“Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I will remember, Involve me and I learn”.
This time-honoured adage by Benjamin Franklin resonates with the idea and importance of visual content and innovation in the education curriculum. For years now, the learning process in India is bordering on becoming antediluvian, so much so that it has nearly reached its saturation point. Regrettably, in doing so, our education system is presenting little bang for the buck to the students. Therefore, as is evident, the serious lacuna between education and innovation remains unfulfilled.
However, if we inculcate an inventive zeal in our academia by propelling technologies like Augmented Reality(AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), we might just transform the way our students envision their monotonous curriculum.
Augmented Reality: Academic Renaissance
With the foray of Augment Reality into the education sector, we might just witness a much-needed renaissance in the textbooks. AR brings the characters to life. Soon, the students may well be holding their devices over their history books and experience beforehand with vivid details, what transpired during the American Civil War. That’s how profound the effect of AR would be.
AR turns the evidence-based study into reality, thus contextualising the information to the students. Owing to its credibility in the education sector, even the world’s most erudite professors are vouching for the inclusion of AR into the academia. A few years back, Professor Xiangyu Wang, an internationally recognized expert in AR said, “AR offers an innovative learning experience by merging digital learning material over the physical space, thus providing situated learning.”
In STEM education especially, it is difficult for students to visualise things and eventually they resort to rote learning This is where the academia is going wrong. However, to some extent, this abysmal situation of rote learning can be done away with Augmented Reality. For example, students can be taught with more clarity by seeing how “steep the curve is”, or by visually discerning the complex avenues like neuroscience.
Take another instance, if the schools and colleges deploy AR mechanism in outdoor environments, they can overlay a wide array of subjects including navigation, directions, botanical studies and more.
Pressing Need Of The Hour
While the west has espoused the AR technology for some time now, we, in India have to keep up to stay abreast in the race. If the students are given a chance to visualise things than innovations will inundate the walls of Indian schools and colleges, and the students will, in turn, render unequivocal service to the quest of indigenous inventions.
However, in India, the fervour to transform the system is yet not as prevalent as it should be. Those who are lagging in the race of creativity and innovation are simply churning out students with theoretical knowledge but it has little to nothing to do with practical implementation and inventions. That said, not all the educational institutions are being somnolent anymore as is discernible from the inculcation of AR and AI technology by many of them. There are many of them who are gradually reifying a modernisation in the education sector and it is irrefutable that they are gearing up to create tomorrow’s leaders and scientists.
When humans, especially millennials, see things rather than hearing or reading them, they are better equipped with the gist of the matter, for it creates the impression of originality and realness. Thus, the most prominent educational institutions are making provisions to pave the way to conflate Augmented Reality with the erstwhile worn-out curriculum. to And India has an edge in one factor, that is its RTE mandate which allows the students from lower income groups to come and study in the most opulent and prestigious schools and have an access to their prolific study material. This throws light on the fact that if only prestigious and private schools take a step in the right direction and introduce AR in their curriculum, then even the lower strata of society will garner humongous benefits.
That the academic sector is now setting everything in motion, goes to show that they are cognizant of the fact that there is a pressing need to revive the system using technology. And India has stats in its favour, as half of its population is under the age of 25. Two-thirds are less than 35. With burgeoning youth demographic India is poised to prove its mettle in research and innovation. However, this seemingly far-reaching dream will only become a reality if the educational institutions provide a broad spectrum of technological options. Hopefully, the education sector is wide awake and ready to realize the huge possibilities and benefits that AR can engender.