A phone held up to buildings triggers digital information that comes with augmented reality apps.

5 ways augmented reality apps are changing the game on college campuses

Here's how higher ed is using augmented reality apps to take academics and engagement to the next level

Augmented reality (AR) has been one of higher ed’s big buzzwords for a number of years, but it’s not until just fairly recently that institutions have used the technology in practical ways.

But now, higher-ed AR apps are having a moment that extends past the novelty of Pokemon Go.

Most higher-ed AR apps address a variety of things, such as bringing science concepts to life, improving student retention, and offering campus tours or glimpses of historical moments on campus.

Read more: Here’s how your campus can tap into extended reality

Here’s how five institutions have harnessed augmented reality apps to address campus needs and take learning to the next level.

1. Researchers in Penn State University’s Department of Geography created an augmented reality app to give users more background about one of the oldest and best-known monuments on the school’s University Park campus. The Obelisk was constructed in 1896 from regional rocks and minerals, and its 281 stones are arranged in order by geologic time period. “There’s a database connected to each stone, so whenever you touch any stone in the app, you can see where it came from, how old it is, and other information,” says Arif Masrur, doctoral student in geography. “Eventually our goal is to also include 360-degree photos of the actual environment from where each rock was excavated.” 

Laura Ascione

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