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Augmented Reality Isn't a Dream

Augmented reality (AR) is no longer just embedded in some science fiction movie. Today’s technology is enabling the general population to experience AR as they interact in everyday situations.

Imagining how AR could be used in the classroom may still seem like a far-fetched idea. Or maybe you’re thinking it packs a high cool factor but lacks educational value. I’m hoping by the time you finish exploring the resources in this post, you will see the possibilities.
For now, let’s just look at some AR apps (iOS) that teachers could use in their classrooms...

Making books come alive

The children’s book, **The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore**is a touching story with many themes. From the far-reaching impact books can have on our lives, to the ways we can inspire those around us, this book is a treasure on its own. But, then there’s the AR app...

external image screen-shot-2013-12-09-at-8-09-24-am.png This app brings the pages of a book to life. For some interactions, you are actually immersed in the story yourself. Words don’t do this experience justice. Take a look for yourself. Go now. I'll wait.

I try to imagine a world where our students can experience an augmented reality environment with every book they read.

Interactive math and literacy

external image screen-shot-2013-12-09-at-8-10-51-am.pngThe AR ABC Flashcards set will bring letters (and animals) to life. First, you have to print the ABC animal flashcards to use with the app. Then, as you hover over each flashcard, a 3D image of the animal appears. You can tilt and turn to view the animal from different angles, and you can touch the animal on the iPad screen to hear the letter and animal name. Take a look:

external image screen-shot-2013-12-09-at-8-13-47-am.pngFETCH! LUNCH RUSH is a math app that helps students practice addition and subtraction facts up to 10. Students act as a sushi server, and they have to solve math problems by finding the correct corresponding answer card. Teachers can post the printed cards around the room and students must go to the correct card, use the iPad to activate the card, and click the 3D image of the sushi to solve the problem. This app is free from PBS. Check it out:

Virtual field trips

external image screen-shot-2013-12-09-at-8-11-28-am.pngHelp your students experience objects and places from inside your classroom walls. For example, NASA’s spacecraft 3D app turns a printed image of a rocky landscape into a robotic explorer. Choose from a list of interactive spacecraft. Watch in it action:

Create your own AR

external image screen-shot-2013-12-09-at-8-11-59-am.pngWe already live in that world where students can create their own augmented reality environments. Tools like Aurasma (free app) are making it happen.
The possibilities are endless. Take a look at how this app is changing how students interact with their environment and how it is helping create meaningful learning.

Aurasma education articles
Examples of using Aurasma in education - and a how-to guide
Augment Reality with a "Virtual" Routine Schedule
There are tons of videos on Aurasma’s YouTube Channel.

Want a couple more AR apps to explore?

external image screen-shot-2013-12-09-at-8-12-34-am.pngWell, there’s the one called My Dragon Toy.

external image screen-shot-2013-12-09-at-8-13-04-am.pngAnd then there’s this one, colAR Mix, which is. just. plain. cool. Print the page. Color it. And watch it come to life. So amazing.

Augmented reality is changing things.
And it is going to help our students see and learn in new ways.

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