Three tips for using AR in the classroom

Dave Mather, senior marketing manager at Zappar, discusses his three top tips for integrating augmented reality into teaching

Technology has become a key component of today’s classroom and is here to stay. A recent study highlighted the prevalence of tech in the classroom, as 71% of primary schools and 76% of secondary schools have tablets in the classroom, according to BESA. Tablets and laptops have unlocked opportunities for students to explore and continue learning in exciting new ways. Implementing tech in the classroom is not only having a profound impact on learning, but it’s also equipping students with much-needed digital skills to succeed and thrive beyond the classroom.

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With this in mind, teachers can look to further enhance lessons with different applications of classroom technology, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Not only is AR a powerful teaching tool, but the market for consumer AR and VR is expected to hit $53bn by 2022, according to IDC. So, introducing and empowering students with this technology in the classroom is important. How can teachers utilize AR in the classroom?

  1. Setting up AR for success in the classroom

It’s important to first identify the key objectives and aims of implementing AR in the classroom before rolling it out. Do you want to add interactivity to lessons, or teach students how to create and design AR applications? While the goals may vary from class to class, developing a plan as to how AR will be used to supplement lessons will ensure it’s more impactful. This will include the objectives of AR in lessons to evaluating the available technology and infrastructure in the classroom that can be used to support AR.

Not only is AR a powerful teaching tool, but the market for consumer AR and VR is expected to hit $53bn by 2022, according to IDC.

  1. Learning through doing – designing AR content in the classroom

While students can experience AR apps across various lessons, take their understanding of AR to the next level by providing them with an opportunity to create AR content in school. This type of hands-on learning will be massively beneficial to students, as hands-on lessons can result in a 75% retention rate of information. This ultimately enables them to further explore a topic or subject, while simultaneously building upon and enhancing their knowledge and application of technology in a new area.

  1. Utilize AR as a visual aid to support lessons and activities

Augmented reality is an incredible visual aid in education. It brings lessons and textbooks to life by combining video, photos and audio in an interactive platform. This ultimately provides students with an engaging way to learn that can make complex subjects and topics easier to grasp and understand.

There’s a massive library of AR apps and experiences to support lessons across maths, science, history and more. For example, the BBC Secrets of the Human Body enables students to explore 3D animations of the brain, heart and liver to learn more about these vital organs. Meanwhile, there are other interactive apps such as Apple’s Froggipedia which teaches students about the lifecycle of a frog, or WWF’s Free Rivers app that lets students experience the importance and impact of rivers and their ecosystems.

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Equipping students with the tools to succeed in the classroom, and beyond

While technology has become a key part of the classroom, there hasn’t yet been widespread adoption of AR in the classroom. Integrating AR into the classroom can enhance lessons and enable students to learn more about different applications of media, the process of content creation and development, as well as presentation skills. Additionally, students can further their learning by creating AR experiences themselves, equipping them with a critical digital skillset. The opportunities for AR in the classroom are many – it’s exciting to see how it can unlock creativity and to inspire learning for students of all ages.

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