Augmented Reality Gaming in Education for Engaged Learning

Augmented Reality Gaming in Education for Engaged Learning

Cathy Cavanaugh (University of Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-195-9.ch103
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In augmented reality games, game experiences combining electronic game content take the form of narrative materials and game-play elements exchanged through a wide range of communication media that are used in a related physical setting. Educational game developers design these games to maximize transfer of learning through close approximation of the game-scaffolded skills and the game environment to real skills and contexts. The games immerse players in electronic and actual learning situations using features that make them effective learning experiences for fostering meaningful learning. The situated learning experienced by augmented reality game players transfers to deep learning, often in social contexts. Research into the uses of these games as educational platforms has focused on developing the technologies for the games and on studies of games for learning. Results demonstrate the strengths and areas for continued development in the application of augmented reality games for childhood and adult learning in formal and informal settings.
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Augmented reality games have been used in military and corporate environments for a semi-realistic form of simulation training, and they recently began to find a K-12 audience. AR games are very well suited for educating people in the new Conceptual Age, an era identified by Pink (2005) as a period in which strengths in creativity, synthesis, and contextualization are in increasing demand to solve complex new problems. The education community has recognized that Agricultural, Industrial, and even Information Age models are no longer the most effective paths to facilitation of meaningful learning (Pink, 2005). In the Conceptual Age the analytical and logical abilities valued for the Information Age will be joined by inventive and empathic abilities, which will enable global citizens to serve emerging social needs, become independent lifelong learners, and excel in the new professional marketplace. A curriculum centered on a single approach to solving problems will not effectively prepare students in the Conceptual Age, but must evolve into a learning ecology that more accurately reflects the demands of working with multiple data sources to address problems (Siemens, 2006). The flexible, socially interactive, globally connected capabilities afforded by AR games make them among the best designs for understanding the complex challenges facing us (Dede, Dieterle, Clarke, & Ketelhut, 2007).

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