Reliving History with "Reliving the Revolution": Designing Augmented Reality Games to Teach the Critical Thinking of History

Reliving History with "Reliving the Revolution": Designing Augmented Reality Games to Teach the Critical Thinking of History

Karen Schrier (MIT, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-808-6.ch085
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Abstract

Students need to learn the critical thinking of history, yet they rarely have opportunities to authentically simulate historic inquiry. Research has suggested the pedagogical potential for using augmented reality (AR) games—location-based games that use wireless handheld devices such as PDAs to provide virtual game information in a physical environment. The novel AR game, Reliving the Revolution (RtR), was created as a model for studying how AR games can engage students in interpretive, collaborative, and problem-solving activities. In this chapter, the game is introduced, and main results of the initial iterative tests are discussed, including what went wrong and how the game was redesigned to better support deeper engagement and historical thinking and learning.
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Introduction

There may be at least two versions to every story, but how do you determine the truth when both sides have valid, but differing, perspectives? Active participants in a democracy must be able to question sources, seek out and manage differing viewpoints, and develop their own interpretations of the information they receive. Social problems do not have one clear solution; rather they require the complex consideration of multiple possibilities, prior knowledge sets, and rubrics (Brush & Saye, 2005). Likewise, historians weigh evidence and decide to emphasize the particular perspectives that they feel are the best representations of the past. K-12 social studies students typically receive a litany of facts, events, names, along with one master narrative; they are rarely encouraged to empathize with alternate views or question the so-called authoritative versions of history. Teaching as though there is only one right way to view history is problematic because students are not practicing the skills necessary for historic inquiry (Hoge, 2003), and also because they are not learning how to unravel the complexity of social problems, nor evaluate the world as an engaged citizen. In this chapter, I present a new augmented reality game, Reliving the Revolution (RtR), as a model for teaching historic inquiry and critical thinking, and for considering how to design engaging educational games. RtR is not envisioned as a standalone educational solution, but as an activity supported by a teacher or mentor, and integrated into a broader history curriculum that incorporates experiential learning, teamwork, and critical thinking skills.

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