Extended Reality: The Future of Education

Despite a common misconception, Extended Reality (XR) technologies offer many more benefits than just chasing Pokemon around town. Extended realities (an all encompassing term for augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality), provide tools that allow students to learn in more in-depth, intriguing manners. As tech becomes more ubiquitous and affordable, XR technologies are becoming more accessible to educators. This shift to technology dependence brings with it a set of adoption challenges, but the benefits for students (and therefore teachers) are so great, they far outweigh any initial learning curve challenges that may arise for student or teacher. (Related: VR medical training, AR to teach anatomy, virtual reality medical education)

Better Understanding of Complex and Abstract Concepts

Whether a student is learning games in kindergarten or is going through on-the-job training, XR isn’t limited to just one use case or field of application. XR is the pinnacle of education innovation, bringing together the needed elements to help students with every learning style. The immersive nature of XR helps students visualize the material within reality, rather than only conceptually, resulting in faster learning times and a more developed understanding of the content.

Elevated Student Engagement

Immersive education not only helps mitigates distraction, but by making learning fun and effortless, has been found to boost student engagement with and retention of the material. By allowing students to perform practical tasks to deepen their learning, the educational material moves past the abstract and into the physical. Students aren’t confined to classroom lectures anymore – they can actually practice surgery, build bridges, and travel to different parts of the globe or universe. Extended realities also provide a platform for remote proctoring and collaboration by allowing students to communicate with each other, using avatars and mapped facial expressions. Students can attend “class” with peers from the other cities or countries, diversifying the student pool and granting students the opportunities to learn from others and practice their teamwork skills amongst a highly diverse group.

Accessible Learning

Since physical location plays no role in extended reality education, XR allows us to bridge the gap between students and educators worldwide. Students can take their classroom with them on-the-go. Distance learning tools, such as Heizenrader XR Education Platform’s Proctored Learning feature, allow students and teachers in separate locations (different rooms, schools, or even countries) to occupy a shared virtual space to discuss lessons and content.