Augmented reality: the future of vocational training

Table of Contents

Augmented Reality:
the future of education

Professional Training and PLAR

In this article, we will explore how to use Augmented Reality (AR) development in education and vocational training. Why, more than any other technology, it will play a leading role in this sector.

Traditional methods of education as we know them are now a thing of the past. They are increasingly digitized and driven by technological innovations. 

In fact, the so-called EdTechthe education technology industry, is expected to reach $252 billion by 2021, with an annual growth rate of 17%. The PLAR market is expected to reach 60.55 billion by 2023.

In addition, by 2025, two billion of the world's population will be made up of the youngest generation: the Alpha generation, also known as iGeneration. The Alpha Generation are children born between 2010 and 2025.

This is the first generation entirely born in the 21st century. These children are considered to be the most technologically advanced demographic group to date. This so-called "Alpha" generation naturally uses technology, smartphones, tablets and computers. They have not experienced life without the Internet or video games. Some of them live in smart homes and talk to an intelligent voice assistant every morning before going to school. They know about SpaceX and want to live on Mars one day. These children were born with iPhones, iPads and apps. They don't know or can't even imagine what life would be like without them.

Thus, among the most important trends in EdTech, augmented reality is rightly taking a leading position. With more than a billion users expected to join the movement by 2020, it opens up a pool of opportunities for educational institutions, training institutions and businesses.

Yes, it is, teachers now have a very powerful tool: augmented reality. PLAR can motivate and engage students to make the learning process faster, more fun and more effective than ever before.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is the bridge that connects the real world with the virtual world. Its popularity is growing rapidly in all sectors, from social media filters to surgical procedures. As the word "augmented" suggests, AR enhances what we hear, see and feel.

We often face the lack of clarity of 2D information in our 3D world. Where information used to be displayed in 2D on textbooks or screens, augmented reality allows us to see it in 3D in our physical world.

It can be used on various media such as tablets, smartphones and even glasses.

There are various augmented reality technologies. Some are based on markers, some without markers, some on projection and some overlaying. All this makes AR useful for many industries.

Using augmented reality in education and training: opportunities and challenges

Providing an engaging learning experience is paramount to the success of any educational institution, and in particular, to the success of the educator.

Augmented reality applications in education offer new ways of teaching and learning, bridging the gap between the virtual and the real world and may even reconcile some so-called "traditional" professions with new technologies. The benefits of AR in education are increasingly recognised by researchers in the field.

Augmented reality in education can serve several purposes. It helps students to easily acquire, process and memorize information. In addition, AR makes learning more engaging and fun.

Augmented reality is also not limited to a single age group or level of education and can be used at all levels of schooling. from pre-school to high school through vocational training, or even at work.

Benefits of Augmented Reality in Education :

  • Accessible learning materials - anytime, anywhere. Augmented reality has the potential to replace paper textbooks, physical models, posters, printed manuals. It offers portable and less expensive learning materials. As a result, education becomes more accessible and mobile.
  • Greater student engagement and interest. The interactive and 'gamified' learning of AR can have a significant positive impact on students. It keeps them engaged throughout the lesson and makes learning fun and almost effortless.
  • Improved capacity for collaboration. Augmented reality applications offer many opportunities to diversify and disrupt boring courses. Interactive lessons, where all students are involved in the learning process at the same time, help improve teamwork skills.
  • A faster and more efficient learning process. PLAR in education helps students achieve better results through visualization and total immersion in the projected subject matter at full size. A picture is worth a thousand words, isn't it? So instead of reading theory about something, students can see it with their own eyes, in action.
  • Hands-on learning. In addition to schooling, vocational training can also benefit greatly from the use of PLAR. For example, accurate reproduction of field conditions can help master the practical skills required for a certain job.
  • Safe and effective on-the-job training. Imagine being able to perform heart surgery, operate a space shuttle or build scaffolding without endangering others or risking millions of euros in damages if something goes wrong. It's possible with AR.
  • Applicable to all levels of education and training. Whether it is learning games for kindergarten or on-the-job training, PLAR is not limited to a single use case or field of application.

Challenges of Augmented Reality in Education

Despite the advantages listed, there are some pitfalls to consider when using EdTech solutions with augmented reality:

  • A lack of training. Some teachers may find it difficult to put these new technologies into practice because their basic training does not provide the necessary skills. Only the most open-minded teachers and innovative educational institutions are ready to use augmented reality applications in education.
  • Dependence on equipment. The use of augmented reality in the classroom requires a certain resource base. For example, not all students have smartphones capable of supporting AR applications. Or the institution must be able to fund the acquisition of digital tablets for courses involving augmented reality.

Augmented Reality in Vocational Training, examples and use cases

Augmented Reality technologies offer much more than just chasing Pokémons around town! Here are some examples of Augmented Reality in education.

Augmented reality in the classroom

Probably the most popular application for augmented reality in education is the use of AR applications directly in the classroom

In this case, it can help the teacher to explain a subject, provide a visual representation of the material, or help students to test their knowledge in practice.

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Distance learning

By using augmented reality, students can learn or do exercises even outside the classroom. In addition, online or distance learning can be easier and more effective with PLAR-assisted learning materials.

Developing PLAR in education: leading the way or falling behind?

With giants like Apple and Google advancing AR technologies, this could be the best time to join the trend. Dedicated development tools, including ARCore and ARKit, combined with powerful hardware, such as iPhoneX, allow companies to create EdTech solutions based on successful AR.

As we can see, Augmented Reality in Education and Vocational Training has enormous potential, which remains to be discovered. With the current adoption of mobile technologies and recent advances in hardware, AR is becoming more accessible and widely used. Moreover, some traditional training courses can only benefit from being reconciled with the new technologies.

Therefore, perhaps the time has come to take the first steps in that direction.... Otherwise, you risk missing the chance to energize your courses for future learners.