School Sends Students on Augmented Reality Quest

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
School Sends Students on Augmented Reality Quest

With the help of the PSP, a group of disadvantaged students became more engaged in a school project than ever before.

According to officials, the Mansel Primary School in northeast Sheffield faces "challenging circumstances" by serving an area characterized by social and economic disadvantage. The students that show up often face significant learning difficulties. However, a recent experiment with augmented reality learning proved that technology, when used correctly, can engage any level of student.

The "Imaginary Worlds" project was designed to see if a different style of learning would work in the Mansel Primary environment. The students that participated used a Sony PSP handheld with camera attachment and special software, as included with titles like Invizimals [], to roam around the school and plot their own "imaginary journey." After making a map, the students had to assign six special locations to the map, such as the "Tower of Doom" or the "Dark Cave." They placed a useful object in each of these locations that would ultimately help them get through their journey.

Semacodes [] were located around the school that students could associate with images they found on the internet, which would appear through the PSP when viewed, giving students the feeling of actually being in their imaginary worlds. Students could also place a picture of food, a weapon, a monster, etc.

After the students planned out their quests, they recorded the audio of their journeys: what they saw, heard, and did. Once the quests were finished, students reported their experiences to the class.

Teachers reported that the project was a big success. The work students put together was of a higher standard than previously seen. Even students that normally don't participate became more active, and bad behavior was at a low.

If you think about it, the results make perfect sense. Any student would find more engagement in an actual journey chronicled with real images through a PSP, rather than one that had to be written out on paper. Imaginary Worlds appears to be a great example of how technology really can improve how students learn beyond educational games and other software.

Source: Joystiq []



books, Books, BOOKS
Jan 19, 2011
United States
That is really damn cool. I wish I had something like this when I was in school, but that's awesome that those kids can learn better using the PSP and that software.


New member
Jan 29, 2010
That sounds so damn fun. There are so many ways this could be improved at the same time.


don't upset the insane catgirl
Apr 11, 2009
Huh. A fascinating idea.

Though it does lead to an obvious technological question... Why use a modified PSP, when there are alternative devices with the required functionality built-in?

(many mobile phones; The DSi... Several other kinds of gadgets...)



Echappe, retire, sous sus PANIC!
Apr 24, 2008
pretentiousname01 said:
Sounds neat.

However the cynic is me questions "disadvantaged" students doing a course where they need psp's.
I shared your cynicism, briefly, but I guess it's not really any different these days to the days when it was entirely possible that the classroom PC was the only computer in a child's life (whether one believes that was for better or worse). I think it's great that these kids were able to engage better with their learning, and I'm sure the teachers in that environment were overjoyed at the result given what they normally deal with, but I would be interested to see whether or not these sorts of methods help improve other skills like interpersonal ones, and whether or not the renewed engagement the kids have with their learning translates back into the more mundane areas or the three Rs - which, like it or not, one needs if one is going to survive int he adult world.


New member
Feb 22, 2010
It's nice to see how these things can be used for good. It's really too bad how this article will never circulate as well as "rapist once walked by a Gamestop, therefore video games made him do it".


New member
Mar 17, 2010
I wish my school would do stuff like this. We're set in a bloody seventeenth century mindset, and spend most of our school day prancing around in ceremonial military gear - think kilts- and reciting hymns. Well, not most of the day, but enough of it. I really wish we would embrace technology, and, you know, modern clothing :p, over stuff like that.


New member
Nov 25, 2008
My english teacher showed us a lecture by Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy

Its just one of the many ways one can go to improve education.