Augmented Reality in Education: The Complete Guide

AR in Education

Traditional educational methods, as we know them, are becoming obsolete. They are now becoming increasingly digitalized as a result of technological advancements. Though it is frequently overshadowed by virtual reality (VR), augmented reality tools are equally impressive.

Even in education, augmented reality (AR), as it is commonly known, assists instructors in creating unique and fruitful learning experiences, and it is among the industries that AR has the potential to disrupt.

In this post, we’ll cover real cases of augmented reality learning, the benefits of augmented reality in education, and how augmented reality can transform the learning experience. Ready to begin? Let’s go!

Table of Contents

Why Augmented Reality is Important in Education?

AR is a subset of the broader Extended Reality concept, which includes VR and Mixed Reality technologies. In augmented reality, sound effects, text, graphics, and multimedia are used to augment the real-world environment. In other words, by layering digital content on top of a graphic representation of the real world, AR provides us with an enhanced version of our immediate surroundings.

The hardware for AR education could be as simple as smartphones for playing the popular PokemonGo game. However, the hardware in AR glasses, such as Google Glass, Dream Glass, and Vizux Blade, may be more efficient for delivering AR to consumers.

On the other hand, the AR content is created with AR software, which is mostly created for a precise AR hardware vendor and is frequently sold in conjunction with an AR hardware kit. Augmented reality has a wide range of applications in education and training, allowing users to learn on the go with real-time instructions.

Although many teachers worldwide prefer traditional teaching methods, augmented reality (AR) technology is currently making inroads in educational institutions and businesses. So, how does it affect student achievement, and what exactly is augmented reality in education?

Many students struggle to understand theoretical information when there are no relatable or visual examples. The result is that many aspects remain incomprehensible to students and out of their reach. This is where AR apps come in, visually converting information and bringing order out of chaos.

A recent study with Cape Town students demonstrated that learning with AR engages students on a deeper level and improves learning indicators. Augmented reality apps were used to see how they influenced learning motivation. The findings revealed that the factors motivating satisfaction, attention, and confidence were enhanced, and these findings were statistically significant.

The TOJET study was also in this vein regarding the future of AR in education. It demonstrated that AR technology has a positive impact on knowledge retention when compared with traditional teaching methods.

Benefits of augmented reality in education

Since we’re talking about it, you may have guessed that augmented reality can significantly improve student learning outcomes. But what exactly is factored into that equation? At its core, augmented reality can boost student engagement and create engaging experiences for learners with varying preferred learning styles. As a result, learners and instructors have already realized many benefits of using AR applications in education.

Aside from that, AR almost inherently aids in the enhancement of some critical learning capacities that students require in today’s world. It can, for example, assist them in activating certain collaboration, problem-solving, and creative skills that will undoubtedly benefit them. Also, while many of the benefits of AR in education are similar to those of VR, AR systems are frequently more cost-effective, making cost one of those additional benefits.

Finally, AR, like VR, can elicit empathy in students. Augmented reality apps can certainly help, whether through an interactive learning process or by developing a more in-depth point of view on an issue by seeing it from a new perspective.

Here are the most important benefits of AR in education:

1. A Simple and Effective Learning System:

AR in education allows students to learn by immersing them in a particular subject via rich visuals. Furthermore, speech technology will enable students to engage by delivering detailed information about a topic in the form of a voice. In summary, the idea of eLearning with AR focuses on humans’ primary information-gathering sense.

2. Increased student involvement:

Immersion allows students to study learning materials more thoroughly, making them feel more authentic and relevant. This is a significant shift in their routine and an exciting experience for many. Innovative learning methods always capture students’ attention.

The vast majority of children and adults prefer to study using advanced technologies such as AR glasses as well as applications rather than traditional textbooks and curricula. Increased engagement leads to improved student output and overall performance. As a result, students’ performance influences the credibility of educational institutions.

3. Access to educational materials:

Because educational institutions frequently need up-to-date teaching materials, many students are forced to study outdated information or conduct their own research at home. You can use the AR application to download the most recent data and display it in an interactive format. Learning materials are easily accessible at any time and from any location.

Augmented reality can replace teaching materials, physical forms, banners, and printed brochures. This mobile learning method also reduces the cost of learning resources and makes them more available to all.

4. Safer to practice:

Students do not need to dissect real animals for anatomy lessons; software can precisely simulate this. As a result, students receive the same degree of practice without causing any harm or using dangerous tools.

Just as a novice lawyer cannot defend a case on the first go, similarly, without proper training, a pilot cannot take the plane off the ground. However, specialists in these fields are unable to practice in real-life situations.

AR in education and mixed reality (MR) applications assist them in gaining the necessary experience. Microsoft Flight Simulator, for example, recreates a variety of real-life planes and allows pilots to practice their skills in VR or mixed-reality headsets. Because aircraft physics is similar to reality, pilots will comprehend the actual plane better on their first flight.

