Articles

WYP S5E3 – Augmented Reality

August 21, 2019


[Music] Jason: Is this studio real? Is that a huge monitor behind me? Did I just travel through time and space to be whisked away to the incomperable …Delaware. Hi, I’m in Delaware. None of that is real.
In fact, it’s all been augmented to look real. In other words, augmented reality. Augmented reality is one of the fastest growing trends in entertainment as well as in education! Basically, augmented reality refers to any technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. As the technology behind augmented reality has become more available, it has started to make an impact on education giving instructors cost effective ways to present content differently and boost engagement. Today Adam and Kaylynn are going to take a closer look at this trend as well as demo some examples of augmented reality readily available for you to try as well! readily available for you to try as well! Adam: Until relatively recently, the technology that’s used to make that small room in media to look like a busy newsroom has been limited to production studios. It requires the manipulating of recorded video to augment the reality that the viewer ultimately experiences. However, thanks in part to the popularity of mobile devices, most of us now have the ability to augment our own realities in real time. Kaylynn: You may already be familiar with apps like Pokemon Go that make use of AR technology to reveal a hidden digital world, and while games like this are popular, there are many educational apps that utilize the same technology to help students explore
entire worlds that they otherwise wouldn’t have the ability to experience. Adam: Take for example the Free Rivers App from the World Wildlife Federation that allows you to explore how a virtual ecosystem depends on the river that runs through it. Users can cause storms or even attempt to dam the river to see how these actions affect the people and animals living nearby. Or maybe you want to explore the night sky while it’s still light out. Augmented realty apps like SkyView let you locate constellations and other celestial bodies relative to your current position and what’s more, they offer you detailed information about each one. But why stop at manipulating the earth and sky? This human anatomy 4D app offers an interactive approach to studying A and P. See each system in full detail, see how they connect, zoom in, walk around, or focus in on smaller systems or individual organs to learn about their specific forms and functions. Kaylynn: And all the apps you just saw are available for free; however, there are more robust apps that you could purchase if you’d like to. Adam: An interesting trend within this trend is to couple AR with physical objects to allow users an even more up-close experience with augmented reality. Virtual coloring books like Quivr, allow users to color a picture on paper and use AR to bring it to life. But beyond this novelty, the technology also has a huge potential for learning. The Merge Cube, which I have here, also allows users to literally hold virtual objects in the palm of their hands and manipulate them in various ways, like for example, this cartoon character’s brain. Or if I want, I can be the master of the entire solar system. I can see how the sun and planets interact, explore their orbits, or even focus in on individual planets to learn more about each one. And if I plan our home planet to our celestial neighbors, I can check out up to date weather and satellite data from around the world. This particular app also has other filters that allow users to explore droughts,
fires, snow, rain, and temperature data as well. Kaylynn: As this technology continues to emerge, more augmented educational content will be developed. However, in the meantime, if you can’t find something related to your content area, you can still try it out now.
Apps like HP Reveal allow instructors to create several types of activities right in their classroom. Head to the app store on your phone and search for HP Reveal. This free app can be downloaded to create an augmented scavenger hunt for students. You could use this as an engaging supplemental resource like in a science lab, when looking at maps, or for language study,
just to name a few. You will take a picture or video of an object and overlay an image or video related to class. Then when students go into the app, they are able to bring up a reader through their phone’s camera, which when laid over the specific object, will show the interactive element you have previously created. Jason: So as a quick recap, augmented reality is an emerging trend in education that can help reshape both the way you deliver content as well as the way your students perceive it. Don’t hesitate to contact Distance Learning if you want to talk about ideas for enhancing your course with some augmented reality tools. Well this is me. Thanks for watching; see you next time.

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