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1) Please read the article Hear&There: An Augmented Reality System of Linked Audio 

This article gives an introduction to augmented reality (AR) using linked, user-produced audio. It also demonstrates some of the social possibilities of augmented reality.

A. It's apparent that using this augmented reality could be an interesting and fun new experience. However, are there ways that such a project might prove educationally useful as well?

  • I think that student's could engage more or at least the same amount with viewing other people's perspectives. I liked the article's description of adding speech about what other people have said about the space. Furthermore, AR could potential give students more power over their own learning by allowing them to choose their points of interests. Of course, the teacher would still be responsible for covering the curriculum but once student's know that their voice is being heard in the classroom, then motivation already increases and learning grows! (Jaclyn)
  • It definitely is educationally useful because students' learning will be enhanced and extended through such creative projects- it could be implemented in all subject areas. I like that these projects could be adjusted according to the users. For instance, the article mentions that sound imprints provide the underlying structure, and it is up the user to create the form (ex. amount of braiding). I particularly like the navigating toolkit (although it presents some positioning challenges), nonetheless movement/exploration allows for a more experiential learning and creative process. Recording an imprint in the field does contextualize the space, but also enables for future follow-up activities related to knowledge building. Exploring and learning about a space with audio is a new dynamic that we do not often observe in schools. (Jane)
  • I was thinking of a project that is done in my school where students go to different areas of the city to learn about it, e.g. China town, Greek town, Little Italy, etc. and to date the what the students come back with is a somewhat static representation of what they see. If I have understood this article correctly, especially with respect to the audio aspect, then I could imagine that students would be able to go through these areas record their own thoughts of what they see, but also to record 'moments' of what they hear (and maybe see - is there a potential video component to AR that could be added?). This would make the project more dynamic and in some ways interactive for the students, especially when it comes to sharing their newfound knowledge. It would be also interesting to see what different people 'captured' of one sight - the various insights, perspective. (LM)
  • I can definitely agree with this statement, because I believe that AR technologies enhance student experiences (more deeply and widely). For sure, it cannot be compared with students' current school or learning experiences such as just listening lectures and reading textbooks. But still there can be similar problems to other technological interventions like inequality, accessibility, inappropriate usages, or teachers' difficulties. (Kyungmee)
  • If students were working on a community garden project, they could record information about the plantings, and what they did in a section of the garden in an effort to cultivate the plantings. If students were exploring an outdoor art exhibit, such as at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, students could record their impressions of a work, perhaps in response to a specific question given by the teacher. Or a graduating class of students could walk around the school and leave "advice" for next year's class. It would be a great way to end a year for one class, and start a year for another. (smile) (Rebecca)

B. Do you see a role for AR in our social experiences? For example, could AR be integrated into social network sites or knowledge-building environments? How?

  • I think back to a comment that Dan made earlier in the course about having a group of people coming together and talking but not really learning anything new because there may not be any professionals or highly knowledgeable people in a certain area. While this may be a valid point for some people, I still think that you can learn through informal meetings of groups of people and I think that AR could facilitate this type of situation if a program like the one described in the article existed for the general public. The beauty about knowledge building to me is that everyone has something to add and contribute to the overall understanding of the topic. Thus, AR initiatives in a classroom could work to highlight the vast experiences of the other students and teacher which for one thing will build character and empathy among other important skills. (Jaclyn)
  • My first thought was the emotional connection we have to spaces, "where we first met", "the last time we saw each other", "where he died" and how connecting voice to location would be very powerful as a remembrance. (Cal)
  • I was browsing through the Internet and came across a fascinating piece about AR and social networking: (Jane)
  • As I am not completely comfortable with this technology, I was wondering if AR could be used to 'gather' like-minded people from around the world to share ideas and thoughts, for example creating a community of teachers to talk about or share ideas for teaching? I also wonder if using AR to provide a more interactive video/audio experience of people trips, parties, etc that could be shared among friends. More than just a video? (LM)
  • Yes! I think it is possible to improve or upgrade people's social networking experiences to provide them with more vivid information and social presence. Actually as we might look at LAYER application on smart phones, I can always see or meet other people around me through my small i-phone window. Of course, I don't know more of them; so for now it isn't that much meaningful though, if this AR is combined with social networking site, then it might be more helpful for me to fine real my people around me. (Kyungmee)

2) Please read the article Applications of Augmented Reality Systems in Education

This article gives many examples of AR in school settings.

C. We thought it would be interesting to build a repository of some useful and current AR resources. For your specific teaching area/grade of interest, please mess around a little on Google and let us know what kinds of AR resources you find that you could imagine yourself using.

