When I first heard the terms augmented reality and virtual reality my thoughts automatically went to my husband and his passion for gaming. I thought about his countless, useless hours spent in front of a stupid gaming system and was struggling to make any kind of connection between his gaming habits and education; specifically teaching and learning. After having the opportunity to read Erin’s blog this week I didn’t feel so bad as she immediately linked the thought of these realities to pokemon go, once she was able to get past that augmented and virutal reality were more than just gaming then she was able to see ways of incorporating them into our educational system. Logan and Bill did a wonderful job of presenting in a manner that I was able to relate to. Following their presentation I was able to make the connection to my own teaching and learning experiences.
The take-away from this presentation was that I was able to understand augmented reality is putting something on top of the world that we already live in (an example would have been Logan’s Pokémon that was seen in the same photo as the bun he was eating at that particular moment). Virtual reality is more of a digitally projected environment and world (some examples of this would be Google cardboard, PlayStation vr, etc.)
I haven’t had the opportunity to research in-depth augmented and virtual reality. I think this is more so due to my lack in motivation to actually start researching. I suppose the lack of motivation is simply because it is low on my totem pole of interests. I think if I can’ t be enthusiastic, engaged and excited about the opportunity to use augmented and virtual reality in my own classroom, how am I going to get the students excited about it? I think part of this comes from my lack of knowledge and training/professional development in these varying types of realities. If I could receive more training or professional development in these realities, I would be more comfortable and confident in incorporating them into my classrooms. Technology and I have never really cultivated a good friendship, playing around with a program or application and trying to figure out its use is not an effective way for me to learn.
During this week’s presentation I became very intrigued as to how I could incorporate augmented and virtual realities into education (physical education to be specific). I immediately did a search in Google and discovered a webpage that offered some wonderful insight as to how virtual reality could be incorporated into our schools. Some of the suggestions this website offered were:
- a variety of ways of assessing our lessons
- we have the opportunity to watch demonstration videos that may alter views making the demonstration more accessible to all
- we could take our students to athletic events, sites, on field trips through virtual reality, without the help of the magic school bus
- we can look more in depth at the human body and its inner systems
- we can provide opportunities for simulation (nursing said this is a big hit within their profession)
- virtual reality could be beneficial for those involved in drivers education programs; they could go through a driver simulation prior to being thrown into the real world
- students could practice various presentations or ways of presenting
- parents/students/teachers etc. could take a virtual tour of schools rather than having to be physically in the building for the tour.
As you can see there are many ways virtual reality can be incorporated into our education programs.
If I focus specifically on physical education and this list, I really like the idea of providing the opportunity to our students to watch demonstration videos with differing views that may help them to perfect a particular skill or activity. I am also drawn back to the presentation and the demonstration that Bill and Logan gave on the Aurasma application. I was immediately intrigued by this application and I began thinking about how I could incorporate it into my physical education classroom. One example I thought of was having circuit cards with pictures on them and then when the application is used an explanation of that particular exercise or activity would become accessible. Rochelle had a great way of using this application in the library as well; I think this application could be beneficial to many teachers provided we determine the appropriate ways to use it in the classroom.
Aurasma app in action!
The article Augmented Reality Brings New Dimensions to Learning was quite informational and helped to in understanding multiple ways of incorporating augmented realities into our schools. The article suggests that augmented reality allows us to create our own active learning experiences. Our learning experiences go beyond reading and listening, they also happen through interaction. Augmented reality allows students to construct their own exciting, fun, educational learning worlds. The article suggested that we as students and educators need to explore and figure out what works and what doesn’t. The article had a variety of ways to incorporate augmented reality into our schools however the one that I found to be inspiring was the parent involvement. It suggested that we put a trigger picture on the student’s desk and when a child feels like they need inspiration or encouragement they can scan the picture and a voice recording from their parents will be there providing special words to their child.
I do believe this type of technology is slowly starting to be integrated into our world, our society and now into our schools. Like many technologies, rather than trying to avoid using them, we need to move towards figuring out ways to use them appropriately. We need to teach our students how to be good digital citizens and how to use technology for educational purposes and not only for entertainment. I have started to shift my thinking from my husband’s gaming to a world of possibility! If we begin to incorporate both augmented and virtual reality into our schools, anything is possible.