Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Augmented Reality and Ubiquitous Learning

Interest in Augmented Reality (AR) and its potential for education has increased greatly in the past 6 months. It was highlighted as one of the emerging technologies to watch in the '2010 Horizon Report K-12 Edition' (pdf) Collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN).
"Augmented reality has strong potential to provide both powerful, contextual, in situ learning experiences and serendipitous exploration and discovery of the connected nature of information in the real world'
2010 Horizon Report K-12 Edition'

Advances in mobile devices, better connectivity, new and simple tools, new and creative learning experiences and a fascination with geolocation have contributed to the buzz.
One of my favourite sources of up to date information on AR is Digital Buzz. And, of course, the twitterverse.

'Exile on Your Street' by The Rolling Stones is an example where users can create a virtual poster, with a track from Exile on Main St. To view the poster you need an iPhone 3GS or Android plus the mobile AR browser, Layar.

Two other examples are the ACWAR Civil War project and
London: past and present in London Museum Releases Cool Augmented Reality App and Street Museum.

7Scenes is an exciting mobile storytelling platform. Some colleagues tried this out last week as a team, testing its creative potential for creating a mobile virtual tour with images, text, audio and questions in the local area. Great teamwork and the geolocation feature is really cool.

An e-School news item , 'Augmented reality takes hold in classrooms' (Educators say enhanced learning experiences can lead to engaging lessons) by Laura Devaney (May 10, 2010) suggests that AR 'raises the level of interaction for students'. This involves mobile / handheld GPS-enabled devices, connectivity, creativity and imagination.
"A small but growing number of (US) schools across the nation are turning classroom lessons into engaging experiences with augmented reality (AR), a technology that overlays digital information on top of real-world surroundings as viewed through a smart phone or other handheld, GPS-enabled device."

AR is taking the world of marketing by storm and an article by Chris Cameron in ReadWriteWeb (June 23, 2010) asks
the question, Can Augmented Reality Help Save the Planet?

Ubiquitous learning, anywhere anytime is part of the mobile learning landscape.
What are your thoughts on AR?

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