  • "The MagicBook interface supports new forms of educational experience. No longer are textbooks static sources of information. Through the use of Augmented Reality the printed page can become means to move students to animated interactive virtual environments. The MagicBook explores seamless transition between reality and virtual reality. When users look at the pages of a real book through a hand held display they can see virtual content superimposed over the real pages. When they see an Augmented Reality (AR) scene they like, the user can fly into the scene and experience it as an immersive virutal environment. In addition the book serves as a focus for collaboration. When several users look at the same book page they can see the AR image from their own viewpoint and when one flys into the virtual model, the other users see her as a virtual character in the scene. In this way, the MagicBook supports collaboration as a physical object, a shared AR experience and a multi-user immersive virtual environment. The MagicBook has many possible applications in education, architecture and entertainment among others." From :
  • Seems interesting and I can see it enhancing children's reading experiences. Perhaps this type of application could help reluctant readers to engage with stories more. As well, I think it would benefit students in the initial phases of planning and organizing ideas to write about. (Jaclyn)
  • I think "books" that bring the information in a three dimensional model ( for example ) help the students visualize what is often left to the imagination. When you are trying to process mathematics, this struggle-to-imagine can often get in the way of the learning. The pictures that the teacher/text tries to create in the students' minds can vary in many slight but meaningful ways - by bringing those pictures to life for the student, it can facilitate things. Of course, this explicitness can also fail to exercise a student's imagination in the same way that movies force a perspective on a given book. (i.e. Picture Harry Potter that looks different than Daniel Radcliffe) (Cal)
  • Guubes
    This technology overlays 3d models, 2d images, sounds and information on real time video. The type of augmented reality we use in guubes is called 'magic mirror' AR, it uses markers also known as 'cybercodes' to position AR models and information, allowing the user to interact by moving the markers to change what is visible on the screen.

Guubes AR software is embedded in this website. guubes AR uses Adobe Flash, which means you don't have to download and install anything new, all it requires is an internet connection, webcam and a printer to print the guubes out. Guubes AR is built using AR tracking libraries powered by FLARtoolkit, this allows AR to be embedded into our site. Or, in simpler terms... Guubes uses a technology called "Augmented Reality" (AR) to turn your computer screen or classroom whiteboard into a "magic mirror." As you move a guube box infront of the mirror our guubes technology will overlay a computer graphic onto the box in the reflection. We use this "magic mirror" to teach fun numeracy, literacy and role-play games. (Jaclyn)

  • Word Lens is a translation application that translate written phrases by pointing an iPhone camera. The app's optical character recognition technology recognizes the text, which is then translated and shown on your iPhone's screen instead of the original text, AR Groove is a music interface in which the motion of real records was used to compose electronic music, a Google Earth plug-in that allows you to examine 3-D map models- and Layar which is an application for overlaying material over the real world using the camera on the device (ex. show what looked like in the past or may look in the future). (Jane)
  • First off Word Lens sounds like a great idea and would be very handy when travelling.
    I have to admit AR that allows students to visulise difficult spatial mathematics would be incredibly helpful. As Cal said sometimes trying to explain what is happening in a two-dimensional setting of a three-dimensional idea can be somewhat disastrous and could lead students to the wrong conclusions. It would seem at the moment most AR for mathematics seem to be developed for Geometry, given both Cal's and my comment. Here is one site that may have potential (this is an app that uses smartphones to 'change' 2D objects into 3D - I would say that it is at the beginning stages and would be great for younger children)and an article written by Hannes Kauffman entitled: Construct3D: An Augmented Reality Application for Mathematics and Geometry Education that talks more about Construct 3D mentioned in the article provided to us. (LM)


Augmented Reality Games a new way to explore a museum space with a group of students

The activity described in this blog entry took place at the Museum of Science in Boston. The activity was structured as a virtual "Who Dunnit?" A valuable object from the Museum's collection was stolen, and a fake was substituted in its place. Using location-aware mobile devices, children were able to interview cyber-suspects, download artifacts, examine them with virtual equipment and trade findings with other students in a race to find the culprit. Each student were given a role: biologist, technologist or detective. This collaborative problem-solving exercise made it possible for students to traverse the museum environment in a new way. Objects that are usually inaccessible and behind glass "came to life" through augmented reality. Students found the augmented reality experience exciting and empowering! Eric Klopfer describes the game as "lightly augmented" reality because students needed to use both virtual and real-world information to solve the mystery.

The MIT research group has developed an Outdoor Augmented Reality Toolkit, which would allow teachers to create their own games from scratch. He envisions teachers using the game creation with their classes as a design activity, where students are involved in creating the game and researching the components of the game. I can see students and teachers working together to create a "Trading Game" to explore power dynamics between First Nations traders and European explorers in a grade six social studies class, for example. (Rebecca)


3) Please read the article Human factors and qualitative pedagogical evaluation of a mobile augmented reality system for science education used by learners with physical disabilities

This article is more technical in scope, but it provides an interesting window into a state-of-the-art implementation (especially as it relates to pedagogy).

