What is augmented reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is the ability to overlay digital content onto the real world. AR applied to education becomes your secret ingredient to improve learning processes—right here, right now. Augmented reality turns any routine activity into an engaging interactive exercise stimulating audiences of any age (young children, high school or college undergraduate students) to gain knowledge and spend more time in the pursuit of learning they would never have done otherwise.

Here are five reasons how augmented reality can turn the education process into an amazing educational journey to help students achieve more within the same amount of time:

  1. Visualization: from flat 2D to interactive 3D
  2. Interactive learning
  3. Gamification=fun
  4. Get to know more with less stress
  5. Small but great investment

1. Visualization. The use of visual imagery to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas is augmented reality’s most crucial and most effective feature. Augmented reality takes a 2D-flat illustration to a 3D-fabulous model (certainly, the first is used as an activation marker). Bringing illustrations “to life” is an easy way to introduce augmented reality to audiences of any age (elementary, high school, colleges and universities) and combine it with various activities. Both children and students can finally stop imagining things they hear for the first time in their lives and focus on comprehending how they work.

AR means a switch from abstract things to concrete objects and situations.

2. Interactive Learning. Augmented reality-based learning is always an interactive exercise that engages students in grappling with the material. Students can look at a 3D model, rotate it, read facts, and explore significant details. For example, medical students can visualize details about human body and read additional information about how different systems function. This way, the class will learn more using an AR app than just studying from illustrated books.

AR means active learning stimulating further exploration about the subject.

3. Gamification applies typical elements of game playing to learning. Memorizing information is boring. Drills and routine activities are even more boring. But not with augmented reality. Through visual imaging, AR helps people better understand things they learn, e.g., how much bigger an elephant is in comparison to a human. AR educational apps introduce memorizing activities via gamification, so learners won’t even realize they are learning.

AR is fun and helps students understand and learn things easily.

4. Get to know more with less stress
As mentioned above in #1 Visualization, course book illustrations can be used as markers to trigger events and show supplementary information (video, audio or text information) to help learners get to know more with less stress and more inquisitiveness. It saves time—hours and hours of time that students would otherwise spend on the Internet searching and filtering relevant information while often not really knowing what is truly relevant. And, it opens doors to more knowledge through several senses (visual, auditory, tactile).

AR helps introduce more information about the topic saving students’ efforts.

5. Small but great investment
Augmented reality presents so many great learning possibilities. The fear is that something so great costs a lot. It doesn’t. How is that possible? There are several competing AR engines that have all tools developers need to create budget AR software within a relatively short timeline (the most well known are Kudan, Vuforia, and EasyAR). Also, there is no need for any special equipment, such as Microsoft HoloLens or Lenovo Phab 2 Pro (the smartphone able to run Project Tango), to run an AR app. An Android 4.0.3+ smartphone or tablet, or an iOS 8.0+ (sometimes even Android 4.0 / iOS 7.0) device is enough to enjoy augmented reality running smoothly on your screen.

Find a developer with experience and interest in presenting augmented reality to students and you have a win-win solution.

AR does not require big investments from any side.

An augmented reality mobile app makes learning a fun and engaging activity. The list of possibilities to use augmented reality for education ends only where imagination stops. AR opens new doors to learn, explore, interact and experience new things and makes everything seem to come alive. Both teachers and students benefit when entering the new world of augmented reality for education.