Tech with Intent: AR and Education

Augmented Reality · August 5, 2018

Tech with Intent: Augmented Reality and Education

AR isn't just for grabbing attention. It can also be harnessed for learning, sharing and retaining information.

What’s so great about a moving painting with sound? Aside from the “wows” it will bring, it’s a fun way to make learning memorable. Take, for instance, the painting above. When visitors to San Diego Museum of Art point their smartphones at The Molo at the Basin of San Marco, it comes to life via augmented reality motion and soundscape. But it doesn’t do it just for kicks. Instead, augmented reality is used to grab attention before telling a story that drives a point home.

According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners.


Rather than glancing for a few short seconds before moving on, viewers become active learners as they are transported into the scene. They then discover that the artist, Bernardo Bellotto, was known for creating view paintings of Venice that tourists purchased to remember their trip. The original purpose of the painting was to act as a memento–a window back into Venice for travelers and a peek at a far-off place for those waiting for them at home. By adding movement and sound, the painting is still performing its original intent, but for a twenty-first-century audience. While some visitors might remember those details by simply reading the wall-card, the enhancement of augmented reality helps to make it memorable for many more.

And there’s more than just one way to do it. Here are just a few examples of how augmented reality can enhance learning:

Sound and Motion Overlay

Imagine visitors not only reading about Monet’s study of light but seeing what that means as well. With augmented reality, visitors can watch as a work transforms according to time of day. Seeing the work transform under different lighting conditions helps to solidify what they’ve learned while adding a bit of magic.

Mixed Media

Suspended from the ceiling and high out of visitors’ natural field of vision, something like a replica plane might not get the attention it deserves. But augmented reality can change that using more than one technique. The Spirit of St. Louis augmented reality experience allows visitors to walk completely around a 3D model of the plane, start its engine, tap parts of it to access fun and educational videos and even journey inside the cockpit of the original plane while learning about Lindbergh’s famous flight.

3D Animation in the Classroom

Augmented reality not only transports visitors as they learn, but can transport your institution into the classroom! By simply printing a trigger image, teachers can bring dinosaurs, artworks, historical figures, zoo animals, and even entire scenes from different time periods right into the classroom. Augmented reality allows students to explore and learn in 360 degrees while getting a taste of what your institution has to offer.