Technology Review

Section Editor: Christophe Hirel

In this section, we feature websites, online manipulatives, and web-based application that are appropriate for K-12 mathematics instruction. We are looking for critical review of technologies which focus on both the benefits and limitations of using these tools in a K-12 mathematics classroom. If you use a technological tool and wish to share with us, please respond to the Call for Manuscripts.

Christophe Hirel
Section Editor,
Technology Review

Augmented Reality App: GeoGebra

In this issue, we are featuring the GeoGebra Augmented Reality app. We often hear augmented reality and virtual reality – two concepts that can sometimes be confused.

The augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Augmented reality enhances experiences by adding computer-generated enhancements (digital images or graphics) on top of an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it.

Effective motion tracking is the key to maintaining the magic of AR. When interacting with a virtual object as if it is in the real world, the mobile device (such as laptops, smart phones, and tablets) must accurately characterize the position of the object in relation to itself. AR technology is quickly coming into the mainstream. You may remember the popular game “Pok√©mon GO” a few years ago using this technology.

In contrast, virtual reality (VR) creates its own reality that is completely computer generated and driven. Virtual Reality is usually delivered to the user through a head-mounted or hand-held controller. This equipment connects people to the virtual reality and allows them to control and navigate their actions in an environment meant to simulate the real world.

While Virtual Reality is more immersive, Augmented Reality provides more freedom for the user because it does not require a head-mounted display. The Geogebra Augmented Reality App was created to explore the potential of augmented reality for learning and teaching mathematics.

The user can place math objects on a table, floor, or any flat surface, walk around them, and take screenshots from different angles. The app can display several examples of 3D math objects such as basic solids, Penrose triangle, Sierpinski pyramid, Football, 3D Function, Klein’s bottle, Ruled Surface, and Spiral Staircase.

Guided activities can lead the user to discover math in the real world by observing and taking screenshots from different perspectives. The app allows the user/student to enter his/her own functions. Two functions can be shown at the same time and they can be modified at any time.

The app, which was implemented 6 months ago, will be further developed with more features in the near future. The app is currently available for installation on iPhone and on newer versions of iPad. The iPad must have support for augmented reality.

In conclusion, using augmented reality, this app can transform the way students learn. By interacting with virtual objects as if they were in their surroundings, students will be able to immerse themselves among mathematical figures in a way they never imagined.

*The editorial board thanks Dr. Stephen Jull for his collaboration and his feedback on this piece.

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