Thursday, January 6, 2011

Augmented Reality in Education (Think I can link it to SmartMusic?) (Wikitude) (Word Lens)

The first time I saw the yellow "first down" line on a televised (American) football game, I was finding it a bit coincidental that the ref was spotting the ball so close to the yellow line that just happened to be there.  How could the grounds crew have know where to put it?  Was the ref being influenced by the coincidental yellow line?

That spot happened three times before I figured out that the broadcasters were putting that yellow line in with computers so they could show me where the first down was.  The ref didn't see the line, but TV watchers could.  Of course, my team was just short of the yellow line all three times.

This is also one of the first times I became aware of something that I now know is called Augmented Reality.

I think Augmented Reality has educational possibilities.

Check out the iOS app called Word Lens.  Point your iPod's or iPhone's camera at a piece of text in another language and it will change those words to your language.  It's a direct translation, not an interpretation, but pretty helpful.

Wikitude's World Browser does very much the same thing with your surroundings.  Point your camera (with GPS and compass on) at the world and it will tell you on screen what Wikitude knows about it.  I think this would enhance any field trip involving landmarks and buildings.

No, you probably won't want your students constantly using these tools instead of learning the material.  But, I would guess that most students would appreciate the support while they are studying.  Scaffolding works.

How can I connect Augmented Reality this with SmartMusic?  The cursor does a wonderful job of showing you where the beat is.  This is a wonderful way to help students with rhythm and tempo.  It isn't real time, but the red/green note report after a performance is very helpful if the student takes the time to study it.

The new tools aren't coming, they are here.

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