A research project that uses wireless handheld devices to engage students in an augmented reality-based educational environment could have a big impact on future learning, its creators say.

The Handheld Augmented Reality Project (HARP), a collaboration among Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, uses wireless handheld computers to enhance teaching and learning through a series of activities that draw on the attributes of students' surroundings.

"Augmented reality" is an environment in which virtual images have been layered on top of those in the real world. In other words,...

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