Augmented and Virtual Reality in Education

One of the main use cases of augmented and virtual reality is in the education sector. The ability to simulate real world environments with VR and potentiate them with AR is too valuable not to take advantage of.

By mixing real world scenarios with virtual objects, augmented reality developers are able to supplement the learning experience by adding an entirely new dimension to it. 

The newest example of this is a collaboration between the Natural History Museums of LA County and the University of Southern California. The new research project has received a whopping $2m grant to study how augmented reality affects the learning experience. One of the first studies of its kind, this research will track and measure the effectiveness of learning via augmented reality to traditional teaching methods.

The study will measure engagement from museum visitors that interact with a variety of augmented reality exhibits at the Natural History Museums. Researchers will determine whether AR adds to the learning experience or if it’s merely a distraction by testing the comparison between visitor engagement on a 3D headset vs a touch screen.

One of the museums set to implement the technology, the iconic La Brea Tar Pits, is a landmark Los Angeles location and has been a hit for years. One of the world’s most famous fossil sites, the Tar Pits host nearly half a million guests per year.

Benjamin Nye, one of the key researchers behind the project, seems to believe that the addition of AR will add to visitor engagement:

“Augmented reality offers a powerful medium to share how science happens at the La Brea Tar Pits. AR can show hidden worlds connected to what you would normally see with your eyes, such as seeing the pits in different time periods. These can tell the story of not just what we know, but how we know what we know.”

What do you think about the new partnership between the University of California and the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles? Let us know in a comment!

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