Earlier this week at their World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple showcased developments with their ARKit. Two exciting developments were the Measure App and their collaboration with Lego. Both of these present possible applications in educational settings and suggest where AR in education is heading.
While many may think of this as a nifty extra on their iPhone or iPad, it represents a huge possibility in how AR can be developed to support mathematics and other subjects in education. Imagine setting children the task of calculating length, perimeter or volume of real-life objects. Add in the ability to ink onto a screen capture or record mathematical process over the top and you have a great way for students to demonstrate their understanding. This is pretty much achievable now, with a few steps in between, but what would be really good to see is a few developers jumping on this capability and honing it to educational needs.
To see the demonstration of Measure, check out the video below.
AR and Lego
I love Lego and was thrilled to see this partnership showcased in in the WWDC keynote. The Director of Innovation from Lego shared how they have used ARKit 2 to develop a new app allowing 3D object detection with Lego Creator Sets. Children can see their Lego world expand right before their eyes and interact with it in exciting ways. Built in challenges and the ability to add extra elements to the scene take play a little deeper.
You can see the Lego AR demonstration in the video below.
What really stood out for me was the collaboration that was enabled through Shared Experiences, a new feature of AR Kit 2. Up to 4 players could share in the experience of the Lego world. Another example produced by Apple was an interactive game between 2 players which also allowed others to observe. This got me thinking about the potential of collaborative student projects and demonstrations in AR. Again, there is a need for developers to mindfully harness this capability for educational purposes.
AR in Education
Examples such as these set my mind buzzing. We now need to see this technology move beyond the simple substitution of what we can do in real-life and offer added functionality or allow students to work in more transformational ways with it. Shared Experiences is promising for collaborative tasks and AR Measurement tools could be harnessed to enable deeper understanding or application of mathematical concepts. I am looking forward to some innovative developers bringing these tools to education.
To see the full Keynote from WWDC, click here.
Do you have any thoughts or ideas about AR in Education? Leave a comment below!
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