We are all building a future, the AR foxes remind us. flyAR Augmented Reality Studio brought the fox friends of Helsinki’s early childhood education and care (ECEC) to life through augmented reality. Now, even the youngest learners can see and experience AR content.
Together with early childhood education and care professionals and children, the City of Helsinki’s Education Division has created a so-called fox model. The model (in Finnish) enhances future-positive sustainability education in ECEC.
Helsinki EdTech Testbed provided a chance to test new technology with the Fox material. flyAR Augmented Reality Studio, pedagogical experts and teachers, as well as child groups from two daycare centres, took part in a pilot, developing playful and instructive augmented reality to accompany the Fox Book.
“This solution complements the existing Fox material fantastically,” says pedagogical expert Anssi Almgren. “Furthermore, the pilot taught us ways of using AR content in teaching,” he continues.
The test was also educational for flyAR: “We gained some new technical expertise, which is bound to come in handy in future AR projects,” says project manager Frans Tihveräinen.
Testbed used for several AR innovations
Over the past academic year, Testbed Helsinki was used to develop three large-scale AR innovations for learning: Time Travel to Suomenlinna for visiting the UNESCO world heritage site, Spirit of the Rainforest for Korkeasaari Zoo’s Amazonia House and now, as the third one, the AR foxes for early childhood education and care. The pilot involved a number of themes, operation and implementation methods, age groups, learning environments and technological solutions, which allowed something new to be innovated and tested with each of these elements.
“It is clear that augmented reality will be used more and more in education, going forward. AR content is not just about adding funny, enlivening elements. They can be used to better explain, teach and describe various things and phenomena,” says Testbed’s innovation agent Marjo Kenttälä.
The article image is from the Fox Book. The illustrations are by Riku Ounaslehto.