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News,  February 13, 2007

'Augmented reality' helps kids learn

"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 Handheld Augmented Reality Project (HARP), a collaboration among Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, uses wireless handheld computers to enhance teaching and learning through a series of activities that draw on the attributes of students' surroundings.

'Augmented reality' is an environment in which virtual images have been layered on top of those in the real world. In other words, augmented reality is the ability to use a computer program to superimpose a layer of virtual characters or other sensory information onto any location....

Chris Dede, the Timothy E. Wirth Professor of Learning Technologies at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, along with postdoctoral fellow and colleague Matt Dunleavy, discussed the HARP initiative and its implications for education at this year's Florida Educational Technology Conference in Orlando Jan. 26.

The project arose from 'trying to think about where society is going, what students will need, what the educational properties of these devices are, and how we can design something interesting with these devices,' Dede said."

Posted by wrivenburgh on February 13, 2007 | News