The Augmented Future Of eLearning: Augmented Reality In eLearning

By Nicholas Filler

The way in which we use technology to enhance our daily lives seems bound to a two dimensional screen. eLearners are always up to date in terms of the way in which we consume information; but what if you were able to display digital artifacts on the world around us? What if the “one size fits all” digital learning courses could be tailored to an individual?

Augmented Reality in eLearning

In this article, you are going to witness the first iteration of a new type of head mounted display that is going to change the way we see the world. It will fundamentally change the way in which we learn about new subjects, and how we apply that knowledge in our everyday lives. The Microsoft HoloLens is the first product of its kind to change the environment around you. This technology is about to radically change the way in which you learn, and will hopefully revolutionize your perspective in regards to how you examine the world.

What is Augmented Reality?

You might be thinking; what is augmented reality? According to Wikipedia, augmented reality is defined asa 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.” So imagine yourself walking down a normal street, looking at buildings or store fronts. These glasses would allow you to see the exact same street, but now it has a more European visual aesthetic. When you took the glasses off, it was just the same street as before, and this in a nutshell is what augmented reality is.

Applications of Augmented Reality in eLearning

Microsoft is the first software company to create and realize a fully augmented consumer device to do just that. But how can this change the face of eLearning? This is where things get very interesting, and the possibilities are quite fascinating.

Imagine that you just bought a new home and you still need to install some fixtures to get the lights working. The only problem is that you have never installed a light switch before, and you would like to do it yourself. This is where eLearning could drastically change the way in which we inherent knowledge, especially online. If you were wearing an augmented reality headset you could get detailed visual instructions regarding the light switch as well as a holographic interface that displays the correct wires and functions. Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you were an online teacher and your focus was astronomy, you could give your students a virtual tour of Mars without anyone leaving their homes. Your students would be able to put on some augmented reality glasses and be transported to the surface of Mars. This concept would be great for research as well. The more people you have looking at a specific problem in regards to space exploration, the more possible solutions become available. Microsoft has also partnered with NASA to allow the Curiosity rover to visit areas designated by users with the HoloLens for further inspection.

In regards to digital or virtual learning scenarios, is the concept of the virtual classroom. According to an article by Sharon Stoerger a professor at Rutgers UniversityThese virtual world experiences also extend the boundaries of the traditional classroom where collective intelligence, as opposed to individual experience, becomes an important approach.

Ideally this would allow for a variety of interesting possibilities for students especially in regards to their learning environments. Ideally a student could be sitting at their desk learning about French, and these glasses could project a French classroom setting around them. This would immerse the student not only in the language but in the culture, or to go a step further, these augmented glasses could project a real-time French classroom that they would be able to interact with just like the one they were currently in. With the world around you being digital reimagined almost anything is possible with augmented reality, but one aspect that is truly fascinating is in regards to the medical field.

An interesting area to explore in regards to this technology is the human anatomy. If you were in an accident or any life threatening type scenario this technology has the potential to save your life and those around you. The ability to get real-time live feedback regarding a serious medical situation is quite profound and much better than any viable solution at the moment. You could then see which body part was affected or visualize ways in which to treat or assess the situation.

Another intriguing scenario is if a patient walked into the doctor’s office, and the general physician was wearing this device, he or she might be able to see how many miles you ran, or what you have been eating, just from looking at you. With the rise of electronic health records this idea could easily become a reality.  This technology would greatly benefit the medical field and the learning associated with gathering large amounts of data. Giving doctors the ability to see and evaluate real time data derived from EHR’s would greatly benefit the patient as well as making treatment that much easier. Ideally this could be the starting point for new groundbreaking ideas, especially when it comes to learning how we interact with modern medicine and the data associated with it.

Augmented reality is just taking its first steps into the consumer world, and the possibilities associated with this technology are fascinating. Whether it will be a huge commercial success has yet to be seen, but its potential is unavoidable. Microsoft is taking a big gamble, and if all the pieces fall into the right places, then they will truly change the digital landscape. They are reshaping how we see and interact with the world around us. As eLearners we understand the concept of learning online and off, but now there are viable solutions that combine both worlds. Hopefully this will fundamentally change our understanding of eLearning. Only the future will tell how these types of devices will pan out.

Augmented Learning 101: QR Codes

I’ll bet that when you encounter the phrase ‘augmented learning’ you get a mental picture of a person, wearing a high tech set of goggles or a helmet, with an expression of opened-mouthed, rapt wonder on his/her face. Right? That’s augmented learning. Right?

Well, I’m not sure that’s what augmented learning looks like today, and that’s what we’re exploring in this three part series.

But first, a definition from the Wikipedia:

Augmented learning is an on-demand learning technique where the environment adapts to the learner. By providing remediation on-demand, learners can gain greater understanding of a topic while stimulating discovery and learning.”

Based on Wikipedia, could the humble QR code be an augmented learningQRCodetool? Try it for yourself: Take a look at the QR code on the right hand-side of this page. If you have a QR code scanner app on your phone, activate the app, point your phone’s camera at the code, and see what happens. If you don’t have an app, no excuses. It’s a free download from any app store.

So. Did you scan it? If you answered yes, congratulations! You just learned something. And, you just participated in a very basic form of augmented learning. Really.

What is a QR code?

Simply stated, this boxy collection of dark- and light-colored blocks connects the physical world to the digital world. And that connection is where the QR code works its magic: any user with a mobile device equipped with a QR code reader has instant access to the associated information. The code itself connects your device to the information designated by the code, and launches the appropriate app on the mobile device to obtain that information.

QR Code is DeadThere was a time, not very long ago, when QR codes were fairly common. Initially developed by the Japanese automobile industry in the mid-1990s, QR codes seemed to be the wave of the future. Unfortunately, most mobile devices did not come with the scanning apps pre-loaded, so users have to download the app themselves. While there are many free code-reading apps, interest in the little boxes has waned since 2009. And as of 2014 the QR code was practically declared dead, or at best, a relic of digital days gone by…

But Not so fast! Any reports of QR Code demise have been greatly exaggerated! Certainly in the consumer industry, the age of the QR code seems to have come and gone. But for the elearning industry, those little boxes could be a major step toward augmented learning. Remember, the QR code is an on-demand tool to access information.

QR codes and Augmented Learning In the real world

Imagine a manufacturing plant where QR codes are attached to the machines. Gone are the bulky manuals and endless reference indexes. Gone also are the workflow interruptions and delays around learning new processes. Information is available at the literal fingertips of all employees. And new employees can learn about each step of a process in real-time, increasing knowledge and optimizing their skill sets.

The inevitable task of troubleshooting can also be streamlined by QR codes. The appropriate QR code next to the emergency stop button can provide the necessary procedures to minimize interruptions, and maintain safety standards for new and seasoned staff.

Attached to various stages of a process, QR codes can provide customized eLearning for specific processes, or parts of a process. Instructional material is available on-demand, increasing the flexibility of eLearning. Employees can be quickly cross-trained, thereby improving their skill sets and contributing to their own success, as well as the success of the company.

Imagine utilizing on-demand, adaptive eLearning in professions and industries such as:
banking, inventory, retail, packaging, shipping, even entertainment. QR codes can be used to train and develop people in tasks that range from sorting and filing to highly technical tasks that involve very specialized knowledge, such as aircraft maintenance procedures. The possibilities are limited only by our imaginations and our creativity. So let your imagination run wild: where might you utilize an on-demand information system capable of adapting to the environment?

Back to the present, and let’s face it: widespread use of augmented reality in eLearning has yet to become the norm. However, we are definitely headed in that direction. (Think about what xAPItracking could do) In the meantime, the QR code has the potential to be a player in the world of augmented eLearning. Just as we demonstrated above, the gap between a question and an answer simply disappears when your mobile device scanned a square array of dots. On-demand learning, where the learning adapts to your environment, by just scanning the code…now that is augmented learning. It might be a really good idea to keep an electronic eye out for these 4-sided little guys.

5 Top Augmented Reality Apps for Education

By Filed in Tools

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Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Gabriela Jugaru, a tech enthusiast who is passionate about the mobile industry and gadgets. She’s a technology entrepreneur, co-founder of

The concept of augmented reality has been in existence for a few years now despite the fact that many users of mobile devices are under the impression that it is a new phenomenon. New technologies such as Google’s augmented reality glasses which are the first computing eyewear are still in the testing phase. This leads mobile device users to believe augmented reality is new on the horizon.

Even though Google Glasses have yet to be officially released, there are hundreds of augmented reality apps that you can get for your smartphone which work just as well. These apps can be used in everyday applications and even more so for educational purposes. Augmented reality apps are changing the way educational content is offered which helps to improve classroom learning through interaction. Let’s take a look at the 5 best augmented reality apps for education that you can try out.

1. Google Sky Map

This is an augmented reality app which makes learning about astronomy interesting and fun. Instead of looking at descriptions of constellations in a book and then attempting to identify them in the sky, you can use Google Sky Map to directly identify stars and constellations using the camera on your smartphone.

Google Sky Map

Simply hold your smartphone up in the direction of the sky to receive automatic identification of stars and constellations. Regardless of the direction you point your phone, Google Sky Map will automatically identify the elements which appear on your camera lens. No more guessing if that wonder in the sky is a planet, a star or a satellite.

Google Sky Map is a free augmented reality app and works with Android 1.6 and higher.

Download Google Sky Map (Android)

2. FETCH! Lunch Rush

Recently released by PBS KIDS, FETCH! Lunch Rush is an augmented reality app to teach math skills to elementary students through the use of visualization. Designed in 3-D, the app uses your smartphone camera to place graphics on your camera over real-world surroundings. The app then teaches elementary students to add and subtract using real-world scenarios which allow for visualization while solving math problems.

FETCH! Lunch Rush is designed for use with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and is available for free at the App Store. It is the first augmented reality app for education released by PBS.

Download FETCH! Lunch Rush (iOS)

3. GeoGoggle

GeoGoggle is a great helper when it comes to acquiring geography skills and judging distances to specific destinations. Students can learn geographical measurement such as latitude and longitude by applying GeoGoggle to real-world surroundings.

The app also allows you to calculate altitude and the distance between two points using a 3D compass. Like other augmented reality apps the app uses overlay graphics combined with real-world surroundings to help you learn the fundamentals of geography.

GeoGoggle is a free app and is designed for Android 2.1 and higher.

Download GeoGoggle (Android)

4. ZooBurst

This is a nifty augmented reality app to help elementary level students learn through visual imaging. With this app, students get to interact and become a part of a story. ZooBurst allows you to engage in digital storytelling by designing storybooks complete with 3-D characters.

The digital storybooks can be customized using a library of thousands of images and and users can add Adobe flash animations, narrations, and speech balloons to the story. Once the book is completed, students can become a part of the story via webcam. They can also click on the characters in the story to learn more about them.

The digital storybook created by ZooBurst can be rotated enabling you to view it from any angle. ZooBurst can also be used to help students create presentations and communicate complex ideas which would otherwise be difficult to explain. Check out this video presentation to get a better idea of how ZooBurst works.

Download ZooBurst (iOS)

5. Acrossair

Acrossair is a browser which can be used in real-world surroundings and in the classroom for learning and discussion. The browser can carry apps that push the boundaries of the uses of augmented reality. You can find locations near you and share your locations with friends. Students can also create interactive classroom projects, and participate in interactive photo walls displaying wiki and multimedia on a classroom topic.

Another fun feature of acrossair is that it enables you to engage in classroom discussions via Twitter AR. After sending out your tweet, you can launch acrossair to check out the latest tweets by people near you via geotagging technology. Imagine holding up your phone and seeing tweets by the people around you.

Download Acrossair (iOS)


These are only a few of the new augmented reality apps for education which can change the face of learning in your classroom. Augmented reality is a trend that is worth following as new apps and technologies are developed to make learning innovative, interesting and fun.

μέσω 5 Top Augmented Reality Apps for Education.

Augmented Reality – The Coolest Instructional Technology You’ve Never Heard of?

