Empowering Digital Interactions with Real World Conversation

Michael Tscholl, Robb Lindgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential of augmented reality technologies (AR) for learning in a social and informal setting has been recognized, but little is yet known about the kinds of learning interactions it promotes and supports. In this paper, we describe initial findings from a study where an interactive, immersive, full-body simulation was deployed in a science center. Children complete a series of simulation tasks by making themselves mobile, and using their bodies to enact their understanding of a scientific system. Parents and siblings are able to support these activities by engaging the child in conversations about their actions and subsequent outcomes. Our analysis shows that parents primarily support the child's learning by prompting her to reflect and plan, countering a child's tendency to engage with the simulation in an unsystematic way. The analysis suggests that, unlike traditional learning technologies, these kinds of immersive, visible, and physical technology platforms are able to support productive forms of social interaction, creating a space for reflection and engagement with critical concepts that benefits processes for learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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