Augmented reality

For us who have lived our childhood watching black-and-white TV it was quite amazing to get color TV. Later we have got VCR, Walkman and mobile phone which all have changed our lives even more. At the same time these devices have offered us new possibilities to enjoy life and communicate more effectively. For net natives these gizmos seem ancient because they have been playing with far more complicated gadgets when they were kids. That is why technology enhanced learning is obvious for their generation.

Augmented Reality – more interaction to education

According to Oxford dictionary Virtual reality (VR) is “computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors”. Augmented reality (AR) is explained to be “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view”.

Augmented Reality enables connecting reality with digital content. You just need either mobile device or special glasses to experience AR.

Pokémon Go brought Augmented Reality closer to us in July 2016. For couple of months streets were full of kids (and even grownups) looking for Pokémon. AR is fun, but it’s not only for games. It can also make learning more interesting.

In Turku Cathedral you can download app for your iPhone or borrow  device from info. The whole cathedral comes to life and you have a chance to explore even closed medieval tombs. There are also QR-codes you can use with you mobile phone and learn more about the history of the cathedral.

Porolahti junior high school in Helsinki is a good example of using AR in in education. They have created a 45 minutes route on the shore of Porolahti for biology classes.  There are several control points on the route where pupils answer questions, look for information, take selfies or take photos of the objects teacher has defined in advance. 

There is lot of unused potential when it comes to AR in education. AR can be used in classroom and outside of it. It is useful when explaining abstract things and it may increase students interest and engagement to different topics. As mentioned above it can be used for learning and discovering new things. It already gives us a chance to experience new thing and learn at the same time, no matter where we are.

Augmented Reality may revolutionize education in the future. It is hard to predict when and how it happens because field of education is known to be traditional and slow when it comes to radical changes.



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