Augmented Reality in Education:
Improve Engagement and Perception

What is Augmented Reality in Education?

Augmented reality in education allows students to be immersed in realistic experiences which make the learning process more active, effective, and meaningful. AR in education and training enables users to interact with virtual and real-time applications that explain and demonstrate concepts through multimedia, computer-based simulations, animations, and statistical software. Augmented reality education effectively complements the traditional forms of teaching and learning by promoting critical-thinking and improving the levels of student engagement and perception.

Augmented Reality in Education Enhances Teaching and Learning Processes

Augmented Reality learning technology allows teachers and educators to incorporate personalized, game-based learning that extends beyond the classroom. It helps students gain knowledge and acquire new learning skills. Use of AR in education sector improves the learning environment by driving student engagement and experience.
Several industries – engineering, science and technology, manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, medical education, and space exploration – use AR to reduce their training efforts and costs, and save productivity.
Recent report from ResearchAndMarkets.com shows that the global market for Augmented Reality in education and training is projected to grow from 10.37 billion USD in 2022 to 68.71 billion USD in 2026 at a CAGR of 60.4%.
Source: ResearchAndMarkets.com

How is Augmented Reality Learning Applied Across Different Fields of Education?

Augmented reality in education allows students to be immersed in realistic experiences which make the learning process more active, effective, and meaningful. AR in education and training enables users to interact with virtual and real-time applications that explain and demonstrate concepts through multimedia, computer-based simulations, animations, and statistical software. Augmented reality education effectively complements the traditional forms of teaching and learning by promoting critical-thinking and improving the levels of student engagement and perception.

“As educators, students, and parents become more comfortable with virtual learning, AR/VR have emerged as engaging tools for teachers to support their curriculums across K12, higher education, and lifelong learning institutions.”

Source: Amazon Web Services
Adopting and applying information at the right time and right place is needed to maintain efficiency in schools and academic venues as well as business, workplace, and corporate settings. AR dramatically shifts the location and timing of education and training by bridging the gap between the real and virtual in a seamless way.
A study conducted by Kucuk et al. found that teaching English courses at primary and secondary school levels using AR technology increases learning motivation, improves learning performance, and enables students to exert minimal effort to acquire the knowledge. The study further identified that the students who used AR applications in English courses scored high in English reading, comprehension, listening, and speaking skills compared to those who relied on traditional textbook-based classroom learning. Augmented Reality training allows teachers to leverage multimedia learning environments, such as images, texts, audios, 3D objects, 2D or 3D animations and videos depending on the learning objectives. Well-designed Augmented Reality learning environments can decrease the cognitive load of students at junior high school levels, ensure effective learning, cultivate problem-solving skills, improve learning outcomes, and develop a positive attitude towards comprehending complex concepts.

AR in higher education supports continuous practice and immersive learning, which are highly important to ensure quality learning in colleges and universities. The SkyView app, for example, allows students to explore stars, planets, constellations, satellites, and space in a whole new way with an augmented reality view, without leaving the lecture hall.

AR makes distance learning more interesting, practical, and fun-filled by helping lecturers organize gamified tasks, virtual explorations, and practice sessions, regardless of where the learners are located. AR facilitates contextually enriched interaction which helps students understand complicated mechanisms and difficult theories more quickly. Augmented 3D models of human organs and systems have incredibly transformed the way medical students learn physiology, anatomy, and pathology today.
In today’s business setting, AR is a collaborative, explainable, skill-learning tool that guides employees and managers. The cost of maintaining AR learning applications is much lower than updating traditional training tools. AR is a handy aid for industrial maintenance staff who have to perform highly demanding technical work, such as regular monitoring and maintenance of heavy machines operating in hazardous conditions.

AR based tour assistant systems, museum and cultural heritage guides, augmented sales and marketing presentations, corporate training games, and manufacturing assemblies promote effective education and training in corporate surroundings. AR makes information available at the right time and place, through rich content with computer-generated 3D imagery.
Edutainment hints at the positive correlations between the fields of education and entertainment. Leading data sources like HubSpot and others reveal that 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster by the brain than text. These facts undeniably prove that most of our learning happens through watching. MathAlive, an AR-based supplemental mathematics curriculum kit leverages the key learning modalities of seeing, hearing, and doing to engage early learners and get them excited about mathematics. The platform uses AR 3D imagery (without glasses) and gaming technology to teach math concepts to early learners.

