VR and AR in Primary School of 2018
There is a lot of talk about the use of virtual reality [VR] and augmented reality [AR] in education, especially in primary school.
Virtual Reality tool such as VR from Prime are already extensively used in many primary schools in North America, Europe and Australia. Also popular are augmented reality or AR apps such as Zoo-Ar from EdShelf.
But what’s AR? What’s VR? What’s the difference between them and how are they related?
How will AR and VR be used in the primary schools of 2018?
Let’s find out.
What is Virtual Reality?
Virtual Reality or VR is defined by Wikipedia as “a computer technology that uses virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical environments or props, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment.”
Basically, VR is a computer-generated simulation of a real life situation or environment. It gives the user a completely immersive experience and stimulates their vision and hearing, making them feel like the simulated or artificial reality being experienced is for real.
How is VR used in Primary Schools?
VR can be used as a wonderful learning tool for primary school students and has wide ranging applications for education. VR from Prime, which we spoke about earlier, is an example of a really effective VR tool that makes learning fun for students.
Learning about volcanoes, for example, will never be boring again. VR takes the kids to see the Yellowstone National Park, where they can see a Supervolcano from up close and personal.
Kids are very curious about the World Wars, 1 and 2. VR takes them really close to the action, in the trenches, so that they can see what the brave soldiers of those times really went through.
Wondered what Mount Everest looks like? VR takes you to the top of Mount Everest and gives you a panoramic view of the world below. VR makes learning so much fun!
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality (AR) is defined by Wikipedia as “a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, haptic or GPS data.”
AR is a view of reality which is enhanced or augmented by the computer, which alters your current perception of it. It is different from VR because VR simply replaces the real world with a simulated version of it. Digital holograms, which were first seen in Star Wars, are the most popular applications of AR.
How is AR used in Primary Schools?
AR apps such as AugmentifyIt® AR Space Cards Quiz Game or Zoo-AR can be very useful in physics or biology class. But can also be very useful with the CLIL method. It allows you to view planets and other celestial bodies or animals in 3D! For example, when you launch AugmentifyIt® Space Quiz Game on your smartphone and focus the camera on one of the cards, a 3D model of the planed along with its topology is displayed. It allows you to engage with the Solar System in unique ways, bringing the planets and other space objects and concepts directly into the classroom. Is makes the experience of a certain topic much broader.
The other thing is that — since if you move the device around the marking area, you can watch the 3D object from all angles — it engages the students to interact with the object, wich automatically enhances memorization.
This is a great way to teach pretty much any school subject.
AR is useful in reaching areas where it may be difficult to visit or when it may not be practical to bring into the classroom (animals). AR-enabled text books and apps are becoming more popular today. It is also much cheaper to implement than VR and can be used in schools that have a limited budget.
AR and VR are essentially inverse reflections of one another. VR is a digital recreation of a real life setting. AR depicts the virtual elements as an enhanced version of the real world. Both VR and AR will be used extensively in primary schools in 2018. AR is certainly a more affordable choice for schools than VR, as with VR you need to invest in the whole virtual reality ecosystem such as VR headsets and VR capable PCs.
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