A World of Difference: Augmented Reality in Education
There are more things in heaven and earth, wrote William Shakespeare, than are dreamt of in our philosophies (Hamlet, scene V). By altering the very structures of our experience of the world, AR, augmented reality, is reaffirming the Bard’s intuitive grasp of reality as something that exceeds far beyond the contours of human perception. The word ‘augment’ is derived from the Latin word ‘augere’, which means to add or increase. Hence, AR is an augmentation of what we perceive as reality with an overlay of digital information. In augmented reality, writes Jon Peddie, digital content, such as text, images, animation, etc., is imbricated in the user’s view of the real world. VR, on the contrary, offers a simulation of the real world with benefits of its own. For young learners in particular, augmented reality in education presents the world around them as a palimpsest, offering a richly layered experience and appealing to their voracious curiosity to learn more. By fostering imaginative play and inculcating a spirit of inquiry from an early age, while incorporating structures of the real world more actively into the learning process, AR can help actualize what we have previously only dreamt of, as a truly enriching education in all of our philosophies.