What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR), a capability that has been around for decades, is shifting from what was once seen as a gimmick to a tool with tremendous potential. The layering of information over 3D space produces a new experience of the world, sometimes referred to as “blended reality,” and is fueling the broader migration of computing from the desktop to the mobile device, bringing with it new expectations regarding access to information and new opportunities for learning. While the most prevalent uses of augmented reality so far have been in the consumer sector (for marketing, social engagement, amusement, or location-based information), new uses seem to emerge almost daily, as tools for creating new applications become even easier to use. A key characteristic of augmented reality is its ability to respond to user input. This interactivity confers significant potential for learning and assessment; with it, students can construct new understanding based on interactions with virtual objects that bring underlying data to life. Dynamic processes, extensive datasets, and objects too large or too small to be manipulated can be brought into a student’s personal space at a scale and in a form easy to understand and work with.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • - liz.cho liz.cho Nov 1, 2015 Augmented Reality apps, such as Arasma, was enough to get our kids excited about science projects, history projects, art projects. The students can create their own videos and find innovate ways to interact with their audience virtually. This is great for visual learners, gamers, performers. They themselves can create overlays in creative ways. It also allows the parents to interact with their kids' work virtually, seeing an old idea such as "book reports" come to life in fun, meaningful ways.
  • I agree with/share similar experiences as above. Also there are possibilities for new art forms which include augmented reality elements. And real life applications, for example: furniture in houses, clothes on people and the effect new buildings, roads and other development has on the natural environment. - nathan.pither nathan.pither Nov 8, 2015
  • With the ability of students to be localized yet share an experience from across the globe brings endless redefinition opportunities to students. Imagine interacting with the MOMA or an underwater observatory or the International Space Station from your classroom space. This is just the very beginning of what this technology could bring. The initial ideas of having virtual tours will be replaced by students sharing their experiences in actual spaces by diagraming out and programming these virtual worlds. How best would you learn the anatomy and processes of human digestion? 2D (or even 3D) diagrams, or actually traveling through the human body like Innerspace (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093260/) only the student gets to control the ship. - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 8, 2015
  • Augmented Reality affords us an endless stream of contemporary learning opportunities. Kanji characters on a classroom wall can spring to life with a Japanese speaker using them in context, the Periodic table can be layered with videos of the elements in use, museum artefacts can include content on their discovery, staff photo walls can spring to life with passions and interests and books can be layered with alternate stories and endings. With the recent advent of tools like Microsoft's HoloLens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29xnzxgCx6I we're about to see a maturation of Augmented Reality that will have long term impacts on entertainment, teaching and learning. - john.burns john.burns Nov 9, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Potentially discerning the difference between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. While augmented reality layers the real world with data, virtual reality often places the user inside a completely alternate reality. - john.burns john.burns Nov 9, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative expression?

  • - liz.cho liz.cho Nov 1, 2015Like this article in the Desktop Research section, http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/23/un-launches-powerful-oculus-virtual-reality-film-following-syrian-refugee-girl/, the potential to bring a far away reality to our kids is huge. It can engage them emotionally as well as ethically, leading - hopefully - to creating meaningful contributors to our society.
  • This will have a wide impact on students that do not have the means to travel to really experience different places on the planet (or extra planetary). This will allow for the cost of traveling to these places to be low. A 4th grader may actually have access to a space ship to explore the surface of Titan to collect samples or organic compounds. These possibilities are endless. - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 8, 2015
  • Students will be able to show creativity as they design augmented spaces to share with others. - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 8, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • - liz.cho liz.cho Nov 1, 2015 https://www.google.com/get/cardboard/ This is so cool. And cheap. One of the PE teachers at Shekou International School, https://twitter.com/clos_gm, is experimenting with it now with his kids, and spreading the idea to some of his colleagues to come up with relevant, innovate ways to use it within their respective subject areas. All you need is a smart phone, which most of our kids have, and there are so many apps already that are educational that works with Google Cardboard. There's no need for an extra XX-hundreds of dollars of fancy equipment. - mark.mcelroy mark.mcelroy Nov 8, 2015 I agree completely with how widespread this could be at a low cost. It's nice that there would be application for both heavy equipment (such as Oculus) and low cost options with smartphones.
  • Teachers at Shekou International School have used Augmented Reality to reimagine the Periodic table, book reviews, and more. https://youtu.be/OmqLQHW0Gno?t=82 and
    https://www.smore.com/ewrh-the-periodic-table-project - john.burns john.burns Nov 9, 2015

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