Volume 1, Issue 2

Halas Moulton News
Katherine Halas Moulton ed.

“Due to advances in the development of pedagogical concepts, applications and technology, and a simultaneous decline in hardware costs, the use of small scale or mobile immersive virtual or augmented reality systems could become feasible for educational institutions within this decade (assuming ongoing development at the same rate). Nevertheless, the potential of each VR/AR feature needs careful reflection in order to be actually translated into educational efficacy. The matter is not questioning whether or not VR/AR is useful to enhance learning. The matter is understanding how to effectively exploit its potential.” – Hannes Kaufmann

Augmented Reality: Better than Real
Augmented reality is the buzz word for the wide ranged realm of digital platforms that improve on reality – real time. There is a range of new products from software that uses GPS on a mobile device to show street view maps of where you are standing to contact lens that can check blood sugar levels. The possibilities for augmented reality can range from architecture through tourism to education with a lot of stops in between. Software applications use real time video to capture a child using a webcam and place them in a scene with their favourite characters. A Similar webcam to enhanced real time image was used by one innovative company to sell makeup. They created a virtual make-up mirror where it scans your face and suggest and shows the best make up for you on your face real time. Then it prints out a shopping list for what it recommends that you buy! Travel Word Lens has created an app that recognizes the words on a sign that you point your handheld device camera at and it will translate it to the language of your choice.

from Wikipedia

from World Lens

Halas Moulton News

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Situated documentary: History superimposed
Situated documentary is educational application for placing historical events in a real context. This is useful both for education and tourism. The concept is that as you walk around a historic site that either through a handheld device or virtual reality goggles you can see superimposed on the current infrastructure historical images and information. Some teachers have been inventing their own situated documentrys and others are being developed by teams of students and researchers. Karen Schrier created this amazing lesson that takes students through the streets of her city trying to figure out who was the first one killed in the American Revolution, a mystery that is not solved yet today. Historypin is a similar site that I have used in my classroom that allows the public to upload historical images and pin them to a map. Here is an example from one of my students. My favourite feature is the street view. If the images are lined up well then one can play with the fade slider to see historical images right on top of current Google street view images.

from history pin

http://www.hitl.washington.edu/publicatio ns/r-99-1/

from smarttech.com From

Mixed Reality:
Mixed reality uses some a digitized image which is captured by the webcam that is detected by the software and projected on the screen with an enhanced image. SMART has invented a cube or marker cards that can be used with a document camera to show 3D images realtime in the classroom. There are some built in 3D images that can easily be attached to the marker or teachers can download images from sites like Google 3D warehouse or create their own (or have students create them for you) in freeware like Google Sketchup. This AR marker to webcam to projected image is also being used in storybooks. Another type of book like this one about the Earth Core can help to get across teaching concepts that are difficult to visualize in 2D into 3D like this one about the Earth core or one on occupational safety scaffolding In this Biology application students are able to hold up a printed out marker to the webcam and see themselves with internal organs superimposed on their own live body. One innovator tattooed his arm with this kind of marker to make it show augmented images.

from The question of whether or not to use AR in the classroom is not exactly controversial. It is just a more personalized, real time development for value added learning. It will be important not to be too seduced by the technology and forget to contextualize it in effective learning. This is a great tool but like all tools it needs to be used well in order to be effective.

from designboom.com