They offer a range of educational content and tools for K-12 schools, universities, and businesses, including virtual labs, training simulations, and interactive textbooks.


5. Classcraft: Classcraft is an AR/VR platform that gamifies the classroom experience, allowing teachers to create interactive and immersive learning experiences for their students. Their platform includes a library of educational content, including simulations and games that help students develop important skills.


These are just a few examples of the many startups that are using AR/VR technology to enhance education. As the technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative and impactful solutions emerge.


Conclusion


Technologies like virtual and artificial reality have the power to completely change how we experience learning. VR and AR can aid students in developing crucial skills and gaining a deeper understanding of difficult ideas by offering immersive and interesting learning experiences.


Even while VR and AR are still very new technology, they are already being used in a range of educational contexts, from history classes to medical schools. As technology advances, we can anticipate seeing more creative applications of VR and AR in the classroom that will improve learning and better prepare students for the problems of the future.


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