5. Immersiveness:

Three-dimensional objects are rewriting the conventional education concept. Visuals of things in books help students learn about the subject. Still, these are two-dimensional images that can only be seen from one angle.

Students can view the item from all angles and disassemble it using AR apps. This is critical for manufacturers of complex mechanisms. Furthermore, virtual objects can be used in anatomy classes for medical students and aid in professional development. Consider the possibility of making meals or handling a space shuttle without endangering others or spending a fortune.

6. Visualization

The visual perception of data is linked to augmented reality. According to scientists, we recognize more than 70% of data with our eyes. It implies that AR learning aids in better information absorption. However, high-resolution learning materials are required to achieve a high-quality result.

An AR application can deliver the required 3D model and helpful explanations in instances where it is essential to explore specific tools and learn how to use them. This adds usefulness to traditional learning materials.

7. Collaboration

Instead of looking at the same image in school books, students can utilize collaborative AR applications to collaborate on the same object. They can change the pieces and leave comments for the teacher to respond to later. This collaborative approach encourages teamwork and strengthens student-teacher relationships.

8. Quicker learning

A new method of presenting information aids in reducing overall learning time.The game-based learning of AR and the educational system can improve students’ attitudes. It makes learning more engaging, enjoyable, and effortless while enhancing collaboration and capabilities.

Furthermore, it offers numerous options for making classes less tiring by incorporating unparalleled interactivity via a computer-generated environment. Students participate in an improved environment where they can see how the concepts work. As a result, there is more time for practice and in-depth study of niche topics. Companies hire developers skilled in AR development to create such applications.

How can Augmented Reality Transform the Learning Experience?

AR has its own kind of magic. It has the potential to alter how we engage with mobile apps as well as other visual graphics interactions. For example, augmented reality can augment software graphics into the real world on screen.

AR allows you to see a software object on your screen if you move your phone’s camera to space. It all happens in real time as you watch it through your camera. This technique allows students to learn in a more interactive setting.

Another feature of the AR experience is that it is 75% existing reality and 25% digital reality. Therefore, it does not replace the entire environment with virtual objects; instead, it merges virtual objects into the actual world. You may be beginning to wonder how this is possible.

Here are some examples of how augmented reality can improve the learning experience.

1. Augmented Reality in Classroom Teaching:

AR can help educators to show digital instances of ideas and add gaming components to provide schoolbook material support, making classroom education more extraordinary and interactive. Students will be able to learn and memorize information more quickly as a result of this. Visuals are easily remembered by human memory. 

Here are some examples of Augmented Reality in classroom teaching:

  1. Users can view 3D dinosaurs by scanning through a set of flashcards in an AR app called “Dinosaur 4D+.” Students can watch dinosaurs in action and use the app’s features to spin zoom and more. Furthermore, the application gives data about each dinosaur.

  2. Another exciting example of Augmented Reality in education is the “Element 4D” AR app, which makes learning chemistry enjoyable. Users can find the atomic weight, chemical elements, and reaction between two chemicals and their names by simply placing two paper cubes in a special element block. Isn’t it incredible?

  3. Google Expeditions is another admired example of AR/VR in education, allowing users to see 3D objects in the teaching process, such as volcanoes, storms, and even DNA. This app offers over 100 AR expeditions covering topics such as the history of technology, the landing on the moon, and more.

2. Augmented Reality in eLearning Applications:

Students’ engagement in classes has become extremely difficult now that they must learn from home. As a result, eLearning app developers are enthusiastically embracing AR technology. Overall, Augmented Reality development is increasing its market prominence.

AR-enabled eLearning applications display the augmented item on the screen and play 3D instances of concepts, allowing students to learn and participate. Overall, computer graphics are being used extensively, allowing an item to be captured and displayed in the augmented environment and rendering searches about the object.

This means that the application can take images of objects in the real world and give a detailed overview of the object. You can also generate your own AR-enabled eLearning application.

3. Augmented Reality in professional training:

Industries such as aviation, hospitality, military, aerospace, and others must invest significant funds and machinery in military training. AR can reduce costs while also making training more interactive.

Here are some ideas for how we can accomplish this:

The idea of mixed reality directed by AR can enable astronauts to receive real-life training and perform tasks such as space station maintenance. Sidekick is a NASA project that is experimenting with Hololens, providing virtual examples and crew training instructions. Overall, its application in military training is the most appealing, as it can train soldiers to use machinery in a virtual environment. This is done to keep soldiers from having to put themselves in harm’s way while training.

In the long run, AR may improve users’ sensor experiences by allowing them to broaden their senses to electromagnetic fields, infrared and ultraviolet vision, ultrasonic and subsonic hearing, stereophonic vision, and so on.

