Augmented Reality in Education: Part 1

I am baaaaccckkk.  A new obsession with augmented reality has brought me out of my blog sabbatical. Those of you who know me know what I am about to say…say it with me, “HOTNESS!” Augmented Reality is becoming the hottest technology trend EVER! Let me start with the basics of AR and then scaffold.

According to Wikipedia, augmented reality is defined as:

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or an indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, such as sound or graphics. It is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, in which a view of reality is modified (possibly even diminished rather than augmented) by a computer. As a result, the technology functions by enhancing one’s current perception of reality. By contrast, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated one.

And according to Cathleen:

Augmented reality combines a layer of virtualness and combines it with the real world.

If you haven’t read the 2011 Higher Ed Horizon Report, click HERE and see what it says about AR. Need more? Well, I think an example is necessary to bring this full swing. Take a look at this video from Logical Choice Technologies on their newest product, Letters alive™.

Letters alive™ brings a kingdom of 26 “seemingly-alive” digital 3D animals into classrooms with the ultimate goal of teaching children to read at the kindergarten level. The product consists of a set of 124 virtual 3D cards, software, curriculum guide, and student activity sheets. Take a virtual 3D card and a virtual animal will pop up on your screen. Virtualness + Real World = Augmented Reality.

I have been on a world tour showing off AR everywhere I go. Letters alive™ has accompanied me on the journey. Teachers absolutely love it. The features alone draw not only students, but teachers into the content. Learning doesn’t have to be the same drill and kill anymore. Innovation is the key to reviving the same old content. I am very eager to see some data on reading proficiency after a year of Letters alive™ in the classroom.

ABOVE: Teachers at the Sumner County Technology Conference in Tennessee lined up to get their chance at using Letters alive™.  A teacher from Los Angeles, California at the iSummit Conference in awe of AR.

This post is merely the beginning of my AR love affair. Creating an AR in Education website right now! I will be blogging all week about AR and I will provide the different categories of AR, examples via the computer and our beloved mobile devices, examples in education and implications for education.

Stay tuned and if you are in the Boston, MA area July 27 or 28th check me out at BLC11. I will be presenting the following session:

IS IT REALLY REAL?: Augmented Reality in Education
Augmented what? AR technology allows users to view virtual objects overlaid on a real-world context, and to control the virtual environment through direct, tangible interaction with objects tracked in the physical space. An augmented reality environment includes elements of the real world and the virtual world at the same time, but is interactive in real time. The interaction between the virtual object and the real world brings to life abstract concepts and seeks to enhance understanding. Sound interesting? In this session attendees will better understand AR and it implications in education. Learn how to manipulate AR objects via mobile devices and laptops. Discover how AR applications can enhance textbooks too have the power to engage a reader in ways that have never been possible. Take a field trip to a museum with a group of classmates and never leave the classroom. Come learn how to manipulate human organs, make letters come alive, make virtual scavenger hunts and learn how to make your own AR objects: text, photos, sound and more. Using AR applications can provide each student with his/her own unique discovery path. Don’t miss out on all of the fun!

Augmentedly Yours,

The Cre8tiv Mind

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