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Augmented Reality: New Learning Dimensions

augmented reality

Augmented Reality (AR), one of the cutting-edge technological innovations, hopes to deliver new dimensions to the existing learning strategies. AR encompasses a live view of real world environments intertwined with computer-generated content (text, graphics, sound, and animation) to supplement the visual elements of the view. With this, educators are given the opportunity to create a whole new level of semi-virtual and semi-real learning environments; with content that can be as diverse and rich as human imagination can be. For teachers who want to try a new way of flipping their classroom, consider this digital solution to energize your class lectures and visual presentations. Let’s share different ways you can leverage this technology.

Bringing Inanimate Objects To Life

AR makes it possible for the entire class to interact with the inanimate objects in the classroom. You can use it to mount a live view of any physical object (posters, globes, and chalkboard) and augment them with computer-generated inputs (graphics, animation, text, video, sound, or GPS information) to make them more engaging and informative. For instance, you can make a toy skeleton magically project its vital organs once scanned using a smartphone or tablet equipped with an AR scanner. Or, you can transform a typical volcano poster into an active video simulation of a volcanic eruption.

In Giving Homework Help

Using an AR creation tool like Aurasma,  you can create interactive homework for your students. This application will allow you to overlay a digital element (3D image, slideshow, or video) into their textbooks, notebooks, or any other objects they carry around to and from the school. The app generates a unique QR code (also known as an AR marker) for the digital content you wish to add. You can simply attach a QR code in their Math workbook, for instance, which reveals a video of a difficult Mathematical equation being solved.

In Facilitating Field Activities

Angelina Long, a Middle School Science Teacher at Prince George’s County Public School, shared her experience in using AR. In her blog post, she reiterated that there are numerous “ways to implement augmented reality outside school.” One of which is in a field-trip setting, and facilitating life sciences museum tours, gallery exposure trips, and environmental field activities. All you need is to coordinate with the venue earlier to pre-installing AR markers containing trivia, clues, questions, or animations around the museum. Then, you can instruct your students to use their smartphones or tablets to scan around the place, and look for the virtual clues you’ve installed.

As An Aid For Lab Safety

In chemistry classes, having an actual exposure with chemical compositions and elements is crucial for the learning process. However, we can’t always avoid the accidents associated with it. For one, these elements can be harmful to health and a potential threat to your students’ safety (chemical explosions). To avoid this dilemma, you can put AR markers all around the laboratory that contain pre-recorded video, instead of an actual lab procedure. When your students scan these markers, it will still give them the illustrated procedure of mixing chemicals without the possible harm.

A Visual Aid For Students With Disabilities

With augmented reality, you can teach your special education class with the use of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Sign Language Flashcards. Students can use their tablets to scan these flashcards and watch a video overlay of the sign language, making it easier for them to understand lessons. This will also enhance classroom collaboration and diversity, as they will never be left behind, even in mainstreamed classes.

Transforming Textbooks Into Interactive Resources

For visual learners, digital storybooks with AR capability can make the class more engaging. A classical novel Les Miserables as an e-book can also include pictures or videos portraying particular scenes from each chapter. In poetry classes, you can also add a video overlay into a lyrical piece.

These are some of the uses of Augmented Reality in classroom and learning environments. This technology when maximized in class can really bring a whole new dimension to the existing teaching strategies we have today. How will you plan to implement AR in your classroom?

Editor’s note: Augmented Reality (AR) might be a great fit for another free classroom app called ClassFlow.

About the Author:

Jennifer Birch

Jennifer Birch’s career in tech writing has influenced her to be an EdTech fanatic and a religious follower of Verizon foundation‘s Thinkfinity.org. She’s passionate in covering its developments and disseminating her knowledge to fellow enthusiasts and educators. Connect with her through Twitter and Google+.

Jennifer Birch’s career in tech writing has influenced her to be an EdTech fanatic and a religious follower of Verizon foundation's Thinkfinity.org. She’s passionate in covering its developments and disseminating her knowledge to fellow enthusiasts and educators. Connect with her through Twitter and Google+.
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