Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive 3D experience that combines a view of the physical world and superimposed images, texts, and sounds. A great example of AR that most of us are familiar with is due to its world-renowned impact is Pokemon Go!
While it may seem like similar technologies (and certainly similar abbreviations!) AR and Virtual Reality (VR) are not to be confused with each other. VR creates a completely synthetic world for you to immerse yourself in while AR adds to within the environment you are surrounded.
By introducing a wide range of ideas and concepts related to STEM education through AR-based learning programs we offer new ways to teach and engage students in STEM fields.
One example is a school in Australia, where students were given iPads to explore a 3D representation of their brain and learn about neuroscience. While augmented reality has been used as an educational tool for many years now, it’s taking on new significance in STEM-related classrooms because of improved hardware capabilities. AR has many educational use cases, including in STEM education. Teachers can use it to bring learning materials into the classroom and have students interact with them in real-time.
AR can also be used for teaching coding - by making it feel like a game for instance. Snapchat is one of the most famous social media networks that heavily relies on augmented reality features.
Snapchat, a highly popular ephemeral messaging app, highlights this perfectly. The use of face filters allows users to overlay responsive layers to their likeness. This has proven an incredibly popular feature for the app, and big tech giants like Facebook have taken notice and replicated it for their platforms.
Snapchat’s popularity with teens today is impressive. 75% of teens use Snapchat; many citing filters as a key attraction. It is here that we see millions of videos showing teens adorned with flower crowns, or sporting giant bug eyes or fluffy dog ears.
By taking something this generation is so familiar with and incorporating it into a learning experience at Hub21 with our Lens Studio program we aim to challenge our students to work creatively on something they are digital experts on. From social media filters, GPS routes, architecture, construction, and even surgical procedures, the possibilities of AR are endless. The AR industry is rapidly growing in popularity because it brings elements of a virtual world and a sense of magic into our real-world; enhancing the things we see, hear and feel. So why not try AR in the classroom and create memorable experiences that translate to the real world?
Hub21 Team / Zeynep B. Gergin
Australian Association for Research in Education. (2020). Virtual Reality in school education: Australia leads the way with groundbreaking research Retrieved from https://www.aare.edu.au/blog/?p=6879
Statista. (2021). Share of U.S. teenagers who use Snapchat 2018, by age Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/419400/us-teen-snapchat-users-age-reach/#professional