Perhaps you have heard the word Augmented Reality (in short AR) like a thousand times, still you haven’t got a clue about what it is, how is it different from Virtue Reality (in short VR) and in how it can help us learn?
In an academic sense, Augmented Reality refers to an advanced technology that merges elements of a physical real-world environment with virtual computer-generated imagery (Milgram & Kishino, 1994). Thus, AR allows users to interact with two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) virtual objects integrated with a real-world environment.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, I bet you can recall some scenes where Sirius Black is shouting hysterically on a newspaper photo or this lady on a hallway painting starts pointing her finger at the passersby. Now all of this could be happening in a real school setting with the implementation of AR. Picture a scenario in which you are taking an Art History class. You want to learn the story behind Vermeer’s masterpiece --- Girl with a Pearl Earring. Instead of reading the boring narration, you pop out your smartphone, have it placed on the picture, and the next thing you see is the girl turning around telling the story herself. How enticing would that be?
Most people who interact with AR for the first time tend to have a mind-blowing experience but fail to associate with classroom applications. However, educators know that learning deepens, not just through reading and listening, but also through creating and interacting. There have been multiple researches that demonstrated AR technology can generate a “natural” experience, enhance the effectiveness of teaching and engagement of learning for students, and eventually increase their attention and motivation. And more recently, AR has been adopted to support informal learning in museums and educational exhibits.
By combing virtue objects with real world content, AR technology is capable of creating unique learning experiences and rich learning opportunities. These type of learning experiences really cater to the needs of visual learners (learners who utilize graphs, charts, maps and diagrams to help acquire information). The beauty of this technology is that the learning journey can be as easy or as complex as you want. Students can create their own, or download the numerous already-made apps connected to various content, and they can easily create these experiences on their own in a matter of minutes.
In case you’re wondering if 3DBear will enter the world of AR, for sure we are. While you’re enjoying the summer, our talented team is working on a new game that gives students a chance to apply AR technology in remolding their surroundings, start right from their school. Want to learn more? Stay tuned for our next post.
Written by Junyi Sun, Educational Trainee at 3DBear
Reference Milgram, P., & Kishino, A. F. (1994). A taxonomy of mixed reality visual displays. IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems, E77-D(12), 1321–1329. Sumadio, D. D., Dwistratanti, & Rambli, D. R. A. (2010). Preliminary evaluation on user acceptance of the augmented reality use for education. In The second international conference on computer engineering and applications (pp. 461–465).