The Future of Classroom Learning: Virtual and Augmented Reality Applications

Adding virtual and augmented reality (AR) into the classroom improves learning and recall. One study found that learners who used virtual reality (VR) headsets had 90% recall whereas it was just 78% after using a desktop computer. Despite this benefit, only around 15% of schools in the US currently have access to such technology, according to the School of Education. But with demands for schools to encourage students to perform better and students failing exams in high numbers, virtual and augmented reality applications are sure to be a big feature in the classrooms of the future. 

Tackling the nation’s math issue

Math is one of the most important subjects in schools as research has shown that it indicates future success. But Math is a subject that students find difficult to pass. Following 2022’s exams, the New York Times reported that math scores fell in almost every state. As math skills are so crucial for students’ futures and the future of society, AR and VR will undoubtedly be introduced into math lessons. 

When schools do this, students will be able to see abstract math concepts in visual form. Visual learning has been found to improve recall, so AR and VR could help to boost math test scores to where they should be. A few ways that these technologies could help include being able to explore shapes and angles, visualize statistics, such as graphs and charts, discover number lines, and take part in interactive math games and puzzles. AR and VR also promote interactive problem solving, collaboration, and allows real-world exploration of how math is used in different scenarios. Best of all, AR and VR can help the 24% of children who say they dislike or hate math overcome their issues with the subject. These technologies make math visually appealing and enjoyable too, while providing a supportive learning environment for students of all math levels.

Keeping schools open

82% of public schools in the US are failing their students. Under-performing schools are often closed down and this impacts children’s education as the schools that survive have to increase their class sizes and more pressure is put on the teaching staff. AR and VR can be used alongside other resources to increase school performance. One way they can do this is by providing personalized learning to students. These technologies can analyze students’ performance and adapt content to suit each student’s needs. This then helps students that have fallen behind and ensures students of all abilities are fully supported. 

AR and VR also give schools the option of using alternative teaching methods, such as virtual classrooms and online platforms. The benefit of this is that it reduces the daily load on teachers and gives students a flexible education which may improve their performance. AR and VR alone can’t be used to educate students away from a physical classroom, though. They should be used by elearning teachers alongside courses and programs based on the curriculum. These courses and programs should include video, web content, PDFs, and worksheets which are accessible at any time of the day.

Reducing dropouts

The good news is that high school kids aren’t dropping out in high numbers, but the same can’t be said for college students. ThinkImpact reports that the annual college dropout rate is 40%. Dropouts affect the future unemployment rate, so colleges need to reduce them by introducing VR and AR into their classrooms. The main benefit of doing this is that VR and AR make learning more engaging. Using AR and VR is a fun way of learning that captures the senses and allows students to escape from reality. AR and VR also allow students to experiment and practice with lots of different scenarios which can help them to fully understand their coursework. These technologies are useful in supporting students to find the best career as they can be used to simulate work environments too. When students see and experience ones that they like, it’ll persuade them to carry on with their course.

Virtual and augmented reality looks set to make their mark in the classrooms of the future. With their potential to boost math scores, reduce college dropouts and prevent school closures, VR and AR should become a classroom norm sooner rather than later.