More on Augmented Reality

As my readers know I am a huge fan of Augmented reality.  I came across a video from PBS yesterday that I thought provides a good definition of Augmented reality and its possible use in the classroom. I have linked this video below for those of you who are still not familiar with this concept. This is a topic that I think we are going to see and hear about a lot in the future of education.

AR  To view the video on augmented reality click here!

If you want more information on augmented reality check out my past posts on        this   topic by clicking here!

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What is Augmented Reality?

As many of you know I have discussed “Augmented Reality” many times in this blog. To see these posts check out the “Augmented Reality in Schools” under my blog topics. Lately I have received many comments and emails from my readers asking me to explain this concept a bit more for them. So as I sat down to compose a response I came across a great video on the topic by the Common Craft Show. They state that this video is, “An introduction to a new technology that adds a layer of useful information to the “reality” we see on screens of mobile phone and computers.” So here is a great starting point that might help some of you who are visual learners like me.

Augmented Reality – Explained by Common Craft (Free Version)

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What is Augmented Reality? REALLY!

Over the past year I have begun working on creating alternative learning environments in a real world setting.  In my quest to create these so called augmented reality environments I have begun to wonder if the term “augmented reality” is appropriate.  It seems as read other blogs and look at new apps for phones, that every time I turn around there is a new augmented reality application.  So my question is should we look at redefining what is augmented reality and maybe create different types or classifications?  What do you think?

Defining Augmentedness – What is mobile AR Part I The Camera

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Augmented Reality Experiment Post 3: “My First Game”

Mystery Animals

My First Augmented Reality game.

On Monday I tried out my first Augmented Reality game.  The objective of the game was for my students to learn a little information about the three major fur bearing animals of the Pacific Northwest.  The purpose of this game was two fold.  The first was that I wanted them to test the technology to see if they could interact with it.  The second was an introduction into our next unit on the fur trading era of the Pacific Northwest.

The only directions I gave them were on the purpose and organization of the game.  They were told that they were to discover three animals on the back football field.  At each location on the map they would find a description of an animal and an audio recording of the sound that animal makes.  It was their task to discover the name of that animal and convert that name into a code to unlock the next location on the map.  The hint for the code was A=1.  Students then went outside, opened the software, and began navigating the game, once they obtained a satellite signal.

Students seemed to have no trouble using the software to navigate through their game.  They were highly engaged and had to be persuaded to come into the building, when it began to rain.  Students were very motivated, almost driven, to get to the end of the game.  This was very interesting to me, since some of these students are not often motivated in class.   While I assume that some of the motivation was in the novelty of the situation, the game atmosphere did seem to motivate many of the students.  All students were able to eventually navigate the course and complete the game.  As students entered the classroom after completing the game, there was a lot of discussion about the three fur bearing animals and how they came to their conclusion for each animal.  The discussion in class went extremely well.  They really enjoyed talking about the games and the information that they discovered about each animal.  Every student I felt achieved the learning target for the day, and they truly seemed excited about the possibility of doing this type of exercise again.  All in all I would have to say my first game, while not overly complex, was a complete success.

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Augmented Reality Experiment Post 2: “Introducing the Smart Phones”

Well this is my second post on my Augmented Reality classroom experiment.  As I mentioned in my first post, I am piloting 30 HTC  Touch smart

HTC Touch Pro
Pilot Phone for class

phones to create augmented reality learning environments for Junior High students.  The goal is to get kids out of their seats and walking around the school grounds and school interacting with virtual characters and fellow classmates to solve a question or scenario.   This type of environment, I believe, can be very powerful for students.  As I begin to look at creating these environments, I have settled on two different software platforms to use since they are free. Both work well on the phones I have and have a simple interface.  To see more information about these programs read my first post “30 Smart Phones and 5 Weeks: An Augmented Reality Classroom Experiment“.

On the first day with the phones, I demonstrated the basics of how to use the phones with my pilot class. Their enthusiasm was incredible.  This became quite the learning environment, as students began to teach each other and me tips and tricks on how to work these phones.  They were very open and willing to help all students and me in the class.  I was surprised and encouraged by how the class behaved and interacted with each other. Status and cliques of students seemed to disappear and everyone was willing to help each other.  Since the students will be assigned a particular phone, they seemed to become very protective of their phone and how it was setup.  I believe that the sense of ownership is a key to using this type of technology.  So the first day was encouraging for me, and I felt like it was a great success.  Monday I will try out our first game.

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Augmented Reality with Bing Maps The Wave of the Future?

Saw this video and the ideas for augmented reality uses for kids in the classroom and thousands of ideas exploded in my head about the potential uses in education.  This is a fascinating video that will get you thinking about the use of this technology in the classroom.  Must see if you are looking at augmented reality games for students to learn from.

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