Assisted Reality and inclusive learning: new opportunities in schools

Assisted reality offers schools unique opportunities to renew teaching, strengthen the role of teachers, and orient and build aninclusive educational community. Let’s see how.

Inclusive teaching and learning: a better future for all without barriers

Since the 1990s there has been increasing talk of inclusive education, beginning to rethink schooling as a place where, regardless of achievement, everyone deserves to have the same educational opportunities.

Italy has shown itself to be ahead on this path, followed by Malta and Scotland, with 99% of pupils with Special Educational Needs (BES) properly included in the school system * (Data:

The goal is to build a better future for all, without limits and barriers.

Inclusion is also ensuring that every student has the same opportunities from a technological and educational standpoint, adapting them to the specific situation. Even to the most listless or disinterested and those experiencing difficult situations.

Often, in fact, the only apparent and deceptive escape route would seem to be the smartphone or video game console, tools that, as several studies have shown, can have a very negative impact on the growing adolescent brain.

Multisensory learning and augmented reality

Augmented and assisted reality verge on multisensory learning, bringing theoretical and technical education closer together and in fact, establishing direct contact with the ideas, suggestions and life outside the educational institution that will then be the one that the pupils will concretely face.

Why, then, not offer everyone the same tools?

Tutoring and guidance for technology investment

As already addressed in

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devoted to student engagement through assisted reality and the new frontiers of technology, funds for schools to
for technologies (about 2.1 billion) are there, but it is not known how to spend them.

There is a mentoring and guidance system for this, and Fastbrain is able to offer targeted advice with a dedicated team on a technology investment through the MEPA platform.

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Uniting students with augmented educational experiences

Uniting and bringing together all students, from the less affluent and socially disadvantaged who otherwise would not have the opportunity and the BES, wherever possible and on a case-by-case basis, is a guarantee of effective and inclusive learning that is also fun and engaging.

It is precisely the feeling of “playing” and living augmented educational experiences, that is, enriched with multiple sensory elements (visual, auditory, tactile, as well as interaction with experts and other related figures beyond the screens), that is the secret to the effectiveness of these experiences.

And it is anything but a game, even though it might seem so: it is preparation for work and practical life, it is relationship with external reality and its many facets.

Innovating teaching and strengthening the role of teachers

The school has only one problem. The kids he loses. If you lose the most difficult kids, school is no longer school. Those who were baseless, slow, listless felt the favorite. He was welcomed as you welcome the top of the class. It seemed that the school was all about him. Until he understood, the others did not move forward“. From Letter to a Teacher, Don Milani

The incipit of this famous phrase by Don Milani is also the title of the Eighth Piedmont School Conference, which had as its goal “Countering dropout and promoting inclusion: the most important battle for a school, which helps the rebirth of the country.”

In the talk, which deals with issues as relevant as ever, it is therefore suggested that teaching should be questioned, with a view to continuous renewal. The purpose is to guide and build an educational community, in which the aggregating role of teachers is reinforced.

learn about the history of augmented reality


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Augmented reality is inclusive: new worlds and ways to expand learning

Augmented and assisted reality can open up teaching to “infinite worlds” and ways of learning, based on multisensoriality and therefore already inclusive in their proposition.

An example of this is a research project currently underway, sponsored by the University of Udine and Urbino, geared toward analyzing the technological applications of augmented reality in education.

The purpose, to enhance learning and relational processes in people with special educational needs and in the perspective of school and social inclusion, with the activation of practices that indiscriminately involve the entire class.

What is augmented reality?

“Augmented Reality represents a technology that can enrich

our interaction with the “real world” through additional elements, in effect improving the information set that is received and analyzed at the perceptual level.

The addition of overlapping and interactive digital components can bring information that can enhance elaborative and comprehension processes, which not always and not everyone can effectively carry out by natural means (Cottini, 2019).”

The project promoted by the University of Udine and Urbino*, developed in several phases, is centered on the creation of website and laboratory to create the AR teaching aids; training of practitioners involved in the research and individual units, with the involvement of subjects in educational activities – both school and extracurricular – supported by AR applications, aimed at simplifying specific situations of disabilities and specific learning disorders, such as autism, intellectual disability, ADHD, and DSA.

“Concretely, such a perspective leads to considering everyone’s diversity as a basic condition to be taken into account in order to build environments that can accommodate everyone. Needs are thus to be considered in a social, systemic dimension as well, and not simply as a deficit. The goal, in other words, is to make inclusive contexts, methods and attitudes for all.”

Low cost and widespread technology

From a technical point of view, as stated in the draft:

“Visual metaphor or geo-referenced augmented reality applications are now available and usable at low costs, thanks to the common availability of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones that can become “school tools” of daily use, on a par with other technological aids such as e-books or multimedia interactive whiteboard software (activated with the interactive whiteboard), which have enjoyed interest and application motion from teachers for years, in continuous search for pedagogical values for an “inclusive technology” paradigm for all.”

In addition, the project includes the implementation of inclusive curricula marked by theUniversal Design for Learning guidelines. *

Experiences and studies

The research New educational scenarios: Augmented Learning and Virtual and Augmented Reality experiences for the promotion of inclusive education**

pointed out that:

  • “In recent years, there has been particularly increased interest in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) software in education.”
  • “This̀ had a major impact on students with disabilities and Special Educational Needs (BES) and it was necessary, in fact, to think and re-think the design of inclusive educational interventions.”
  • “All this̀ is possible only through the experimentation of new teaching and learning strategies that can put the principle of inclusion at the center.”

The sudden change in the social, cultural environment experienced in recent years has paved the way for this revolution in the educational context and teaching.

The way pupils and often teachers approach reality, mediated by the most sophisticated technologies, has changed.

In this infinite possibility of choice, we need to rethink a learning model that holistically puts not only skills and knowledge “in play” but also acts as a stimulus for experimentation with new teaching strategies, putting the principle of inclusion at the center.

This is why augmented reality tools “can be considered a valuable support for promoting inclusive education.”

The increased interest in these technologies in recent years is linked to the idea of giving every student, bar none, the opportunity to engage with real-world situations while remaining in the classroom, but stimulating their experiential and cognitive backgrounds, often in a playful and exciting way.

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The Public Administrations Electronic Marketplace (MePa) is a digital marketplace where qualified administrations can purchase services and goods offered by suppliers qualified to submit their catalogs on the system.

Fastbrain Engineering S.r.l. is able to offer targeted consulting with a dedicated team for technology investment through the MEPA platform.

We are present on the purchasing portal with a catalog of IT products and a dedicated team, and act as a technical partner to make choices easier for P.A. purchases by recommending the right item.

Want to learn more? find out how to buy it

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    • **Training inclusive teachers and educators. Educational curricula for disability in the current scenario Online Annals of Teaching and Teacher Education