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Resource Database > Augmenting the Classroom
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Teaching and Training via VR
The humble classroom is antiquated, yes. But does that mean defunct? Maybe not always the best way to teach, the classroom environment does still have some benefits. We can augment the classroom, give it some of the power of the virtual via a mixed reality experience, with interactive whiteboards, wearable computing, and, possibly AR interfaces as well.


Teaching via Virtual Worlds (8)

Aside from their entertainment uses, virtual worlds have a large, and growing part to pay in learning systems. From individual skills, to school-wide strategies, and virtual universities, the role of virtual words in education will continue to increase.

In the natural world, the animal kingdom, and even in humans, almost all learning in the early years, and throughout life, occurs through play, it sticks if you have fun whilst doing it. In modern life, computer mediated environments and games are ubiquitous: In the shops, on the Web, streamed to the desktop, on TV, on the mobile phone and PDA, on the blackberry. However, there is one technological place they are absent: The modern school classroom.

This book launches into the use of computer games and simulations, to replicate the situations an adult. That is to say, not edugames that are dry and boring, with all the fun of a PowerPoint slideshow, but putting into complex simulations, and simple fun games, the same base concepts for success that are found in the wider world.

Designed for learning professionals and drawing on both game creators and instructional designers, Learning by Doing explains how to select, research, build, sell, deploy, and measure the right type of educational simulation for the right situation.

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Specialist College of Virtual Reality?
East Marshall High School in Le Grande, Iowa, in the United States is a small public school with 270 students. It has been rated highly by the local authorities, and appears on more than a few 'top school' ratings in that country's charts. It is also one of the first traditional schools/universities worldwide, to embrace learning in virtual reality with open arms.

The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games offers an encyclopedic overview and complete lexicon for those who care about the next generation of educational media. This is the essential reference for not only those directly involved in simulations and serious games, but also for researchers and writers, computer game designers, policy makers, and entrepreneurs.

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The MOOs & Avatars Page
This quality resource forms an ideal non-technical introduction to virtual worlds, and their uses in student education. Whilst remaining jargon free, it highlights several of the benefits virtual worlds bring to classroom education, and highlights some of the pitfalls.

Linked resource
Virtual Reality In Schools: The Ultimate Educational Technology
A strong look at the wonderous benefits of incorporating virtual environments into education, and the effects felt by two pilot schools in 1999. It demonstrates the awesome powwer of virtual environments in thre classroom - even using legacy technology (Never mind what we have now)

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Virtual Reality taught at University once more
Whilst research using virtual reality has continued unabashed throughout the years, it seems that we are finally once again seeing courses dedicated to VR as a subject in its own right.

Bringing the Past to Life (1)

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Sensitivities and Perceptions
A mixed article this, on the one side, it looks at the use of history in gaming worlds, and on the other, it looks at the use of history in educational worlds.

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Communication (1)

Communication, especially amoung highly distributed teams, is practically the most important element of any development. Second only to the work.
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Future Chat
What do students think about the future of teaching, learning, and technology? The Threshold/ISTE Youth Forum gave 11 high-school students a platform to help us learn from those who will lead us into the future. Warning: 470 kb Adobe Acrobat document

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Haptics (5)

Haptics, tactiles, touch-sensors, everything from basic haptic gloves to tactile bodysuits, designed to bring touch and feeling to non-physical encounters.
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Haptic InterfaceHaptics
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Touching Molecules With Your Bare Hands
Industry News

Industry news, originally posted 15th April 2005, deemed too important to allow to fade. A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a new haptic AR process, allowing tiny objects to be manipulated in your hands.

A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has developed a new way of looking at and interacting with the tiniest of molecules ? holding them in your hands and manipulating them.

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Virtual Field Trips (1)

Field trips are expensive, they are messy, they are time consuming and disruptive. They can also be lethal, when the coach is broadsided by a lorry. Yet, field trips continue, because of the enormous benefit to education they offer. If only there was a way to continue to offer this benefit without all the drawbacks...

Counterpart to a news story in February 2005, New Augmented Reality Position Tech contained details of a breakthrough in augmented reality. This slideshow forms the visual element of that.

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Augmented Teaching (8)

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On the surface, it seems like teaching about games should be easy. After all, students are highly motivated, enjoy engaging with course content, and have extensive personal experience with videogames. However, games education can be surprisingly complex.

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Making an Electronic Whiteboard with the Wii
A video has been posted by Gametrailers.com, made by Johnny Chung Lee of Carnegie Mellon University. The video is a talk-though of demonstrations on how to use a Wii to create an inexpensive, interactive whiteboard for classroom use.

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Portability in an Increasingly Augmented World
The time was, that a college or university campus was filled with people carrying bulky loads. Students were commonly seen with backpacks, filled with books, armloads of books, and other materials. Lecturers frequently had two, or even three bags of stuff, and it was not at all unusual to see one carrying a large cardboard box between lectures.

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Telepresence with a Twist: Robotic Students
Telepresence is the art of projecting oneself so that natural conversations, and even interactions can be held between parties, exactly as if both members were physically at the same location - when in fact, one or both parties may in fact be absent. It is being there without going there, in simple terms.Recently, that has had an impact on education, in a classroom.

Cyber Coach is a dance mat game that has received something of a boost thanks to added augmented reality capabilities. It has become a sort of modern day example of what the schools of the near future could become.

The Hopscotch system is based very much on the childhood game of the same name. A combination of that, the design of the keypad from a modern mobile phone, and the link between physical exercise and learning is what makes HOPSCOTCH the physical-based teaching aid it is.

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Infants & Juniors (1)

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VR Interfaces: Leapfrog Tag
Leapfrog's Tag reader is a direct derivative of several fairly recent augmented reality technologies. It is a reading aid for 4-8 year olds, designed not to teach reading, but to help hone reading ability. It is designed really, for those occasions when parents are too busy to spend time helping their children master concepts.