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?

  • - enda.donlon enda.donlon Feb 13, 2015Augmented Reality is exciting technology that is becoming increasingly accessible through services such as Aurasma. It holds great possibilities for an array of activities associated with education and educational institutions that includes AR tutorials, feedback, student-generated content, lab safety videos, introduction/welcome activities, interactive methodologies such as scavenger hunts, individualised learning, exploration of artefacts in 3D, etc.
  • Possibly the most exciting technology for language and cultural learning, especially in relation to heritage languages. - francoise.blin francoise.blin Feb 14, 2015

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

  • Links to gaming and gamification - francoise.blin francoise.blin Feb 14, 2015
  • Links to wearable tech, at present mainstream AR seems really to be all about doign things with webcams, smartphones and tablets but will really make its impact with wearable tech. - Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Feb 15, 2015 +1 - enda.donlon enda.donlon Feb 15, 2015
  • In context of the convergence of AR and wearable tech there are some major ethical and social engineering aspects which are not addressed. Think for instance of the pre-emptive banning of Google Glass (largely an issue around using the inbuilt camera) and then imagine the reaction to glasses that do racial recognition and provide a virtual layer of real time info about whoever the user is looking at. - Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Feb 15, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on third-level education in Ireland?

  • Can bring learning outside the confines of a physical or digital campus
  • It could be a great platform for collaborative projects that bring learning out of the classroom and involve learners, e.g., in ongoing -- and possibly cross-institutional -- projects re local history and culture. Extending this idea it becomes a way to make intangible social heritage more visible and to chart the intersection of history and individual lived experience. - Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Feb 15, 2015
  • More complexly, in the linking to game-based learning there are a myriad of possibilities for creating AR learning games based around interesting constructivist pedagogies involving everything from short time scaled learning games with relatively small groups of learners to persistent AR worlds with massive scale - Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Gearoid.OSuilleabhain Feb 15, 2015

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

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