Pokèmon Go fever has swept the nation. It seems you can’t go anywhere right now without seeing crowds of people with faces to phone looking at something you can’t see. Welcome to the world of augmented reality. Augmented reality, or AR, is a live view of the real world that is supplemented or overlaid with computer generated content. This is different than Virtual Reality (VR), which is a 3D simulation created by a computer generated environment. While AR is not new, with the release of Pokèmon Go it seems to have finally hit the mainstream media and captivated millions of people. So the question is, “How can we, as educators, use AR in our classrooms?”
To me, the best thing about Pokèmon Go is that it forces us to connect with the world around us in order to play. You have to go out and move to visit the Pokè Stops and Gyms scattered around your city. As an educator, my goal is to connect my students to the real world. To bring the classroom, albeit physical or online, to life with real world experiences. To demonstrate how the information we are discussing in class is relevant to students. With so many Pokè Stop at cultural or civic locations, it’s not hard to find a few around your area as examples of topics for classroom discussions. Without being heavy-handed this forces students to connect content with their immediate surroundings. Studying geology? Create a Pokè Tour to send students to a river to study the rock bed. Studying Communication? How about a trip downtown to see how the local museum prints their informational brochures. History? Visit the local historical monuments. So while Pokèmon Go might be a game, there is no end to how we can take advantage of its popularity and supplemental information to enhance the learning process. To get you started I created a UAA Pokèmon Go campus map.
However, AR is much bigger than Pokèmon Go. The list below provides just a sampling of other tools that you can find and incorporate into the learning experience.
- Layar – create your own AR using your own images and tools. My favorite use of this tool is on posters to allow visitors an enriched viewing experience.
- StarWalk – view the exact position stars in the sky above you.
- Anatomy 4D – bring the anatomy of the human body to life before your eyes.
- Google Translate – use the mobile app (iOS and Android) to translate the world around you.
- Aurasma – view or create your own AR experiences.
- Field Trip – get more information about the world around you or “visit” locations far away.
- Elements 4D – Connect the elements and watch the chemical reactions occur.
Have we piqued your interest in using Pokèmon Go or any AR tool in your course? Contact the AI&e office and schedule time with one of our instructional designers to get started.