Virtual reality replaces the real world with an artificial, digital environment. In contrast, augmented reality alters your view of the real world by layering it with associated digital information. AR uses your device's camera to view the immediate environment and display media when it sees an object it recognizes. It has been utilized as a marketing and informational tool by many industries. Using an AR app, you can point your device at an advertisement in a magazine and get detailed product demonstrations. Aim it at a sign outside a house for sale and get an after hours virtual walk-through the property. There are also many ways augmented reality can be used in education.
The Virtual Museum
I've worked with teachers at several schools to created virtual museums - student created exhibits that use augmented reality to display student videos when a device is pointed at an exhibit. In one such project, students researched elements of their community's culture and created exhibits for a museum display. At the same time, they created videos detailing the relevance of each exhibit and the process that went into creating it. The museum was set up in a large hall and several hundred members of the school community attended.
We used a popular AR app called Aurasma. Visitors open the Aurasma app, point their device at a tagged object and watch it morph into a video as shown in one example below:
Create a live timeline that displays video documentaries when devices are pointed at images along the timeline.
I'm sure you'll come up with lots of ideas of your own. Using the Aurasma app, here's the steps to follow to create your own augmented reality
- Create an AR timeline that triggers documentaries for periods of history along the timeline.
- Plays student book reviews when you point a device at printed images of book covers.
- School visitors point a device at an image outside a classroom to watch student video explaining what they’ve been learning.
- Create a "wall of heroes". Print and hang images of famous people and have the students create short videographies of each person.
- Create live student portfolios for open house. Students display their work and each piece triggers a video with an explanation of the process and learning that took place. project.