What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR), a capability that has been around for decades, is shifting from what was once seen as a gimmick to a tool with tremendous potential. The layering of information over 3D space produces a new experience of the world, sometimes referred to as “blended reality,” and is fueling the broader migration of computing from the desktop to the mobile device, bringing with it new expectations regarding access to information and new opportunities for learning. While the most prevalent uses of augmented reality so far have been in the consumer sector (for marketing, social engagement, amusement, or location-based information), new uses seem to emerge almost daily, as tools for creating new applications become even easier to use. A key characteristic of augmented reality is its ability to respond to user input. This interactivity confers significant potential for learning and assessment; with it, students can construct new understanding based on interactions with virtual objects that bring underlying data to life. Dynamic processes, extensive datasets, and objects too large or too small to be manipulated can be brought into a student’s personal space at a scale and in a form easy to understand and work with.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • for me this is a critical one (not sure why it should be hugely expensive but perhaps I don't get it), ' - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 27, 2015
  • This technology is relevant in all education sectors as it is a bridge between teachers and/or students learning how to present essential information and add layers of additional information to engage the "reader/viewer as required or desired. - annieagnew annieagnew Mar 1, 2015
  • creating immersive experiences for students/learners in environments that would be otherwise out of reach. The work of Sarah Kenderdine at UNSW is really interesting in this spacers. Converging art and digital; transforming collections; recombining and sharing stories - ktairi ktairi Mar 1, 2015 digital humanities
  • another response here

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I think there is great potential but wonder about the costs of such technology and who bears that cost? Student or institution? - slambert slambert Feb 26, 2015
  • With new apps and devices, cost is minimal and can be embedded as an element of course development or student responses. - annieagnew annieagnew Mar 1, 2015
  • perhaps a way forward would be to share resources with other institutes - ktairi ktairi Mar 1, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • surely' its the ultimate link between electronic resources and mobile learning???? - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 27, 2015
  • AR has the potential to be a bridge between presentation or publication of essential information as a "poster" or info graphic etc with embedded layers of additional information that add interest, depth and breadth without crowding the top layer of response/information - annieagnew annieagnew Mar 1, 2015
  • An opportunity for learners to experience the world in a different way... overlaying data on to the digital or real world to create new narratives. I think of the Holodeck on Star Trek. Imagine if you could revisit a different place and time what you could learn! However I agree with others cost seems to prohibitive?- ktairi ktairi Mar 1, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • I have used AR with undergraduate teachers considering the concept of the following from a learning perspective
    • tell me what I need to know
    • tell me something more
    • Take me further - annieagnew annieagnew Mar 1, 2015
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