Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) interests me. I’m not sure why other than it is very cool. I have attended AR sessions at conferences for a couple of years now and yet, I have not used the apps like Aurasma and Blippar to create anything. Part of the reason is that the kids don’t have access to iPads or smart phones on a daily basis and they would need them for the apps that let them scan the triggers I would have created. That is until now.

At ISTE, I attended another AR session but this one was different. Matt McGuire, a  Canadian, was at ISTE to share his adventures in AR. But instead of helping us create our own, he showed us a bunch of apps that have the triggers ready to go. This works if the content matches what you teach and lucky for me, it does!

Elements 4D is one such AR app. Each element on the cube pops up when scanned so a student can see the properties of that element. But put the sodium cube alongside the chlorine cube and voila–you get the compound NaCl–salt and it shows you salt. I love this seemingly magic chemistry. Just imagine the lessons about bonding and chemical properties you could create using this ability. Watch this video to see how it works.

Anatomy 4D is another app that matches my science curriculum. A teacher in the audience had used it and suggested that you have the paper body printed in a larger size so kids can gather around it more easily. When I used the app to scan the heart, it didn’t have sound. In the video above, it does.

Enchantium is another AR app that is user ready. It has triggers that you can save to your camera roll and print out. You scan the printed material using the app. The music strings trigger was amazing as it gave you visual as well as auditory data. There is a fairy tale trigger that many teachers thought could be used for story starters and to motivate reluctant writers to get started. There is also a fisticuffs trigger that may be used in a competitive way–I’m not so sure about that one. Check it out here.

Quiver has coloring sheets you print, color, and then activate with the app. I can see it working for younger kids to get them talking and writing. It definitely has the WOW factor.

I definitely plan on using these apps with my fifth graders this year. Finally–AR will come to my classroom.



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