Combining Augmented Reality and education takes learning to a whole new mind-expanding level. 

What happens when you combine Augmented Reality and new, advanced gear? Augmented Reality “adds” digital objects to the physical world in real time. How? Via a computing-device screen—smartphones, tablets, smart glasses, etc.—and special apps. 

So, what is the goal of Augmented Reality in education?

AR provides exceptional visualization tools. Augmented Reality app development makes teaching easier and learning more enjoyable. Teachers no longer need to explain complex concepts. They can present topics on an app screen. Gone are the days of dry explanations.

Augmented Reality:

  • Injects life into classes.
  • Makes classes more captivating and intuitive.
  • Provides information in a medium that best suits students. They are more relaxed, attentive, and receptive.
  • Awakens student interest in difficult subjects because it helps them understand.

Use AR to study/teach any school subject—physics, math, history, biology, literature.

AR brings books and educational materials to life. AR guides students through subcontinent jungles. Or, makes them feel like a participant in a historic event.

Augmented Reality in education and training

Augmented Reality and education complement each other. Presentation of subjects and educational materials engages and helps students of all ages. Great test and experiments results testify to this fact. Several experiments were undertaken. One experiment included one group of children studying educational materials via AR. The control group used the standard old method of typical flipcharts, schemes, etc.

The results? The results of the group learning with AR were stellar. The AR group had about a 90% material absorption rate, a higher level of discipline, and 95% of audience’s attention span. The other group’s results ranked well below 50%.

Main benefits of Augmented Reality in education

What are some of the benefits of 3D visualization?

Chris standing up holding his daughter Elva

AR advantages in education are impressive.

Why does AR so efficiently and positively impact educational techniques? It creates an “effect of presence”. It clearly displays the interrelationship between the real and the virtual worlds.

3D-visualization:

  • makes it possible to enter another reality—a virtual one,
  • engages participants,
  • triggers their attention and perception.

With AR, users can:

  • see famous museum exhibits in stunning detail,
  • view trigonometric objects,
  • run chemical tests impossible to safely perform under real circumstances.

Irrespective of the studied subject, AR learning attracts students of all ages and increases motivation to learn.

Students learning AR and using it properly can manage AR objects, move, scale, and view from different sides. AR gives great incentive to develop spatial thinking. It aids a deeper and more thoroughly comprehensible of the subject being studied. The results show a higher level of cognition.

AR meets the IT-savvy learner’s mind on a level that is most conducive for learning. This fits the learner’s everyday lifestyle like a well-worn, comfortable slipper.

Challenges of AR in education

The downside of AR in education? It’s expensive. Not all smartphones are compatible with AR technologies. Not all students can afford the expensive gadgets that work with AR. Insurmountable issue? No. But it cannot just be dismissed.

Developing great Augmented Reality apps for education, both developers and education experts must be involved. Before beginning, developers must consult with education experts.

The evolution of AR app development for education in the last 10 years has been impressive. A wide range of solutions have entered the education marketplace. But these solutions remain incomplete. They require a high level of technical background with essential time needed for content generation. Thus, it remains a challenge to create an AR educational app and generate content in an easy and effective way.

Additionally, teachers need to be taught and trained. They must act with confidence while using Augmented Reality in the classroom. To resolve or alleviate this issue, respective training courses in the creation and manipulation of images, videos, stories, etc., are highly recommended. In this context, the teacher must be a student using AR.
It is also necessary to create sustainable methodologies for proper application of such technologies in education realm. Moreover, all created material should work in a dynamic new type of classroom.

Augmented Reality in education: use cases

AR has entered the education arena.

Do you remember those tedious school lessons?

Do you remember those dry-as-dust lectures in the sciences, math, history, etc.? What about those equations longer than your arm? Because of AR technology, they are but nightmares of the past.