Deploying AR in education enables students to retain more of a lesson through immersive experience, engaging simulations, and increased participation in the learning process.
STEM education practitioners have to address many intrinsic issues in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research. They often face challenges like expensive or inadequate laboratory systems, faulty equipment, difficulty in simulating experimental circumstances, lack of instructors who are knowledgeable in computer-aided design (CAD), and resistance towards learning technology adoption. AR technology is well-suited for enhancing STEM learning environments, specifically because the virtual objects in an AR application appear to co-exist in the same space as the objects located in the real-world.

Marker-based AR applications are commonly used in Mathematics and Physics studies as a problem-based simulator, which is usually conducted in classrooms and virtual labs. Location-based AR is widely used in Natural Science inquiry-based learning, conducted mostly at the out-of-school contexts. AR stimulates learning achievement, assists in visualization, and promotes student-centered learning in STEM education.

Augmented Reality in Education and Training: Use Cases

The actual capability of AR isn’t just limited to chasing pokemon around the town or adding photo filters in Instagram or Facebook. Here are some of the real-world manifestations of augmented reality in education and training.

1 AR for Early Learners

2 AR in Classroom

3 AR in Remote Learning

4 AR to Increase Campus Enrollments

Augmented Reality EdTech Trends That Reign Supreme Now

Augmented Reality is an effective educational tool and a highly sought-after EdTech trend that educators and organizational training providers should pursue without fail. Here are some of the top Augmented Reality EdTech trends:

1. AI and AR Will Work Together

Though Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence are separate technologies, AI will help AR work better. Complicated AI algorithms enable AR applications and devices to infer the sensor data generated in the real-life environment. Techniques like 3D scanning allows educators to import real-world objects into metaverse environments. Automatic design apps like Sketch AR enables users to draw designs in AR. Users of this app can also rely on AI to draw designs on their behalf. Using AI to design objects in 3D space, with a real-life environment as the source, will further augment automatic designs.

2. Mobile Augmented Reality

Mobile devices are the main vehicles that drive augmented reality experiences. Since mobile devices are more convenient and handy than AR headsets, businesses have immense opportunities to leverage mobile devices for AR.
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According to ARtillery Intelligence, the global mobile AR revenue is projected to grow from $6.87 billion in 2020 to $26.05 billion in 2025, at a CAGR of 30.5%.

Google’s recently launched Geospatial API allows developers to create new geospatial experiences by setting latitude and longitude coordinates for AR content. Apple’s ARKit 6 enhancements make scene occlusion and other virtual experiences much more realistic.
According to MOJET, mobile devices are the most preferred delivery channel in educational AR.

Mobile Devices: 57%

Desktops and Laptops: 24%

AR Glasses: 6%

Not Specified: 13%

3. WebAR Solutions

WebAR solutions, powered by web browsers, don’t require users to download additional software. This feature makes WebAR more accessible. Educators can use WebAR to create simple 3D objects that convey complex concepts to students in a highly intuitive manner. Pre-K students and early learners can use WebAR to perform simple, yet engaging exercises, such as coloring pictures or performing memory boosting exercises.

4. Cross-Platform AR Applications

Cross-Platform AR development is an ideal choice if your requirement is to create a simple application without complex functions. Cross-platform development ensures faster time to market as it is easier to code such apps. Non-platform dependent, simple product views with lower performance requirements are a suitable case for cross-platform AR applications.

5. Interactive AR Manuals

Businesses looking to provide their customers with feature-rich instructions and detailed documentation can leverage interactive AR manuals. This saves the customer from spending too much time understanding a product and its features. AR helps share information in a more engaging way, enabling the customer to make informed decisions. They will also get to know the best practices for using and maintaining a product for a longer term, without turning to customer service reps frequently.

Three Types of AR Used in Education Today

Marker-based AR (59.38%)
Marker-less AR (12.50%)
Location-based AR (21.88%)

Debunking The Myths About AR in Education

Being a relatively nascent technology, Augmented Reality is yet to hit the mainstream learning and development space. Lack of knowledge about the potential of AR in education has given rise to several misconceptions, including the ones mentioned below:

Myth #1 AR is Only for Fun, Gaming, and Entertainment

The popularity gained by AR due to its practical applications in the gaming and entertainment industry lead many to believe this myth.
Adding AR experiences to gamify learning will improve the level of learner engagement and motivation and help develop intuitive thinking among students. Wall hangings and posters, classroom exhibits, course materials, textbooks, and eLearning content can be infused with AR experience to revolutionize the overall learning experience. For example, Ohio-based Case Western Reserve University uses Microsoft HoloLens devices to study human anatomy where an entire class can view the same life-sized 3D image at once.

Myth #2 AR in Education is Expensive

Several educators adopt other training and teaching methods as they consider AR too expensive. When used right, AR applications can reduce your training costs and provide higher ROI in the long run. Augmented Reality is a feasible educational technology that needs minimal and inexpensive configuration. With a stable internet connection, mobile devices, and an AR app, you can deliver impactful learning experiences, both within and outside the classroom.

Myth #3 Teachers Face a Huge Learning Curve

Many teachers hesitate to incorporate AR in teaching because they consider the technology complex and difficult to integrate. AR is an effective advanced technology that can be easily integrated into teaching. AR allows teachers to contribute towards the development of creativity in students, ensure effective student participation in lessons, and support students to pursue learning at their own pace. Approaching AR in a logical, step-by-step manner allows teachers to evaluate the technology’s potential, personalize lessons, and transform the way their students absorb and apply knowledge.

Myth #4 AR is Only a Short-Lived Trend

Like any other emerging technology that takes years to gain acceptance, AR too is making slow yet steady progress across various realms, including education. Augmented reality offers more convenient features for schools to encourage student interactivity and involvement. It allows teachers to create immersive learning experiences in a relatively shorter time with dedicated AR apps.
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According to Fact.MR, the demand for Augmented Reality in K-12 education is projected to increase at a CAGR of 75% across the assessment period of 2021 to 2031.

Augmented reality education isn’t a passing fad. It’s here to stay and enrich learning and teaching experiences in the coming years.

Myth #5 AR Experiences are Solely Designed For Classroom Learning

Many educators assume that AR experiences are possible only within the confines of the classroom and cannot be reproduced in different environments. AR can help students do their homework and assignments, even when they aren’t interacting with a teacher. AR-enabled worksheets enable students to explore their lessons and do their homework at their own time. AR-based virtual field trips, museum visits, and lab experiments broaden the scope of learning outside the classroom.

Augmented Reality Education Applied in Professional Training

Most of the learned skills today have a shrinking half-life of about five years. Continuous reskilling and upskilling are important for companies to stay relevant. Augmented reality education can solve the skill crisis that negatively impacts the workforce productivity.

AR in Education Enables Industries To Improve Training Efficiency and Outcomes

Several industries use Augmented Reality to improve their workforce’s productivity, bridge skill gaps, impart workplace training, save the time and effort of their employees, and cut down on hiring and training costs.

1. Healthcare and Medicine

Due to its versatility, AR in healthcare is becoming more accessible and affordable for medical imaging, medical education, dentistry, and nurses’ training. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) reports that the United States could see an estimated shortage of 124,000 physicians by 2034, including shortfalls in both primary and specialty care. AR-enabled virtualized training provides deeper insights into the nuances of body functions, enabling medical practitioners to address more critical cases in a given period of time. Life sciences companies can use AR to educate care providers on the latest therapies and drugs that improve treatment outcomes.

Example:

Fingent’s Neonatal Resuscitation Simulator – Golden Minute Protocol is an effective remote medical training aid that allows medical residents to learn complex concepts faster. The training simulator provides a risk-free environment to practice emergency situations and offers 360-degree immersive learning content. Reduce medical errors and improve performance with Fingent’s virtual and augmented reality capabilities.

2. Retail

Recent data shows that 40% of consumers are ready to pay more for a product that they could test and customize using AR. Augmented Reality in retail allows shoppers to interact, customize, and engage with products better, and make the right purchase decisions. Virtual fitting rooms, placement previews, interactive AR packaging and user guides, product visualizers, and similar AR solutions allow retailers to improve consumer awareness and influence buying decisions. Philips, the leading electronics brand, for instance, uses AR tags to mark their range of products. By pointing their smartphone towards a product’s AR tag, customers can learn more about that product, without turning to a store assistant.

Example:

Fingent helps retailers develop custom eCommerce AR applications to promote smart selling. Increase your sales through virtual product catalogs, enhanced product visualization, virtual try-on, 3D modeling, interactive user manuals, product placement previews, and more. Take your eCommerce business to the next-level with Fingent.

