Emerging Technology is an Intersection of Humanity and Technology: Brad Waid on AR/VR
“Embrace the technology and use it. Whether you’re a teacher or a student, or you’re in the industry, try to use technologies like virtual and augmented reality in a way that will benefit humanity”.
This is how Brad Waid is encouraging everyone to utilize digital technology to its best advantage.
In recent years, virtual and augmented reality have gained popularity in education. Students have shown interest in learning because of AR/VR.
A report conducted by ResearchGate and drafted by E. Demirtas, “Reality Technologies and Use in Education” mentioned some exciting facts about virtual reality.
According to this report, the market for VR reached $5.5 billion in the year 2019. However, it is expected that, by the end of 2026, the VR market will reach approximately $18.6 billion.
Students and teachers are inclining more towards online learning than traditional ones, as tech-based learning provides students with an opportunity to understand difficult concepts in a fun and interactive way.
Since the pandemic, there has been an immense increase in the usage of technology in education. This fact has been highlighted by another research report published by Research Gate in the year 2022.
The report features a graph representing the AR/VR users in the United States. There were nearly 60 million users of AR and 35 million users of VR in the year 2018. But, during and after the pandemic hit the entire world, there was a drastic increase in the number of AR/VR users. By the end of the year 2022, AR users had crossed the mark of 95 million, while virtual reality users were more than 60 million.
Graph Representation of AR/VR Users in the United States 2018-2022
We had the pleasure of speaking with Brad Waid in our series “Ed-Insights by Evelyn.” He discussed the changes in student learning that have occurred in recent years due to the inclusion of technology in education.
Brad is an award-winning emerging technology leader, international keynote speaker, educator, and author. He is a visionary who specializes in AR/VR/XR, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
Brad is recognized as one of the top 20 global futurists and keynote speakers by TAFFD. Furthermore, he is also recognized as the #14 influencer in augmented reality (AR) by Onalytica worldwide.
Brad Waid appeared on our 4th episode of Ed-Insights By Evelyn. Watch the Full Interview here.
The blend of technology and education has increased in recent years. Can you give us some examples of the fundamental changes in student learning due to the inclusion of AR/VR in education?
I’ve seen two radical changes in student learning. One of the changes came around 2011-12 when the iPad was introduced. The introduction of the iPad threw a wrinkle in education. We got access to tools, which have now completely changed what we are doing. The second and most important change is the expectation that students will use technology in education. They are using online learning platforms such as phones, tablets, and laptops as part of their online learning sessions. Nowadays, students don’t know a world without devices. They don’t know a world without technology.
The inclusion of AR and VR in education has made students more engaged in their learning. Traditionally, teachers used to lecture to share all the information about a particular topic. Eventually, students had to memorize that information and respond.
You may like to read about: Influencing the Future of Education with AR/VR
Now, we have a lot more integration of technology in education. The method of teaching has also changed. Teachers share an idea and then students have to research and investigate it. The change that we are seeing is a jump from simple memorization to an active approach to research and coming up with unique ideas.
Do you think it is a concern that we might replace actual books sometime in the future?
I don’t believe that AR/VR is going to replace all books because nothing can replace a classic book. But at the same time, what an ordinary book is used for might change. Reading something motivational, informative, fiction, etc., would still be done with a traditional book.
What augmented reality in education can do is add a digital representation. Imagine you’re reading about a museum in a textbook. Now, with the help of AR, instead of just reading about that museum, you can look at the artifacts in the museum, check its size for scale, and also read a little history about it. augmented reality is not going to replace a book, but it can enhance the classic books we use in education.
What is your idea about what lies beyond 2022? Are we looking forward to some exciting newer trends or better technology in 2023?
AR/VR is starting to take a foothold and it’s being used all over the world. The two big things that are coming shortly are artificial intelligence and metaverse. Both AI and metaverse will come under a blanket of Industry 4.0.
Industry 4.0 will defeat the traditional way of learning and teaching. This change would inculcate curiosity among students by shifting the responsibility of learning from teachers to them.
Inclusion of Technology in Education is Inevitable and the Key to Moving Forward
AI and metaverse are starting to cause some more wrinkles in modern education, but I’m always going to look at their benefits. Students would use AI as a tutorial that will help and assist them. Moreover, metaverse is going to have an impact on students’ learning. However, it’s not going to give them an environment where they can explore. Still, it’s also going to be a new place for students where they can meet people from all over the world.
AI and metaverse are the two big things that we will see in the future. They are already here but will be further developed for better use in education.
Would you like to give a message to our audience?
I want to encourage everyone to use technology in a way that will benefit humanity. Automobiles, airplanes, computers, etc. are built for the welfare of humankind. Teachers should be open to new technology and try to understand it more with the help of their students.
Students can play a big role in helping us understand emerging technology and also assist us in moving forward. They are the ones who took us into this new world. We are living in a great time where modern technologies like AR/VR can help all humankind.