Wearable technology is now being widely used as a learning tool. Wearables are transforming how we approach education and will probably become a vital part of the classrooms of the future. The 3 wearables that have the most potential for eLearning are VR headsets, AR headsets, and smartwatches.
VR headsets may not look like traditional wearable devices, but they’re at the forefront of eLearning. KFC recently announced it is using VR to train new employees. This is a fine example of its educational potential. Through VR headsets KFC trainees watch the whole process of frying chickens in 10 minutes, rather than 25 minutes it would take for conventional training method, reports eLearning Industry. At the same time, the training process involves using virtual products, so there is no waste. According to a KFC spokesperson, though, the VR won’t replace hands-on experience: “The game is intended to supplement the existing Chicken Mastery program, not replace it...This is intended to be a fun way to celebrate the work KFC’s more than 19,000 cooks do every day in every restaurant across the U.S. in an engaging way.”
Walmart is also using VR technology to train its employees for Black Friday.
Rather than taking you to a virtual world, Google Glass lets you see things that are augmented in your real world. Using Augmented Reality (AR), the Google Glass lets you put yourself in the learner’s place and assess the course by seeing it all from the learner’s perspective. Google Glass in eLearning isn't a one-way learning street: in fact, instructors and facilitators can monitor their learners’ performance via live feeds. The instructor can step into the shoes of the learner using Google Glass, and make their own assessment regarding the course or training themselves: being able to see everything from the learner's perspective, it’s easier to understand learning behaviors and give immediate feedback. AR could be a great tool for eLearning during a hazardous situation, where it could provide instructions detailing how to resolve any situation once it arises.
Smartwatches like the Samsung Gear and Apple Watch have become more and more popular over the last couple of years. These wearable devices could be a valuable tool for eLearning. For example, language learning apps can be accessed less obtrusively from the wrist, as opposed to a handheld smartphone or tablet. While these devices might have small screen sizes, they more than makeup for it in utility and portability.
In the future, we’ll see more use for wearable technologies in eLearning. While smartwatches offer big potential for eLearning in their small screen, AR and VR are on the verge of revolutionizing in-depth and immersive learning.