In Industry 4.0, new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality will change the way our new generations work, have fun and learn. Does this mean that virtual and augmented reality is the future of education? There are four reasons why the answer is yes.

Firstly, children born after 2010 already make use of technology like smartphones, tablets and computers. They do not know life without the internet or video games. Some reside in smart homes, talk to a Smart Voice Assistant, and are already familiar with virtual learning.

Secondly, this new younger generation, known as Generation Alpha or iGeneration, were born at the advent of iPhones, iPads, and applications. Alpha children are the most technologically infused population.

Also, according to Grant Thornton LLP, this new generation will grow globally to two billion people by 2025.

Thirdly, this population growth coincides with the growth of the AR and VR market. Research firm Markets and Markets projected that the virtual and augmented reality market will be worth $61billion by 2023.

Fourthly, the prices of AR and VR equipment are beginning to drop, so immersive technology is becoming more accessible. Now, more teachers can have a chance to add virtual and augmented reality apps to their classrooms.

So, as one can see, it is easy to see that virtual learning is the future of education. It’s also easy to see future increases in using AR and VR in the classroom. 

The new younger generation is so accustomed to learning by doing, screen-touching, and experience that they will benefit the most from virtual learning.

An excellent way to teach Alpha Generation children is to develop their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. It will be vital that these children can view problems from multiple perspectives to make optimal decisions.

Many teachers have begun to use AR and VR in their classrooms. Here are some ways this immersive technology is already contributing to education and its current benefits.

1. Stimulate Learning

AR and VR provide enhanced animation to situations, events, and the natural world. This heightened vibrancy permits students to experience information.

Allowing students to feel what they are learning better captures their attention and helps them retain the learned information. Also, it helps those who might lag in a traditional classroom.

2. Encourages Collaboration

A virtual learning environment gives students a strong sense of confidence that they can reach their fullest potential. Students with this new confidence collaborate more in group projects.

3. Bring Historical Sites to the Classroom

It’s impossible to take a whole class to historic sites of the world like the Great Pyramids or the Greek Parthenon. However, immersive technology changes that.

Thanks to immersive technology, VR can create 3-D models of ancient ruins or historical sites. Students can don VR headsets and immerse themselves in worlds thousands of miles and thousands of years away from them.

4. Perform Experiments in a Safe Environment

When it comes to experiments in chemistry or biology class, many things can go wrong. Any wrong move or mistake in mixing chemicals may create a dangerous situation.

However, with AR, students can interact with replicated objects that allow them to have failed experiments without causing harm to themselves or others.

5. Create Focus

AR and VR help students who have attention deficit disorders. AR and VR block out classroom distractions. When a student wears a VR headset, they have to interact with the subject matter. This benefits teacher who work with younger children who have different levels of ADD/ADHD.

6. Inspire Creativity

Besides teachers creating content, students also can create VR experiences for others to enjoy. The ability of students to develop their content is vital to promoting the needed skills in Industry 4.0.

Research shows that when students create their learning, they internalize the information better and become impassioned about their education.

Recently, students in Hawaii turned a visit to an organic farm into a VR experience. In the future, these students plan to create virtual experiences for other local sites.

By creating their own AR and VR content, students will gain the following skills:

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Analysis
  • Coding

Plus, students will learn iterative testing. Iterative testing is a process of testing insights based on previous tests. From these tests, students learn to make gradual changes based on evidence.

Future Growth of AR and VR in the Classroom

Forbes reported that educators plan to invest around $700 million in AR and VR apps for education by 2025.

With that high of a projection of investment virtual learning, AR and VR will have substantial growth in the education space.

As more teachers see the benefits from AR and VR in the classroom, more schools will consider turning classrooms into virtual learning spaces. This increased interest in AR and VR for schools provide innovators in immersive technology the opportunity to push the virtual envelope to new heights.