Augmented Reality For Children: Are We Prepared Enough?
With each passing day, technology is evolving and opening many more new horizons. Augmented Reality is one such technology. It is considered to be the best way to combine the two worlds, the physical and the digital world. Technology is not just limited to a particular field. In the recent years, it has marked its impression in the fields of medicine, games,entertainment, educational books, advertising, etc.
The field of gaming saw a major revolution with the coming of the AR game apps. These apps have the potential to engage them in the world around them and providing them with a never before seen experience. The apps could be easily accessible and are fun, engaging, interactive and dynamic. On similar grounds, we can also see the revamping of the educational content for children.
In the present scenario, we cannot deny the fact that we do need augmented reality in our classrooms. The presence of augmented reality modules for children surely makes the content more fun, engaging and fulfills the learning needs of children. It further helps to enhance creativity and imagination of young minds, which is one of the main objectives of school education.
A very important question arises here. Are we prepared and to accept new technology? How much planning or ground work has been done in this regard? With technology comes responsibility. We cannot introduce technology and not prepare the consumers for it. If this happens, one is sure to fail. The responsibility lies at the hands of the governments,
companies and the developers involved and also the teachers, educators and parents who are involved directly with the children. For children, they need to be well informed about the uses of AR. They need to be clear about the pros and cons of it.
Not only this, they need to have some understanding as to what they may find online which can be problematic for them. Raising awareness about the different issues associated with the use of technology surely needs to be a part of the school curriculum. Parents and facilitators need to engage themselves in regular conversation with children encouraging them to talk openly about it.
For educators and parents, they first need to be equipped with suitable skills to use the technology. Then only will they be in a position to transfer it further. Online safety awareness programs should be designed in a way that can help and support them.For companies and designers, the responsibility is huge. The app or any feature needs to be thoroughly tested and user’s safety has to be their top most concern. The content promoted has to be user friendly, age appropriate, ethical and inclusive in approach. There should be guidelines for parents to effectively use any product that involves the use of augmented reality. Any feedback should be taken very seriously and technology should be updated from time to time. WizarKids is one such group of passionate developers, aimed at working towards transforming the learning experience through augmented and virtual reality for the Gen-Z learners.
For government, it becomes necessary to initiate digital literacy programmes for all its citizens. Strict rules and regulations have to be present so that it benefits the users and not the abusers.
The experience of learning through augmented reality is magical. It has an incredible power to intensify the way children can learn. The results of this technology are very positive and can further be more fruitful if children, teachers, developers and government are well informed and use the technology intelligently.