Blind Protocol, an alternate reality game created by two high school English teachers to help students understand online privacy and data security. This form of gaming blends fact and fiction to immerse players in an interactive world that responds to their decisions and actions. In a recent article on KQED, Paul Darvasi and John Fallon described how they chose the gaming format to help their students gain a deeper look at how vulnerable their personal data is.
Augmented reality can be described as experiencing the real world with an overlay of additional computer generated content. In contrast, virtual reality immerses a user in an entirely simulated environment, while mixed or merged reality blends real and virtual worlds in ways through which the physical and the digital can interact. AR, VR, and MR offer new opportunities to create a psychological sense of immersive presence in an environment that feels real enough to be viewed, experienced, explored, and manipulated. These technologies have the potential to democratize learning by giving everyone access to immersive experiences that were once restricted to relatively few learners.
In Grinnell College’s Immersive Experiences Lab http://gciel.sites.grinnell.edu/, teams of faculty, staff, and students collaborate on research projects, then use 3D, VR, and MR technologies as a platform to synthesize and present their findings.
In terms of equity, AR, VR, and MR have the potential to democratize learning by giving all learners access to immersive experiences
relatively little research about the most effective ways to use these technologies as instructional tools. Combined, these factors can be disincentives for institutions to invest in the equipment, facilities, and staffing that can be required to support these systems. AR, VR, and MR technologies raise concerns about personal privacy and data security. Further, at least some of these tools and applications currently fail to meet accessibility standards. The user experience in some AR, VR, and MR applications can be intensely emotional and even disturbing (my note: but can be also used for empathy literacy),
immersing users in recreated, remote, or even hypothetical environments as small as a molecule or as large as a universe, allowing learners to experience “reality” from multiple perspectives.