John Martin

laughing through grad school
(academic stuff) (hints of life beyond
school and work)
(Flying Moose videos, photos, stories, etc.) (observations)

AR (augmented reality)

I study Educational Technology, specifically, the learning that occurs in the design and play of augmented reality games on handheld computers, developed at the Education Arcade at MIT. As part of the Games, Learning, and Society (GLS) group at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, I work at the Local Games Lab and am involved in a STAR Schools project looking at AR games in the teaching of math and reading. I am funded by research grants from the MacArthur foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.

My Focus

My specific research in AR games, as a student of Kurt Squire, veers slightly from the focus of the Star Schools project, which is interested in the teaching of science and reading. There are a few areas that I look at:

  1. sense of place - how locative technologies can help to situate users in the environments they move through, and foster a personal connection to those environments.
  2. game - how the augmentation of a game space over an existing physical space changes the interaction in that space.
  3. cultural artifacts - how game narrative can be a cultural narrative -- specifically, how AR games that are designed by kids can create and convey community narratives.
  4. design - what sorts of learning occur in the creation and alteration of a game narrative.

My interests are informed by a strong ecological ethic, and focus primarily on what I call Place-Based Inquiry.

My Work

(See also my papers page).