Augmented Reality – The Coolest Instructional Technology You’ve Never Heard of?

by Maria Politis on April 15, 2014

AR Tools are Being Used Today by Creative Educators in Fun, Innovative Ways, but few Know About it (yet).

Educators are always looking for new ways to enhance learning and expand the horizons of students in an engaging and interactive way. Gone are the days when class plans were based around exercises from a text book. The world around us is changing rapidly and even preschool age children are becoming more proficient with different types of handheld devices like tablets.

These devices are an integral part of more classrooms every day and are being used to complete homework activities, present projects, upload assignments and participate in classroom collaborations. Many school systems around the world are starting to move into the world of BYOD – Bring Your Own Device, which means that the tech we use in the classroom needs to work across multiple devices and platforms.

Augmented Reality is an example of a technology that can make classroom learning more interactive and enriching. No longer solely the realm of sci-fi films there are now real, practical examples of Augmented Reality used in classrooms all over the world. The ability to overlay digital content and information onto the real world, using triggers like images and locations, opens up a world of rich learning opportunities.

Students are using AR to make their artwork interactive, to solve complex mathematical problems, to interact with planets in the solar system by scanning an image and make their textbooks come alive.

AR in Action in Teaching and Learning

Check out these examples of Augmented Reality in action in teaching and learning:

First, these high school teachers are using AR to facilitate test prep and review:

In this example, we see a third form student learning how to calculate the area of different 2 dimensional shapes using AR:

Here’s a different twist (pun intended) – this demo showing ‘marker based AR’ on the Web using gestures to control the content via the Leap Motion Sensor. This type of digital convergence, bringing together different technologies to create something new, has been happening at an increasing pace since the dawn of the personal computer, and AR brings it up another notch.

Creating Your Own Augmented Reality Applications

For many educators, however, there is still the perception that creating rich, interactive AR is difficult and time consuming to create. So is there any truth to this?

Currently using AR in the classroom involves downloading (or building your own) specific apps to make the content accessible. Sometimes, more than one application is required. The experience can take time to set up. To get AR working in a classroom, you have to download an app from an app store, learn how to use the app, then locate the content in a specialist channel.

There are a number of Augmented Reality tools and apps available today – is one of them. This cloud based platform is for people who want to create Augmented Reality without the need for coding or development. The next phase of the platform integrates the Augmented Web. This means that not only will teachers and students be able to create AR experiences in a standard Web browser across multiple devices (including smartphones, tablets and wearable devices like Google Glass and the Oculus Rift), these experiences can be consumed via a web browser too – no need to create a special app.

Imagine this Scenario …

For example, historical explorations can now become truly immersive experiences to bring the richness of history to life. Consider an interactive journey which maps the steps of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the Americas. Using web based AR you can map location based journey points around a school building or a whole campus. Students can start in the classroom, which can be transformed into Genoa in the year Columbus was born, by holding a device over a panorama image. Locations like the library and gymnasium can be transformed into the Caribbean Islands or the galley of the Santa Maria, using a combination of image and location based Augmented Reality. Each location point can trigger a clue to the next destination, in the form of a 3D image, video or audio snippet. Rich panoramic scenes can wrap around the students with interactions embedded within. Clues and quizzes can be embedded at each stage of the journey. Imagine the increase in engagement and comprehension of your students using a tablet to discover this journey. Now imagine delivering this via a heads up display like the Oculus Rift without having to create an entirely new app!

Activities like this can be created using Augmented Reality tools today using a combination of image and location based triggers in Bringing AR to the Web however, will eliminate the need for different applications and combine the experience with cutting edge wearable devices.

As you saw in the first video example above, Aurasma is another AR tool that is available today and is worth learning more about.

How exciting is it to envision a future of education where augmented reality, smart wearable devices, motion sensors, and other technologies will converge into incredible teaching and learning experiences not just right at your fingertips, but right before your eyes!?

μέσω Augmented Reality – The Coolest Instructional Technology You’ve Never Heard of?.

