wp header logo 86

A New Reality for IT Education – Spiceworks News and Insights

Breaking News Trending

Discover how AR and VR are fundamentally changing the education landscape for IT professionals in training.

Augmented reality and virtual reality allow users to interact with their surroundings in ways that seemed impossible a decade ago and are fundamentally changing today’s education landscape for IT professionals in training, say Jacob Hess and Terry Kim, co-founders of NGT Academy.
Traveling across the globe without taking a single step used to be the work of science fiction. Today, anyone can immerse themselves in a new world by simply picking up a smart device or putting on a headset. 
Augmented reality (AR), which enhances a real-world setting with computer-generated information, and virtual reality (VR), which introduces an entirely new reality through a simulated 3D environment, allow users to interact with their surroundings as well as imagined scenarios in ways that seemed impossible only a decade ago.
Today, both AR and VR are changing how consumers interact with brands, information, and each other. AR, in particular, is now mainstream, occupying 1.1 billion mobile users globally, with an estimated 1.7 billion AR users expected by 2024. Among the youngest digital-first generations, AR is a part of daily life. Snapchat overlays AR filters on their selfies, and Pokémon Go discovers animated characters lurking in their living rooms and neighborhoods.  
AR is much more than a recreational tool, however, and many brands have made it an integral part of their sales strategies, like IKEA, which uses AR to help customers envision the furniture in their own homes, and Sephora, which leverages the technology to give customers virtual makeup try-on sessions. 
VR technology continues to find its audience in the marketplace, with 50.2 million VR users in the U.S. However, consumers increasingly turn to it to experience concerts, sporting events, conferences, and most recently, as a substitute for the traditional office.
These uses have also begun to translate to the classroom, where AR and VR are being welcomed as natural additions to a teacher’s online arsenal of educational resources, taking EdTech platforms to a new level of interactivity and immersion.
While both can radically alter a student’s learning environment, each of these technologies has its strengths—AR brings isolated, technical subjects to life. At the same time, VR is useful for understanding the more complex facets of a topic through a fully immersive experience. Combine the superpowers of these emerging technologies with EdTech platforms, and the result is a game changer. Students who normally learn from home or in an online classroom can now experience what it’s like to work inside an IT Datacenter, access a Network Operations Center, or make virtual repairs to a telecommunications closet. Even the most expensive equipment can be within reach of a rookie IT student through the magic of AR and VR, enabling the development and launch of newly skilled IT careers within months rather than years.
The surreal capabilities of these next-generation tools may give the impression that EdTech advances have peaked. However, the horizon is replete with innovations that will continue to positively impact the way young professionals experience and study information technology for decades to come. Cybersecurity, network engineering, software development, and similar IT roles will require their level of evolution and adaptation to stay relevant and effective. With AR and VR, teachers can implement these updates into their virtual classroom experiences in ways that can only be imagined today.
See More: How AR Devices Can Transform Field Service: Q&A with Leon Laroue of Epson
Mixed reality, which combines real and virtual worlds to allow users to interact with their environment using sensory and imaging technologies, will add an even richer level of real-world training to the classroom. With this capability, students could leverage digital overlays to see inside a piece of hardware without actually opening or dismantling it, and teachers can add more nuance and depth of understanding to training sessions. For IT professionals, this means experiencing visual traffic flow overlays that are augmented on top of real physical IT infrastructures. 
The significance of these new capabilities will prove monumental for the field of education, as VR and AR supercharge hands-on learning and create experiences that are much more effective than traditional classroom environments or on-the-job training opportunities could provide. What improvements will the future bring? Massive breakthroughs in the resolution that will significantly decrease pixilation and bring astonishing detail to training platforms are expected within the next decade, and smart glasses, highly sensitive handheld controllers, and complete virtual worlds that simulate every aspect of training from inside the VR environment will add an even more realistic emphasis to hands-on virtual learning.
As these technologies improve and become more pervasive, training methods across every industry will continue to see enhancements through EdTech platforms powered by AR, VR, and mixed reality. The future of interactive, hands-on classroom learning is here for students training for roles in information technology, like network engineering and cybersecurity.
How do you think emerging tech is changing the education landscape? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We’d love to know!

Founder, NGT Academy
Co-founder, NGT Academy
On June 22, Toolbox will become Spiceworks News & Insights


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *