How Augmented Reality Technology Can Bring Your Classroom to Life

“When talking about using ed tech, I’ve found it important to stress two points — how it helps meet the immediate and direct self-interest of the individual teacher by making things easy and simple, and how it provides added value to the students’ learning experience.” — Larry Ferlazzo

Teachers know it can often be a struggle to engage students in the classroom. For a generation addicted to screens, stimulation comes at a premium. A new wave of technologies has arrived that is flipping the script, and it’s bringing the engagement children have at home with their devices back into the classroom. So what is this burgeoning technology? Augmented reality.

Augmented Reality dinosaur

Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality superimposes computer or photo-generated images onto a user’s view of the real world.

Augmented reality allows us to manipulate physical objects in incredible new ways. At Early Adopter, we’ve developed a historical timeline called Chronoquest that allows teachers to create their own interactive content based on their lesson plans.

Jaime Donally, founder of ARVRinEDU, said it best: “Using immersive technology, our stories have never seemed so real. We can control how the stories come to life.”

Benefits to Teachers

After placing the physical timeline along the wall, teachers can create custom-mapped content tailored to their lesson plans. It’s a foolproof way for teachers to increase engagement with their students by creating novel experiences within the classroom. The augmented reality component allows them to update new content, keeping the material fresh and up to date with their current module.

With one printed timeline, teachers can develop multiple “quests” from their lesson plans, whether it’s about the history of art, women’s rights, or even American politics.

Students can interact with each piece of content on the timeline through a tablet or phone. They often end up clustering together to engage with the Quest.

Benefits for Students

For the students, the increased engagement through technology allows for greater retention of the material. As teachers well know, interacting with information through multiple techniques can help students develop a deeper understanding and stronger recall.

Chronoquest also fosters a social component to learning. Students find themselves interacting with the content together, playing with the different moments in time and discussing interesting facts they come across.

Conclusion

As society continues to wrestle with how technology is impacting our lives, Chronoquest has seen first hand a seemingly universal truth of augmented reality in the classroom: sometimes the tech is just more fun. At the end of the day, we all want our students engaged and learning. Augmented reality is here to do just that, and it’s here to stay.

Originally published at medium.com on May 8, 2018.

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