Chapter 4 - Reviewing Solutions for Augmented and Virtual Reality
Two of emerging technologies today are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), pursuing a combination of real context with a technological context, and the other, creating a technological context in which the person may become immersed. The main difference between them is that, while in AR the subject stays in the same space, with the VR, they move to another place. In short, we could say that the first subject is located in its real context, while the second is dislocated from it. Both provide completely different ways of interacting between the subject and the real world. In the field of education, they show particular emphasis on the distinctive features of each of the technologies.
The educational possibilities offered are diverse (Eliminating information that is not significant for understanding a phenomenon; enriching the information of reality to facilitate understanding; observing an object from different viewpoints by choosing the person, time and perspective observation; shorten the time of acquisition of certain skills, especially procedural, and encourage practical experimentation of theory ... ).
In the chapter, the technical means for interaction are analyzed, and some of the software programs used for the production of these objects. Taking into account the novelty of technology keeps us in contact technological change. Finally, different examples of use and educational experiences are presented.
A large number of technologies are approaching educational institutions, as has never happened in the history of education. These technologies range from MOOC, mobile devices, and 3D environments to learning analytics or semantic web. Technologies that are expanding through technological development, digitization, enhancement of transmedia, and strong penetration of the web 2.0. The impact of this situation results in a volume of innovative technologies beginning to be seen as disruptive; e.g., technologies that improve a product or service in a way that the market did not expect, and consequently breaking radically with what is existing. In our educational case, this means expanding learning experiences and environments.
These technologies can be known through various proposals, such as Horizon reports performing in the "NMC", Institution and pursuing analyzing technologies, over three or five years, that are perceived to be incorporated into the different levels of the educational institution. "EduTrends" reports by the "Educational Innovation Observatory" of Monterrey Technology institute. Or hypercycles created by the Gartner company presenting the significance and evolution acquired by different technologies and how they pass through different stages: Technology Trigger, Peak of Inflated Expectations, Trough of Disillusionment, Slope of Enlightenment and Plateau of Productivity.
AR and AV are being incorporated into training environments at a truly fast rate. This may be due to the variety of training possibilities ranging from eliminating different types of elements to focus student observation on the truly significant elements, facilitating interaction in immersive environments, creating safe environments for interaction of the subject in different contexts, or favoring the interaction of the subject with specific objects by selecting the points from which they wish to be observed.
However, for incorporation into teaching, a number of precautions must be taken, ranging from the lack of research for building application methodologies and identification of conceptual frameworks in which they can be inserted, lack of learning objects for use, the very novelty of the technology, and that students may be confused about its use.