INTEGRATING AUGMENTED REALITY INTO EDUCATION AND TRAINING: REMARKS AND INSIGHTS FROM A FIVE-YEAR EXPERIENCE IN THE FIELD
1 University of the Aegean, Department of Preschool Education and Educational Design (GREECE)
2 University of the Aegean, Life-Long Learning Programs of the Center for Life-Long Learning (GREECE)
3 University of the Aegean, Department of Primary Education (GREECE)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2022
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Since Augmented Reality (AR) technology was accessible through everyday mobile devices (smartphones, tablets etc.), there has been an increasing interest in applying AR in education and training, offering new learning opportunities but, at the same time, creating new challenges for both teaching and learning. Existing studies underline that AR has the potential to transform the current educational systems by enhancing the learning and training processes and preparing more effective individuals for the demanding future labour market. Starting from the early childhood up to lifelong learning, including all intermediate educational levels as well as formal, informal and non-formal types of education, there are numerous examples supported by AR technology in education and training, in the international literature during the last decade. Similarly to previous technological innovations introduced within education and training, the value of AR does not rely on an individual technology, but is closely related to the framework under which it is integrated into education, including the instructional design, the pedagogical approaches, the learning activities, specific learning outcomes etc. Additional factors other than teachers and students themselves, could affect the technology acceptance as well as the development of an appropriate background to allow the integration of an innovation into the educational process, such as (among others) the national policy, financial factors, motivation, parents’ attitude, the school’s administration, school’s infrastructure. The current study aims to contribute to some extent to the aforementioned emerging trend among educational researchers and practitioners, towards integrating Augmented Reality technology into the educational and/or training process. During the last five (5) years (2016-2021), authors of the current research have been involved in a number of educational actions applying AR, such as European projects promoting AR integration, design of official curricula in Vocational Education and Training (VET) supported with AR technology, teachers’ training programs with and on AR technology, and individual research in relevant fields.
The aim of this paper is to:
(a) present the authors’ insights through this five-year experience, highlighting both positive and negative aspects of AR technology in education and training, and
(b) create the background for in-depth discussion concerning the factors that could affect the level of AR technology integration into education and training.
Conclusions of this research indicate that AR has a strong potential that needs to be released under specific circumstances and directions, facing existing challenges and overcoming practical difficulties.
Keywords: Augmented Reality, Education & Training, technology integration, challenges, 5-year experience.