Thursday, September 19, 2013

Augmented Reality - Really?  
Attempting to answer the perennial "bang for the buck" question.

What is it?  A Google Image search's response:

The Horizon Report (not to be confused with the Minority Report)
describes Augmented Reality as the layering of information over a 3D space and speaks to its potential as a learning tool based on its "ability to respond to user input, which confers significant potential for learning and assessment; with it, learners can construct new understanding based on interactions with virtual objects that bring underlying data to life."

and declares...
It has gone from a                                   to...

a tool with tremendous potential

So, how do students construct new understandings in the classroom with augmented reality? 

Ashlie Smith @smithsciencegms blogs about how she used augmented reality to introduce laboratory safety features and equipment.   Erin Klein provides examples of augmenting math homework, supporting literacy instruction, and augmenting Open House bulletin boards in her post  Tons of Classroom Examples Using Augmented Reality with @Aurasma: A Complete How-to Guide. And Mary Howard at Smarticles describes a number of applications to include a Famous Persons Scavenger Hunt activity augmented by video speech bubbles providing clues.  The glue that ties all of these integrated classroom experiences together?  Engagement.

While the Horizon Report sees full adoption of augmented reality not happening for another 4 to 5 years, these intrepid teachers are making the magic happen in the classrooms today. From the report's section titled Relevance for Teaching and Learning:  "Augmented reality has strong potential to provide powerful contextual, in situ learning experiences and serendipitous exploration as well as the discovery of the connected nature of information in the real world."  

Seeing these examples of AR in the classroom, I couldn't help but be intrigued by how these students are experiencing worlds within worlds, the subtexts lurking in the most ordinary places. Even better, they can be the authors of these multiple layers of meaning.  And, frankly its novelty factor simply can't be beat.  

If you are interested in further exploration, I suggest you carve out some time to visit:

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