Education and Augmented Reality — Really?For an ed-tech blogger I hold perhaps a controversial view: I wonder if some AR is not in fact a diversion from actual learning, and if teachers are spending too much time creating incredible, immersive worlds, for quite narrow learning outcomes.
Tech is good. Learning is Good. Therefore learning through technology is best.I came across some interesting comments on teacher forum TES last week, where teachers were debating AR in a thread. One comment caught my eye from a user named phlogiston:
I am not a Luddite. Technology can greatly enhance learning and wise teachers make good use of it. My whole career has been devoted to augmenting reality. However, if we try to turn education into a cross between a blockbuster movie and the latest computer game, the teachers always lose. Moviemakers are better at it than us, so are computer game programmers. In addition, if we mislead the children into thinking it's all about passion or gaming technology with no need to memorise, they stop concentrating.I confess I have the same hesitations as this teacher: I would be extremely cautious about trying to create entertainment, diversion and immersion in the classroom at the cost of precious time (yours developing the experience, and students needing to go through it) unless you had interrogated the actual learning outcomes as being superior to what you currently do. Additionally, is it not also true that nothing worth getting is easy to get? In other words, are we not doing our students a disservice by implying that all learning is fun, when in fact so much knowledge and technical understanding is hard-won? Let’s take a look at what should be taken into consideration before launching into an AR enhanced classroom activity.