Thursday, January 13, 2005

My latest Learning Circuits Trends article

My Trends article on augmented reality and training, "Augmented Reality Check," has been posted to the Learning Circuits site. Sorry about the delay; we were having some technical problems.

I write, "Think you can predict the future of learning technology? If you point to simulations and virtual reality, you’re wrong. Or at least half wrong.

Simulations will have their place. They’re getting more and more sophisticated and the popularity of such virtual universes as Second Life and There prove that people can be engaged by, even addicted to, experiences that are purely virtual.

But the real future of learning is what one developer calls “blended learning on steroids.” Just as training designers now choose among classroom-based training, synchronous online seminars, asynchronous Web-based training, and other options when determining the best delivery mechanism for learning content, in the near future those designing training will choose among training delivered in the real environment, via augmented reality, or in a virtual environment.

The real environment is self-explanatory. Virtual reality, in the form of computer-based simulations, has been written about quite frequently in learning publications—but much less attention has been paid to the learning potential of augmented reality. This is no doubt because its more complicated technology has matured at a much slower rate. But research and hardware advances have helped propel AR forward, and it is poised to make a very big splash in the learning arena. It is AR, then, that we will examine here in more depth."

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