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Augmented Learning is Changing the Landscape of Educational Publishing

The common saying – a picture is worth a thousand words – is slowly transforming to – a video is worth a thousand pictures.

With the advent of easily accessible video-recording devices and editing platforms, videos have become immensely popular not only on social media and entertainment but also for education and training. Online classes, screen recordings, design and illustration, and animations to explain concepts have become the mainstay. Advanced digital technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality, though still in their infancy, find their use in exciting e-commerce applications like virtual stores. Using virtual stores, customers can experience and interact with the product before making purchase decisions. For example, customers can select an item from a shelf and virtually try on products like a pair of spectacles, fashion or jewellery. Additionally, customers can visualize virtually how their house will look like with the latest interior painting and new set of furniture.

In the education sector, the simplest of videos is the actual recording of a lecture or a class, and this can be augmented by the addition of powerful and meaningful graphics and animations. The youngest kid in the block is the hologram, which projects a 3D image right in the middle of your drawing room.

The younger generation loves learning through animated visuals and realistic (virtual) experiences. This makes learning easier and improves retention. To cater to this need, eBooks have audio and video content embedded to provide an enriching experience to the end users. This essentially means conversion of figures, artwork and illustrations to rich media and portions of text into animations. Even the assessments can be converted into interactive animations to make the process of learning more interesting.

The creation of graphics and animation still requires a lot of time and effort and, of course, a whole lot of creative skills. Several software tools like Adobe Animate, Adobe Character Animator, Maya, 3DS Max, RenderMan, Pencil2D and many more are available to help the creative artists to come up with better-quality visuals in reduced timelines. Similarly in the augmented reality world, software like Vuforia, Wikitude, ARCore, ARKit, zSpace and so on are gaining popularity.

The gradual shift from standard printed textbooks to augmented learning platforms is transforming the publishing industry, making it shift from print space to digital media. In practice this means a lateral shift in the thought, visual imagery and production processes.

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