I first came across James Alliban a number of years ago while doing some research into Augmented Reality (AR) and how it might be beneficial to education. If your interested in AR then you will already know one of James's first AR development – its been viewed thousands of times on the Internet. It’s the AR Business card – I’ve embedded the video below.
During his presentation James gave a whirlwind tour of some of the current and possible future developments in augmented reality and possible links to education.
I still think AR has a massive place in schools – I commented on this during my 2010 BETT round up. But what we lack at the moment is good pedagogy to support and develop learning through the use of this type of technology.
We have started to do some work on this at the Consolarium at Learning and teaching Scotland where we have been using the Sony Eye Pet with some of our partner schools. There was a good write up on this (and some of our other Early Years work) in the Times Educational Supplement last Friday. You can read the on-line version of the article here.
If you have not seen the Eye Pet before have a look at the Trailer for the Play Station 3 below:
I think one of the reasons that the Eye Pet has been so successful is that it creates suspended disbelief with children and that allows you to develop quality learning tasks around the augmented reality.
Related to this, I really liked the idea of one of the videos that James showed which I feel could also develop the notion of suspended disbelief but in a more complicated science environment. The AR is also being used to do something that you can’t normally do due to safety reasons but I also think the immersive nature of the simulation adds value.
Basically you have an AR source of radiation and an AR Geiger counter. You can measure the levels of radiation using the Geiger counter.
But you can also try to contain the radiation with a variety of AR materials including lead and tin foil. Depending on what you use as your containment field will effect the reading on your Geiger counter.
Finally, Augmented reality was one of the technologies that I suggested would change the way we live, work and play during a series of posts that I wrote earlier in the year. One place where it will definitely have an impact on education is in vocational skills training. In his presentation James showed a VW example – I really like the BMW example that I have embedded below.