Augmented Reality

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR), a capability that has been around for decades, has shifted 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, which confers significant potential for learning and assessment; with it, learners 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 learner’s personal space at a scale and in a form easy to understand and work with.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 7, 2012

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

  • A lot of potential here for bringing a semblance of experiential learning to topics where actual live experience isn't an option. I would argue that augmented reality, virtual reality and *maybe* holographic displays should be merged at this stage. There isn't enough out there to qualify them individually.- shorr shorr Mar 31, 2016
  • I've used Aurasma Studio ( in IT classes. It's cool, but as an end-in-itself exercise, AR quickly gets an "OK, now what?" reaction from kids. ;) Next I want to do some cross-curricular a History teacher who's interested in transforming maps into "interactive" lessons, e.g., Europe during WWII. Although showing students and teachers how to do it is my focus, I think the biggest "sell" of AR is making lessons more interactive/interesting. AR augments reality, VR replaces reality...apples and topic merging, please! - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016
  • If this is a bit late my apologies... the AR research that is taking place has great perennial I think as does the wonderful work on 3D design and creativity., I really like my Google Glass too - now with much "better" video input.
    Communications technologies now allows for working across different parallels and time zones so important for the way we engage our students with the world outside their classroom walls.
    Look at Pisa for 2018... on-line collaborative is a BIG bit of that future
    One pf the major challenges facing education I believe is that of equity.
    Both in internet access/speed and the provision of devices that permit connectivity for teaching and learning.
    How this is achieved comes down to government priority towards equity in education although clearly for many countries there is the
    concern of providing other very important infrastructure. -Peter Lelong

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

  • Kids looking at, e.g., a photo of an engine and seeing popups describing the various parts if great. BUT what would really be cool is if AR had a kind of VoiceThread functionality, so that every student who uses an AR creation would be able to add a user versus editor. Is pointing a smartphone at a photo of a carburetor and getting a popup really "interactive" or is it "reactive"? ;) Don't think we're quite there yet. Or if we are, please let me know! ;) - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016 I agree, David, we are not there yet. But AR has lots of potential and as big players are investing into it, I'm hopeful that in, let's say 5-years' time, we might get there - and become wizards in our own Harry Potter movie: - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic Apr 20, 2016
  • add your response here

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

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

  • We're just starting to dabble. Ask again next year :) - shorr shorr Mar 31, 2016
  • MIT STEP Lab's project Taleblazer is a free software platform that allows users not only to play but also to create their own augmented reality location-based games. Users augment their real world with virtual objects, characters and data. Creating a game is easy and similar to Scratch: visual blocks-based scripting language is used, which makes it easy to create rich interactivity, while helping users avoid syntax errors. I think Taleblazer is an excellent, user-friendly and easy-to-use tool that combines augmented reality, location-based gaming and coding - arjana.blazic arjana.blazic Apr 3, 2016
  • See above links for the different companies developing..."Google Glass alternatives/replacements." ;) Here's an interesting wiki about using AR in education: - davidwdeeds davidwdeeds Apr 6, 2016

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project Sharing Form.