The eSchool News article here details this news from the article’s summary:
Researchers at Harvard, MIT, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison have developed a project that uses “augmented reality” to teach students math and literacy skills. The project involves teams of students gathering data on handheld computers to explain why aliens have landed, and in the process students “interview” virtual characters they encounter at certain GPS hot spots. The researchers say the project holds great potential for engaging students and teaching high-level skills.
The article is an interesting update on yet another digital technology which holds huge potential for learning and should be receiving the attention of the education establishment.
This kind of learning cannot be done from the desktop computer because the learning is location based. The article explains:
Augmented reality uses global positioning system (GPS) technology to track a person’s movement, and when that person reaches a designated point, he or she is confronted with a computer-generated image or situation pertaining to the scenario.
Harvard professor Chris Dede adds although this pilot project used GPS-enabled handhelds:
“in the coming years he and fellow researchers expect that the same technology students used to complete the activities will have found its way onto cell phones.“