- Pokémon Go aside, augmented reality can be a powerful tool for engagement in classrooms — along with its virtual reality cousin — wherein students explore entirely new, digital worlds.
- District Administration reports an art teacher in Minnesota’s Greenwood Elementary School asks students to record short videos explaining their work and then gives viewers a chance to watch those videos by looking at the physical artwork through the lens of their iPads.
- Students studying science in Colorado’s Poudre District have created virtual reality tours of the circulatory system, which requires precise knowledge of the system but engages students in the learning process by providing a fun project to complete while learning it.
As technology gets cheaper and more easily accessible to schools across the country, new ideas for augmented and virtual reality lesson plans are sure to be shared among teachers. Like any new technology initiative in schools, these two should come with high-quality professional learning opportunities. It is easy to use augmented or virtual reality field trips as breaks from the rest of a lesson. More difficult is incorporating these lessons into class content. The circulatory system virtual tour does this well. Students have to learn the circulatory system in their science class, and virtual reality provides a new motivation to do so.
Google Expeditions paired with low-cost Google Cardboard offer ways to show students distant places they are learning about in history or social studies. These Expeditions are now available to classrooms everywhere, and Google continues to add new destinations to its suite.