It has been estimated that within the next 15 years almost 75% of jobs in North America will require at least some technology or computer skills. According to Shameena Parveen, co-founder of Edutech, for students to develop the needed skills, schools need to, "move from a rote learning concepts and an 'I teach-you listen methods to a more active and participatory learning method where learners take responsibility for learning and are engaged participants rather than passive observers. More importantly, the skill we need our students to have is 'learning to learn' as in today's knowledge economy, we are constantly required to learn, unlearn and relearn''[] As developments in '''AR''' evolve, the more participatory the applications will become.

Augmented Reality appeals to constructivist notions of education where students take control of their own learning, and interact with the real and virtual environments. In learning situations that are partly virtual like AR', students can manipulate objects that are not real, and learn tasks and skills. The benefit with AR learning is that there are no "real" errors. For example, if a firefighter learns how to fight various types of fires, or a surgeon learns laparoscopic surgery in an augmented reality situation, there are no real consequences if mistakes are made during training. These types of training provide opportunities for more authentic learning and appeal to multiple learning styles. Augmented Reality applications that can enhance textbooks too have the power to engage a reader in ways that have never been possible. A field trip to a museum or historic locale with a group of classmates, using AR applications can provide each student with his/her own unique discovery path.

See a slide show video giving an overview of the Educause/ New Media Consortium's Report

2010 Horizon Report: Simple Augmented Reality]

Educational Applications covered in the next pages:

Next up: Augmented Reality and Training