Scholarly article on topic 'Using Augmented Reality as a Medium for Teaching History and Tourism'

Using Augmented Reality as a Medium for Teaching History and Tourism Academic research paper on "Computer and information sciences"

CC BY-NC-ND
0
0
Share paper
Keywords
{"augmented reality" / education / history / tourism / "mobile devices" / "mobile applications"}

Abstract of research paper on Computer and information sciences, author of scientific article — Jiří Kysela, Pavla Štorková

Abstract This article discusses the use of new media in education and shows new opportunities but also risks of the use of these technologies, especially in the tourism and history. New media through a new user interface facilitates controlling of mobile applications thanks to motion and geolocation sensors and allows the data visualization in dependence on the surroundings of the user. The article will focus on the technology of augmented reality (AR) and describe how this technology can be used in education. Augmented reality is one of the newest technologies, which offers new ways how to educate effectively and attractively.

Academic research paper on topic "Using Augmented Reality as a Medium for Teaching History and Tourism"

CrossMark

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

ScienceDirect

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 174 (2015) 926 - 931

INTE 2014

Using augmented reality as a medium for teaching history and

tourism

Jin Kyselaa* Pavla Storkovab

aUniversity of Pardubice, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, Pardubice 532 10, Czech Republic bUniversity of Pardubice, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Pardubice 532 10, Czech Republic

Abstract

This article discusses the use of new media in education and shows new opportunities but also risks of the use of these technologies, especially in the tourism and history. New media through a new user interface facilitates controlling of mobile applications thanks to motion and geolocation sensors and allows the data visualization in dependence on the surroundings of the user. The article will focus on the technology of augmented reality (AR) and describe how this technology can be used in education. Augmented reality is one of the newest technologies, which offers new ways how to educate effectively and attractively.

© 2015TheAuthors. Published by ElsevierLtd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Sakarya University

Keywords: augmented reality, education, history, tourism, mobile devices, mobile applications

1. Introduction to new media and augmented reality

New media play an important role in education today thanks to the mass spread of new information and communication technologies (ICT). New media enrich teaching practices with interactivity, promote communication and feedback. Typical characteristics of new media are multimediality, virtuality, communication, globality, internationalization, distribution, diversification, mobility and collaboration. This article discusses the use of new media in education and shows new opportunities but also risks of the use of these technologies, especially in the tourism and history. New media through a new user interface facilitates controlling of mobile applications thanks to motion and geolocation sensors and allows the data visualization in dependence on the surroundings of the user.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +420 466 037 095. E-mail address: Jiri.Kysela@upce.cz

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Sakarya University

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.713

New media, thanks to that, is changing the face of education and creating new opportunities for improvement the quality of teaching and learning and trying to reflect the user's information needs and at various types of restrictions. The article will focus on the technology of augmented reality (AR) and describe how this technology can be used in education.

1.1. What is augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is one of the newest technologies, which offers new ways how to educate effectively and attractively. Considering the growing popularity of mobile devices and new user interface worldwide, the use of AR on mobile devices becomes potentially very important form of education. Augmented reality is a way of displaying digital content in an image of the real world and its possible interaction with the environment and the user. As opposed to virtual reality, augmented reality does not buckle blinkers on user's eyes to isolate him - it retains full perception of the world, only enhanced with a distinguishable digital layer with information through advanced ICT. Augmented reality is not just a lab or room issue but a concept usable without restrictions both indoors and outdoors.

1.2. Required technologic base for augmented reality

The implementation of augmented reality provided by computer applications requires a specific hardware, currently widespread in the young generation (see chapter 2) and financially perfectly available - the cheapest device completely sufficient for augmented reality, (see chapter 1.2.2.) is on the current market in May 2014 offered at a price of EUR 60 - model Yarvik Novo Compact (Heureka, 2014) and software (see chapters 1.2.1. and 1.2.2.). As the user interface for augmented reality a few types of devices can be used. For example touch screen of a mobile device or head-mounted displays of Google Glass type (or Glass Up) displaying pictures right before user's eyes without the need to look away from his point of view (such way of displaying is called Head Up Display). These glasses are not available on the public market yet (April 2014), the sale is expected by the end of the year. The price should vary around USD 1.500 (USD 299 for Glass Up), therefore this article considers the mobile devices as the best solution to be used.

