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April 25, 2019

In 1969, Edgar Dale published a study about how effectively people remembered information, according to the type of learning they performed. He compared the various methods of reading, listening, watching still pictures, direct purposeful experiences and more.

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Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience 1


When linking the functionalities of AR technology to the performance of real-time instructions and its potential effects on memorization, we should be able to achieve something very promising.

Replacing Reading

In her TEDx talk “Will virtual and augmented reality move us into the knowledge age?“, artist Zenka describes knowledge as information gained through experience. Imagine we could replace reading about a topic with actually performing it? This should result in gaining a higher, more accurate amount of knowledge in a far shorter amount of time.

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Contrary Thoughts

”But you cant replace everything with this method! Some things are only and most effectively taught reading, or speeches.“

Are they? Consider the most popular existing education formats (articles, videos, speeches). It is very possible that they exist because of the efficiency of their creation. In other words, it’s more efficient to create these formats in order to convey information to an audience at scale.

A blog post about a topic takes much less time than teaching every individual in person – hey, that’s why I chose it. But I think that having each and every one of you actually walk through the information using prototypes in AR will undoubtedly give a much deeper – and certainly more memorable – experience.

So if the only reason for existing media is the efficiency in creation time, we have an interesting point:
What if a product/technology could result in a much more cost-effective educational content creation time? Cost effective in the sense of “how much educational content creation time do I have to invest to maximize the capacity to memorize in my learning audience?“

Especially when observing teaching methods used for those with learning challenges, these AR-based teaching methods could also prove to be a generally better suitable format.
For example, a great teacher should always be able to trump a math book in teaching capabilities, due to their ability to understand the students’ specific thought processes.
The world currently isn't capable of providing every curious student with a great personal teacher.
With new technologies, perhaps we can encompass what the best and most expensive teaching sessions can provide– but scalably and without the costs.

Last Edited on April 25, 2019, 8:00 PM. Published by Daniel Seiler, edited by Camilla Burchill

  1. According to Dale, Edgar. Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching, 3rd ed., Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1969, p. 108 and Bruner, Jerome S. Toward a Theory of Instruction, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1966, p. 49.

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