A Social Semiotics Account of the Use of Augmented Reality in Education: Its Value and Potential

By Tim Chuk and Peter Frank Mickan.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

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Augmented Reality (AR) is a type of technology that combines computer-generated information (e.g., 3D virtual objects; animation) with physical environment (e.g., school playground) or objects (e.g., textbooks). It provides multimodal learning experiences. Its use in education started in the late 1990s. Despite the large number of AR studies that have been conducted, very little has been discussed about the features of AR that distinguish it from other educational tools. This resulted in the incapability to integrate AR into school curricula because it is unclear how AR complements other tools, such as textbooks, that are used in current curricula. This paper argues that the features of AR can be identified using the Social Semiotic framework for context. The first section of the paper briefly reviews previous AR studies and argues that these studies did not maximize the potentials of AR because the features of AR were not clearly identified. The second section attempts to show that the Social Semiotics framework for context, proposed by Halliday (1988), could be used to reveal the features of AR. The last section discusses future research directions based on the features identified.

Keywords: Augmented Reality, Social Semiotics, Context, Multimodality

International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 407.508KB).

Tim Chuk

Research Associate, Discipline of Linguistics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Mr. Chuk is a research associate at the discipline of linguistics, University of Adelaide. He has recently finished his Honours research in psycholinguistics and preparing for his PhD studies. His Honours thesis focused on the computational modeling of language learning under the presence of speech errors. He is interested in developing computer software and algorithms that assist language learning and natural language processing.

Dr. Peter Frank Mickan

Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Linguistics, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia