Pokemon Go and Augmented Reality, Continued

I wrote the other day about the overwhelming success of Pokemon Go and the applications of Augmented Reality (AR) technology for education, but after I spoke with some friends about my previous editorial, I realized I did not fully express the value of AR compared with any competent Google search. One of my friends asked how my hypothetical AR system differed from static databases of information, and our discussion helped me realize how much I originally undersold the potential of AR.

Scenario 1: You visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and see the following painting inside one of the galleries:

Guardians of the Secret

If you read the placard, you might learn the title of the work (Guardians of the Secret), the name of its artist (Jackson Pollack), the date (1943), and some additional information about its context and significance. With AR, you might automatically receive verbal commentary about the painting from professional art historians, examples of other Pollack paintings for live, side-by-side comparisons using your device, and a short video of Pollack splatter-painting. Continue reading

What Pokemon Go Means for EdTech

The success of Pokemon Go has shown the untapped potential of Augmented Reality (AR) applications, where software developers layer digital components over the real world instead of constructing self-contained virtual environments. Users worldwide have posted pictures of their Pokemon and the physical locations where they were captured, and the principles of augmented reality could support the recent transition away from passive instruction towards interactive education and civic participation within modern education research.

EdTech developers should consider how augmented reality might help students learn more from natural ecosystems, museum exhibits, and even classroom lectures. What if students could directly scan artifacts with their phones so they could learn more about the history and significance of Greek pottery and Native American textiles? What if this same technology could help chemistry students identify compounds inside the laboratory and determine their physical properties?

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New Technology from Google EDU

This article discusses four recently-released technologies from Google EDU, whose Google Classroom already has over ten million active users. The Expeditions application lets students and instructors visit virtual locations with relevant information about each site using their cell-phones and cardboard binoculars. I personally hope this project will help schools with increasingly-limited resources provide their students with more meaningful hands-on experiences “outside” the classroom.

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Education Technology: Costs & Benefits

This article discusses the trade-offs between the interactive, real-world potential of education technology and the costs associated with the purchase and incorporation of technology into the classroom. Participants from the 2016 ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference debated whether education technology supports or limits complex analysis, and this article raises difficult questions about how schools should evaluate the success of technology initiatives nationwide. Click the link below for more information.

Costs and Benefits of Education Technology Article (ISTE)

Professional Development for Educators

This article discusses the application of gamification for professional development courses. The article also considers why professionalization and higher education have not followed the trends of modern educational research, which generally advances active learning over the assembly-line model of lectures and recitations. Click the link below for more details.

5 Things Teachers Want from PD, and How Coaching and Collaboration Can Deliver Them—If Implementation Improves

Professional Development Article: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Breakout EDU & Gamification

This article discusses the gamification products from Breakout EDU for educators who want additional tools for the development of complex problem-solving skills. I would definitely appreciate some examples showing how instructors might incorporate this technology into their classrooms. Click the link below for more information.