Below is the list of successful examples of AR in education:

Augmented Reality Apps for Education:

Informational Resources about AR education:

1 Pocket Tutor

Junior mathematicians get to use the app that helps find straightforward solutions. Just bring your phone close to the paper with the solved task. Pocket Tutor determines if the solution is right or wrong. If necessary, it displays the correct solution. The app helps with both a quick check and a step-by-step explanation ensuring better understanding of the solution process.

GoPro (formerly Capture)
Pocket Tutor – Math Help
Developer: Augmented S2dio
Price: Free

2 Math Ninja AR

This AR mobile app turns learning math into an active game. The app was developed with an assumption that combining body and mind stimulation is key to strong long-term memory.

The rules are simple: users must find a flat surface on which to materialize Math Ninja World, see the task, and find the Villager with the correct answer. User gets a card for every answer. They must gather 50 cards for 50 right answers. While doing this, children perform active movements which help them remain concentrated for longer time and memorize correct answers better.

GoPro (formerly Capture)
Math Ninja AR
Developer: Fantamstick
Price: Free

3 AR Geography. Interactive Earth Globe

This program offers training in almost any topic in geography, from climate regions to tectonics, political maps, New World exploration, and more. Users need to download maps or special cards, print them and point out the camera to start exploring and training. The app provides prompts and visual clues to ensure students memorize the topic.
The app also provides functionality to help teachers create their own tasks, assign them through messengers, and provide solutions through downloadable QR codes.

The app is available in several languages.

GoPro (formerly Capture)
AR Planet Earth Geography
Developer: Valeriy Danyuk
Price: Free

4 Chemistry 101 AR

This app presents 3D models of atoms and molecules and interactively helps users form complex compounds such as acids, oxides, salts, and more.

When users trigger elements using special cards, they can choose from several options (among them number of atoms, number of ions, and others). They can interchange elements in molecular structures they have already created and form new substances. Also, they learn chemical properties of molecules.

The app can be used for learning, exercises, and tests―all in one waiting-to-be-discovered molecular world.

GoPro (formerly Capture)
Chemistry AR+
Developer: Power Ten Development LLC
Price: Free

5 MoleculAR

This apps tackles the needs for illustrative materials to help explain complex topics in organic chemistry.
MoleculAR offers a simple feature list compared to more advanced AR apps for education. Users activate 3D models of molecules by pointing at a 2D image. When the model appears on the screen, they can rotate, scale, and move it. That is all.

However, the app is a great aid during lectures as it visualizes different forms of organic molecules. This helps students get an insight on how the difference in the synthesis process affects the outcome.

GoPro (formerly Capture)
MoleculAR
Developer: Organic Chemistry Explained!
Price: Free

6 AR-3D Science

This app was designed to help high school students learn basic concepts of biology, physics, and chemistry.
Users can download trackers (special prints) and use them to activate 3D models. The app provides voice explanations, features for interaction with AR content (zoom, rotate, and scale), exercises, and AR mini-games―everything needed to make learning a more enjoyable experience.

GoPro (formerly Capture)
AR-3D Science
Developer: Panther Studio
Price: Free

7 StarChart

This Augmented Reality app accurately depicts over 120,000 stars. Users can point to the sky and enjoy getting information about space objects, e.g., distance and brightness. Of course, there is more. Users can also use fine features such as shifting 10,000 years backward or forward, fly to planets of the Solar system, look at constellations, search for objects from outer space, and much more.

StarChart is available for all major platforms: Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, desktop, and mobile.
For mobile devices, the app has a free version with basic functionality and offers in-app purchases for those who want to get more.

GoPro (formerly Capture)
Star Chart
Developer: Escapist Games Limited
Price: Free

8 4D Anatomy

This elaborate Augmented Reality education app has been designed primarily for colleges and universities.
4D Anatomy helps medical students expand their knowledge of the human body. Students can discover anatomy from 20 real dissected models, explore over 2,000 body structures, and check what they have learned through special quizzes.

Apart from the above, lecturers can use the app to make their own custom quizzes, export images to classroom presentations, enhance students’ interest and retention through 3D environment, and more.

