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Schools Integrate AR/VR Technology in K-12 for Assistive Learning

Assistive learning is beneficial, but considerably difficult to integrate into the K-12 system. Since every child’s needs and requirements differ, implementing a system that tackles individualistic needs is a great challenge.

Technology can help propagate assistive learning. With personal tablets, online learning modules, teachers can today offer the same attention to each child, even in overcrowded classes. Augmented reality and virtual reality is just the latest addition to this technological education system.

Experts determined that VR can help students, who require greater assistance, learn new skills. Jaclyn Wickham, the founder of AcclimateVR, claims that his team is currently adapting the technology to offer lessons on social skills, independent and daily living skills, social modelling, safety awareness, community-based instruction and social stories. Additionally, VR can instil joint attention skills and reduce overall anxiety in children.

Source: EdTech Magazine

Improving the ability to focus

Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD is a common and rising disorder amongst K-12 students. According to the CDC, around 5.7 million children are diagnosed with either ADD or ADHD each year. Unfortunately, the rate is increasing with each passing year.

Virtual and augmented reality technology in classrooms can improve a child’s ability to focus and prevent their minds from wandering off. VR headsets compel students to become invested with their study material with the inclusion of interactive lessons.

Naveen Joshi, the CEO and founder of Allerin, a software company, reveals that smartphones, the internet and social media are partly to blame for the loss of focus in kids of the digital generation. He feels that the introduction of VR and AR tech can positively impact education and make the learning process more interesting, minimizing the chances of distractions.

Companies, like Microsoft, also accept the huge potential of VR in learning. In January 2019, the Redmond-based organisation announced its plans for a virtual reality reader product, where users can practise their reading ability.

Developing soft skills

Soft-skills, such as collaboration, problem-solving and team building, are extremely important skills for every child to learn in class. Most companies today seek these qualities in their employees. AR and VR technology is making great strides in this regard as well. With programs like Virtual reality Opportunities to Integrate Social Skills or VOISS, teaching autistic kids to work, talk and collaborate with others has become easier than ever before.

After wearing VR headsets, these students can walk around and interact with virtual computer-driven avatars, who respond to positive and negative social interactions in a realistic manner. Over time, these virtual interactions will help autistic children learn everything about social conventions and norms so that they can function in the real world.

Lastly, students with special needs are often restricted from going on field trips. With VR technology, they can now explore and have the same experience as that of their peers. K-12 schools should be a place of learning for all, regardless of IQ levels and special needs. With the addition of these technologies, the classroom can now truly become a welcoming place for every child.

 

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