Saturday, February 15, 2014

Zientia: Changing the Way We Learn with Augmented Reality 
Zientia is out to change the way we learn using interactive augmented reality applications. I have had the pleasure of beta testing their apps and recently got to speak with a couple of their representatives. 
It was three young entrepreneurs that decided that in the future they would try using augmented reality to change education, because it has multiple benefits for both students and teachers. Augmented reality improves spatial perception, makes learning more interactive, engaging, personalized. Students can make exercises and they can be automatically corrected. It allows teachers to explain abstract concepts much easier. 
Zientia has 3 exciting educational augmented reality applications coming out very soon! 

Chemistry 101 comes with various modes that allow you to pull elements right from the periodic table and interact with them. It also comes with engaging exercises to study and assess learning. 

Our friend Matt Wallaert giving Chemistry 101 a try at FETC

You can download the augmented reality trigger cards here.

Thanks to augmented reality Geometry 101 will let you can examine, from different points of view, various features of these geometric structures. 
Geometry 101

Anatomy 101 will start with 2 great modes. Learn mode will allow the student to learn about each bone while search mode will ask you to find different bones and you will receive points based on the speed and the hits you get.

Anatomy 101
We are excited to see more educational concepts transfer into the world of augmented reality. As many know Brad and I feel augmented reality creates a meaningful learning experiences and deeper comprehension. Zientia's augmented reality applications will benefit many students around the world! 


  1. I’d love to dig deeper with the application of augmented reality with you guys.

    I get the appeal of being able to manipulate digital objects and having a great visualization of combining elements and other concepts is certainly powerful. Beyond that, I'm not seeing the type of creation, narration, and manipulation with augmented reality tools that's inherent in tools like Minecraft. I like what's happening with Aurasma, despite the relative "clunkiness" of it still (the tech is still young, I get it). My question is where are the other tools like Aurasma that are focused on creation and true learner personalization?

    What I'm seeing with some of the recent tools you've been sharing on the blog are a lot of consumables to be purchased, and a substitution of traditional tools for digital ones. Is the learning truly personalized if all of the students see the exact same virtual overlays when pointing their devices at the skeletons? Are their applications coming from Zientia that transcend the "Encarta of the augmented reality age"?

    Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a fully augmented and configurable periodic table; the ability to visualize interactions and complex concepts is a powerful tool, especially for educators and learners that are lacking other means of articulating their experiences and knowledge. I also understand that every tech/tool/etc. needs to grow, and that augmented reality tools in most of their forms have just entered the long slog through Gartner's Trough of Disillusionment ( I don't expect amazingly transformative learning coming out of the augmented reality space for a few years, so in a way I'm asking for you Drew, and Brad, to help me see what that space might look like.

    The PBS Cyberchase Shape Quest looks promising, in that students are manipulating math problems in new visual ways; but even that is really just a half step away from physical math manipulatives accomplishing the same goal. Sure, the digital touch-screen "magic" makes it shiny, new, and attractive, and the price is certainly worth it (free thanks to generous grants from the U.S Dept of Ed). I guess the over-arching issue that I find myself coming back to as I wrestle with the place of current augmented reality tools in education is how much of its adoption is being driven based on actually improving the learning experience vs. just making it “flashy”.

    Please don’t take any of my comments and thoughts as a question of your educational efficacy; I’m excited that you’re both so passionate about helping learners, and I’m sure that shows in your learning environments as well. I’m just ready to start asking some more difficult questions about the nature of augmented reality’s ability to transform the learning experience, rather than merely augment it (pun intended).

    1. Ben,
      Brad and I have a lot passion about AR and the impact it has had in our classrooms. A response is too much to convey in the comment section of a blog. If you'd like, we can meet up at MACUL to discuss it in person.

    2. I guess that's part of my struggle with this Drew. I'm loving the passion you and Brad have for it, but I'm not looking for a response, I'm looking for a dialogue. A conversation, out in the open, for others to be apart of. I'm assuming that's one of the reasons you have the comment section active on your blog, to encourage dialogue, deeper conversation, and exploration of topics with other people passionate about education.

      Conversations at conferences are fantastic (I"m a big fan of face to face over digital), I was just hoping to get some conversation going here before MACUL. There's a vacuum of really great conversation in most of the mainstream edublogs, and I was hoping others might chime in with some more critical conversation about augmented reality, and get our hands dirty with finding the gems in the rough. You have some blogs posts about that here on the site, which I've read through, and I'm excited to chat about this, face to face or otherwise.