Join the #ARevolution Post #2: Why use Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality(AR) is a tool we believe is very powerful and a game changer, but we often field the question:

Why use augmented reality?

During this post we hope to answer this important question, as well as inspire you to start using augmented reality in your classroom, school, community, and more!

Augmented reality promotes an active environment for students to engage in a magical learning experience. It use to be unthinkable to interact with elements like Mercury, explore the solar system, or control a NASA spacecraft without ever leaving the four walls of your classroom. Augmented reality brings this unthinkable idea to reality!

“I think that it allows for connections and understandings that cannot otherwise be made.  This is a type of communication that can bring students and their parents closer together, as well as teachers, students, and their families.  When in a setting that does not allow for an actual experience, it can offer the next best thing – such as exploring space or meeting animals and people who live on the other side of the world.  It enhances learning and relationships.” says Terri Eichholz, an elementary gifted and talented teacher and educational blogger.
Mike Willard, a Kindergarten teacher at Highlander Charter School says,
“As a beginner in AR, the hook is amazing. My students are super engaged whenever we use AR apps or try a new AR project.
As I mentioned before, I think there is use as a formative assessment tool. If enough auras and/or projects are created, the growth seen throughout the year will be pretty incredible to witness. ”

As Mike stated, students are engaged in their learning, creating a deeper understanding of the content being explored. Research has also shown that when you have an emotional experience, you are much more likely to recall information rather than just the typical rote memorization.  

Aurasma, is one example of an open source augmented reality app, that allows students to create personalized AR content and share it with the world.

Rocio Watkins, a middle school ESL and religion teacher at Western Christian Schools, thinks that creation is the most important reason to use AR saying, “Creativity, something which is almost a dying discipline nowadays, is the most important value of AR.  Autonomy comes second, as the child has the freedom to create anything that pertains to the objective of the lesson.  The novelty of it leads to intrinsic motivation, as the students desire to complete the assignment out of enjoyment.  And lastly, it is fun (and I personally love it).”

As teachers we are often looking for ways to entice our students and build a love of learning and seeking knowledge.  With AR, it is much easier to create an experience that is unique and special.  Augmented Reality really does open up a world of possibilities and ways to build excitement within your classroom.  

In the next two posts we plan on covering some of the different tools that are available for you to use NOW to start experiencing and creating your own Augmented Reality adventures, as well as ideas on how you can really utilize AR effectively in your classroom.

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**This post was co-written with Drew Minock. You can follow him on twitter @TechMinock or visit his Website

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