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Educational tools in terms of technology have made advances over the years. The more immersive ones have not been shared much or easily accessed by students in a classroom setting. This is partially because a majority of them were meant solely to entertain instead of teach. It’s only been the most dedicated, most forward-thinking teachers and educators who have managed to fully connect AR and VR (augmented reality and virtual reality) to their curriculums.
Absolutely yes. Over time, there’s now a wide range of resources available in the augmented and virtual reality space for education. There are multiple apps out there that focus on various topics, like language arts, science, and subjects generally found in classroom curriculums.
That said, students in early elementary are not usually the target demographic of such materials. This is despite the wide range of tools growing in number and popularity. Many teachers and educators have decided to make the most of what they do have. Unfortunately, the rather varied needs of younger students are usually neglected in favor of the older ones.
There are numerous things to consider when exploring technology resources for students in early elementary. That is particularly true for the immersive ones, such as a virtual pop-up children’s book.
Certain districts have taken on getting VR headsets meant for children 13 and older to use in classrooms with young children. A rather worrisome trend has been the way headsets have been all but pushed on them as well. There’s a rather large disconnect there; can you imagine a kindergarten classroom using the Oculus Go? Oculus is owned by social media giant Facebook; much like the existing age restrictions for accounts on social media, Oculus devices are meant for students who are old enough to have their own Facebook account in the first place. Content in the Oculus store is largely meant for those 13 and older.
Aside from all that, the headsets are also ill-fitting for little heads. This means that they are being exposed to fall risk and other hazardous situations unnecessarily.
The device chosen should be convenient to use for both the teacher and the student. A virtual pop-up book is a great example of this—easy to open and easy for students to navigate, despite their young age. A number of teachers end up rather worried about providing young students with things that have several instructions. This is due to factors such as time and the high possibility of students getting frustrated, if not confused. Audio support paired with visual cues are great ways for students to navigate things without needing their teacher’s guidance consistently.
Augmented reality and virtual reality apps are great ways to help students, especially young learners. It’s key to take into consideration how easy the app is to use and whether or not it’s safe. The right AR/VR equipment can make a world of difference for young learners.
Looking to get started with AR for kids? Check out the Kids Plenty 4D Mobile AR App! It’s a new educational technique that ignites learning in fun and exciting ways.