Augmented Reality Contributes to Museum Learning

Augmented reality is an emerging technology with the potential to transform learning – including in museum exhibits having to do with human health.

“By digitally adding or removing information from the physical world, augmented reality creates a sense that real and virtual objects coexist, and can enhance people’s interactions both with each other and with objects in the world,” said Camillia Matuk, assistant professor of educational communication and technology at NYU Steinhardt.

Most museum implementations of augmented reality have been in the realms of art and history. A study by Matuk published in the journal Museums & Social Issues looks at how augmented reality can be used in museums to communicate concepts related to human health, biology, and medicine. These complex topics can be made more accessible to learners by putting them within personally, socially, and culturally relevant contexts. Augmented reality can also foster collaboration, support learning by encouraging reflective behaviors, help learners to make connections between new and existing ideas, and use narrative to illustrate health topics.

“The availability and accessibility of augmented reality technologies challenges us to explore how augmented reality in museums might help us engage more deeply, more meaningfully, and more authentically with what it means to be human,” said Matuk.

Image: “App iSkull, an augmented human skull” by Hagustin. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commonss.