Having got that off my chest, e-learning is opening up worlds of opportunity for our students that we could never have imagined until recently. Mobile learning provides portable, always accessible education, through podcasting, mobile social networking and blogging and augmented reality, and is the way of the future. Of these I thought that augmented reality is the technology I could see myself using. Augmented reality involves looking at the real world with digital inputs overlaid. I loved the example we were shown in class, where on a visit to a historical site students can look through their mobile devices and see what the location would have looked like 100 years ago. With devices such as smart phones and I-pads, I can see amazing potential for augmented reality in S&E education. Augmented reality is a fantastic tool to enhance engagement and motivation for learning.
I love the following description of augmented reality by Billinghurst (2002);
"In the Arts Center of Christchurch New Zealand there is an empty dusty
basement room. This room isn't much different from other basement
rooms, however visitors are treated to a very unique experience. Upon
entering, they hear a voice telling then to come closer into the darkness.
When they do, a life-sized virtual image of an old man appears floating in
front of them. The man turns, looks at them and tells what it was like
working in this dark space over a hundred year ago. He is Ernest
Rutherford, New Zealand's Nobel-prize winning physicist, and the room is
where he performed his first research as an undergraduate at the
University of Canterbury. Through the use of advanced technology an
empty space is turned into a very rich educational experience."
The following video gives an appreciation of what augmented reality is. It is in Spanish (I think) but you can get the idea!
Billinghurst, M. (2002). Augmented Reality in Education. New Horizons for Learning.