HOW TO EFFECTIVELY INTEGRATE AUGMENTED REALITY IN SECONDARY EDUCATION IN THE FIELDS OF STEM
1 Life-Long Learning Programs of the Center for L.L.L., University of the Aegean (GREECE) / European University Cyprus (CYPRUS)
2 European University Cyprus (CYPRUS)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Inspired by the trends towards “smart education” and following the needs that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, which functioned as a technological catalyst, this research focuses on the investigation of the ways the emerging technology of Augmented Reality (AR) could be integrated into STEM-related courses in Lower Secondary Education, having positive impacts on students’ twenty-first century skills and motivation towards the educational process. The investigation has been implemented through a case study with multiple units of analysis defined as “The Case Study of Secondary Education Teachers’ Experience from Cyprus and Greece having attended a Teacher Professional Development (TPD) program on Augmented Reality in STEM education”. As far as STEM education is concerned, it does not strictly refer to the individual subjects of the acronym (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), but it refers widely, to a systemic approach providing an integrated way of teaching and learning. The case study took place during the school years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 at two schools in Cyprus and Greece (two cases), providing understanding to some extent of the impact of Augmented Reality applications on both teachers and their students. A total number of twenty seven (27) teachers were trained, five (5) of them accepted to be observed while applying AR supported interventions in their classrooms and one hundred and seventy nine (179) students attended these interventions. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and triangulated, including questionnaires/ self-reports, interviews, informal and open-ended discussions, observations, and teachers’-students’ additional data (i.e., lesson plans, worksheets, achievements), with emphasis on the qualitative data. The conclusions of this research indicate that the integration of AR technology into STEM fields in education, seems to be feasible and beneficial, under specific conditions. The aim of this research is to provide suggestions for Secondary Education teachers (and anyone interested in this field, such as researchers, school administration staff etc.) on the ways AR technology could be integrated in STEM-related courses, leading to positive impacts on students motivation during the educational process, as well as specific 21st century skills. The results of the current research could constitute strong basis for future work towards the directions under investigation.
Keywords: Augmented Reality, Secondary Education, STEM, 21st century skills, motivation.