Finnish XR Nation’s ambassador, Joh Orengo, is a self-professed “Swiss Army knife”. And no wonder why, as his career has spun from teaching English at the University of Helsinki to some epic multitasking at a successful Finnish spatial computing startup, Grib, where he worked in business development, content creation, marketing, and sales. Having held leading roles at Grib, which offers a 3D design platform that utilizes AR technology, we knew that Joh would have some top tips for augmented reality companies and educators that want to apply AR in the classroom setting effectively. Scroll down for top tips.
Top 3 benefits of using augmented reality in the classroom?
- Augmented Reality, in the form of the Grib app, helps students create things that they couldn’t even imagine, giving them a powerful tool to create.
- Learning tools that feature AR can be equal to others that kids use, like crayons or clay. They can be on par with physical learning tools as they achieve the same goal – education.
- Extended reality offers a different kind of freedom as well as has different limitations, expanding on how learners can express themselves depending on their strengths.
Top 3 things that educators should consider before jumping on the AR bandwagon?
- Find out how well the AR product coincides with the requirements of the school and the education system. EdTech companies must add value and “tick all the boxes” of the given curriculum.
- Ask your EdTech partner to prepare ready-made lesson plans for the technology they offer, be it AR or other. A teacher is a person who must implement the technology in the classroom, and they may not always know how to apply it beyond the first lesson.
- A teacher can use anything, digital and physical, to make learning engaging and fun. It’s not the AR technology itself that is good or bad, it is how it is incorporated into the learning process. To do so successfully, the educator must be prepared to invest time and learn new things themselves, but the EdTech company should make this as easy as possible for them.
Top 3 tips for AR companies hoping to make it big time in the education sector?
- When you are trying to make it in the education sector, take into account that you are not just competing with other Augmented Reality learning tools. You are competing against the whole EdTech sector and companies that are targeting the same schools. Remember that the schools only have a certain budget, and they can’t go in all directions with new tech.
- You have to be creative in how you approach schools and find out who the decision-makers are, some cities have a board that decides on where the money in schools is invested, while in other areas, each school decides for themselves. So you thoroughly need to do your research before pitching your ideas.
- This is something I learned from my friend Olli Vallo, CEO of Education Alliance Finland, a startup that grants certificates for learning solutions that reach a certain quality standard. When you work in EdTech, forget about having a five-year business plan. You need to be thinking about a 10-year timeline for your business because things move slowly in this very conservative sector. Find investors that understand this.