ARIS: An Open-Source Platform for Widespread Mobile Augmented Reality Experimentation

ARIS: An Open-Source Platform for Widespread Mobile Augmented Reality Experimentation

Christopher L. Holden (University of New Mexico, USA), David J. Gagnon (University of Wisconsin, USA), Breanne K. Litts (University of Wisconsin, USA) and Garrett Smith (University of Wisconsin, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4542-4.ch002
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This chapter describes ARIS, an open source tool for creating educational games, narratives, and field research activities on mobile devices. The tool is the result of years of design-based research into educational gaming, design pedagogy, and place-based learning. It has been used in a variety of educational contexts from after-school game-design workshops to university-level language courses. Deeply committed to open and democratic education, the project invites involvement at all levels and continues to innovate as a community of users matures.
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Intellectual Context

At the time of ARIS’ inception in 2008, both the constructionist and multiliteracies movements were well underway and had gained a great deal of traction in educational contexts, particularly in the form of games (Eisenburg & Buechley, 2007; Gee, 2003; Ito et al., 2008; Kafai & Resnick, 1996;). This, combined with the increasing adoption of new media among young people (e.g. the Internet, mobile devices, social networking, micro-blogging, and video-sharing), offered a fertile ground in which to plant the ARIS platform. Researchers were recognizing that the nature of those media provide a window into how people think and learn (Gee, 2003; Kozma, 1991; McLuhan & Lapham, 1994; New London Group, 1996), and were looking for ways to leverage them to create new learning opportunities.

Mobile technologies, in particular, showed promise in shaping how we think about learning and the design learning of environments. In addition to its rising ubiquity, mobile technology has fundamentally changed how people go about their day-to-day activities and relate to their surroundings (Squire, 2009; Squire & Dikkers, 2011). Additionally, in the spirit of situated learning theory (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989; Lave & Wenger, 1991), the natural integrative characteristics and large-scale impact of mobile technologies reveal a need to makes sense of mobile. As a result, scholars began pointing to a requisite in higher education and education writ large: to innovate around mobile technologies (Johnson, Levine, Smith, & Stone, 2010).

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