With the coronavirus outbreak or COVID-19, distance learning has become the main teaching method. It affects more than 1.3 billion students in 186 countries (UNESCO). This article discusses how Augmented Reality (AR) can support distance learning to be more effective.
Even before COVID-19 hit, there was already high growth and adoption in educational technology. Global EdTech investment reaching USD 18.66 billion in 2019. And the overall market for online education is projected to reach USD 350 billion by 2025 (Business Insider).
How does Distance Learning work, and is it effective?
Starting in the first quarter of 2020, hundreds of millions of students connect remotely with their teachers. All classes use a variety of video calling platforms. To name a few: Zoom, Meet, and Skype. This way of teaching has its advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages are (1) more flexible class scheduling, (2) helping to learn to keep going even during a pandemic, and (3) more efficient time spent by students because there are no trips to school taken.
In contrast, the drawbacks are:
- The reduced effectiveness of learning.
- The difficulty to focus on learning because of the many distractions and distractions.
- The need for help from parents of students so that education continues.
One of the areas that need improvement is materials or subject matter. Classroom learning provides a specific type of engagement that distance learning does not offer. Sometimes, studying alone at home without being in front of the blackboard or the school lab can be frustrating, especially for STEM subjects.
One way to fill this gap is to integrate digital content and lessons into traditional teaching materials, particularly AR technology.
How Augmented Reality Improve the Distance Learning experience
1. More Immersive Lessons
Teachers can prepare AR content to deliver additional digital content to their students during traditional lessons. Home students can use their own mobile devices to activate Augmented Reality media in their respective books.
2. Remote Teamwork
With students physically separated from each other, it becomes challenging to encourage collaboration during the teaching process. However, AR can provide the ability to collaborate in the AR content creation process. Such a project can be the assignment of the teacher in a specific subject.
3. Tests & Quizzes
Testing students via webcam can be very challenging, and this is where AR can help. Teachers can prepare tests and quizzes. Then they can distribute them via the AR application. So that students can activate test & quiz content by simply scanning certain book pages. The main advantage for the teacher is that it collects all the data into one platform, which provides immediate feedback on how the student scored on the test.
4. Immersive Tour
Traveling in the past year has become almost taboo. Students have also stopped traveling because there is no school trip. Despite the current limitations, AR and VR offer a unique way to see and discover new places on a virtual journey. Schools can easily create and let their students experience virtual tours. These use cases can also be helpful in preparation for a real trip when the situation returns to normal.
5. Acquire New Digital Skills
Finally, Augmented Reality can also provide new digital skills to students, with support from their teachers. Using AR, teachers can engage students in 3D project creation activities to visualize mobile devices without requiring coding skills. It is an effective way to familiarize young students with this promising technology.
In the future, the EdTech or e-learning field will develop more and more, and increasingly sophisticated technology will be available to the public. Are you interested in adopting Augmented Reality technology in your distance learning?