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Augmented Reality has tremendous potential in the educational world. PBS Kids partnered with AR development company Ogmento to create the game Hatchling Party. "Every new technology is an opportunity for learning," said PBS Kids Interactive vice president Sara DeWitt (video), who notes that one of AR's most exciting aspects is its ability to connect kids to the real world. "We see some real possibilities for young kids to interact with these 3-D objects in a way that they normally wouldn't."
Sony recently launched Second Sight a program in that allows students to create virtual interactions with a variety of media using QR codes that they create and a PSP handheld game. I saw some great demos of this at the BETT convention and at the Learning Without Frontiers Conference in London.
A new show that was recently launched by PBSKids.org called Dinosaur Train Hatching Party, is an augmented reality game for kids from 3 to 5 years old. An adult prints out a colorful graphic and when a pre-schooler holds it in front of a webcam, a 3-D dinosaur egg appears on-screen. Because eggs need the warmth of the sun to hatch, the toddler turns the paper so light hits it from different directions. A baby dinosaur cracks open the egg and asks the child simple science questions he or she answers by touching the paper. Below Terri Thorton from PBS Kids and Ori Thorton from Ogmento tells us more about Augmented Reality and how it will be transformational on education and the media industry.
Ogmento Educational Game: Put A Spell, for iOS
In Put A Spell a upcoming iOS game, a child holds the iPod up to view the board and see a virtual avatar.
The Avatar interacts with the gameboard and letters on screen.
The avatar can only be seen through the device's camera.
Augmented Reality and tools like Second Sight and Layar provide an excellent tool to engage students in compelling project-based-learning. It's ultimately teaching a using a technology that will be commonplace in the 21st century. While it could take years to enter the mainstream, augmented reality is clearly gaining momentum. It's only a matter of time before it enters a classroom -- near you.