Textbooks come to life with new LivingPages app

By admin
04 March 2014

A recently-launched augmented reality app for grade 10, 11 and 12 textbooks enables learners to interact with their textbooks.

It’s called the LivingPages app and was launched by Via Afrika Future, a division of Via Afrika Publishers.

But what is augmented reality? Well, it’s reality with augmented (or supplemented) computer-generated elements such as sound, video or graphics. It’s like the opposite of virtual reality where the real world is replaced with a simulated one.

The LivingPages app works by enabling certain pages of Via Afrika textbooks to come alive by enhancing printed words with digital content that can be streamed directly to a mobile device. Augmented reality makes this possible and helps the learner to see and hear additional content related to the pages.

Using this app, learners will be able to watch experiments, explore photos of world destinations, see problems being solved, enjoy poetry being read to them and a host of other fun functions. LivingPages is available for Android and iOS devices and can be used with English, Afrikaans and eight African language Via Afrika textbooks.

Micheal Goodman, Group Publishing Manager for Via Afrika says “with this app, we were looking to develop a more engaging and meaningful learning experience. By using the highly interactive augmented reality technology, this app creates a mind-stimulating experience for learners in a digital language which for them is a primary tool to interact with the world.”

Via Afrika has a history of developing innovative products which allow for a digital experience of the content in their award-winning books. One such product is the MobiReader app which allows educators and learners to download educational material from Via Afrika in an ebook format.

Goodman cites a report on Forbes.com (the report quoted the Gartner Group, an American information technology research and advisory firm)  which states that by 2015, mobile app development projects will outnumber native PC projects by a ratio of 4 - 1. He says that this is why Via Afrika has taken a step in providing educational tools which assist in educating learners and equipping them with skills for an increasingly techno-centric world.

“Technology has changed not only what we learn, but also how we learn and work. While augmenting the learning experience, the LivingPages app which Via Afrika has created also assists in ensuring that learners are equipped to handle a digital world,” Goodman concludes.

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