Furthermore, implementing direct memory modification could significantly shorten the learning process, allowing students to focus on better processing and connecting the information rather than just memorizing it. Finally, the use of this futuristic technology could lead to alternatives for controlling legendary limbs, robots, or other remote objects.

Challenges of Augmented Reality in Education

Although augmented reality learning has numerous benefits, it does come at a cost. Transitioning to a new process is always difficult, and this segment will assist you in avoiding common pitfalls.

Let us examine the major disadvantages of AR technology in education.

1. The overall cost of Augmented Reality devices:

Unfortunately, costly Augmented Reality devices are required to make the best of AR learning. Most modern mobile phones support AR technology, so finding a gadget that can run the app should be easy. On the other hand, budget phones lack the horsepower to operate the app for many hours unending. Moreover, while the battery life is low, the performance degrades over time. For example, older iPhone models, such as the 6S and 6S Plus, can run the app, but the battery pack is insufficient to use for two classes in a row.

There are several options for dealing with this issue. The first is prohibitively expensive. However, educational institutions could provide students with effective AR tools for education during the educational process.

This option provides consistent performance for all students at a high cost. For example, an average mobile device or iPad costs between $500 and $600, so a set of phones for ten students will cost between $5,000 and $6,000.

Otherwise, students may be required to bring USB charging devices to class. This option does not address the performance problem but allows students to use the app in class. Furthermore, entrepreneurs do not have to spend money on extra equipment.

Your costs will skyrocket if you want to pursue professional training. Various simulators require VR or mixed reality headsets and compatible hardware to launch the AR learning app. A single person’s set of devices could cost up to $2,000.

Furthermore, working while holding a mobile phone may be inconvenient, so you’ll need to supply students with a pair of AR glasses, such as Google Glass, which costs around $1,000. When developing a business plan, keep these costs in mind.

2. Strong connection:

You’ll need to use the cloud to convey all learning resources (3D models, lecture resources, and so on). In addition, students can view materials before classes or in the midst of them. The app must maintain a consistent connection to the cloud in each of these cases. Any interruptions in accessing the cloud and downloading materials may cause the educational process to be disrupted. Such issues will tarnish your reputation, so use a reputable cloud services provider.

Augmented Reality Uses in Education: Use Cases

Aside from public schools, companies and organizations can use augmented reality for proper training, internships, and other purposes. Let’s look at how businesses use augmented reality education to benefit their employees.

Microsoft collaborated on an augmented reality learning project with Japan Airlines. As a result, the flight crew can train in near-real conditions with the help of Microsoft Hololens. Traditionally, trainee pilots had to watch tons of educational videos before getting into the cockpit and actually interacting with the plane. However, with the help of Microsoft Hololens, the crew can study engine mechanics and plane navigation efficiently.

Japan Airlines, by the way, has prior experience with augmented reality. They used Google Glass to perform plane inspections and control luggage using QR codes.

Siemens trains its employees in welding using an augmented reality learning app. Siemens believes that because trainees frequently face complex and dangerous tasks, they must train staff in a safe environment.

The software simulates the welding process and projects the results to the AR device and mentor’s screen using special barcodes. Following the training, the software displays the precision of the exercise so that the trainee can learn about their weak points from the mentor.

This solution enables students and workers to train more frequently and better track results. Furthermore, it conserves resources, allowing you to reduce future practice costs.

Under quarantine and pandemic conditions, organizing student excursions to museums, exhibitions, theaters, and so on has become much more difficult. This Google application allows you to take a virtual 3D tour of the world’s most famous museums, spend a day at the ballet, and even travel to different countries without leaving your classroom or home.

Complete Anatomy is a multi-dimensional app designed for medical students and practicing physicians. This app provides users with over 17,000 3D models of human body structures. Students can engage with each of them in traditional ways as well as by visualizing parts of the body on a level surface.

Users can improve their knowledge of body anatomy by using augmented reality. For example, students can use a virtual body to learn the functions of each muscle, watch comprehensive muscle movement animations, disassemble large bone structures into smaller ones, and investigate different bone layers. Furthermore, the app can accommodate multi-user sessions, allowing students and doctors to collaborate on the same project.

5. Star Chart:

Another example of AR in education for astronomical enthusiasts is the Star Chart. When consumers point their equipment at the sky, the app illustrates the constellation on display and provides a detailed description of it. It also displays information about individual stars. The app has a record of over 120,000 stars as well as 88 constellations, so that astronomers will find plenty of material.


Augmented reality is the most effective way to engage students. Technology provides the most appealing concept for children; why not use it for good? We’re all guilty of remembering more of what we see than what we hear. AR apps make it simple to teach complicated concepts to students.

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