When Apple and Google set up augmented reality for schools, McGraw-Hill intensified its own augmented reality efforts for education.
On Tuesday, the publishing house announced a partnership with alchemy, a startup for educational apps gamifying learning to develop augmented reality apps for chemistry classes at the college level through a National Science Foundation research grant.
"Today's students want to engage with advanced technologies that make the learning experience more dynamic and effective," he said Scott Virkler, McGraw-Hill Product Manager and Higher Education Director, in a statement. "As the world leader in digital learning, we're constantly looking for new ways to leverage emerging technologies for more active learning and learning outcomes."
McGraw-Hill's intended outcome of the partnership is the integration of the resulting software into its existing educational platforms, namely its McGraw-Hill Connect and ALEKS learning platforms. Overall, alchemy seems to be a well-qualified partner to support McGraw-Hill's augmented reality strategy. The startup already offers apps such as ModelAR (available for iOS and Android) and isomer AR (also available for iOS and Android), an app that allows students to explore the atomic building blocks of the universe in augmented reality.  "By developing mobile, game-based learning tools, we offer students an innovative way to pass some of the most challenging courses in college," said Julia Winter, CEO of Alchemie. "Through this collaboration, McGraw-Hill and alchemy will focus on exploring how these tools can enhance chemistry students' learning and further enhance educational justice in STEM courses."
While Apple and Google focus primarily on educating children, McGraw-Hill also faces challengers in higher education. Increasingly, developers are using HoloLens and Magic Leap One to provide immersive courseware to universities.
So far, Augmented Reality is not yet a standard tool for educators, so McGraw-Hill still has room to compete with its competitors in the technical arena. Given that McGraw-Hill has been active in education for more than 130 years, it is far too early to consider the company as an important up-and-coming player in the AR sector.