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'augmented Reality' on Smartphones Brings Teaching Down to Earth

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ARIS software

ARIS software allows educators to combine lessons via smartphones with cues from a student's real location.

Credit: David Gagnon / The Chronicle of Higher Education

Video games are often criticized for isolating players from reality, but augmented-reality developers see the technology as a way to enhance reality.

University of Wisconsin at Madison (UWM) researchers are developing Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling (ARIS), an open source tool that lets designers link text, images, video, and audio into a physical location, making the real world into a map of virtual characters and objects that users can navigate with smartphones. ARIS, which was developed by UWM's David J. Gagnon, was built for use by students and educators.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Eric D. Klopfer has created two similar tools, and worked with augmented-reality games for nearly a decade. He says cell phones equipped with global positioning systems, cameras, and other features are opening up new avenues for enhancing reality-based games. Klopfer says that place-based learning and augmented reality are a great match for topics at the intersection of science and society, such as public health and environmental issues.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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