History and AR

Education

I would like to think that I am a tech savvy teacher. Tech knowledge and history do not always go together, but I think they should. When I talk to people about their history teachers growing up, they either loved them or hated them…often for the same reasons. The stories. Some people gravitated to their sage of a history teacher spinning a yarn about times long ago. While others remember the drudgery of listening to lectures about facts they do not care about.

While history still has its fair share of the “sage on the stage” teachers, technology has allowed us to give students a more tangible way to see history. One thing I have struggled with in history is giving students a way to interact with people or objects in history.

With this as my backdrop, I walked into a training this summer about augmented reality. Most of us have at least heard the term ‘virtual reality’ or VR, which is using technology to completely change the setting of the person wearing it. AR is a bit different, it attempts to add something to our current setting to interact with. The game Pokemon Go would be an example of AR at work. The game superimposes pokemon on top of the video feed of your surrounding.

In the training I attended, they showed us how various AR apps change the environment using our phones. From changing the language we saw in a picture to showing what the next step in an assembly line, AR has the ability to change the way we train the learners we are teaching.

I took what I learned at the training and attempted to put it to work using an app called Metaverse. Using their interface, I created a game to help the students in my class learn the differences in the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists in early United States history. Take a look and let me know what you think?

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