Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have become widely used in a variety of industries – entertainment, manufacturing, medicine, architecture, military, and education, among others.
While the technologies may have become widely popular only in recent years, its market size is now estimated to be valued at more than $70 billion by 2020. Besides its huge impacts in other sectors, ARVR technology has transformed the academic world. It has brought a never-before teaching and learning experience to both the teachers and learners.
Besides other several purposes, the most popular application of ARVR in education is its direct use in the classrooms in the teaching and learning process. It helps teachers to explain a subject, provide visual representation of the material or place, and helps students easily acquire, process, and remember information. However, while ARVR may serve several good purposes, there are many barriers that come in the way when one tries to incorporate it in the classrooms. In this article, we explore some key barriers to ARVR adoption in the classrooms.
Lack of vision
In the era of technology revolution, no educational institute wants to be left behind, especially when it comes to using technologies that really help in the processes. So almost all of them start to embrace new innovations and incorporate them in their day-to-day operations. However, and in most cases, most of them are not prepared enough or don’t have a strong plan to implement, maintain and support such initiative. No matter how potential the innovation or technology is or can make a difference or drive the change, any initiative is futile unless without a clear vision. This is very true in the adoption of AR or VR in the classrooms.
Lack of investment
One of the basic things for institutions to adopt any education technology is the capability to pay for it. However, not all institutions are financially sound. Moreover, innovative technologies often come with heavy price. So, most institutions remain incapable to meet the cost of installation, training, maintenance or upgradation of such technologies. A major barrier in adopting any technology!
Lack of support from administrators
Due to lack of knowledge and information about the potential of the technology to change things, many administrators, especially the older generation ones, often don’t support or encourage the use or implementation of new tools and technologies in the classrooms or institutions. Moreover, the cost involved in setting up such technologies, often expensive, demotivate them from implementing new tools or technologies in the classrooms, not just AR or VR.
Not all teachers are tech savvy
Teaching was always about books, chalks, blackboards, assignments, exams and filling students’ brain with information until recently. However, with the advancement in technology development in recent years, a variety of teaching methods have come up, making it important for every teacher to learn first to be able to teach students or use it in their classroom. To be able to use or operate technologies is not everyone’s cup of tea. Moreover, not all teachers are tech savvy. Making teachers become active learners is a tough thing to do and sometimes impossible. This is one of the key barriers in adopting AR/VR in the classrooms.
Lack of state-of-the-art infrastructure
Institutions need to ensure that they have good infrastructure before letting any new technology in. They need to ensure they have a robust Wi-Fi connection, other tools and systems well in place for easy access and better workflow. Also, they have to ensure that teachers and staff have enough space for professional development, receive good training, and support to hone the necessary skills, because it’s them who need to master the technology before their students. However, most institutions fail to live up to this.
Conservative mentality toward technologies among teachers/educators
As in any other areas, there are always people among the teachers or educators who are not receptive of the idea of using or implementing technologies in the teaching or day-to-day processes. This hampers the institution from going ahead with any plan to adopt any technology in the classroom or institution.
The after-effect fears among parents
While many parents are generally enthusiastic about the use of technologies, be it VR/AR or any other, in schools, there are many who fear about it thinking they could have adverse effects on their children. They raise concern about such technologies on students’ health. This limits institutions from implementing or adopting any technologies, no matter how good or helpful they are, in the classrooms.
Difficulty in framing the curriculum
One of the major barriers in introduction of AR/VR in the classrooms is the curriculum. Since ages, teachers use only physical textbooks and materials to teach students in the classroom. It is even more challenging for traditional teachers to frame curriculum in accordance with the technology.
Needless to mention, looking at the potential of their applications, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies are seen to soon expand into a broader spectrum where almost every individual will include it in their day-to-day life.