3. Manufacturing

AR is the most accessible immersive technology in manufacturing. In a typical industrial setting, such as a factory floor, AR works by utilizing the camera of the device used by an employee. It captures live footage and displays it on the employee’s screen with 3D elements overlaid. Life-like simulations of machines or devices allow workers to properly recognize surfaces, measure their size and scale, and perform operations as required. Instant objection recognition done by AR tracking software reduces the manual effort involved in picking up details and making decisions. Customized AR apps can save costs by keeping workers out of risky sites and hazardous work conditions.

Example:

Augmented Reality enables GE mechanics to be more productive by offering them step-by-step instructions and visuals directly within their line of sight. The mechanics also get alerts in real-time through AR smart glasses, so they can inspect every step before moving on.

4. Military Training

Rigorous military training strengthens a nation’s defense and empowers soldiers to face real combat. AR-enabled head-mounted displays can project critical military data feeds from satellites, maps, blueprints, or drones into the soldier’s field of view. This allows them to survey opposition hideouts and identify suspicious enemy movement. Besides training military personnel, augmented reality is used for the efficient maintenance of defense vehicles, ships and submarines, aircrafts, gadgets, and other equipment.

Example:

The Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), adopted recently by the U.S. army, uses augmented reality to overlay maps, enemy positions, locations of their own squad members, and other key information into a soldier’s field of vision.

5. Equipment Installation and Maintenance

Equipment installers and maintenance professionals face constant pressure to maximize machine availability for an uninterrupted and quality production in factory units and manufacturing facilities. Even a single piece of faulty machinery can cause unplanned downtimes that will affect the bottom line and reputation of a business. To avoid such financial and reputational damage, companies and manufacturing facilities are banking on disruptive technologies like Augmented reality that enable effective and timely equipment maintenance. AR-guided employee training and remote maintenance help minimize production downtimes, optimize operational costs, automate repetitive processes, and improve operational efficiency.

Example:

Augmented Reality enables GE mechanics to be more productive by offering them step-by-step instructions and visuals directly within their line of sight. The mechanics also get alerts in real-time through AR smart glasses, so they can inspect every step before moving on.

6. Space Exploration

The space industry has always been at the forefront of technology adoption, and AR is no exception. Augmented reality learning is being used to train astronauts as well as spacecraft and satellite engineers to perform complex maintenance and repair activities that demand advanced technical skills and precision. Space station crew members can receive procedures through augmented reality goggles. It reduces the time astronauts spend training and completing such tasks.

Example:

NASA’s T2 Augmented Reality project uses Microsoft HoloLens in combination with custom-built AR software to enable astronauts to inspect and maintain major pieces of hardware equipment, without receiving assistance from the ground team.

Top 3 professional educational fields in which AR is used the most:

Medical Training

Science

Engineering

Top Benefits of Augmented Reality in Education

The opportunities and benefits of Augmented Reality are not limited to a single group or level of education. Right from pre-K and K-12 education up to college and workplace training, AR can transform learning environments, enable faster knowledge acquisition, and improve competencies.

Accessible Learning Materials

Several educational institutions struggle both technically and financially to update outdated learning materials. This can be solved using a customized AR application that helps download the latest content and present it in a highly interactive format. Replacing printed textbooks, manuals, brochures, and posters with AR can save your printing costs. Mobile-based AR apps allow anyone to access learning materials from anywhere.

Higher Student Engagement and Interest

Through interactive and gamified learning, AR keeps students engaged throughout the lesson. This makes learning effortless and fun-filled. Immersion techniques, such as virtual worlds, encourage students to explore the learning materials more deeply. It makes lessons appear more interesting, relevant, and real. Motivation drives higher student engagement and improves the pace of learning.

Interactive Learning Environment

AR helps implement more self-practice sessions and hands-on learning exercises to provide students an interactive learning environment, even within their classrooms. For example, an AR app that takes students to a virtual aviary can help them learn more about different bird species. Students also get an opportunity to learn and practice new skills in an interactive learning environment.

Improve Memory and Concentration

Augmented Reality helps bring lessons to life, so students can easily recollect the key details. For example, a history lecturer can use AR technology to create memorable interactive stories to narrate the Colonial American period, instead of presenting plain images on an LCD projector.

