Recently two geniuses walked into my eyesight through R685 (Dr. Bonk introduced them in the class). Both of them amazed me with their exciting innovations with new technologies. I would like to call them MAGICIANS, because of their astonishing creativity and bold imagination. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw their high-tech presentations.
The first magician is Craig Kapp, a professor as well as a researcher in the fields of computer science and digital Technology. Currently, he is working on applying Augment Reality into educational settings to facilitate teaching and learning. The topic of his presentation in R685 was Visualizing the Future: How Augmented Reality can empower faculty, inspire students and bring ideas to life in the classroom. Thanks to his presentation, I was in my first time being clearly acknowledged what Augmented Reality is and what value it may bring into education. Augmented Reality plays magic to visuals. Shown with a specifically made card or on a special tablet through a web camera, images on a piece of paper or in a book suddenly become “ALIVE”. They stand up, turning into 3D visuals (more exactly, 3D objects). Imaging how amazing it could be when chemical symbols in your chemistry textbook become 3D models, Jack’s beanstalk growing up directly from the story book or little red riding hood running on pages! I think the great value that Craig’s innovation in education is that it will make learning more engaging, release students’ cognitive load of understanding complexities, encourage imagination and inspire creation.
The other magician is Pranav Mistry, an Indian computer science majored graduate student from MIT. His magic is SixSense. This technology embeds computer functions into human bodies: with carrying a small camera and some other necessary computer components, our fingers could work as a mouse and our palms could be used as a keyboard and a screen. SixSense exerts the great potential of mobile learning and breaks down the barrier of accessing information without appropriate devices. Since SixSense can turn our bodies into a mobile device which has comprehensive functions, we will not need any extra devices anymore, such as expensive Apple productions.
Although Augmented Reality and SixSense technology are under two different topics in R685, I put them together in this posting because Craig and Pranav have great similarities in terms of creativity and enthusiasm of applying new technologies in learning; in addition, I imagine what will happen if we combine these two magic together: the convenience and fun of leaning will be everywhere! Students will be able to watch free 3D movies all on their palms; science teachers may never need to purchase geometry and chemical models for their classes; students majored in fashion design, engineering design and architecture could exam their designs from 360 angles anytime from they start drawing the design sketches.