What is Augmented Reality?


Augmented reality (AR), a capability that has been around for some time, is shifting from what once required rooms of equipment to a set of simple-to-use tools with tremendous potential. The layering of information over 3D space produces a new experience of the world, sometimes referred to as “blended reality,” bringing with it new expectations regarding access to information and new opportunities for learning. While the most prevalent uses of augmented reality so far have been in the consumer sector (for marketing, social engagement, amusement, or location-based information), new uses seem to emerge almost daily, as tools for creating new applications become even easier to use. A key characteristic of augmented reality is its ability to respond to user input. This interactivity confers significant potential for learning and assessment; with it, students can construct new understanding based on interactions with virtual objects that bring underlying data to life.

As augmented reality is becoming increasingly used in education, there are more services and tools available to author AR resources. For example, tag-based augmented reality applications are being replaced by image-recognition systems to remove the unsuitable tags from the environment. Additionally, teachers and students are embracing location-based AR applications, such as Google Goggles, because it makes for more authentic and immersive learning experiences. However, the development cost of these technologies is still very high and only available for developers. As a result, new authoring tools are emerging so that this technology is more affordable for institutions, which will is the key for the widespread adoption of augmented reality in education.


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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on Singapore K12 education?

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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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