My understanding of what augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) encompassed was clarified through this assignment. I better understand now, AR is when a current reality is enhanced (think Snapchat) and VR is when your reality is completely changed (think VR glasses which completely cover your eyes and create a different picture/environment altogether). There is a place for both of these within an education spectrum, where learners can benefit from enhanced forms of reality.

Within the Instructional Design platform, there is a lot of room for use with virtual reality. An example given of a fire safety scenario () provides a visual representation of steps to secure an area with a fire hazard. The learner can follow the steps, see the steps, and experience the steps, all while being present in a safe environment. This learning module allows for learners to review the scenario and steps multiple times and participate in a quiz, if desired, all while in a safe, secure environment. Another potential area for vast improved lifestyle is within the arena of healthcare and doctor’s and nurses ability to virtually be able to “see” and experience a patient’s situation or health needs. Many times VR is seen as a gamification too, but has many possibly applications: healthcare, interior design, military strategy, training, fire safety, etc.

There is immediate purpose in using virtual reality in many training and learning scenarios. I personally, have a harder time visualizing augmented reality as a more user friendly scenario for learners, but I am sure there is a beneficial way to use it. Perhaps on a more personal scale: learning how to use make up, “testing” different hair color or hair cuts out, etc. Perhaps augmented reality is more for “trying” or piloting than actual learning experiences? It is a challenge to imagine a comprehensive training system happening via AR, but perhaps the technology is still being developed for such a thing. The movie Avatar changed the world’s perception of virtual reality and what it could mean for the human race, long term. Perhaps augmented reality has the same potential, it just hasn’t been realized yet.

Take away’s from this assignment are: there are great possibilities for growth in both AR and VR, which will only continue to grow and become more technologically sophisticated. We live in a fantastic age to watch so much of the development in real time or within our lifetime.

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