Augmented and Virtual Reality in Education

April 20, 2023

In today’s digital world, finding new ways to engage students is ever more difficult. When home technologies such as mobile phones, tablets and games consoles are highly advanced, widely available and hugely popular with young children, finding educational engagement with technology in the classroom can be even harder, especially if the technology deployed there is less engaging than that of technology learner use at home.

One of the biggest issues teachers face is that of student engagement (Chatti, 2021). Could schools look to this new technology to re-ignite past times where classrooms were places students could discover and experience new technologies for the first time? Think back to the 80s, when early PCs were being deployed in schools. Students could, for the first time, access innovative, cutting edge technology in a classroom, long before it became available and affordable in the consumer space. Children could engage in innovative ways, and with just a screen and keyboard they could create simple graphics and learn the fundamentals of early computing and coding, on devices and technology they didn’t have at home.

This was a time of great excitement and engagement for many students. Computer clubs were formed to allow them to access the technology during lunchtimes and after school, facilitating extracurricular activities and driving the desire to learn with this fascinating new technology. Now come back to  today. Does this still apply? Do we have the same level of engagement from classroom technology? Or does the student’s smartphone provide more engagement and interest than anything else in the classroom? Can anything change that, or is cutting edge technology and engagement no longer possible in schools?

A student who is using smartphone to play augmented reality game, Pokemongo and using virtual reality to learn about depth of ocean or maybe following science page on Instagram at home, how that student can be engaged in classroom by just using chalk and talk method.

Einstein wisely stated, ‘The only source of knowledge is experience’. So how do we deliver new experiences to students within the limitations of the classroom? What technology can provide a range of immersive and engaging experiences they couldn’t normally have at school?

The way to immersive learning: Augmented and Virtual Reality Tools

The education institutes across the world are at inflexion point. Virtual Reality and augmented reality are the primary defining facets of this revolution (, n.d.). Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have changed the way in which teachers and students tend to learn. Virtual and Augmented Reality are the core pathbreakers in redefining the role of tech in the education industry. The most enticing part about the inclusion of AR/VR aspect in the education technology is the wide spectrum that it covers. The usage of AR/VR is not limited to a fixed age group. It is open to all types of age groups. 


AR and VR promotes a immersive learning by providing schools with engaging and developing comprehensive learning experiences that will be managed across the classroom. These technologies have the calibre to revamp the world of classroom learning alongside making it interactive and fun. 

Concept of AR and VR

Augmented reality (AR) superimposes sounds, videos, and graphics onto an existing environment. It uses four main components to superimpose images on current environments: cameras and sensors, processing, projection, and reflection.

Each of these components provides an individual function. For example, cameras and sensors can detect an image’s depth or calculate the distance between two objects before superimposing digital content atop the user’s view. Projection and reflection add virtual information over what a user sees; for example, a method known as projection mapping enables AR apps to digitally overlay video onto any physical surface.

Virtual Reality (VR) implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world. Using VR devices such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard, users can be transported into a number of real-world and imagined environments such as the middle of a squawking penguin colony or even the back of a dragon.

Now, one may ask which is better to use? The answer lies in context of learning. both technologies stand out in different application spheres:

  • VR creates an immersive virtual environment, while AR augments a real-world scene.
  • VR requires a headset device, while AR does not.
  • VR users move in a completely fictional world, while AR users are in contact with the real world.
  • AR requires higher bandwidth than VR.
  • AR is intended to enhance the virtual world and the real world. VR replaces the real world with a fictional reality, which is primarily intended to enhance games.

A successful symbiosis of AR and VR results in an excellent systems. While they also work separately, when combined they offer users an enhanced and more engaging experience. The basis for this is to create a fictional world that still allows interaction with the real world. TeamViewer offers you great software solutions to implement both augmented and virtual reality.

AR and VR in Education: Resources and Tips

Bringing AR and VR tools into the classroom doesn’t have to be expensive. Available resources, ranging from low-priced viewers like Google Cardboard to cost-effective equipment that can connect to smartphones, can be acquired without breaking the bank. Resources for teachers include affordable or even free apps, such as 360Cities, which allows students to visit places like Rome and Tokyo. Another app, TimeLooper, allows students to visit locations through a historical lens, such as London in medieval times or World War II. Platforms like Immersive VR Education and Nearpod allow teachers to develop lesson plans with VR and AR technology.

