Since the discovery of electricity over 100 years ago, human beings have been developing machines and devices that could be operated without detailed knowledge regarding their working. Human beings have been increasingly becoming dependent on technology to the point that technology is being used in wars, the field of medicine, sports and other recreational activities and even agriculture. One area that is important as part of human life and yet the integration of technology has been lagging behind is education. Millions of children around the world are subjected to the old ways of learning not because of lack of resources but because of the reluctance of the various educational institutions set up to embrace technology under the excuse of distraction. This paper will discuss augmented reality and how it could be used to improve technology.
Augmented reality is a technology that provides a composite view by superimposing computer generated imaging on a persons view of the real world. Augmented reality is a concept that has been in existence since 1901 when L. Frank Baum first made reference to a spectacle that projects data into the real world. The concept was more of a fantasy then because the world lacked computers leave alone computer generated imaging. However as of 2016 augmented reality was accessible to anyone with a smartphone or a computer. However, there seems to be a lack of consensus on whether augmented reality could find application in school and the answer yes it could.
The human brain is one of the most advanced computers in existence. The learning process, however, is not a process that only occurs in the brain but the entire body. In order for learning to be effective the learner has to be interested in what is being offered. A lot of people have argued that the current system of education lacks real world application. Augmented reality could change that as it gives students practicability of what is being taught. Schools of Engineering or Medicine need to be augmented reality to provide real life data of what is being taught. For example when teaching a class regarding structural elements of building the students were shown a drawing of a column or beam alone is not really practical. It could be much practical if the teacher would be able to give them a detailed look at the column in reality.
It is however not possible to open up a column of a real building life because this could have serious stability consequences to the building. It is therefore much more efficient to use computer generated imaging to give students a visual of the structural elements like they are in the real world. Not only is this more practical it is also time efficient. The teacher and the students are connected somehow because they both see the same thing in real time.
Secondly, as much as learning is a process that needs to be taken seriously it is also a process that needs to be fun. The Millennials are a generation that has grown up doing most of their communication through technological gadgets. They also do most of their learning through gadgets be it their smartphones or the television. Learning needs to be done using a means that the learner can identify with, and the millennials are interested in technology. They need to view learning as a fun experience rather than just an obligation that they must get it over with so as to return to their gadgets. Therefore augmented reality could be the answer to the lack of learning motivation in schools.
Also, humans are visual creatures and depend on their eyes more than any other sense. The old saying, you need to see it, to believe it, is also true when it comes to learning. By providing students with visual imaging, they are able not just to remember but better understand what they are being taught. Classes such as geography could greatly benefit from augmented reality because they mostly depend on images to represent what is in the real world. By using augmented reality, the teacher also gets a chance to view what the students are viewing. Therefore, he/she can make corrections wherever it may be needed or give an extra explanation to elements that may not be in the syllabus. Augmented reality also gives more detail which means that the learners get much more knowledge within a shorter time and with much less energy or effort.
Augmented reality has developed so much to the point that is affordable to most people. The augmented reality spectacles are even cheaper than some other smartphones and computers. For an institution that can afford to provide students with computers, they can afford augmented reality. Therefore the old adage of technology being expensive is not practical in this case. Technology is a symbol of change, and people should not be selective when it comes to implementing changes because they are bound to happen. Therefore augmented reality should be integrated into schools to make learning better.
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