1.2.1. Multipurpose mobile devices for augmented reality

By multi-purpose mobile devices we mean mobile computers, which are nowadays frequently represented by notebooks/ultrabooks, smartphones or tablets. In education of history and tourism, the use of augmented reality is destined for outdoor use with a high degree of mobility of the user. For this purpose it is necessary that the application enabling displaying the augmented reality runs on computers with high degree of mobility. This means very low weight, small dimensions and due to the low power consumption and high capacity batteries also several hours of operation without the need of recharging. Internet data transfer is provided by wireless connection, preferably available everywhere via mobile data networks. Smartphone and tablet best suit these requirements, for they have very small dimensions and easier handling possibility (compared to notebooks) thanks to extremely low weight (usually no more than 0.5 kg, which is significantly lower than most notebooks and even ultrabooks, where the weight is at least double) and sufficient battery life.

The essence of augmented reality is to display digital content in real images. Everything happens within a touch screen of mobile device that captures the true picture by the front webcamera. The location of digital content must match the actual content as closely as possible - eg, the original historical entrance must be displayed on the screen exactly on the point where the entry to the current building is. Therefore the ability to accurately display augmented reality requires advanced technologies, which the mobile device must provide.

These technologies include:

• Front webcamera to capture the actual image in front of the user's eyes.

• GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites enabling very accurate location (accuracy within 5 to 20 meters) of the device anywhere on the Earth (called geolocation) and technologies such as gyroscope and accelerometer that

can additionally determine the directional orientation and speed of movement of the mobile device, respectively the user, to display an adequate augmented reality in his vicinity. In the event that GPS is not available in the device, this technology can be substituted by the geolocation service provided by companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple or Mozilla, which use WiFi technology, but this is only possible in areas adequately covered by these networks, ie. in urban areas. Geolocation using WiFi GPS provided in urban areas of the Czech Republic has slightly lower accuracy, which reaches the level of 21-25 meters in large cities and accuracy of 27-33 meters in smaller towns (Source: Authors). • In the event that the application uses data from the Internet, the availability of mobile data technologies (Generation 2G - GPRS / EDGE, 3G - UMTS / HSPA / LTE or 4G - LTE advanced) is essential to provide the actual underlying data for augmented reality in the shortest possible time to ensure fast response time (preferable at least 3G technology providing transmissions with the speed of several Mb/s or more).

1.2.2. Mobile applications with augmented reality

Mobile application is a type of software designed for mobile operating systems such as Android or Windows Phone. The final form of augmented reality, ie. what content is really displayed to the user, is determined just by the mobile application. The applications are also responsible for the functionality and ease of use, usually operated by the user via touch screen. Mobile application providing augmented reality can take various forms, which limit users to use it on certain operating systems only (so-called native applications) or on the contrary, allows you the freedom to use the application on any operating system (so-called multi-platform applications). A huge disadvantage of native applications today is the availability of popular applications only for the most popular operating systems -mostly Android (44.8 % worldwide penetration on all mobile devices among population in April 2014) and iOS (32.8 % penetration) (Statcounter, 2014). For all owners of devices with different operating systems (Windows Phone: 1.92 %, Symbian: 2.7 %, BlackBerry: 1.8 %, etc.) these mobile applications are often unavailable, despite the fact that among the tablets solely three dominant mobile operating systems are expected to occupy a significant market share by 2017 - Android (58.5 %) iOS (30.6 %) and Windows (10.2 %) (Jones, 2013).

The solution to this problem is provided by a multi-platform application. Typical examples are web applications supported on all modern smartphones and tablets, so that owners of devices with minority operating systems have the ability to fully use mobile applications for augmented reality just like everyone else. However most web applications does not run without a mobile Internet connection and new web technologies HTML version 5, which web browser must support. In case the newest version isn't available it can be a problem as technologies reguired by the augmented reality (particularly geolocation) are available in newer versions of browsers only (Caniuse, 2014). If a mobile web application with augmented reality run on the device that does not have GPS and uses a WiFi geolocation service instead, the choice of Web browser or Geolocation Service respectively (by Google, Microsoft, Apple or Mozilla) may influence the accuracy considerably (Source: Authors).

2. Using augmented reality as a medium for teaching history and tourism

Mobile devices possess the potential to significantly influence teaching and learning. Students use smartphones and tablets to communicate with their peers throughout the lecture and it is reason, why similar tools are used for learning (Dunleavy & Dede, 2009).

This potential is supported by the fact that 31 % of all mobile Internet users formed young people under 29 years old in the Czech Republic at the end of 2012 (CTK, 2014), among youth 16 to 24 years, the number is even higher in 2014 (Czso, 2014) - 50.5 % of them used mobile Internet through cell phone (521 000 of youths) and 5.0 % through tablet (51 000 of youths).

