Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Flow Experience and Educational Effectiveness of Teaching Informatics Using AR

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Flow Experience and Educational Effectiveness of Teaching Informatics Using AR

Article excerpt

Introduction

Only a few decades ago, few people had the privilege to have the availability of technology that could help them learn. Nowadays, technology in general and educational technology in particular has been rapidly evolving as well as being utilized in both formal and informal education. Computers, mobile phones, interactive whiteboards, simulations, virtual reality and Web 2.0 applications are just some technology examples, which have been effectively used by teachers and students in educational environments (Dror, 2008).

Nowadays, the new technology of AR has emerged in the field of education and up- to-date research shows that its use can have very positive learning outcomes. Such examples constitute research projects by Kerawalla, Luckin, Seljeflot and Woolard (2006), who searched the potential of AR in teaching the Earth-Sun interaction and day-night consecution, the EcoMobile programme (Kamarainen et al., 2013) concerning the use of the particular technology in environmental education and a large number of research games in open spaces, such as Outbreak at MIT, Environmental Detectives, Gray Anatomy etc. (Dunleavy & Dede, 2014).

In Greece, AR has been slightly used in education. The majority of applications concerned its use in open spaces of archaeological interest or inner museum and technology park spaces (Gialouri, 2011; Grigoraki, Politi & Tsolakos, 2013; Siampanopoulou, 2014; Sintoris, 2014). However, cases where AR is used in the classroom, such as the case of Dimitriou (2009) who created an AR application for the teaching of electrical circuits to high school students, almost do not exist.

Thus, the research on the use of AR in a classroom and the total absence of its applications for the subject of Information Technology is relatively small scale, at least in Greek reality. The present research was carried out in order to fill in both gaps, contributing to the further investigation of its pedagogical value. The answers to be given upon its completion, can highlight a different aspect of the use of AR in the educational process, encourage more researchers to explore its educational value, not only for the subject of IT in junior high school but also for other subjects and educational levels and, finally, inform teaching practitioners about the new technology and motivate them to start using it more often during their teaching sessions.

Review of relevant research projects

Students, coming in contact with the technology of AR for the first time, are impressed by the way virtual elements are incorporated into the environment they are located, and, as a result, they are motivated and actively participate in course activities (see Table 1).

During teaching sessions, they express their enthusiasm for what they do, collaborate on a great degree with one another in order to achieve their objective and, in a lot of cases, are absorbed in what they do in such a degree that they sense a modification of time or decreased reflex.

At the end of the teaching session, they have a positive attitude towards the technology used and claim to be eager to use it again. They consider it effective because it helped them learn and apt to help them learn more, although do not hide their satisfaction for what they have achieved by using it.

The accuracy of the students' views seems to reflect on their learning outcomes. After the use of technology, they have better performance than before, they are able to observe objects, which, under normal circumstances, they are not able to, either because of their size (too big or too small) or because they are not visible in the environment, they retain their knowledge for longer periods.

Theoretical framework

The term AR refers to such technology which increases the sense of reality, allowing the coexistence of digital and factual information in the same environment (Azuma, 1997). …

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