Transforming the education system through Virtual Labs

Ravi Sharma - Aug 13, 2020

In a country like India where the number of schools using good infrastructure is few, it becomes all the more difficult for teachers to impart effective education. In the absence of well-equipped scientific laboratories, teachers find it difficult to explain complex scientific concepts.

This is where the concept of virtual labs or simulations can be a game-changer. In the present times, there is a need for a tool which can simulate the experiential learning for students.ScholAR is a tool that brings harmony between theory and practice.

ScholAR addresses multiple concerns of the present education system as follows:

1. The traditional methods of teaching are more like a single way of communication where educators usually teach via a board, textbooks, lectures videos. While interesting, there are certain limitations to it. In this type of system, education becomes boring as students just absorb what's being fed to them. Comparing it to games provides a drastic difference in terms of engagement. It's a form of continuous two-way communication. Using similar gaming technology, ScholAR delivers virtual labs/ simulations to gauge students' attention while making it enjoyable simultaneously.

2. There's been a high demand for experiential learning to get hands-on experience in realistic environmental surroundings where the teachers and students can interact with the natural phenomena and gain an understanding of complex concepts. Some of these natural phenomena are difficult to replicate realistically. ScholAR simulates the natural environment and empowers students to interact with it without restrictions.

3. Some of the concepts require a high extent of visualization. Thus, it becomes tedious for teachers to explain it to students. ScholAR helps in achieving it whether it's the direction of the magnetic field due to a moving conductor or motion of an object in 3D.

4. There's a cost associated with pieces of equipment, apparatus and material which is why the lab experiments are conducted once in the whole year. Some of these experiments are conducted in groups of students owing to a lack of resources . Due to this, all students do not get the chance to experience wholesome learning. ScholAR is a tool that empowers every student in gaining wholesome experience of every minute detail. Moreover, there are no limitations to explore any topic. ScholAR eliminates the need for extra resources in this regard.

5. ScholAR enables students to perform and experience hazardous experiments with safety and ease, given there is no direct contact with explosive, toxic or radioactive chemicals. It saves time and effort as there's no requirement of physical parameters like temperature, certain materials.

6. ScholAR is meant to promote and inculcate logical & critical thinking skills in young minds. It addresses the rote learning methodology and replaces it with higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) to boost further innovation. ScholAR provides key building blocks to augment and boost critical thinking skills.

7. In the present COVID circumstances, when most institutes are moving towards an online form of teaching – experiential learning has taken a back seat. There is minimal teacher-student interaction which can potentially lead to students feeling uninterested in learning. ScholAR’s immersive simulations which provide a game-like experience can enhance teachers’ as well as students’ interest in making learning more interactive and hence, interesting.

8. ScholAR is building Machine Learning (ML) and AI solutions to generate insightful analytics to students’ performance. The goal is to provide teachers with the opportunity to follow up and evaluate students and schedule a remedial session if required – Targeted Teaching.

9. In a huge country like India, there has always been a limit to which resources can be deployed in building infrastructure. While creating standard infrastructure costs huge capital, time and efforts, there's a need to look beyond traditional methods and leverage technology in creating state of the art innovative solutions. ScholAR helps in bridging this gap where students from rural areas get access to the same good quality of education and experiential learning as compared to a modern school in big cities. ScholAR helps in empowering teachers in imparting education efficiently. It is a tool that requires very minimal internet bandwidth after installation, thus, removing any connectivity issues in remote locations. This way, ScholAR truly brings parity/equity in the whole ecosystem of education.