Can augmented reality be used for education? What are the cons and pros of it? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Caspar Thykier, CEO and co-founder of Zappar, on Quora:
We’ve done a good amount of work in education around K12 and also see a lot of usage among our community at a university level for vocational learning for design courses, games development, computer science, architecture etc.
There are a few avenues to explore:
Firstly the use of AR in computing for children at primary school. We’ve run workshops with kids as young as nine and ten familiarizing themselves with computers for the first time and learning about file formats, folder structures and simple multimedia skills. In this setting, our ZapWorks Designer tool is a great way for kids to create their first AR project. So, for instance, this might be to design a poster about a topic they are studying – Egyptian Pyramids for example. Children work in groups of three or four to decide which images, quotes, videos and links they want to feature on their poster from a predefined folder of content. They use the ZapWorks Designer tool to decide what other content to overlay and augment on their poster. They then present their finished design back to the rest of the class and get something fun to take home and share with their family. All the while they’re learning about computer skills, teamwork, curation of content, presentation techniques and interacting with their course work. It’s a big win for everyone.
We’ve also worked with companies like the brilliantin the US who create original and rich narrative driven content around key STEM topics. These teaching aids take the stress out of designing course work for teachers and give them new ways to tackle challenging subjects in a way that children can enjoy.
In New Zealand, we’vewho has written children’s’ books designed at promoting and educating children about digital safety and brings the subject to life for kids in an interactive format.
We’vewith companies like Instructure aimed at STEM learning for girls with a 10-step course to create your own water system poster.
We’re also seeing leading vocational colleges like TAFE NSW in Australia championing spatial computing for their students and beginning to lead the way in equipping their students with the relevant skills and tools to create and build the AR experiences and applications of the future.
Overall AR acts as a great facilitator inin a way that engages students and aids teachers.
The clear watch-outs are that most teachers are stretched already so giving structured narrative driven content that can be plugged directly into their existing resources and curriculum requirements are critical.
There’s then the cost of the equipment and funding required for software and devices which means it’s imperative that these solutions can run on low-end devices at a mass market level and overcome the inevitable security checks to exist on these systems.
AR is not a substitute for teaching or teachers and in fact, it needs a dedicated and enthusiastic champion to guide students through the technology. But overall we’re seeing that it can be a great force for good in bringing information to life in new and exciting ways for students of all ages.