By Mikhail Pillay |
A Glimpse Into the Future
It’s the year 2025. You begin your day by drinking your morning cup of coffee in Belgium, visit family in Australia, fight aliens on Mars during your lunch break, and attend live lectures in London—all from the comfort of your office in Cape Town.
This is the next evolution in human-computer and real-world interactions, all made possible by Extended Reality (XR). XR is a term used to describe all real and virtual environments combined with human-computer interactions.
XR is not referred to as any specific technology; it is a bucket for all of the different realities, such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). VR is a fully immersive experience and blocks out the physical world, while AR places digital objects as holograms as if they were actually there. However, a letdown in AR is that you cannot directly interact with these digital objects. This is where MR comes in. Contrasting AR, MR technology enables physical and digital objects to coexist and interact in real-time.
“If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
XR in Education
In the imminent future, there will be a great demand for designing content with XR. Areas like Healthcare, Advertising, Military, Tourism, and Entertainment will be changed. The Educational area, then again, stands to profit the most and be upset the most. When immersive technologies are utilized correctly, and in a pedagogical approach, they have an enormous potential to support and expand the syllabus, enhancing learning outcomes in ways that have never before been possible, affordable, or scalable.
XR allows proficiency of complex concepts that can be precisely displayed to encourage learning and lead to speedier understanding than more established two-dimensional instructing assistants that we presently use in the classrooms. They are unquestionably a stage over the multimedia teaching tools we use and a goliath jump over the old graphs and verbal/composed stories we used for a vast majority of human history.
XR in Special Education
Each individual responds differently to educational structures, some more effectively than others. That being noted, experts in special education and psychology have come to many conclusions regarding individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A defining characteristic of these diagnoses is that ASD individuals can struggle to emotionally relate with others and correlate facial expressions with feelings.
Experts at the cutting-edge of special education and arising advances are captivated by how mixed reality could give ASD individuals new opportunities. Right now, some educational methods involve teaching emotional intelligence by using images/drawings of people. Mixed reality allows dynamic applications to learn and pick up on people’s emotive states in real-time and relay the knowledge in clearer terms to the ASD-diagnosed user. The thought isn’t that users would permanently use such devices but instead use them as a pedagogical tool to internalize certain patterns.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Educating the next generation of students, doctors, and technicians is the most effective way of ensuring a brighter future. The innovative XR developments paint a future that will allow educators far more tools to make classrooms and training places extraordinarily immersive and engaged. When students and trainees are engaged, learning becomes entertaining and intuitive. The next generation of students is unquestionably in for something extraordinary.
Learning Technologist at Construct