How To Use Augmented Reality In Education – Edudemic – Edudemic

Το παρακάτω άρθρο μας δίνει μια εικόνα του επιπέδου της εκπαίδευσης που βρίσκονται άλλοι λαοί. Πολλά από αυτά βρίσκονται σε πειραματικό στάδιο ακόμη, το παραδέχομαι. Όμως εμείς δεν τα έχουμε καν υπό σκέψη. Εμείς είμαστε κολλημένοι στις σελίδες του βιβλίου, που και αυτό δεν υφίσταται κάποια βελτίωση μέσω ανταγωνισμού, αφού είναι ένα και μοναδικό.

When you were a kid, did you watch RoboCop and totally love the heads-up display? What about the fascinating visuals in Minority Report or Iron Man? They’re basically a form of augmented reality (AR for short). Augmented reality is not something limited to just Hollywood blockbusters though. There are a bunch of ways people are using augmented reality in education, believe it or not.

Before you get your feathers all ruffled, though, let’s clear something up. Augmented reality is not exactly stuff like Google Glass or Iron Man. Instead, it’s an array of apps, web tools, and games designed to enhance learning through interactive experiences. That’s my definition at least.

In an effort to shed some light on the current tools and teachers using AR, I thought it might be useful to assemble a list of what we’re seeing these days. Since Edudemic is based in Cambridge, MA we see a lot of innovative startups and other AR-related organizations coming out of MIT and Harvard on a regular basis. It’s pretty crazy.

In any case, here are just a handful of interesting AR use cases that you should check out. Know of another one? Feel free to mention it down in the comments!

Project Glass

google glass official

The most famous AR project is being, of course, led by the folks at Google. We’ve been seeing a lot of new ways to integrate Google Glass into the classroom over the past few months. We’ve even showcased a few of them. One of the biggest ways that we’re seeing, however, is the idea that students can use Glass whilst on field trips and outside the classroom. They can do digital scavenger hunts, find classmates, or simply learn more about their surroundings using their handy pair of AR glasses.


mit dome

The MIT Teacher Education Program, in conjunction with The Education Arcade, has been working on creating “Augmented Reality” simulations to engage people in simulation games that combine real world experiences with additional information supplied to them by handheld computers. The first of these games, Environmental Detectives (ED), is an outdoor game in which players using GPS guided handheld computers try to uncover the source of a toxic spill by interviewing virtual characters and conducting large scale simulated environmental measurements and analyzing data. This game has been run at three sites, including MIT, a nearby nature center, and a local high school. Early research has shown that this mode of learning is successful in engaging university and secondary school students in large scale environmental engineering studies, and providing an authentic mode of scientific investigation.

Star Walk

star walk

This was one of the earlier iPhone apps that really caught the attention of the world. Along with hits like Angry Birds and Starbucks, Star Walk was one of those must-try apps. It’s only gotten better since then. Basically, you can hold your phone up to the sky at night and see more than 200,000 celestial bodies. You can then view detailed information about those stars, constellations, and more. Definitely worth a try!

Second Life


Second Life is actually a pretty old school AR game nowadays. They do, however, have a fabulous education area that will answer all the questions you, as a teacher, will have. Essentially, you get an avatar that you use to walk / fly around the Second Life world. It was far more popular a few years ago but there is still quite a large group of folks using the tool. I have taken a graduate-level course that relied on Second Life for group meetups, believe it or not. It wasn’t the most elegant solution but it was quite fun. I didn’t actually hate having group meetups!

AR Development Lab


The ARDL is a revolutionary concept that makes virtual, 3D objects appear in the real world, attached to real objects. Users look through a Virtual Reality POV Viewing Device or at a monitor to see virtual objects like planets, volcanoes, the human heart or dinosaurs. These can be attached to cards, the pages of a book, interactive white board or even on the floor or wall to provide a 3D animated replica that fills the room. Virtual objects excel at conveying spatial, temporal and contextual concepts-especially when the real objects (or real replicas) are too expensive, dangerous, or fragile. They can also be highly interactive, letting users erupt a volcano, build a human heart or pull planets out of the solar system for closer inspection.

How To Use Augmented Reality In Education – Edudemic – Edudemic.