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AR in education: on the cusp of mass use

The pros of augmented reality are very exciting for cutting edge teachers and educators, says Ben Sams

Posted by Hannah Oakman | August 28, 2016 | People

Where will the technology evolve across schools and universities around the world? 

Augmented reality brings together the real and the artificial in one environment, this means that we can teach subjects like crime scene investigation, high-power workstations and emergency rescue situations without subjecting students to a higher level of risk than previously.

At the University of Derby there are many ideas for augmented reality such as student poster submissions. Students had been asked to create posters with accompanying videos that could be accessed through the images on the poster that were the Aurasma triggers.

What are the pros and cons?

Augmented reality has been at the cusp of mass use for a number of years and the pros are very exciting for cutting-edge teachers and educators. However, the learning cliff is large for augmented reality-related projects. Universities are fortunate as they usually have support teams researching into these subjects, however, schools and colleges rely more on the teachers to do this research and investigation work. This could take a long time and the results may not be fruitful.

How can we get the most educational value out of AR in the classroom?

Augmented reality needs to be blended with other technology. For example in our audio composition classes we are currently researching into developing augmented reality-style prompts on screen with head tracked audio. In this case a student would be able to try out different audio scenarios depending on their sight and visual clues.

There are tools out there for simple augmented reality creation but to achieve higher-quality augmented reality experiences blended with other systems like surround sound and 360˚ video needs significant development work, if colleges and schools are seriously interested in this they should invest now in the appropriate system/support staff.

Ben Sams is a Lecturer in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Derby

 

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