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Augmented Reality Simulations on Handheld Computers


Journal of the Learning Sciences Volume 16, Number 3, ISSN 1050-8406


Advancements in handheld computing, particularly its portability, social interactivity, context sensitivity, connectivity, and individuality, open new opportunities for immersive learning environments. This article articulates the pedagogical potential of augmented reality simulations in environmental engineering education by immersing students in the roles of scientists conducting investigations. This design experiment examined if augmented reality simulation games can be used to help students understand science as a social practice, whereby inquiry is a process of balancing and managing resources, combining multiple data sources, and forming and revising hypotheses in situ. We provide 4 case studies of secondary environmental science students participating in the program. Positioning students in virtual investigations made apparent their beliefs about science and confronted simplistic beliefs about the nature of science. Playing the game in “real” space also triggered students' preexisting knowledge, suggesting that a powerful potential of augmented reality simulation games can be in their ability to connect academic content and practices with students' physical, lived worlds. The game structure provided students a narrative to think with, although students differed in their ability to create a coherent narrative of events. We argue that Environmental Detectives is 1 model for helping students understand the socially situated nature of scientific practice.


Squire, K. & Klopfer, E. (2007). Augmented Reality Simulations on Handheld Computers. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 16(3), 371-413. Retrieved April 25, 2019 from .

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