Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Augmented Reality Project Sounds like a perfect learning activity for Second Life

I’ve been cleaning off my desk in preparation for the move later this month and I came across an article on the Augmented Reality Project that MIT and Harvard are developing. It sounds like a perfect fit for educational activities in Second Life.

“With funding from a U.S. Department of Education Star Schools Program grant, researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the Teacher Education Program at MIT have developed an "augmented reality" game designed to teach math and science literacy skills to middle school students.

The game is played on a Dell Axim handheld computer and uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to correlate the students' real world location to their virtual location in the game's digital world. As the students move around a physical location, such as their school playground or sports fields, a map on their handheld displays digital objects and virtual people who exist in an augmented reality world superimposed on real space. This capability parallels the new means of information gathering, communication, and expression made possible by emerging interactive media (such as Web-enabled, GPS equipped cell phones with text messaging, video, and camera features).”


Although its being developed for high school students, it holds real potential for teaching such college-level subjects as environmental studies, architecture, and anthropology..

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