Why Augmented Reality Enriches Student Learning

Augmented reality brings learning to life in schools.

by / November 7, 2014
Screenshot of app by Tanya Roscorla

Students can have deeper learning experiences through augmented reality, which turns static images into 3-D and 4-D objects that they can manipulate through an app.  

These deeper learning experiences allow students to look at things like the heart from a different perspective, said Brad Waid, a teacher at Eastover Elementary School in Michigan, in a session at the FETC Virtual Conference. Instead of just seeing a picture of the heart, they can pull up a 4-D image of it, go inside the heart and watch an animated cardiac cycle through apps such as Anatomy 4D from Daqri. They can even turn the blood flow on and off and reveal what's happening inside the heart.

Because augmented reality is so visual, it helps students retain information and understand complex topics easier. That's especially true for students who learn well through visual methods and students who have learning disabilities, said Drew Minock, who also teaches at Eastover Elementary School. 

Whether it's the human body or letters of the alphabet, augmented reality helps engage kids through their sight, sound and touch. With the AR Flashcards app from Mitchlehan Media, students can see the letter "A," hear one of their peers say the letter and touch the alligator that pops up to represent it.

When students create things, they're learning, and they can direct their own learning experiences in augmented reality apps such as Enchantium. The fairy tale piece of this app allows learners to create scenes with nearby physical objects that become part of a story, something that the popular video game Minecraft allows players to do with blocks.

"It's like Minecraft meets augmented reality," Waid said.

This story was originally published by the Center for Digital Education.

Tanya Roscorla Former Managing Editor, CDE

Tanya Roscorla covered ed tech from 2009-2017.

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