Augmented reality (AR) was a huge hit with Pokémon GO. When you turned on AR mode, the camera on your mobile device would open and a 3D video of a Pokémon would be superimposed over your camera’s view of the world, which made it look like the Pokémon was right in front of you, as shown below.
But I’m not here to talk about how much I love Pokémon, I’m here to convince you AR has a place in your classroom and I will even show you how to create AR experiences for free. What do I mean by AR experiences? Imagine pointing your phone’s camera at an image of an human femur, and that image triggers a video to open on your phone, explaining how to treat femoral fractures. This is one AR experience that you can design for your own classroom that doesn’t require a lot of time or skill. There are multiple resources available to do this sort of thing but the one I would like to share is called Aurasma. Below is a video that will show you how to use Aurasma, both with the app and the website.
So why should you care about AR technology? What place does it have in the classroom? Here are a few reasons to support the use of AR technology as a teaching and learning tool:
- AR allows students to observe and interact with processes that can’t be viewed in real life e.g. bond formation, structure deformation (Akçayır, M., Akçayır, G., Pektaş, H. M., & Ocak, M. A., 2016)
- The increased interactivity can encourage positive attitudes and increase student motivation (Akçayır et al., 2016)
- Text can be supplemented with images, or vice versa, allowing for multimedia learning (Akçayır et al., 2016)
- AR technology is conducive to student-centred learning by allowing for independent exploration of concepts (Martín-Gutiérrez, J., Fabiani, P., Benesova, W., Meneses, M. D., & Mora, C. E., 2014)
- Student understanding is increased, and the time required by students to understand the material is reduced (Rizov, T., & Rizova, E., 2015)
Although there hasn’t been very much talk about AR in the post-secondary environment, it doesn’t mean we should shy away from it. Below is a video providing examples of how Aurasma is used in a high school that hopefully will inspire practical applications in the post-secondary setting.
Akçayır, M., Akçayır, G., Pektaş, H. M., & Ocak, M. A. (2016). Augmented reality in science laboratories: The effects of augmented reality on university students’ laboratory skills and attitudes toward science laboratories. Computers in Human Behavior, 57, 334-342.
Martín-Gutiérrez, J., Fabiani, P., Benesova, W., Meneses, M. D., & Mora, C. E. (2015). Augmented reality to promote collaborative and autonomous learning in higher education. Computers in Human Behavior, 51, 752-761. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.11.093
Rizov, T., & Rizova, E. (2015). Augmented reality as a teaching tool in higher education. International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering, and Education, 3(1), 7-16.