Is Google going to replace MOOC's?
As Google unveils its next step in AR we look at the implications for the elearning industry
Google has just released an update in their IO about how you can get a photo of a great white shark to start swimming around your living room or a virtually try on a new pair of Nike shoes.
According to Google 3D AR objects will start appearing in search results later as early as autumn this year. Even more excitingly anybody can add their own objects by adding “just a few lines of code.”
Google kicked off the project working with the likes of NASA, New Balance, Volvo, Samsung and other many other big brands who wanted their own 3D model.
So why is Google AR interesting for ed tech & elearning?
Because they have made the technology open for anyone to build on. While at first, it might seem like a gimmick or something for brands to use to sell us more stuff the underlying technology is very powerful. There is absolutely no reason why traditional educators like Harvard or Pearson are missing from the list.
The MOOCs have more of an excuse but it is definitely a technology that could be used to make their courses a bit more interactive than simply watching videos and trying to take notes.
In fact, Google CEO Sundar Pinchai used the word “understanding” whilst announcing the product.
"Sometimes what's most helpful in understanding the world is being able to see it visually."
The AR shark was then demoed by Google’s augmented reality chief Aparna Chennapragada.
She took it a step further and said that this new technology “would help students explore new concepts or see how consumer goods would match with their current possessions.”
These announcements are This is one small step away from the word “learning” and one giant leap away from the world of “elearning”.
This type of technology was, one supposes, the type of thing that was going to make the Google Glasses such a hit. Everyone knows that they were a huge flop.
Not everyone knows that the technology is not dead and found a second lease of life in commercial training and development budgets.
Enter the Google Glass Enterprise Edition.
Workers in factories who need hands-free computing because they need to use their hands at the same time.
It is not a huge stretch to see how smart, quick AR could be used in conjunction with computers and manual tasks in schools.
The rise of cheap Blended Learning
Blended Learning is a fancy name for a mixture of traditional teacher + textbook learning with technology-based learning.
The two have existed side by side with many articles and future gazers called textbooks dead and because tablets are the teaching tool of today. These people also love alliteration.
A big stumbling block for blending learning is that there is no consistency in the tech and the tech is very expensive.
Google has just gone a long way to removing these two barriers with its widely available basically free tech. Let's not forget Google also offers free courses to anyone who cares to take one.
AR will not impact MOOCs in any meaningful way since the whole thing is done online. However, quick hints and tips about how it is supposed to be done when you point your phone at something is going to be here as early as autumn 2019.
This is going to be very exciting and has a huge impact on people looking to learn a new language or just travel the world as much as it is on people looking to repair their boiler or see what Pompeii was like without having to leave their living room.