Supporting early literacy with augmented books - experiences with an exploratory study
We here report on a study exploring the use of augmented books for early literacy education. Children aged 6-7 interacted alone and in pairs with an AR-book. The study was iterated with two groups with different reading skills and socio-economic backgrounds. Educators and researchers put hope in new technologies to enhance and support children's learning. One such technology may be Augmented Reality, which allows the user to view and manipulate virtual 3D objects in a real-world environment. An area of high educational relevance is literacy as a basic cultural technique enabling participation in society. With interest in books declining educators need to explore means to boost children's motivation to read and to support the development of reading skills. Augmented Reality (AR) provides an opportunity to integrate interactive sequences into books and to make them `come to life'. The notion of an `augmented book' was proposed with the MagicBook [BK01] and inspires researchers and educators alike as a means to enhance books with interactive visualizations, animations, 3D graphics, and simulations [Sh02]. Educators expect augmented books to provide a better understanding of complex content that can be actively manipulated and explored, and to enhance engagement, supporting immersive learning [MD04]. Users can navigate through the book by turning physical pages. Other tangible interaction tools may allow them to further interact with story elements and to influence story events. A range of studies indicates that tangibility can provide innovative ways for children to learn, bringing playfulness back into learning and supporting collaborative learning [OF05, Pr03, Ta05]. Despite much research, most of this has to date focused on technological development. Today we still know little about the “how, what, and why” [Sh02] of augmented books, their effectiveness as instructional tools, or the instructional support needed. We here report on a study exploring the use of augmented books for early literacy education. Children aged 6-7 interacted alone and in pairs with the AR-Jam storybooks (developed by the BBC). Two groups of children with different reading skills and socioeconomic backgrounds participated in the study. The first trial involved children from a 555 Figure 1 (left) Example of interactive screen with virtual objects and navigation elements overlaid (front) and text page (back), (right) children using paddles during an interactive sequence middle-class neighbourhood that had been identified by teachers as \?eager readers“ (reported on in [DH107, DH207]). As a contrast in our second trial we involved children of the same age with reading skills below their chronological age. We here integrate data from a preliminary analysis of the second trial with findings from the first trial.
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