Technology nowadays offer teachers many possibilities how to attract students and innovatively offer them learning subject. Development of technologies is still moving forward, so teachers can work with new technological tools. With the capabilities of today's computers, tablets and smartphones the learning material can not only be viewed, but with the help of augmented reality and related equipment students can directly involve themselves into interesting experiments. Augmented reality has great potential as a means of highlighting interesting features or bringing history to life.

Most already available AR applications are developed for education especially for natural sciences (chemistry, biology, mathematics - see LearnAr, 2014), but AR applications for history and related tourism remain outside the main concern of developers. Therefore, this article would like to draw attention to the possibilities that AR offers in the field of education and history. The article compares the traditional tourist information and possible usage of mobile devices with AR technology in this industry.

Knowing the history of the area in which we live, should surely belong to the knowledge base of every adult (and of the entire nation). Only those who are familiar with the past can understand the presence and create a successful future and so the mistakes of previous generations did not have to be repeated. Good knowledge of history gives man a better view and gives him an opportunity to look for analogies and comparisons in the past. Therefore, the authors would like to show that history can again become a play, fun and search for new information and revert the interest to students in this area again. Students can get a new perspective on the explanation of history and try to interpret it.

2.1. Using augmented reality as a medium for teaching history and tourism

The traditional teaching of history is now enriched by a variety of historical films, photos and interviews with contemporary witnesses. Students also get to know historic sites during their school trips where the teacher presents them about important historical events. But possibilities of teaching outside are limited by the teacher's attractive interpretation and variety of newsletters, brochures, signs, banners, web links or audio guides.

Mobile device with AR technology, though, offers a much more interesting information at one place in a real space-time. Each student owning a mobile device (tablet, smartphone) can work with multimedia content enriched for the element of augmented reality. The mobile application with this technology is being installed to tablet or smartphone. It detects the location and orientation of a smartphone or tablet in space and based on these data a locally multimedia content is placed into the image - various text information (names of buildings, historical context, hyperlinks to websites, opening hours, admission, institutions), audio (old recordings, audio guides, comments), video, photographs (archive pictures) or 3D animation in the real space-time. (see Fig. 1)

Fig. 1. (a) real space-time; (b) real space-time with augmented reality.

An interesting project based on the AR was created by European research project iTacitus - "Intelligent Tourism and Cultural Information through Ubiquitous Services. Heritage sites have huge amounts of information. However it can be difficult to present this information in a compelling way. iTacitus explored ways of using augmented reality to provide compelling experiences at cultural heritage sites. For example

• Superimposed Environments: 3D objects are placed into the scene on the spot in order to overlay the real scene. Like missing paintings, statues or architecture models.

• Annotated Landscape: Abstract context sensitive information overlays showing images, texts and videos about a

certain spot.

• Spatial Acoustic Overlays: Transporting a place's original ambiance by virtually placing spatial audio clips in

the surroundings. " (ITacitus, 2014)

In the Czech Republic there does not exist an educational project that would offer a historical events using AR technology. There are several mobile applications which deal with history, but have not been using AR element yet. The pilot project mobile applications "Memory of Nation" starts in the Czech Republic nowadays (Pamef naroda, 2014), which offers over 200 places, commented by witnesses with precise description of the location and the event. Users of the application can the given location as well as elsewhere listen to comments and read what important had happened there.

On the example of historical event - paratrooper operation Silver A (The aim of this operation was the airdrop of specially trained paratroopers in the territory of the Protectorate of Bohemia to establish a radio connection with London. To do this, they were equipped with radio code-named Libuse. In connection with the activities of this group the Germans burned down the village Lezaky in June 24th 1942), which took place in Pardubice in 1942, during the Protectorate of Bohemia era, the authors want to compare and demonstrate the benefits of AR technology in the teaching of history and tourism and with using of this technology to motivate students for further study of history.

About this national event exists many professional historical literatures, web pages and also a nature trail was called "Pardubice in the footsteps of Silver A" was established in 2012 to the 70th anniversary of the second martial law declared by the German occupiers in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The path presents a number of places associated with activities of Silver A in Pardubice and the fate of the main participants. Visitor, who wants to learn something about this event, is given A4 size brochure in the tourist information center, where he learns the relevant information about the group Silver A. Further information are available at web pages (Magistrat mesta Pardubic, 2014) Those who would like to learn more about tragic lives of local people have the possibility to rent an audio guide in the regional information centre Pardubice Region Tourism. City of Pardubice made ten information tables embedded in the pavement, which indicate the direction the tourist should has to go.

