Augmented Reality: A new way of augmented learning

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Augmented learning is defined as an on-demand learning technique where the learning environment adapts to the needs and inputs from learners. Broadly speaking, “environment” here does not have to be constrained into the physical learning environment such as classroom, but could refer to such learning environment as digital learning environment, through which learners can stimulate discovery and gain greater understanding.

The technologies conventionally used for augmented learning incorporate touchscreens, voice recognition, and interaction, through which the learning contents can be geared toward learner’s needs by displaying plain texts, images, audio and video output. For example, in mobile reality system, the annotation may appear on the learner’s individual “heads-up display” or through headphones for audio instruction. This system has been shown to improve life-time learning performance. 

Augmented Reality (AR) is a novel way of superimposing digital contents into the real context, is impacting the mobile communications industry by providing a radical shift in human-computer interaction, AR has been foremost applied in the areas of entertainment, retail, travel, advertising, and social communication.

Augmented Reality has great potentials in education, and more excitingly, opens a novel realm for, and even redefines, eLearning. AR offers an innovative learning space by merging digital learning materials into the format of media with tools or objects, which are direct parts of the physical space, therefore creating “situated learning.” Augmented Reality is well aligned with constructivist notions of education where learners control their own learning, through the active interactions with the real and virtual environments.

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