Augmented reality is exactly what the name implies — a medium through which the known world fuses with current technology to create a uniquely blended interactive experience.

While still more or less a nascent entity in the frequently Luddite education industry, more and more teachers, researchers, and developers contribute their ideas and inventions towards the cause of more interactive learning environments. Many of these result in some of the most creative, engaging experiences imaginable, and as adherence grows, so too will students of all ages.

Second Life

Because it involves a Stephenson-esque reality where anything can happen, Second Life proved an incredibly valuable tool for educators hoping to reach a broad audience — or offering even more ways to learn for their own bands of students. Listing the numerous ways in which they utilized the virtual world means an entire article on its own, but a quick search will dredge up the online classes, demonstrations, discussions, lectures, presentations, debates, and other educational benefits.

Reliving the Revolution

Karen Schrier harnessed GPS and Pocket PCs to bring the Battle of Lexington to her students through the Reliving the Revolution game, an AR experiment exploring some of the mysteries still shrouding the event — like who shot first! Players assume different historical roles and walk through everything on a real-life map of the Massachusetts city.

PhysicsPlayground

One of the many, many engines behind PC games received a second life as an engaging strategy for illustrating the intricate ins and outs of physics, in a project known as PhysicsPlayground. It offers up an immersive, three-dimensional environment for experimenting, offering up a safer, more diverse space to better understand how the universe drives itself.

QR Code scavenger hunts

Smartphones equipped with a QR code reader make for optimal tools when sending students on scavenger hunts across the classroom or school. The Daring Librarian, Gwyneth Anne Bronwynn, sends kids on an augmented reality, animated voyage through the library to figure out where to find everything and whom to ask for assistance.

Geotagging

Classrooms with smartphone access blend Google Earth and web albums such as Picasa or Instagram for a firsthand experience in geotagging and receiving a visual education about the world around them. More collaborative classrooms — like those using live streaming like Zoom – could use this as a way to nurture cross-cultural, geopolitical understanding.

Star Walk

Available on Android and iWhatever devices, these deceptively simple applications pack a megaton punch of education via an innovative augmented reality approach. Both involve pointing the gadget to the sky and seeing the names of the currently visible stars, planets, and constellations pop up, along with additional astronomical information.

8 Examples Of Augmented Reality In Education