Augmented reality helping future proof school lessons

Apple teaching modules used in schools to help more children understand complexities of coding

The Sketches School app is one of the latest apps used in classrooms to help children understand lessons. Jim Young / AFP
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Education is changing. And children lucky enough to have access to the latest classroom innovations could be a step ahead when it comes to a career in the technology sector.

At Gitex Technology Week, Apple is showing off a new range of interactive learning tools designed to make learning less of a chore, with coding central to the skills being taught.

Modules like Everyone Can Code are being delivered in selected schools via apps, books and teacher resources from kindergarten level through to university.

“We have a very active professional learning programme in Arabic and English with Apple, here in the UAE,” said Michael Pazinas, who runs his own UK education company, Athena Enhanced Learning.

“The curriculum is tiered, so if you are an adult you don’t have to learn from a child’s perspective. A series of books take pupils through the learning process.”

Visitors to the Etisalat learning module in Dubai can get a taste of how teaching has developed to become a fun way to learn, using games and technology to help children progress through school.

Results from a recent study published in the journal Child Development contradict many parental fears than screen time is damaging young people.

Using data from approximately 20,000 telephone interviews with parents, researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute and Cardiff University assessed the relationship between their children’s technology use and well-being.

Over the course of a month this relationship was measured in terms of impact on emotional resilience, curiosity and positive effect.

“Parents are worried about screen time, but if used in the right way it can help children develop their brains in an effective way,” said Mr Pazinas.

“Learning is more fun now than ever before. We can use augmented reality and other innovations to make school fun.

“By mixing the physical world with augmented reality, we find that children become much more sociable and are also aware of their surroundings.

“Through games like Minecraft, they are learning 21st century skills like creativity, collaboration, team building and problem solving.

“This will effectively prepare them for the modern jobs market once they leave education.”


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