No Expensive Hardware Required

Augmented Reality can work without any expensive hardware. What you only need is a contemporary smartphone that already has the hardware needed to run AR apps. Augmented reality can present the required 3D models and accompanying explanations in situations where it is necessary to explore scientific devices, equipment, blueprints, charts, tables, or any other physical learning materials.

Safe and Effective Workplace Training

Through interactive and gamified learning, AR keeps students engaged throughout the lesson. This makes learning effortless and fun-filled. Immersion techniques, such as virtual worlds, encourage students to explore the learning materials more deeply. It makes lessons appear more interesting, relevant, and real. Motivation drives higher student engagement and improves the pace of learning.

Develop Your AR Training Application with Fingent

Publicly available, pre-packaged AR applications may not have all the functionalities needed to run your business effortlessly. Canned software lacks the industry knowledge and topnotch features which are required to optimize your operations. At Fingent, we understand how important it is for you to build an impactful learning environment that supports your trainers as well as learners. Our engineers are keen on customized AR development and we keep contributing to the open-source AR communities.
We are an augmented reality company with expertise in crafting innovative, customized AR solutions at budget-friendly price points. We help bring advanced AR capabilities – 3D modeling, 360-degree panoramic imaging, real-time character identification, location-based tracking, and other immersive capabilities – to your fingertips through custom AR app development, so you achieve a competitive edge in the market.
Develop your own custom AR application. Accomplish your educational and training goals without any compromise.

Frequently Asked Questions About AR in Education

Augmented Reality enhances the real-world environment with graphics, sound, text, videos, and other multimedia components. AR superimposes digital content on top of the graphic representation of the actual world.

AR in Education:

Right from K-12 to higher education and employee training in corporate settings, AR can be applied to improve both teaching and learning. Augmented Reality learning technology allows teachers and educators to incorporate personalized, game-based learning that extends beyond the classroom. Use of AR in education sector improves the learning environment by driving student engagement and experience.

AR in Training:

Augmented reality applications can solve the skill crisis that negatively impacts the workforce productivity. Several industries use Augmented Reality to improve their workforce’s productivity, bridge skill gaps, impart workplace training, save the time and effort of their employees, and cut down on hiring and training costs. AR allows new employees to receive training on-the go using real-time instructions.
Teachers can use AR in the following five ways:
  • >> Make classes more interactive through 3D simulations and models that help students try physical experiments in a virtual world.
  • >> Instead of giving orders and instructions, teachers can act as guides who help students learn concepts by themselves. Experiential learning improves knowledge retention among students.
  • >> Game-based learning improves teacher-student collaboration in classrooms. Simple lesson plans and question-answer sessions conducted using AR make classes more fun and interesting.
  • >> 2D images and textbooks can be easily converted into 3D interactive models using AR. Teachers can exploit this feature to grab the attention of their students. Conducting practice sessions using AR-based learning simulations keep student engagement levels high.
  • >> AR can be used to create fun quizzes, mock tests, and puzzles that drive student participation. It can replace dreadful examinations. AR-based evaluation also excites teachers as they can save time and personally assess how each student is making progress.
AR doesn’t completely replace the traditional learning process in the classroom. Instead, it provides a visual learning opportunity powered by immersive and interactive learning. AR applications encourage students to experience and learn courses virtually, improve their level of engagement, and boost knowledge retention. It makes monotonous classroom lectures more impactful through visualization, interactivity, involvement, and discovery-based learning.
The four major difficulties in using AR in education are:
  • 1) Technical challenges, such as hardware issues, device malfunctioning, content glitches, and poor usability.
  • 2) Limited content capabilities to create AR-based learning curriculum. Not all training topics are suited to fit within AR’s capabilities. This forces AR content creators to design microlearning experiences.
  • 3) Outsourcing your app development requirement to a reliable AR software development partner.
  • 4) Compared to a Virtual Reality (VR) experience, AR doesn’t support all the training modalities. You need to perform a complete training analysis to understand if AR training can deliver the immersive experience that you seek.
Most Augmented Reality learning applications support sharing online AR experience with Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. No technical expertise is required to screen-cast AR experiences from your AR learning app to these live meeting applications. These AR experiences work seamlessly with both the mobile app and web app links. Online educators can use this method to teach complex concepts more efficiently. Digital teaching aids, such as 3D images, slide decks, models, videos, and 360-degree content can be created using your educational AR app and screen-casted live through video meeting platforms.
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