AR apart from these traditional tourist information channels can offer interested persons mobile and web applications that unlike tourist information center will be accessible online, so interested persons can study whenever they want. The user will not have to use the tourist information center, search for information on the Internet, or orient on printed maps and brochures. He gets the time flexibility and mobility, and learns only the information that he is interested. In the mobile device he can view the entire route on the map, where points of interest in real space-time with important historical events will be shown. In the mobile device photographs of important historic figures will be shown, as well as audio recordings of their lives and actions, comments, archival photographs of places and buildings that already do not exist or were changed or rearranged, texts about the event, links to web pages or non-fiction books. Comments of witnesses and video scenes or short documents appear there as well. At the marked locations (e.g. placed on the building) there will be placed markers using QR codes, which offer a variety of 3D visualization (historic buildings, no longer existing places that could be compared with reality, etc.).

Tourism and education get a new dimension in learning about new places and discovering local history and offer much more information together in a simple form stored in a mobile device. The benefit of this application is also involving students in the creation of AR and the possibility to further motivate them in the studying of history. They would be able to create and insert multimedia content on their own and so expand their knowledge of history, but also influence and educate their surroundings (see Wikitude mobile application, where possibilities is build your own AR application - www.wikitude.com) The teacher would get further incentive element for the history teaching using teamwork which students carried out at searching and verification of a different information during their classes. There would be not only the collaboration with other students, but also the motivation to create the best possible work. Anybody can watch on his/her mobile device or the Internet their creation then.

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the project No. CZ.1.07/2.2.00/28.0327 Innovation and support of doctoral study program (INDOP), financed from EU and Czech Republic funds.

Conclusion

The main aim of this article was to describe the possibility of using augmented reality as a medium for teaching history and tourism. Authors of this article compared paper tourist guide and mobile applications and outlined new opportunities and future trends in the teaching of history and tourism. History is something students should do, not something they should consume and using augmented reality as a medium can get a new and attractive look to the teaching of history. Augmented reality has great potential as a means of highlighting interesting features and bringing history to life via multimedia content in mobile device.

References

Dunleavy, M., & Dede, C. (2009). Augmented reality teaching and learning. In J. M. Spector, M. D. Merrill, J. Elen, & M. J. Bishop (Eds.), The

Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology (pp. 1—31). (4th ed.). New York. CTK (2014). Pocet mladych uzivatelu mobilniho internetu se letos zdvojnasobil. http://www.novinky.cz/internet-a-pc/mobil/277906-pocet-

mladych-uzivatelu-mobilniho-internetu-se-letos-zdvojnasobil.html. Access date: 06. 06. 2014. Jones, Ch. (2013). IDC Predicts That Tablet Unit Sales Will Slow To Single Digits By 2017. Forbes.com, 12. 04. 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2013/12/04/idc-predicts-that-tablet-unit-sales-will-slow-to-single-digits-by-2017/. Access date: 06. 06. 2014.

Can I use... (2014). Compatibility tables for support of HTML5, CSS3, SVG and more in desktop and mobile browsers.

http://caniuse.com/#feat=geolocation. Access date: 06. 06. 2014. Czech Statistical Office (2014). Internetova infrastruktura. http://www.czso.cz/csu/redakce.nsf/i/internet_a_web_xls/$File/2014_inet.xlsx. Access date: 06. 06. 2014.

Heureka (2014). Pocitace a kancelar. www.heureka.cz. Access date: 06. 06. 2014.

Magistrat mesta Pardubic (2014). Pardubicemi po stopach SILVER A. http://heydrichiada.pardubice.eu. Access date: 06. 06. 2014.

ITacitus (2014). Intelligent Tourism and Cultural Information through Ubiquitous Services. http://www.itacitus.org. Access date: 06. 06. 2014.

LearnAR (2014). Introducing learnAR. http://learnar.org. Access date: 06. 06. 2014.

Pamet' naroda (2014). Mista pameti naroda. http://www.mistapametinaroda.cz. Access date: 06. 06. 2014.

Wikitude (2014). Wikitude AR. www.wikitude.com. Access date: 06. 06. 2014.

StatCounter (2014). Mobile operating systems penetration. www.statcounter.com. Access date: 06. 06. 2014.