Augmented reality, not to be confused with virtual reality, is a method of layering computer-generated graphics over real-time video of your current environment. While this may sound like very interesting technology, you may be wondering how this can benefit educators and students. In the “Augmented Reality” breakout session at the Innovate 2012 conference, Jonathan Diehl and Larissa Borcz, both undergraduate students at The Ohio State University and employees of the Digital Union, presented many ways in which Augmented Reality (AR) may be utilized in a learning environment.
One fascinating use of AR for an educative purpose, as Jonathan and Larissa explained, is Karen Schrier’s simulation of the Battle of Lexington, the first battle of the American Revolution. Schrier’s app is called “Reliving the Revolution.” The simulation takes place on the original battlefield, in Lexington, MA, and allows students to explore the historic site and learn details of each area of significance. This implementation stood out to me because, as a student, I always found history textbooks dry and hard to follow. Educational experiences like “Reliving the Revolution” give students an opportunity to actively engage with the materials. From this example alone, I began to imagine implementations of augmented reality, not only in history, but in many other disciplines as well.
Karen Schrier’s game is one of many examples that were demonstrated in Jonathan and Larissa’s presentation. The presentation was both informative and entertaining, and I encourage anyone interested in AR to check out their ongoing study of AR by visiting their blog at http://go.osu.edu/duarblog.
Anna Lubrecht is a graduate student in the College of Education & Human Ecology.