News ways of teaching and learning via augmented reality

Augmented reality is one of the concepts that the 2010 Horizon Report considers to be an emerging trend. Below is an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education that provides a wonderful example of how augmented reality might be applied in a teaching and learning environment.

June 20, 2010

‘Augmented Reality’ on Smartphones Brings Teaching Down to Earth

By Sophia Li

At the University of New Mexico, some students in second-year Spanish classes become detectives. They travel to Los Griegos, an Albuquerque neighborhood 15 minutes northwest of the campus, on a mission: Clear the names of four families accused of conspiring to murder a local resident.

It’s a fictional murder mystery, and instead of guns and badges, the students are armed with iPod Touches, provided by the university. When students enter their location into the wireless handheld devices, a clue might turn up: a bloody machete, for example, or a virtual character who may converse with them—in Spanish—about a suspect.

But Los Griegos and the language skills needed to navigate the locale are no fiction. By integrating mobile computing and actual surroundings, the educational game, Mentira—Spanish for “lie” and a reference to the claim of conspiracy the students are assigned to debunk—helps take teaching to a new place outside the classroom: “augmented reality.”

Video and computer games are commonly criticized for isolating players from reality, but augmented-reality developers who work in higher education see the technology as a way to accomplish just the opposite.

“Real life is pretty high-res,” says David J. Gagnon, a faculty consultant and instructional designer at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Augmented-reality games, he says, are a way to help people “get out and see that.”

Full article available at

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