Thanks in no small part to the iPhone 3GS, Augmented Reality is starting to grow in leaps and bounds. Google and others are also helping this growth in many ways. As I have blogged about in past posts (and many others around the web have also mentioned), the lines between the online world and the offline world are blurring. Enter into this mix Gloe from HP.
Gloe is a new service that, among other things, allows you to connect any website to a particular location in real life. When you are at a physical site, your mobile device can then pull up websites that were voted most relevant for that location. Of course, all of the regular “social” buzz-functions are there – tagging, FaceBook connections, etc. Gloe is still pretty new in some areas, but as this article on ReadWriteWeb points out, even if some function doesn’t work that great – at least the idea behind the function is really interesting.
We may have to wait a good ten years before any educational site or LMS catches on to this, but I like the possibilities of using this for education. I am sure there are more than a few EduPunks that are already using this (if you know of some, please post in the comments). I love thinking about how one could transfer learning from a desk at home to a mobile device in the real world. Maybe you could send your students on a scavenger hunt for a place in your city that best relates to your topic, and then they use a mobile blog app to complete an assignment? Or maybe they have to search the tags in the city and find something that relates to the week’s topic? Art students could go paint somewhere, snap a photo of the picture, upload it to a blog, and then tag that blog post to the location. Humanities students could interview people or take surveys, then post the results online, and then connect the results page to the location where they collected it. Students could begin connecting research results to locations and maybe even map differences between neighborhoods.
Many possibilities… depending on where the technology takes us.