Tag Archives: reality

The Potential of Augmented Reality in Education

I’m moderating a panel at the SXSW Interactive conference today at 3:30 p.m. in Austin, TX. The panel is titled The Potential of Augmented Reality in Education.

While I have led and participated in Learning Design and Development projects which involved games, virtual worlds, and social media, I have yet to experiment with the use of Augmented Reality in training. Especially now that I’m a course developer in a highly technical environment, it is hard to push the boundaries of what is normally done in the classroom and in traditional eLearning, to convince stakeholders that there is more than just the gimmick factor of playing around with a smartphone camera or wearing silly goggles that resemble some trashy Sci-Fi movie. That is one of the reasons I lined up this group of experts in the field of Augmented Reality technologies and different fields in Education to share their experiences, thoughts and perspectives on the use of this emerging technology in learning experiences.

I hope everyone enjoys this panel and can contribute with questions they may have.

We will be using the Twitter hashtag #EduAR for a backchannel discussion and as a means to gather questions as well.

Augmented Reality and Learning

The dawn of augmented reality on a consumer level presents many possibilities for marketing, tourism and virtually any area of expertise. But what would be its impact in Education and learning in general?
Would the possibility of adding a layer of information and rich media atop an individual’s view of the world via his/her mobile device’s camera mean we are taking the next step toward “push” mobile learning (information automatically being displayed as available at the learners’ location)?

This could mean 2 things, at least:

1. Information readily available about places, people, objects anywhere, anytime.
2. Not just information devouring but also real, contextual learning opportunities via an immediate 4-dimensional, layered view of the world.

With easy access, people can start gathering information on just about anything and any place on Earth and make that readily available for others walking the path that has been covered with digital breadcrumbs.

With augmented reality on mobile devices, the world becomes one more layer  with overlapped layers of information just-in-time and in real time.

Metaverse Roadmap Overview

I just came across a great article from the Metaverse Roadmap Overview with some interesting findings, discussions and survey results around virtual worlds, game-based learning, augmented reality and other innovative ways or using virtual world technologies mixed with “real world” ones to create new realities.

As stated in the article:

“Virtual worlds increasingly augment the economic and social life of physical world communities. The sharpness of many virtual and physical world distinctions will be eroded going forward. In both spaces, issues of identity, trust and reputation, social roles, rules, and interaction remain at the forefront.”

ARGs in Learning – Learning in ARGs

In response to Koreen Olbrish’s post about learning that takes place in ARGs:

Here is a good place to find out what ARGs are being played currently. One of the best examples of ARGs I think was the one that warmed players up for the release of The Dark Knight. Just explore the puzzles there, incredible. If I am not mistaken, that ARG was developed by 42Entertainment (the same agency that created the Nine Inch Nails one. Also check out ARGnet for current ARGs.

ARGs are a very interesting resource for instruction, since you can mix the content with the storyline. Deliver puzzles that reveal messages that involve content, for instance…

They can be fairly cheap to do since all technologies needed for the game are right here, for free with Web 2.0:

  • Facebook, Ning, for discussions;
  • blogs for characters’ updates and direct contact with players,
  • wikis for players to interact and exchange clues, etc.
  • Youtube for video feeds and trailers.

Even the planning can be done collaboratively (e.g. flowcharting the gameplay via Gliffy with other designers, if geographically disperse)…

Also, VW can be used in the plot or even as the main meet up hub… These are just examples of social media resources that can be utilized in making a cheap and entertaining ARG.

ARGs are very engaging since they mix reality (clues and puzzles with characters that feel real, and player-player interaction)…

A problem on educational ARGs: ARGs tend to rely on having a VERY broad potential audience, say the whole world, and a portion of that population will enter the rabbit hole… well, how can you get 30 players (say you’re creating an ARG for a group of people at a conference) to “buy” the first clue and engage in the game? Maybe 2 of the 70 will actually find the first clue and engage… well, you can manipulate them, sending other clues, clarification, direct messages from game characters until they buy in.. but, the players must have a certain interest to stay in game… and not everyone is a “gamer”…

Just a few thoughts…

I love ARGs and think they have potential… we just need a few more publications with success stories, failures, things to avoid, etc. in EDUCATIONAL situations…, I think…

Take a look at the concept of mARGs (mini ARGs), shorter, with a specific, small audience. People at LAMP have been doing a great job on that .

More references on ARGs:
Alternate reality games, “Experience IT” track, at the ELI 2006 conference

Using Alternate Reality Games to Teach Data Security (a case study)

Alternate Reality Games SIG

Video Games and ARGs: What Can They Learn from Each Other?

Alternate Reality at the Smithsonian

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