AR in Education #1: Intro

Hello there! This is my very first blog entry about my journey of finding a suitable topic/project for my master’s thesis, so here we go: I chose “AR in Education” as an overall topic, which I would like to approach rather broadly at first and then gradually narrow it down in order to find a specific research question to work with. The aim of this first blog entry is to give a quick overview of 1) what AR is and 2) how it’s used in the educational sector. Let’s get started:

AR in a nutshell

Augmented Reality (AR) allows to enhance the real physical world through digital visual elements, sound or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. It incorporates three basic features: 1) a combination of real and virtual worlds, 2) real-time interaction and 3) accurate 3D registration of virtual and real objects. AR thus provides both the real and virtual world simultaneously to the users – either in a constructive (i.e. additive to the natural environment) or a destructive (i.e. masking of the natural environment) way. Further information on the technology behind AR (i.e. hardware, software, algorithms and development) will be covered in another blog entry.

AR in the educational sector

AR techniques are already used in various fields like entertainment, tourism, health care or cultural heritage – just to mention a few. But it’s the educational sector, that caught my attention – especially children’s education. I asked myself “Can AR be used to make learning faster, better and more fun?”. As far as I know at this point, the answer is yes. There is already a range of educational materials like textbooks or flashcards that contain embedded “markers” or triggers that, when scanned by an AR device, produce supplementary information rendered in a multimedia format. But that doesn’t mean that I am not sceptical about AR as an educational tool – In my opinion “children & digital devices” is a double-edged sword. That’s why I would like to take a very close look at where AR has added value and where it doesn’t (in another blog entry).

My next steps

  • Dive in deeper into the technology behind AR 
  • Find out, what already exists on the market (and hopefully find a niche, where there’s a need)
  • Discuss, where AR has added value and where it doesn’t

That’s it for today! 🙂

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Sources:

Afnan, Muhammad, K., Khan, N., Lee, M.-Y., Imran, A., & Sajjad, M. (2021). School of the Future: A Comprehensive Study on the Effectiveness of Augmented Reality as a Tool for Primary School Children’s Education. Applied Sciences, 11(11), 5277. MDPI AG. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/app11115277

Elmqaddem, N. (2019). Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in Education. Myth or Reality? iJET, 14, 234-242. doi: 10.3991/IJET.V14I03.9289

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