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Classroom AR in an Online World

Augmented Reality (AR) has seen massive growth in education with an estimated $700 million being invested in AR/VR applications in education by 2025, on simulations for everything from forklift operations, architecture to invasive surgery. AR blends digital information with the physical-world environments, enabling users to interact with virtual objects and view the physical environment. In recent years, AR has become more accessible and mobile devices can now function as AR devices. In fact, many popular games including Pokemon Go and Ingress already utilize AR.

A screenshot from BioChemAR
A screenshot from BioChemAR, an Augmented Reality application developed through a collaboration between Pomona College and Carleton College. The model shows a 3D representation of a Potassium Channel.

Augmented Reality opens up exciting possibilities in education, increasing engagement and interactivity. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR) which only supports a single user experience, AR can be developed to support a multi-user experience. This multi-user experience could enable each student to view the same 3D model, providing opportunities for collaborative problem-solving and creativity in the classroom. AR’s educational value, however, depends on how it is designed, implemented, and integrated into formal and informal learning environments. The involvement of educators is essential to facilitate the development of AR applications for teaching.

To help usher in a new era of technology in the classroom, ITS has invested a wide array of innovative tech. As we move beyond isolation and social distancing, students will have access to a wide range of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology in the classroom. In the meantime, we have developed a small web experience that you can try using your cell phone and computer’s webcam to see DNA in 3D. These 3D models can be customized to display most 3D objects.

View a 3D model of DNA using AR

QR code
Cell Phone QR Code for AR DNA Strand
  1. Open the QR code on your phone. Start by opening the QR code on your cell phone or scan the QR code to the right. A QR code should open on your cell phone.
  2. Open the RITG AR Webpage. Next, open the RITG AR webpage on your computer. This will take you to a new website. Note: Your Browser may ask for access to your web camera for this AR experience to work, please click accept.
  3. View the AR Model. You should see a website with a video of your webcam or black screen (Your webcam will be activated). Now, hold up your cell phone with the QR code image. You should see a 3D model of DNA on your screen!

To learn more about using AR in teaching and learning, reach out to us by sending an email to or calling us at (909)-621-8061. We wish you a great spring semester!

Story by: Andrew Wilson