These, and other resources, are key to incorporating immersive education into classrooms. But how can teachers set up their classrooms to maximize the benefits of VR in education? Here are a few tips.

  1. Ensure Ample Physical Space

To reap the benefits of virtual reality in education, it is important for students to use VR equipment safely. VR users often spin around or stride blindly, ignoring their physical surroundings. A misstep could lead to injury. Educators should ensure their classrooms’ physical environments are spacious and safe for VR explorers. Students should be at least an arm’s length away from each other and from objects in the classroom. When possible, use VR content that can be accessed by students sitting at their desks.

  1. Supervise and Moderate VR Use in Classrooms

Research into the psychological impact of VR on students suggests that VR should be used moderately and under close supervision in school settings. The findings of the research (Gorini, Griez, Petrova, & Riva, 2010;Kisker, Gruber, & Schöne, 2019;Schöne, Wessels, & Gruber, 2019;Segovia & Bailenson, 2009;Smith, 2019;Sundar, Kang, & Oprean, 2017) recounts that children who overused VR had false memories of having physically visited a place they actually never visited. Limiting VR education sessions to a couple of minutes as part of a longer lesson plan can address this issue.

  1. Know When to Use VR in the Classroom

VR can bring academic subjects to life, offering students new insights and refreshing perspectives. But VR can’t replace human interaction. Learning is fundamentally a social experience, so VR is best used as a supplemental learning tool.

How can teachers use VR in the classroom? It depends on the subject. Using VR to teach grammar in classrooms may not make much sense because grammar is a relatively abstract topic. On the other hand, VR may work well for topics that are visual and tactile, for example, allowing students to learn “firsthand” about a historical event or famous monument.

As a case in point, because the Parthenon in Greece is a physical structure, students can virtually walk inside it to see its architectural details, thanks to VR equipment and software. Many STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) topics also lend themselves well to VR. When it comes down to it, what child wouldn’t enjoy “visiting” the planets of the solar system?

  1. Develop a Plan for VR Learning

Among the most noteworthy benefits of virtual reality in the classroom is its ability to spark curiosity and interest in students. But left to their own devices, students may veer off topic. This is why educators should develop a structured plan to maximize the use of VR within lesson plans and then guide their students along the path. As part of the plan, it is important for teachers to determine goals and expectations for students and set guidelines for students to follow to ensure optimal learning experiences.

  1. Teach Empathy and Cultural Competence

The magic of VR is that it brings different places throughout the world right into the classroom. These new perspectives can result in fostering empathy and cultural competence because they take students outside of their normal daily experience. The use of VR and AR helps students understand people’s unique situations across the world. For example, teachers can use VR applications to enhance language teaching by exposing students to the cultures of the people who speak the language. Using technology to build culturally responsive environments helps students respect cultures different from their own.

AR/VR in education has the potential to transform learning opportunities in the classroom and improve student outcomes – all while creatively engaging and preparing students for new opportunities. Thereby, it is important for the government stakeholders, institutions, and tech companies to collaborate in ensuring equitable access to AR/VR, particularly for schools with underprivileged student populations. Then only the core directive of modern education “Inclusion” can be achieved by digital technologies.


Ahlem Baya Chatti. (2021). Students Engagement: Challenges and Solutions. K12 Digest. June. 82-85.

Augmented Reality in Education: Interactive Classrooms (n.d.)

Chöne, Benjamin & Wessels, Marlene & Gruber, Thomas. (2019). Experiences in Virtual Reality: a Window to Autobiographical Memory. Current Psychology. 106. 1-5.

Gorini, A., Griez, E., Petrova, A. et al. (2010). Assessment of the emotional responses produced by exposure to real food, virtual food and photographs of food in patients affected by eating disorders. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 9.30.

Kisker J, Gruber T, Schöne B. (2021). Behavioral realism and lifelike psychophysiological responses in virtual reality by the example of a height exposure. Psychol Res. 85(1). 68-81.

Segovia, Kathryn & Bailenson, Jeremy. (2009). Virtually True: Children’s Acquisition of False Memories in Virtual Reality. Media Psychology. 12. 10. (n.d.). Role of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Education.

Sundar, S. S., Kang, J., & Oprean, D. (2017). Being there in the midst of the story: How immersive journalism affects our perceptions and cognitions. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 20(11). 672–682.

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