9 Spacecraft 3D

Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been working hard on the app to proudly present the results of their year-long research. This amazing app contains different types of spacecraft used to explore and study outer space and our neighboring planets, including iconic models of Mars rovers. Upon activation of AR models, users watch space explorers in their true-to-life proportions, see different engineering details, such as stage separation, and even take snapshots with space or planet surface as background. Also, users discover comprehensive information about spacecraft’s missions from the app.

GoPro (formerly Capture)
Earth-Now
Developer: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Price: Free

10 ZooKazam

This Augmented Reality app for kids’ education teaches zoology using 40+ animated 3D models of wild animals divided into nine categories. (It even includes dinosaurs!)

The models of animals are elaborated in the tiniest details, including fur, eye blinking, and shadows.
Using this AR app in the classroom, children can learn where animals live, what they eat, and many other interesting facts that would be otherwise presented with words, not images.

ZooKazam announced they use marker-less AR for their apps. This means: no printing needed, just tap on the icon and enjoy.

GoPro (formerly Capture)
ZooKazam
Developer: Atlanta AR Design, LLC
Price: Free

This list would be incomplete without informational resources that track all new and exciting Augmented Reality apps. Using the websites below, you can gain insight on how the others combine Augmented Reality and education.

1 edshelf

This is a free search tool and service that helps users discover the best educational apps. When edshelf users find a worthy app, they can add it to their collections (or shelves), rate it, and write a review.

Apps are divided into several categories to simplify the search for relevant solutions. Particularly, the website provides a special Augmented Reality category with dozens of AR apps for education.

2 Educational App Store

This website offers a vast library of different apps that teachers can use during their lessons. To provide the best experience, Educational App Store offers support through certified apps with expert reviews, mapping against curriculum, plans of lessons, lists of bests apps, and more.

There is also a section for parents to help them find the right, age-appropriate apps for their children.

3 VirtualiTeach

Steve Bambury and his team have prepared a special website where he discusses using VR and AR technology for education. This is a non-profit activity Steve does. The website helps tech enthusiasts discover EdTech trends. It presents a big picture of the positive impact technologies have on the learning process.

4 Invisible Toys

This website contains information for tech enthusiasts to find answers to many questions about Augmented and Virtual Reality. It covers such topics as costs of app development, best development technologies, steps required to develop an AR/VR app. It also discusses the hottest trends in AR /VR, contains app reviews, and lists of best AR apps in their different spheres—everything needed to keep pace with amazing AR/VR world. And, many posts discuss in detail how to combine Augmented Reality and education.

5 AR Critic

AR Critic is a passionate enthusiast who seems to have examined hundreds of AR apps. His website (and YouTube channel) contains news, articles, and reviews on different AR filters, masks, and apps. The videos provide insightful, honest feedback revealing both the good parts and the drawbacks.

Here is also the playlist with his videos about Augmented Reality education apps.

AR apps in the classroom are used for studying various subjects. Also, AR makes it possible to introduce “virtual teacher”. Students listen to a lecture then practice under supervision by a teacher located elsewhere. The teacher can interact with the students in real time, give them tasks, and move around the class.

These examples clearly show that technologies from yesterday’s fiction books become part of our everyday routine. Fiction yesterday—fact today.
Such AR applications in the education domain frequently appear in the market and serve as a great motivating tool for study and education.

AR development in education

AR and education perfectly match each other. AR can be applied as a tool for maximizing visualization and interactivity of the subject being taught, deeper immersion into it, conducting laboratory work, studies or tests.
AR technology is applied for implementation of project tasks, visualization of results while students are working on the project, thus making it as interactive as possible.

Hence AR technology allows teachers to involve students in research activities, working out respective learning cases, using up-to-date means and tools, and helping achieve the desired goal—delivering knowledge to the students’ mind efficiently.

Figuratively speaking, productive and effective education is a treasure island to be reached by means of the AR schooner.