Technology surrounds us, and so do questions about the readiness of our students to step into future job markets that have ever-increasing demands for technical competencies — and application proficiencies — in emerging technologies like augmented reality. One faculty member at Bentley University in Waltham, MA, considered ways that his students might best learn to create and use augmented reality. He designed a bold experiment with a partner school, Politehnica University of Timisoara, in Romania — the students would create AR artifacts to examine and learn from each other. In this learning collaboration, students from these two schools, on separate continents, learn about augmented reality and how it is used in industry.
Here, Mark Frydenberg, a senior lecturer of computer and information systems and director of the CIS Sandbox at Bentley University in Waltham, MA, details the project and the thinking behind it.
When I read Camillia Matuk’s The Learning Affordances of Augmented Reality For Museum Exhibits on Human Health, I knew I wanted to speak with her about AR and learning. Camillia is assistant professor of educational communication and technology at New York University (with a Ph.D. in the learning sciences from Northwestern University, an MSc in biomedical communications from the University of Toronto, and a BSc in biological sciences from the University of Windsor.) She does design-based research investigations to better understand how innovative technologies and learning environments can better support teaching and learning.
To hone in on the audience’s perspective, our team applied a human-centered design (HCD) lens. We call this lens “audience experience” (AX). Over ten weeks, we conducted 3 sets of experiments with over 40 participants and interviewed experts from multiple perspectives, from design-thinking, theatre, gaming, architecture, journalism, science, and film.
Here are some of the most illuminating points from our research — the points that we think will be helpful to other mobile VR storytellers, as we navigate this new landscape together.
“All art is technology. Even paint. That’s how I approach it. And, as the title of our show suggests, we are putting hi-tech next to low. Make believe, raw wood sets, telepresence, immersive A/V. We’re really mixing it up, as appropriate for a show about past, present, and future.
In Hi-Fi / Wi-Fi, we have explored new technologies that may change how people think about theatre. As you know, live telepresence in a work about the ways technology — Skype, FaceTime, video conferencing — enhances and conflicts with communication between two lovers. Yes, that’s on the surface. And there are many ways that we’ve used, or custom developed new technologies, that may not be apparent to a person at first.”
For the study of humanities specifically, 3D simulations can be a game-changer. In a 3D environment, the possibilities for exploration are enormous. Rather than read about an event, learners can virtually put themselves into the situation.
For example, a student studying the Civil War can take on the role of a soldier through the use of a serious game. They will be faced with decisions and events that causes a deeper level of thinking than simply reading about the event can produce.
3D games can allow a learner access to times and places that no longer exist. Students are given the chance to emulate people and situations that are vastly different from them and their life-experiences. This type of learning is not only relevant to the study of history. It’s also valuable in the study of fine arts, philosophy, literature, and language.
A student can put themselves in the shoes of a performer or an author. 3D simulations allow the learners a chance to look at virtually anything from a first-person perspective. The difference in how they process and comprehend the information is profound.
In a traditional teaching methodology, a learner will have to choose a linear path in their learning process, but adaptive learning might allow them to skip a few concepts if the learning progress supports the jump. Technology that can transform education in 2017: From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented Reality, are top changes to watch Adaptive … Continue reading "Technology that can transform education in 2017: From Artificial Intelligence to Augmented Reality, here are top changes to watch"
Once the students have been able to grasp this abstract content with the help of the technology, teachers then have the choice of other digital or non-digital activities from which they can choose to have their students apply this knowledge.
Emerging digital technologies such as AR are now being considered in complex, subtle and thoughtful ways by teachers.
While considering the technology, pedagogy and content influencing their choices, teachers are also considering the contexts in which they are working.
These considerations are helping teachers to make choices other than just PowerPoint when it comes to the inclusion of technologies in their teaching practice.
Kim Flintoff's insight:
Some of us were already in this space more than a decade ago... and others even earlier.... The comments section shows that school kids have been introduced to virtuality over that same time. In some school contexts VR and AR have been standard tools for years.
In November 2015, middle-school students from Westchester County, New York, found themselves on a windswept field in South Sudan mingling with a crowd of refugees fleeing civil war. Suddenly, they heard the deafening roar of low-flying military cargo planes overhead, followed by large bags of grain thudding to the ground all around them.
“The kids were jumping back from those bags dropping at their feet,” recalled Cayne Letizia, the teacher who used immersive virtual reality (VR) to transport his class into this emergency food drop featured in the New York Times 360-degree video series about refugees. Count Letizia among VR’s burgeoning fan base in education, where the spread of high-quality content and more-affordable hardware (especially Google’s $15 Cardboard Viewer) gives students myriad ways to briefly inhabit what they’re learning—from wandering the streets of ancient Rome to touring the International Space Station.
Virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, haptic feedback; the line between these and many other technological realities is becoming blurred and they are beginning to be grouped under one umbrella term: artificial reality. But what is artificial reality and how can it be used effectively in the classroom?
CoSpaces gives your imagination a place to unfold: Fantasy worlds, immersive birthday cards or virtual museums – with the free online platform you can easily create whatever you want in 3D and explore it in virtual reality, 360° or on a regular screen. Your creativity is the limit!
Simulation-based learning allows us to play in a highly immersive environment that reflects aspects of the real world. In virtual simulations, we can explore and create with much lower stakes than we would encounter in the real world. Questions of “What if?” flourish in a virtual simulation as we create and experience new possibilities with increasing realism. With smartphones making access to virtual reality easier and easier, virtual simulations can now become part of place-based learning in the classroom.
Using virtual reality creation technology, we asked our students at Parklands College to design “District 2020,” a hypothetical eco-city based on an area of Cape Town, South Africa, formerly known as District Six. Students were to virtually design District 2020 as an urban area emphasizing sustainability and food security and reflecting the area’s social history. This created a place-based interdisciplinary project where students drew from English, history and geography learning and applied their knowledge to a contemporary challenge in a local context.
Virtual reality teeters on the edge of becoming mainstream, with software development outstripping the hardware and memory storage needed. In this article, a librarian and an art historian discuss the many ways that VR may transform learning and student experiences.
You’re at work, flipping through emails that hang in mid-air. Graphs, text messages and pictures pop up on your desk, then disappear. Bored, you sit back and watch a jellyfish bob across the ceiling.
This is augmented reality – real life only better, bedazzled with digital displays. AR is the next futuristic fantasy the tech industry wants to conquer, and in 2017 it may finally happen.
You can watch a video demo of the above scene courtesy of secretive Florida start-up Magic Leap. This shows a head-mounted display overlaying surroundings with a broad array of eye-popping graphics — including a game in which you shoot enemy robots as they pop up around you. The release date for Magic Leap’s technology is still unknown – it may be a few years off yet – but you can already get a taste of some AR experiences.
LET A THOUSAND virtual worlds rain down from the clouds. Or rather, the cloud. That’s the call from Google as it gets behind a tiny British startup called Improbable.
Founded by two Cambridge graduates and backed by $20 million in funding from the venture capitalists at Andreessen Horowitz, Improbable offers a new way of building virtual worlds, including not just immersive games à la Second Life or World of Warcraft, but also vast digital simulations of real cities, economies, and biological systems. The idea is that these virtual worlds can run in a holistic way across a practically infinite network of computers, so that they can expand to unprecedented sizes and reach new levels of complexity.
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