As we move deeper into the future, the way we learn has begun to evolve in new, innovative, and exciting ways. From the normalization of digital learning to exciting new forms of technology being implemented in classrooms, the traditional tools of education are quickly being surpassed by newer ones.
One field that is ripe with opportunities for the application of innovative learning tools is diving. In particular, augmented reality is beginning to present itself as an educational tool that is perfectly suited to helping new divers prepare themselves for diving in the field.
What is Augmented Reality?
Before understanding how augmented reality can be applied to diving, it’s first important to understand the field of augmented reality. While many are familiar with virtual reality, augmented reality is an emerging field that most of the public has not yet become familiar with. Put simply, augmented reality is the use of technology to change one’s experience of their environment — typically through digital means. This can include technology that provides stimulation of the various senses, such as sights and sounds.
An example of augmented reality would be a screen that superimposes models of objects onto one’s environment, making it appear that one’s environment is different than it actually is. As one can imagine, augmented reality in education can usher in new effective ways of learning for people from all walks of life.
How Augmented Reality Works in Diving
It can be tricky to imagine how a diver would be able to utilize augmented reality without having a clear picture of how it’s done. Typically, divers — in a safe, monitored location — will have a specialized device that acts as both goggles and a digital device. While wearing these goggles, divers will be able to experience the sight of superimposed representations — such as sharks or rocks — scattered across their environment. This allows various environments to be simulated through digital means.
Why Augmented Reality Is Perfect for New Divers
When learning anything, engagement can have a huge effect on someone’s ability to focus and retain information. This being the case, educators are constantly on the lookout for teaching strategies to boost student engagement—such as setting goals and encouraging feedback. When it comes to introducing augmented reality as a means of teaching has the potential to radically improve student engagement.
While diving can be a safe practice when done properly with the right techniques, beginners run the risk of making mistakes that can result in injury and harm. With augmented reality, new divers are able to become familiar with diving in a way that can greatly reduce the chances of their first dives going awry.
How Augmented Reality Can Prepare Divers For High-Pressure Situations
Diving comes with its fair share of risks. In addition, there are often too many variables to be able to effectively prepare for every situation. As such, it’s important for divers to develop key skills during training such as critical thinking and the ability to remain calm under pressure.
In the ocean, there is a seemingly endless amount of different creatures spread across various areas. While many times these creatures may not be a threat to human divers, there are cases in which they are. While one can imagine accidentally getting too close to a shark, the actual experience is likely far more stress-inducing.
With augmented reality technology, new divers are able to experience these situations in a more realistic way. As such, they can practice proper techniques for dealing with dangerous situations and have the ability to receive instruction from professionals. This instruction and correcting of bad techniques can ultimately save someone’s life when diving in the actual ocean. This being the case, it becomes clear that augmented reality has the power to not only be a great tool for effectively training new divers, but also for preparing them with the skills to react appropriately to a wide range of situations.
The World of Education is Changing
The way people are learning is changing rapidly with each passing day. While some educational innovations are beginning to shake up classrooms, others are finding uses in less obvious educational environments. While the utilization of augmented reality in diving is proving to be an exciting and practical innovation, augmented reality will likely find uses in a variety of other educational settings as well. Soon — likely sooner than most expect — new forms of technology such as augmented reality will likely become a staple in not only educational settings but in all aspects of life.