Extended reality (or XR) is a term that refers to virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality. In my new book Extended Reality in Practice I examine a range of sectors where XR can be used. One of my favourite sectors is education.
This post will highlight ten of my favorite ways educators and researchers use augmented and virtual realities to engage students in learning and teaching.
1. Bringing science concepts alive with augmented reality. Students can now experience destructive storms up close using augmented reality. Students can also take an AR tour of the beehive and learn how they work together to support their community.
2. Students can explore the universe with the SkyView app. It uses AR overlays to show the night sky. SkyView allows anyone to point their mobile device up in order to identify stars, constellations and planets.
3. I don’t know if you remember, but in biology class in high school, we had the task of dissecting frogs to learn more about the inner organs and functions of animals. It was quite disgusting for us and very unpleasant for the frogs. The Froggipedia app now allows students to view the internal organs and other details of a frog using AR technology.
4. Microsoft HoloLens is a mixed reality platform that allows medical students and clinicians to explore the human body. Students can explore the bloodstream and identify, enlarge, or even walk through different parts of the body. This allows them to understand anatomy and help with various medical conditions.
5. 1943 Berlin Blitz In 360deg was produced for BBC by ImmersiveVR Education. It uses real footage from a nighttime raid on Nazi Germany to help students see what it was like to experience such a historic event.
6. Teachers are often unable to take students to Base Camp at Mount Everest, or to the Louvre. However, they can make both these trips by organizing a series of school trips that include a aria label=”Google Expeditions.” class=”color-link” data-ga-track=”ExternalLink:https://edu.google.com/products/vr-ar/expeditions/” href=”https://edu.google.com/products/vr-ar/expeditions/” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank” title=”https://edu.google.com/products/vr-ar/expeditions/”>Google Expeditions.
7. You can now practice your speech before you go on stage in virtual reality. VirtualSpeech allows you to improve your public speaking skills through immersive, realistic virtual reality simulations.
8. Steam’s VR Gallery of Fine Art lets you view world-class artworks and sculptures up-close without having to fight with people or wear protective glasses.
9. Extended reality can be used by training companies in professional situations. In an effort to make streets safer, police departments now use VR to train officers on how to arrest and deal with riots.
10. Reading books can make learning languages feel abstract. However, virtual reality software companies such as Mondly offer a way to learn languages without ever having to leave the country. Mondly’s VR environments allow you to have real conversations with real people. This makes language learning easier and more effective.
These great examples should inspire you to think about how virtual and augmented reality can be used in education.