Activity 12.1 – Augmented and Virtual Realities

My use of AR/VR in the past has been limited to QR codes.  An example of this are the following posters which I would put up in my grade 9 math classroom where students could learn more about a particular concept.

The idea was that if students needed to review a concept they would scan the QR code and it took them to a website that had further instruction and/or practice.

Matt Dunleavy’s (2014) statement that AR and VR can create  “immersive and context sensitive learning experiences within the physical environment, providing instructional designers with a novel and potentially transformative tool for teaching and learning” (p. 29)  led me to a lot online investigation on what was possible with AR/VR and I came across a lot of fun things.  Kathy Schrock’s website was helpful as always.  I really liked the possibilities of the Merge Cube, so much so, that I got on Amazon and ordered one for my daughter for Christmas.  I plan on trying it out myself to incorporate into shape and space units surrounding the concepts of volume and surface area.   Further exploration then took me to Todd Nesloney’s article on Edutopia; Augmented Reality Brings New Dimensions to Learning.  Two ideas that I passed on to my colleague for her use as a literacy coordinator were the following:

  • Book Reviews: Students record themselves giving a brief review of a novel that they just finished, and then attach that “aura” (assigned digital information) to a book. Afterward, anyone can scan the cover of the book and instantly access the review.
  • Word Walls: Students can record themselves providing the definitions to different vocabulary words on a word wall. Afterward, anyone can use the Aurasma app to make a peer pop up on screen, telling them the definition and using the word in a sentence.

Overall, I think the use of AR/VR in the classroom is only limited by a teacher/student’s imagination and time availability for investigation, planning, and development.  I like that some of the tools I discovered, for example, AugThat, have lessons already created for teachers that align with common curriculums.  For other AR resources like SkyMap, teachers can easily integrate into their existing lessons to enrich student learning and engagement.  Lastly, the fact that there are AR projects such as Learning Alive, that although costly, do the prep and resource building for you.  Either way you choose to go about it, AR/VR is definitely a tool to engage students and promote collaboration.  It’s exciting to explore all of the possibilities.

 


Dunleavy, M. (2014). Design Principles for Augmented Reality Learning. Techtrends: Linking Research And Practice To Improve Learning58(1), 28-34.

“Augmented and Virtual Reality.” Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything, www.schrockguide.net/augmented-reality.html.

Nesloney, Todd. “Augmented Reality Brings New Dimensions to Learning.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, www.edutopia.org/blog/augmented-reality-new-dimensions-learning-drew-minock.

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