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Augmented reality in education: advantages for the user.

The use of augmented reality in education offers multiple advantages for users.

Augmented reality (AR) is a fully consolidated tool in our current context.

Thanks to the great technological development of recent years, it has gone from being something out of science fiction to being readily available in the cell phones we carry with us at all times.

For this reason, many sectors, such as retail and industry, have been gradually incorporating it into both their production processes and user experiences.

One of these areas has been academia.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, the use of AR in education improves student learning and motivation.

In addition, it generates a greater attachment to the content, improves the attitude towards learning and increases users’ collaborative skills. According to this study, the advantages of augmented reality in education revolve around three key factors.

These factors are contextuality, interactivity and spatiality.

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Context

Contextuality is the ability to combine virtual elements with the real world.

From a technological point of view, this means that both the objects generated in AR and the physical medium are displayed simultaneously.

Therefore, users interact with the content in the real environment in which they find themselves.

This fact increases their relevance, as they are perceived more authentically than simply through a screen.

The contextuality of augmented reality in education also makes it possible to display content at the right time and place.

Thanks to their ability to adapt to the medium, they are displayed in a more structured way and in accordance with their subject matter.

This increases user understanding and reduces loss of attention.

On the other hand, AR is a particularly useful technology in collaborative and joint learning environments.

The user can receive augmented reality elements that not only relate to the environment, but also to their peers.

However, these contents do not necessarily have to be of an individual nature, since multiple users can interact in the same space with the same information.

In short, RA places academic content in a relevant environment for students, such as their own physical environment.

It also allows you to organize them thematically, besides being a very useful tool in collaborative spaces.

These factors highlight the advantages offered by the contextuality of augmented reality in education.

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Interactivity

Another essential feature of augmented reality for education is interactivity.

This refers to the fact that AR content is programmed to react to user actions.

As a result, users can interact both with the virtual elements and with each other.

Augmented reality in education enables two levels of interactivity.

On the one hand, since virtual objects are in the physical environment, interaction with them is very natural and intuitive.

On the other hand, students can modify the elements generated in AR in a much wider range of possibilities than with, for example, a screen or a book.

For example, they can change their size, add new content or move them freely around the physical environment.

In addition, they are offered the possibility of receiving personalized and instant feedback from the teachers.

These interactivity possibilities offer multiple advantages at the educational level.

In fact, according to the Duisburg-Essen University study, even the simplest levels of interaction, such as circling an object to view it from multiple viewpoints, can facilitate learning.

In addition, the bodily interaction enabled by AR content being in the physical environment can also improve academic outcomes.

The interactivity of augmented reality is also capable of enhancing collaborative learning.

Thanks to this technology, all users can interact with the information in the same way.

It also allows them to observe how their peers interact and learn, making the training process much more experiential.

In addition, these types of applications offer cooperative activities that improve students’ social and collaborative skills.

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Spatiality

Spatiality refers to the need for virtual objects to be located within a physical environment in three dimensions.

This fact implies the ability of augmented reality to register the real environment in which it is located.

Unlike a traditional display, objects displayed in AR have more depth and a greater correlation to the space in which they are located.

The spatiality of augmented reality in education offers multiple benefits for learning.

According to the study, elements belonging to the real physical world are easier to learn than those displayed on 2D screens.

In this sense, AR combines the benefits of both environments: on the one hand, it shows the contents within a physical world to which students are more accustomed; on the other hand, virtual objects are more interactive and adapted to the needs of students.

In addition, the spatiality factor offers advantages in appreciating the spatial structure of 3D objects, as well as learning those subjects that have particularly relevant spatial components.

At a collaborative level, AR allows several users to interact simultaneously with an object in three dimensions, viewing it from different angles.

This factor allows the observation of an object from multiple points of view, thus encouraging the exchange of information and collaborative work.

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The challenges to be solved by augmented reality in education

Despite the multiple benefits offered by the use of AR in education, the truth is that there are still some obstacles to its widespread implementation.

For example, technical limitations to implement it in all classrooms.

Although augmented reality is a simple technology to use (all that is needed is a cell phone and an application), not all schools are advanced enough to use it on a regular basis.

Moreover, augmented reality applications are not easy to design, and a poorly finished product can ruin the educational experience.

For this reason, it is important to rely on agencies like Two Reality, which has been developing augmented reality applications since 2010.

From TwoReality we continue to create the best content and applications for different devices. Tell us about your project.