Our aspirations are being augmented

This week we completed another phase of work on the Horizon Report K-12 Edition.  A couple of things caught my eye as a result, prompted by the revisions we were doing.

I remember just three years ago how we debated, and considered ‘cloud computing’.  It was a new concept in education back in 2009, and so the Time-to-Adoption Horizon was two to three years.  Pretty accurate really!

No mention of augmented reality! No mention of quite a few things that were debated this time, some of which will make it into the 2011 report.  I think this is extraordinary really, and an indication of the pace of change.

Here are the two augmented reality tidbits that I came across – one for everyday shopping experiences, and one for education.  Keep you eye on augmented reality – it really will become a way to augment our best aspirations for making learning new, innovative, and relevant to our kids!

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is the concept of superimposing virtual content (such as graphics) on top of a view of the real world as seen through a camera. AR transforms your mobile device into what has been described as a magic looking glass where you can interact with the real world. From gaming and play to interactive media/marketing to instructional how-to/aid, augmented reality opens the door for new mobile applications and services. Commoncraft provides the quick explanation which you can share with teachers.

What is Guubes? and how can they be used in education?

Guubes is an augmented reality educational  learning aid designed for Key Stage 1 children. Roleplay, numeracy and word play games provide a real engaging experience in classrooms and at home. Guubes is a scaleable augmented reality learning aid. It can be played with at home on a laptop screen with webcam, or in school using an interactive whiteboard and webcam.

Visit Guubes to learn more.

Augmented Reality for  Shopping

While this was an advertising campaign from Tissot watches,  the potential of AR to  engages consumers, test a product and make choices is tantalising. Visit AR week to learn more.  Visit here and print your own pdf to give it a go!

I do like the smiles that the Ford’s Grand C-Max inspires. Visit AR week to learn more about this and other product

What is Augmented Reality provides a comprehensive review of developments  too. Keep up-to-date with developments at Pocket Link -  AR Week produced in association with Qualcomm.

QR code infographic

According to Nathan King at QR Code Awareness, mobile devices have changed the way consumers access the Internet as well as the way marketers are trying to reach customers. QR codes – which direct you to a website, phone number, SMS or other call to action when scanned with your smartphone – are showing up everywhere.

Although QR codes and mobile barcodes have been around for several years, the explosion of the smartphone market allowed barcode scanning to grow 700 percent from January 2010 to July 2010.

I’ve started spotting them on the back of  new books that we are buying for students!  I haven’t spotted anyone scanning the QR code as yet :-)

Turning a new page – eBooks and Audiobooks

Congratulations to the fantastic team at Loreto Normanhurst Learning Resources Centre for getting their ebook initiative up and running successfully.

This is just one wonderful example of what can be done in schools to support literacy and reading enjoyment – particularly where the students are keen to use their mobile devices to enjoy the world of books.