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?

  • I know some projects in education area with 2 companies. One in Germany called METAIO - http://www.metaio.com/projects/kiosk/ar-in-education/ - video - http://www.liveviewstudio.com/work/VIZIONAR
    another one with TOTAL IMMERSION a french company - http://www.t-immersion.com/project-gallery/nathan-revolutionary-solution-flat-book-industry - both could make diference the way to use and explore books.
  • It has relevance for learning outside of the classroom - adding depth to a field trip tour of a significant historical location, for example - using Layar to learn more about the buildings and people who used to live in them. - kari.stubbs kari.stubbs Feb 29, 2012- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • This tool could be very relevant to student creative expression. Because it is not social media it may not be thought of as a current technology that would be of interest to students. However, in relationship to what limited technologies are currently available to them to use in the classroom (sites are blocked, no cell phones in school, limited one-on-one technologies,etc.) augmented reality can engage students in learning while building their 21st century skill set. jan morrison- jan.morrison jan.morrison Mar 2, 2012
  • Augmented reality has already begun to be incorporated in some textbooks, such as Chemistry. Students can see molecules in 3D using webcams. This is a great tool for teaching spatial thinking. Students can also use simple tools such as Google Sketchup to build 3D models and incorporate them into other environments they use, such as Google Earth and Maps. - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • This will enhance and extend resources for students and teachers at point of use in ways that are super engaging. This probably means thi technology will have a steep in terms of use.- chris.brown chris.brown Mar 5, 2012

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

  • The value of AR to support and open possiblities for students with mental or physical disabilities. http://wildcataz.wikispaces.com/Augmented+Reality+for+Special+Education
    - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Mar 4, 2012
  • I am not sure it is fair to say that AR capability has been around for decades. Like many of these technologies we are discussing, it has evolved a great deal in this time, and not at an even rate. It really is the ubiquity of smart mobiles in the last few years that has enabled AR and will continue to fuel it.- chris.brown chris.brown Mar 5, 2012

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

  • I think the real book will use a lot this kind of technology. Every school could have computers with simple web cams and they cam explore augmented reality in 2d ou 3d simple view...more interative objects.- cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012we see this already happening with some textbooks in Brazil.
  • AR is a 'leveller', providing options for customisation and response to creative and learning needs not possible in 2D environments. - judy.oconnell judy.oconnell Mar 4, 2012
  • AR allows the development of visual-spatial abilities and opens prospects for new ways of evaluating student learning. - cristiana.mattos cristiana.mattos Mar 4, 2012
  • This is a huge boost to educational content and the learner experience as well as the things mentioned above.- chris.brown chris.brown Mar 5, 2012

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

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon K-12 Project form.