Remote learning. Everyone is talking about it right now, but how do you go about it?
Does it really work? And who is it for? In this post, we tackle the benefits of AR/VR tools for remote learning and the categories of students who win by using this tech.
K-12 Education with VR
In the remote classroom, teachers are pressed for new ways to engage young learners who suddenly find themselves attending class in their own living rooms. Augmented and virtual reality are finding new homes with student audiences because they make learning fun, enabling students to explore topics like science and history in new ways.
Science and History
For K-12 students, learning science and history amounts to hands-on activity in many cases. After all, can YOU remember the stages of photosynthesis as it was explained in your middle school textbook? Augmented reality apps give students a framework for tricky concepts and shows them why topics are important. Teaching a unit on plant life? What about ancient Rome? Apps get students up close and personal right from their tablets.
Gym class is canceled for the foreseeable future, but kids should stay active. While that’s hard to do at home, it’s not impossible with a little bit of technological intervention. VR apps incorporate general exercise, dance and sporting activities to keep young bodies active and engaged. The bonus? Depending on the activity, these experiences provide learning and bonding opportunities for kids and parents to share together.
Professional Development through VR
Kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from VR learning tools. Increasingly, professional workers are using technology to learn procedures, simulate on-the-job scenarios and develop more robust skill sets. It’s especially helpful during times of social distancing, but will also provide general learning flexibility moving forward. Professional uses are still developing, but industries like healthcare and engineering are experiencing an uptick in VR training right now.
The healthcare space is probably one of the most obvious and essential industries that can benefit from increased tech for professional training. From EMTs and nursing assistants to surgeons, medical personnel need to learn quickly to be effective in the new medical landscape. Enter medical simulations. For some, this can mean using technology to learn protocols and procedures in the course of hectic shifts. For others, using AR and VR might allow realistic and safe clinical training or test prep at home. Whatever the case, the ability to practice procedures hands on (sometimes through immersive 3D experiences) gives medical professionals opportunities to prepare for situations they may otherwise not have the experience for.
Architecture and engineering professionals can also benefit from AR and VR remote learning, and the reasons why are pretty clear. Imagine the traditional classroom setting, where education might include studying schematics or CAD software, among other things. The concepts are there, but students may struggle to figure out how to put them into practice. VR tools provide this insight by allowing students to see how components fit together, or even see full-size renderings of iconic landmarks like Notre Dame to study how they were built.
Why Do AR and VR for Remote Learning Work So Well?
2020 has been full of twists and turns, along with a major upheaval in how society functions. While our conditions are temporary, education needs to adapt to our ways of life. AR and VR answer this call with solutions for now and into the future, proving that education can and will extend far beyond the classroom. Early evidence shows key benefits of AR and VR remote learning over traditional education.
- Reduced Physical Constraints – Virtual technology removes barriers to educational experiences. Middle school students might not realistically be able to travel to Egypt to study the pyramids, for instance, but virtual reality can easily bring the experience to life.
- Higher Information Retention – Viewing slides and taking notes are helpful to a degree, but eventually lead to memorizing facts and figures. The result? We forget what we’ve learned. AR and VR tools for remote learning are immersive, allowing students to see, feel and touch what they’re learning and create actual understanding. The difference is an 80% retention rate for AR/VR learning vs. 20% retention from traditional methods.
Virtual technology bridges the gap between classroom theory and real-life experience, marrying the two to provide context to learners of any age.
Incorporate AR and VR into Your Remote Learning Strategy
Remote learning doesn’t have to be isolated. In fact, technology often gives us access to more in-depth experiences than we’d have in a classroom. Give your students a world of opportunity by incorporating virtual technology into your curriculum.