D. Is research in new technology-mediated pedagogies sensitive to non-normative visions of use? Drawing from this reading, as well as the Hear&There example, how might the introduction of AR in the classroom challenge existing paradigms in human-computer interaction? What lessons can we learn about inclusive and accessible design from these two articles that might enhance our understanding of roles new technology and new media can play in education?

  • Wow - big and complex questions that I don't think I can fully answer with a lot of knowledge. I believe, as with all new technology, there needs to be open-mindedness on the part of teachers as to how these technologies can enhance the classroom experience. With respect to this article the idea that AR can help to ensure inclusiveness, I believe is critical. I fear that too often class may come across static and it looks as though AR can make it more dynamic, which should allow students who need to 'see' concepts in a more interactive way feel that success can be their. However, I do wonder if there would be a large learning curve both teachers and students? Also, how would AR change the role of the teacher in the classroom (similar to the question that came up during the layered system classes)? In the end, I believe with the advent of smartphones and AR technology becoming more accessible, teaching and learning will need to change. I have to admit I did like the idea of making 3D more 'real' for students, although I would love to find some apps that works with 3D and calculus. Trying to show volume of revolution around the axes is truly challenging on the 2D surface and creating my own in GeoSketchpad takes a lot of time ?.(LM)
    That learning curve is critical for the adoption of any of these technologies; as you know LM, integrating the "simplest" of laptops into a school is a long and arduous process with lots of passive and active resistance from all stakeholders. And unless the hardware/software/network works flawlessly there is a big reluctance to switch from "always on" paper. While I'm not sure teaching is going to change, the classroom environment should become more open to those with different needs – which is great! (Cal)

4) A common goal of AR is to provide "access to relevant information for making decisions". Please view the following talks for a nice introduction and one solution to this idea:

It will be probably be worthwhile to visit the SixthSense project site to explore some visions of its implementation.

5) (Optional)

  • Watch the following interview with Marvin Minsky, one of the foremost thinkers on cognitive science and artificial intelligence, on the subject of perception. 
  • Listen to the following interview with Judith Donath, one of the researchers who wrote the first article we'll read this week.


  1. Layering sound in the movie making process is an interesting way to think about augmented environments. (Cheryl's point). I wonder if they do that for documentary films too?

  2. Cultural reference is strongly connected to sound (AR - audio is important).

    I think that audio is often lost in pedagogy - and the importance in learning. Audio artifacts is something I have never explored.

    AR distractions or really augmented? AR interactions promote constructivism because the emphasis in the theory is social discourse (and interactions).

  3. One of the things I do with teachers professional learning is to just audiotape their class rather than videotape. Focusing just on the audio is a powerful experience for them as the videotape is often too much information about how they're teaching.

  4. Loved Cal's comments - audio is important piece of pedagogy. I was just in an elementary class - and the teacher was telling a story, but it lacked energy, voices, and inflections. However, I am thinking very hard about how best to teach and learn...Is making the learning more audio focused - more explicit?

  5. I think, whenever possible, teachers should use a combination of methods to communicate information to students. As Cal said, this can help students who may be distracted. A very simple example of this is when a teacher is asking his/her students to open their math textbooks to a certain page. A teacher can write the page on the board, say it verbally, and hold up the textbook, while walking around the classroom. A student who didn't hear the information, can read it on the board, etc.

  6. I find it very interesting how all this new technology always seem to start with a gaming environment. Now I have said always - is this actually true?

  7. Why does science learning seem to be a focus in augmented reality? Also - Digital media learning competition? is this augmented reality.

  8. I was wondering the same thing about science learning. I think that augmented reality allows us to observe our environment in a new way, so that may be why it is the focus of science education. Another obvious application is history/social studies because augmented reality could allow students to see into the past. Perhaps AR could be used to teach students about design - interior design, for example - where students could move objects around the room and immediately see the effect of their design decisions. I am wondering about language. How could AR be used in a creative writing exercise, for example? AR seems to be really useful for collaborative problem-based activities. I think perhaps the most potential for learning comes when students are involved in the design process of the environments/games themselves.

  9. Who has control of information that will come through our AR.

  10. I have to admit with respect to mathematics, it is the 3D possibilities that stand out for me (not just Geometry, though, I would use it in Calculus too). Thinking of the units that we do, I am not sure how much AR could enhance the class, but I need to reflect more. For some reason, Science seems to be a natural venue for AR.

  11. Wow - an augmented reality that connects authentic learning to the concept being taught....

    How amazing for example you are teaching electricity and then you open up the switch for electricity augmented reality. e.g., you can see AC/DC; parallel, series circuit; information would connect authentic learning connecting concepts learned to the actual occurrence in the class.