AWS Public Sector Blog

EdTechs support virtual learning with augmented reality and virtual reality on AWS

According to HolonIQ, “Applications of advanced technology in education and learning will hit their strides by 2025 with AR/VR and artificial intelligence becoming increasingly integrated into core education delivery and learning processes.” Spend on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools is projected to increase to $12.6 billion. As educators, students, and parents become more comfortable with virtual learning, AR/VR have emerged as engaging tools for teachers to support their curriculums across K12, higher education, and lifelong learning institutions. With AR/VR experiences, students can take field trips across the globe, exercise their cognitive skills, and engage in play-based learning.

Four AWS EdStart members are at the front of this trend. Learn how these education technology (EdTech) companies use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to create AR/VR technology that enhances the student experience.

Increase student engagement with AR virtual field trips

Zoptiks, based in the United States, is a virtual 4D field trip platform that uses AR. Combining video production, 3D modeling, and education, Zoptiks’ mission is to create the best virtual field trips in the world. According to Zoptiks, early research has shown that classrooms found a 36% increase in student engagement, a 72% increase in willingness to try a virtual field trip (compared to watching a typical video), and a 45% increase in comprehension of the subject. Zoptiks was built to help students from kindergarten through eighth grade learn and retain information as they would on an in-person field trip, support teachers with plug-and-play curriculums to enhance their lessons, and help partnering organizations like zoos, aquariums, and museums monetize virtual field trips. Zoptiks uses Amazon Lightsail, for simple-to-use virtual private server (VPS) instances; Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), a high-scale inbound and outbound cloud email service; and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage service.

“AWS EdStart has helped us build and grow on world class infrastructure without having to worry about the bill, allowing us to explore technology options without the barriers that many startups encounter,” said Zoptiks founder Hari Kunduru. “They’ve connected us with education thought leaders from around the world, helping us to learn the ins and outs of the market to understand our customer’s needs.”

Improve cognitive skills through VR gaming

Virtuleap, based out of Portugal, is an EdTech startup that combines neuroscience and VR to help increase attention levels and train cognitive skills. Cognitive skills are the core abilities that allow your brain to learn, read, remember, reason, and pay attention, and allow you to perform daily tasks. To help students strengthen these abilities, the Virtuleap team, which includes cognitive scientists, auditory scientists, and neuroscientists, developed a proprietary game system using VR to help users improve their skills and track their performance with a digital app. With 34,000 end users, the Virtuleap team has begun conducting clinical studies to validate their solution as a new standard for cognitive assessment and training. Through a variety of VR games in 3D-rendered environments, the team tests and trains a range of cognitive abilities that go beyond memory, task switching, problem solving, and information processing skills, and include motor skills, spatial orientation, and spatial audio awareness. Virtuleap uses Amazon Aurora, for high performance and scalability; Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for secure and reusable compute capacity; and Amazon S3, for data availability, security, and performance.

“Using AWS services has helped us become HIPAA compliant and follow GDPR guidelines,” said Virtuleap co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Amir Bozorgzadeh. “We have created a robust technical infrastructure on top of AWS that is scalable, fast, and secure. AWS has provided us with the tools to scale as needed, and allows us to pay based on consumption, which helps us to reduce costs and better understand our spending.”

Increase student participation using interactive AR/VR curriculum

Perceived, based out of India, designed an award-winning interactive teaching tool, Perceiv Education, for educators and schools to make learning science, math, and geography more interesting to students with an interactive 3D, AR, and VR content curriculum. Over 1,000 teachers use Perceived to enhance the classroom experience for students in Grades 8-12 with Perceived’s comprehensive 3D library and device-agnostic web application. With Perceived Education, students have access to over 6,000 assets including 3D interactive whiteboards, video lectures, and AR-based camera simulations. The team currently uses Amazon S3 to store and retrieve data; AWS CodeBuild to build and test code; and AWS CodePipeline to automate continuous delivery pipelines for fast and reliable application and infrastructure updates.

“Being part of AWS EdStart has given our platform a lot of credibility, and the numbers at the top of the sales funnel have improved significantly,” said Uttam Kumar Pandey, founder and CEO of Perceived. “This has made it easier to get into schools and convert them into paid clients. Overall, AWS infrastructure has helped us increase our speed and agility.”

Encourage student interaction during AR/VR virtual learning

Kriativar, an EdTech from Brazil, helps schools differentiate themselves by applying emerging technologies, like mixed reality, computer vision, voice recognition, and more, to the learning process to increase student engagement. They offer solutions to both schools and companies that allow customers to create their own content, including books, magazines, videos, and interactive educational games, to help students improve creative, technical, and socio-emotional skills. Using AR/VR and gamification, Kriativar helps clients launch virtual learning platforms that go beyond online classes, allowing interaction between users and expanding student engagement across subjects. Kriativar’s training technologies have reached more than 200,000 employees via interactive virtual board games and gamified and holographic trainings, and they have sold more than 10,000 smart toys and smart books. They are currently in the process of building the metaverse of Grupo Ânima, one of the largest higher education groups in Brazil, and also working alongside corporations, education institutions, and over 2,000 students and teachers to solve learning engagement challenges in primary education schools.

Kriativar hosts their entire backend solutions on AWS. They use AWS Lambda, a serverless compute service that lets you run code with any application; Amazon S3 to store and protect their data; and Amazon Route 53 for a reliable and cost effective way to route end users to their applications.

“In addition to ensuring a great infrastructure, AWS opened doors for Kriativar to participate in events, seminars, and several other opportunities through the AWS EdStart program,” said Sofia Fada, CEO of Kriativar. “Saying that we are part of the group of EdTechs that are associated with AWS EdStart gives us a competitive edge and demonstrates the excellence of our performance. Whenever we need it, we can count on AWS’s team of experts to help us better design our solutions.”

AWS EdStart resources support EdTechs to help students thrive

AWS EdStart, the virtual startup accelerator for EdTechs, helps entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions in the AWS Cloud. Visit the AWS EdStart hub for more information about the program.

Read more stories about EdTechs using AWS to innovate in education:

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Rachel Van Dinter

Rachel Van Dinter

Rachel is a global business development manager for AWS EdStart, primarily focused on EdTech startups and community organizations. Prior to working with EdTechs, Rachel worked as a global startup marketing manager for the AWS startup marketing team, building and growing global event programs around the world including AWS Startup Day and Startup Central at AWS Summits along with immersive event activations at third-party startup conferences around the world.