Posts Tagged ‘education’

Is AR a really useful tool for Education?

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      After attending to several conferences and forums to talk about the introduction of augmented reality in school and its “benefits”, there are still people who think that Augmented Reality may be a danger among students, and it has more disadvantages than advantages.

      One of the main ideas that were shown at the conferences by educators is that the introduction of Augmented Reality at school may lead to lazier students. Currently, students have more facilities than some years or decades ago, but the seeking of extra information that is not at books is still a must in order to get solid knowledge. This effort will allow them to develop some abilities that will be useful in later steps of their lives. These abilities may be forgotten if students are not pushed to look for this extra information since it is provided by the addition of Augmented Reality technologies. Thus, in this aspect, some professionals think that the introduction of AR at school, instead of enhancing the learning process could be self-defeating for the students who use it as only tool.

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Augmented Reality in Education. Part II

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      Among all the Augmented Reality applications, one of the most important and practical ones is its use in education. There are many companies and developers which make an effort to introduce this technology to students, professionals and researchers related to the education field.

      Like in nearly all the Augmented Reality applications, through specific images into the text books, students will be able to access extra 3D contents related to each image. This additional information will improve, not only the students´ experience, but also the way in which they learn the lesson, allowing them to understand the content much better than without Augmented Reality.

      This makes sense when we talk about lessons for children, where they can feel that they play with this extra layered information, with which they will have a more robust learning, as has been shown by some researchers in the field. In an advanced levels, like high school, university degrees or even research, Augmented Reality may be used when the user needs a 3D Space view about the environment in order to understand some concepts, like could happen in geometry, chemistry or architecture.

Augmented Reality makes the learning process more efficient, interesting and enjoyable.

Augmented Reality in education

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            Imagine how those boring history lessons at school would be if the children would watch an augmented view of the lesson, like a 3D Solar System Model or Galileu talking directly to them, and they were able to interact with this augmented information. Children learn better the lesson if they see it like a game.

Image 1. An example of learning without AR and with AR.

               Although using Augmented Reality can drive to fun learning, its use is not restricted to children, but can also be used in more advances levels, where the presence of an AR System can provide a very useful tool for the student.

             For instance, in mathematics and geometry the main advantage of using an AR system is that students actually see three dimensional objects which previously they had to calculate and construct with traditional methods, like pen and paper. Instead of working with such old methods, it is better working working directly in 3D space. As a result, complex spatial problems may be comprehended better and faster, as well as spatial relations. A research on it was carried out by Kaufmann and Schmalstieg who published their results in the study “Mathematics and Geometry Education with Collaborative Augmented Reality”. In this research, Kaufmann and Schmalstieg investigated how an AR system improved spatial abilities and transfer of learning of math and geometric objects to the students.

           We can find another example of an AR system developed for educational purpose in “Augmented Reality for teaching spatial relations”,  study carried out by P.Maier, M. Tönnis and G. Klinker in 2009. In this paper, the authors describe how the Augmented Reality can explain in an easy way the spatial relations of the molecules and their spatial interactions and chemical reactions. Furthermore, the use of Augmented Reality can help to scientists to speed up the process of designing new molecules.

Figure 2. AR in medicine, where an “error” could drive to a disaster.   

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