August 2, 2018
We’ve spoken previously about the benefits VR could have in education , but what about augmented reality? We live in a world where young people around the globe are playing augmented reality games such as Pokémon Go and communicating via Snapchat . Many young people have smartphones and it seems obvious that utilising this technology would help to educate. What if we used this technology for more serious applications? What applications could augmented reality have in the classroom to educate future generations?
Google Expedition is trying to do exactly this. Via a mobile app and it’s Google Cardboard hardware, Google Expedition is an AR application that allows players to virtually visit different environments, places and landmarks throughout the world. Google Expedition can also bring their classrooms to life by bringing science to the classroom. DNA and gene strands, asteroids and volcanoes can all be visualised and explored in augmented reality. Google Expedition allows abstract and sometimes complex concepts and sciences to be able to be explored and interacted with via AR. Google Expedition can engage students with these concepts and lessons more effectively than traditional methods such as textbooks or lectures. These methods can sometimes can be unengaging to students.
It’s not just science or geography that augmented reality can affect, AR also has a part to play in physical education. Developed by Canadian tech company CASE, LÜ is an augmented reality screen experience that projects a large screen onto a wall like the ones typically found in a large sports hall found in a school. On these screens, different mini games are projected onto the walls. These mini-games sense when for an example a ball is thrown at the wall which the LÜ is projecting onto. These mini games will include games relating to maths, geography as well as gamifying physical education. LÜ is a much more engaging and interactive experience which makes physical and non-physical education engaging and fun.
AR has proven to be effective, with the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria in Portugal trialling augmented reality to teach their students about maths. They found that “AR is an enhancer for math’s learning” and saw that with improvements, augmented reality could be an effective learning tool. In the science and medical sector, AR can be used as a learning tool to visualise the anatomy and complex systems. Visible Body has created a mobile application that uses AR to visualise the human body and allow it to be explored within augmented reality. It’s an incredibly complex tool which uses augmented reality to explore the human body in 3D, allowing for anatomy to be explored on a large scale.
Augmented reality is incredibly widespread amongst mobile phone users, even more so amongst younger people. It’s an obvious next step for augmented reality to be used within an educational context to take advantage of the widespread adoption of mobile phone technology.
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