Mar. 27, 2019

​A BGU research team has developed a prototype for a groundbreaking program to introduce augmented reality into mathematics and science instruction. Augmented reality is a technology that augments the actual world with virtual objects.

The prototype, developed by Dr. Osama Swidan and Michael N. Fried of the Graduate Program for Science and Technology Education​ and Prof. Jihad el-Sana​ of the Department of Computer Science​ traces moving objects and augments them with virtual mathematical representations like graphs, symbols, and tables of numerical values that describe the body's movements. This is a different model for using augmented reality in education, which has previously focused on turning static objects (like photographs) into dynamic ones, like turning a photograph or drawing in a book into an animation.

The researchers say the development has the potential to bring fundamental change to classrooms, for both students and teachers, because this prototype is not limited to specific dynamic phenomena, though, it has the ability to capture any dynamic-real phenomena, The cost is also low.

"Augmented reality can be a useful tool for teachers to introduce principles and ideas into a student's reality," says Dr. Swidan, the research project coordinator "Our prototype can significantly improve a student's chance of success in math and science by helping him or her bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and the real world.

"The impact could be as great as the introduction of computer-based learning was during the 1990s," he adds.

Above: Screen shot shows dynamic object in real space (a cube sliding down a slanted surface as seen via special glasses used by students during the experiment. The glasses show a graph and numbers that represent the distance the cube moves in real time.