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Augmented Reality has a lot of potential to be used as an educational tool to enhance learning. So far most of the time, the technology has been used for commercial or research purposes. Most people who had the opportunity to interact with Augmented Reality for the first time have an eye-opening experience but they usually forget to consider this wonderful technology in classroom applications.
VIA University College from Denmark, in collaboration with partners from England, Norway and Spain have started a large project funded by the European Union aiming to integrate Augmented Reality in science education. The aim is to investigate how educators and students can make full use of Augmented Reality in classrooms and ways to increase children’s learning and motivation. One of the project partners commented that the project is unique as the activity revolves around the learner, linking creativity with technology.
Augmented Reality is at the forefront of innovative learning for several reasons. It supports a high level of student involvement through enquiry and problem-based approach. Furthermore, it offers children the possibility to learn by experiencing and creating rather than reading and writing and can also be used to strengthen inclusion of children with learning disabilities in schools.
There are many ways how Augmented Reality can be applied in classrooms to create an active learning environment, which redefines the learning space previously thought unimaginable. There are many apps available in the smart market, mainly the App Store and Google Play that features a wide variety of topics ranging from manipulating and combining elements such as mercury to exploring the human body and being able to learn and isolate various body systems, right from their iOS or Android devices.
One particular Augmented Reality app, Aurasma, allows users to engage in and create Augmented Reality experiences of their own. Both teachers and students can use this open source tool to essentially bring their learning to life through several different ways in the classroom such as watching a video of how a certain problem is being solved when a page of their homework gets scanned or being able to learn the different safety procedures and protocols for equipment around the science laboratory.
With the application of Augmented Reality, schools can no longer struggle in finding new ways to increase learning and at the same time being able to boost motivation and interest in students towards learning, which has been one of several real challenges in education today.