Since beginning the iPad journey in our school, I have been dying to use some of the Augmented Reality apps available on the iPad. I didn't want to dive in and use it with no substance I wanted to make sure there was real potential to enhance the learning in the classroom.
How can Augmented Reality be used in the classroom?
I am always looking for ways to inspire, motivate and engage children. Augmented Reality definitely provides the WOW factor in the classroom. The reaction of showing the a class some examples of AR was that of utter shock, amazement and complete awe. Children are fascinated to see how a picture they have drawn or made can transform into a video. They are perplexed by how it works and definitely enthralled by the sense of magic that AR provides.
Recently I have been doing a lot of literacy work with a group of Year 5 based on the app "Epic Citadel," this is a wonderful free app that allows the children to navigate around a dynamic fantasy setting which is the backdrop to the game Infinity Blade. Without characters and storyline, the app lends itself to the classroom as it provides the setting but allows children to use their imagination to add characters and a story line.
To begin with I wanted to let the children roam the app and generate descriptive language and make a word cloud that can be then referred to later for more writing. - See the word clouds made by the class.
The next lesson I used slow writing to help the children write an introduction to the setting of Epic Citadel. But I didn't just want it to be written in their books I wanted to bring their writing alive. I decided to use Aurasma to make this happen.
Firstly the children needed to make an overlay - the animation/video
that will play once a trigger image has been scanned. So once the children had completed their writing, they narrated it
over some screenshots of the app to create a short video using iMovie. Children opened the Epic Citadel app and used the
home and lock button to take screenshots of different scenery and then recorded
themselves reading their writing. Once they had exported this is was time
to bring their video to life using Augmented Reality!
Using Aurasma, children can upload their overlay - (their iMovie
narrations) and then choose a trigger image - we used the children's word
clouds from the last lesson. The children were enthralled to see their writing
come to life when they scanned their picture with the app. The Aurasma app
allows you to create Auras and scan others, but you can also sign up for Aurasma Studio so
that you can make Auras on your laptop or PC. To see the children's examples
please follow the following steps:
Using Aurasma, children can upload their overlay - (their iMovie narrations) and then choose a trigger image - we used the children's word clouds from the last lesson. The children were enthralled to see their writing come to life when they scanned their picture with the app. The Aurasma app allows you to create Auras and scan others, but you can also sign up for Aurasma Studio so that you can make Auras on your laptop or PC. To see the children's examples please follow the following steps:
- Making a truly interactive display, rather than putting up work with explanations from teachers, examples of work could be used to trigger video explanations from the children.
- Cross curricular opportunities can be used to link writing with art or drama by using a picture of a story to reveal artwork linking to that story.
- When looking at an example of a particular text type children can scan it to reveal the features used or more of an in depth analysis.
- In Numeracy, teachers can make an aura showing a particular method for solving a calculation that children can scan to remind them.
- Science/History/Geography topics can be truly brought to life. Rather than just using a book children can scan an image to reveal videos and images packed with much more interesting facts and information. A chemistry teacher could make a fully interactive periodic table where all the elements can be scanned to reveal more in depth information.
- Lower down the school, to help children with initial words for reading, auras can be created to associate a word with a particular picture. They could scan numbers to reveal pictures of the number - for example - the number 3, scanned reveals 3 apples. Making learning much more visual and engaging.
- Assessment - AR could reduce so much paperwork if an aura was made for a child to show a recording of them reading, or working on a particular maths objective. You would be able to demonstrate that children can meet certain objectives. Imagine scanning a picture of a child with a leveling sheet to then reveal examples that back up your judgement as a teacher.
- I have also seen Christmas cards used to make Auras to attach a personal message from the children. See here
Aurasma is definitely a great app for generating, sharing and scanning examples of AR, however there are other Augmented Reality apps that can really spark some creativity in the classroom.
String - This app provides a teacher with some awesome Augmented Reality that would be perfect as a stimulus in Literacy.
The app has four different trigger images that generate some superb examples of Augmented Reality such as:
- An Alien
- A Dragon
- A trainer that can be customised
- Free writing.
The almost magical aspect to Augmented Reality really fascinates the children. I used the same idea for the Dragon image to inspire children to make their own comics about a Dragon in the classroom. - Read more about the lesson here.
It could even be used to inspire some art work. The trainer that can be designed by the children could be a fantastic stimulus for persuasive writing. See the examples in this video:
First News + - First News, the popular children's newspaper, now boasts that it is the world's first fully interactive newspaper. Using AR children can scan certain articles to reveal more content through videos and pictures. Having used this already, the children love being able to learn more about a particular news story.
Zooburst - This app allows you to make a fully interactive 3D pop up book. Children can import characters, setting, pictures and add sound effects or record their own voices. Once a book has been made a special code is generated which uses Augmented Reality to generate your story by scanning the code.
There is a cost to sign up for full access of the Zooburst but their is plenty of potential for some fantastic writing opportunities.