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 have found that AR will only be as good as the curriculum available to educators. Although teachers can create their own curriculum, its too time consuming. Products like zpace; zpace.com are marketed to the K-8 sector. High school teachers do not have much to work with.- lisa.gustinelli lisa.gustinelli Jun 2, 2015
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Publishers and school librarians are beginning to add AR features to books expanding the reading experience. - joycevalenza joycevalenza May 23, 2015
  • Museums and zoos now offer AR features to their exhibits. When the animals are asleep, for instance, visitors can see them in action and in their own habitats. - joycevalenza joycevalenza May 23, 2015
  • With AR tools becoming more available, affordable, and easy to use, how might teachers leverage AR to enhance instruction? How might students not only use, but create AR experiences around their learning products? - joycevalenza joycevalenza May 23, 2015

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

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

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