Educators’ Interests, Prior Knowledge and Questions Regarding Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and 3D Printing and Modeling


Innovative new technologies, such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D printers, provide new affordances for education. While each of these technologies has been shown to positively impact learning, they have not yet been widely adopted in schools. With the interest in these technologies growing among educators, this study explores why educators are motivated to learn about these tools, what they already know about these tools, and what they want to know. This paper presents data from 265 educators who completed a pre-course survey before engaging in an open online course to learn about these technologies. Findings from the data reveal significant variance in educators’ prior knowledge, interests, and motivations. This paper yields new insights that can support the design of professional learning experiences for educators and potentially increase mainstream adoption and use of these tools in education.

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Correspondence to Torrey Trust.

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Research Ethics Statement

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The questionnaire and methodology for this study was approved by the Human Research Ethics committee of the University of Massachusetts Amherst [IRB Protocol 1522].

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

Torrey Trust declares that she has no conflict of interest. Nathaniel Woodruff declares that he has no conflict of interest. Matthew Checrallah declares that he has no conflict of interest. Jeromie Whalen declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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Table 4 Codebook for Participants’ Interests in Learning About AR, VR, and 3D Printing (n = 150)
Table 5 Codebook for “List 3 things You Already Know About Augmented Reality”
Table 6 Codebook for “List 3 things You Already Know About Virtual Reality”
Table 7 Codebook for “List 3 things You Already Know About 3D Printing”
Table 8 Codebook for RQ3: What do Educators Want to Know About AR, VR, and 3D Printing?

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Trust, T., Woodruff, N., Checrallah, M. et al. Educators’ Interests, Prior Knowledge and Questions Regarding Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and 3D Printing and Modeling. TechTrends (2021).

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  • 3D modeling
  • AR
  • Emerging technologies
  • Teacher learning
  • VR