Augmented Reality. Virtual Reality. Mixed Reality.
What’s the difference between AR, VR and MR?
Virtual reality is a situation in which the viewer (or in this case, student as we are speaking about education) is immersed into a virtual world that is comprised strictly of images. Mixed reality is a combination of virtual things overlaid onto the real world. Pokemon Go! is an example of augmented reality, as is the classroom app called Plickers.
Mixed reality takes augmented reality one step farther in that it anchors items in the real world to the images of the virtual world and they connect. It is more active than augmented reality as the student engages with the environment as well as the technology. Physical and digital items coexist in an environment of mixed reality.
Google brings virtual and augmented reality into the classroom with Google Expeditions. Take a peek into an Egyptian tomb. Explore outer space. Do some career expeditions. You are only limited by your imagination. This is another fantastic opportunity to model the growth mindset and the concept of life-long learning. Pick up a Google Cardboard, load the expeditions app onto a smartphone, and learn alongside your students. You can BE Mrs. Frizzel of Scholastic’s Magic School Bus with Google Expeditions. There are over 900 already created virtual reality tours available for you to access!! There are over 100 augmented reality sessions ready to use. Want to explore sharks? Volcanoes? African animals?
National Geographic, the American Museum of Natural History and the Guggenheim Museum are all partners with Google in this initiative. Google has created hundreds of tours in concert with their partners!
“The most frequent comment [from students] was that it was the best thing they had ever experienced. The staff agreed as well. They were amazed at the things they could do and the places they could see.”
It sounds confusing
If this didn’t seem logical, or was difficult to envision, here are a few videos – The first one (left side) is actually advertising a product – but it does a good job of illustrating how this could look one day, so we’ve included it to inspire some moonshot thinking!
AR takes the abstract and makes it concrete to the students. We wouldn’t be able to see a heart right on the desk, what it looks like when beating, and the blood circulating.