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Digital Education and Augmented Reality

By Jemima Morrow | Published: 21st October 2021

Last week we announced that in 2021 the awards that we present our winners with will use Augmented Reality (AR) technology, as can be seen in the video above! This is a very exciting advancement for us and it got us thinking about the power of AR and how it can advance the EdTech industry...

What is AR?

AR is technology that takes computer generated images and superimposes them onto a user's real-world view. For example, IKEA use AR to superimpose images of items of furniture into your room when the room is viewed via phone camera! AR can be seen to enhance reality with the use of technology, allowing digital information to be overlaid onto a real-world image when viewed through a compatible device.

Some Important AR Statistics

- There are currently 81 million global users of AR (source: Statista)

- By 2022 it is estimated that there will be around 3.5 billion global AR users (source: Poplar)

- The global augmented reality in training and education market is forecast to reach $29.89 billion in 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31% (source: The Business Research Company)

AR and EdTech

AR is a prime example of effective educational technology. It can be used to educate in a multitude of ways for people of all different ages and abilities.

In order to harness the power of AR the following resources are needed: Internet connection; devices such as smartphones or tablets; access to an AR app e.g. Blippar; and a marker which is an image or code which is scanned to prompt the AR.

An example of using AR to enhance education is placing markers in students' textbooks, allowing them to scan with a device and immediately have an interactive experience surrounding the topic they are reading about e.g. reading about an ancient species, scanning the marker and being presented with a realistic graphic of said species which appears to be in your immediate surroundings via the AR technology.

Additionally, AR can be used to train professionals such as military personnel and astronauts. This is incredibly beneficial because it allows recruits to be trained to carry out their tasks and operations in a realistic environment, but one that is entirely safe and far from any danger. Being immersed in a realistic environment also better prepares recruits for facing the real environment.

One of the main attractions of AR in education is the fact that it can significantly increase engagement and interaction. AR can help students to truly visualise what they are learning about and feel as though they are experiencing the topic, rather than simply being told about it.

Stanford News discusses the way in which AR offers a two-dimensional method of learning and how the combination of engagement and interaction can prompt emotion. In theory this may be beneficial to students' memories and retaining information that they have learned as memory is aided by emotion.

To summarise, AR is already making waves in the education industry, and is projected to grow substantially over the coming years. At Digital Education Awards we're looking forward to watching this happen and are very excited to get involved with our AR Awards for 2021!


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