Augmenting Reality in Education #edtech #mlearning

The Technology Integration Conference (TIC) is one of a kind.  Every June it draws in over 700 educators from the midwest in just it’s 4th year!

Me presenting on Flipped Learning.

Me presenting on Flipped Learning at TIC 2014.

I’ve been fortunate enough to present at the conference every year, but this year proved to be a glimpse into what edtech will bring in the future.


When new technology comes out, it can be easy to get caught up in the “bells and whistles” of it all.  But as a Technology Integration Specialist, and as a former teacher, I tend to question (and test) everything that I can get my hands on.  I don’t automatically assume it will change the classroom and begin using it right away.  While I test it out, I like to keep two main questions in the forefront of my mind:

  1. Will this make teaching/learning content more efficient?
  2. Will this make teaching/learning more effective?

If the new technology doesn’t seem to this, then I question its use.  Will it truly change the classroom or is it another company looking to make some money by marketing to schools?

These are a few that I believe will be a part of classrooms in the future.

Augmented Reality

What is it?

According to Wikipedia, augmented reality “is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented(or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.” Essentially, you are supplementing a user’s current surroundings with something computer-generated. I have gotten a taste of augmented reality, and I am hooked!

What’s it look like?
Design Mill demonstrates how they take a car dealership post card and use an iPad to overlay show the overlaid 3D model of the car.

Design Mill demonstrates how they take a car dealership post card and use an iPad to overlay show the overlaid 3D model of the car.

Design Mill, a company out of Dubuque, IA, shared very cool augmented reality tricks that can be used in education.  Essentially, they can take a non-interactive 2D object and overlay 3D components using a mobile device.  They demoed this with a baseball card. I also witnessed  it with a TEXTBOOK!  By using a mobile device and they INSITE app, they were able to overlay an interactive 3D graph for physics.  It would be a great way to revamp those textbooks that may still hold solid information.

What does this mean for education?

Those were just a few examples, the possibilities of augmented reality in education can really go far.  Here are a few ideas off the top of my head…

  • Make static textbook text and images more interactive with videos, graphs, or live data from the internet.
  • Make sports programs more interactive by augmenting photos of each player with a video intro of each.
  • Bring historical/literary  figures into your classroom by overlaying them in the front of your room.
  • Identify dinosaurs as they roam your room with this app!
  • And anything else your mind can come up with…

Final Thoughts

This will make learning more effective and efficient by making it more engaging.  By taking the outside content and putting it in front of students, students make engaging connections more quickly.  Will they be active with higher-order thinking?  That’s something that I still question and look forward to investing.

But I see the possibility there.

Jarod Bormann
#edtech rocks

P.S. What do you think?  Are using augmented reality in your classroom already?  If so, how? Leave comments below.
P.S.S.  Here are more augmented reality apps not necessarily designed for education.

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