Saturday, May 3, 2014

Augmented Reality

I have discovered a new tool called Augmented Reality. There are several apps and websites related to this medium which has many applications for education.  One of the iPad apps I found that illustrates how AR works is AR Flashcards Space.  This app comes with a link to print out the flashcards, which when scanned with the app, reveal a 3 dimensional rotating planet.  When you tap on the planet its name is spoken and tap on the "i" for more information on the planet. The Flashcards Space app costs $3.99.  There is also a free app called AR Flashcards Animal Alphabet, which has a card for each letter with 3D animals. 

If you like that app, there are several other apps and web tools you can use to create your own AR auras.  One that I have played with is called Aurasma, which is both an iPad app and a website (with even more features).  You can have a picture on a bulletin board trigger a video or link to a website - which means lots of educational applications.  Using the app, kids could do video book reports and then attach them to a picture of the book so that others can get a preview of the book in the library.  A teacher could record an explanation of how to solve an advanced math problem and use a trigger image, the problem, to start the video.  You can also link to websites with a tap on the image or video.  This great 3-minute video was created by a high school student from Burlington, MA, and it shows how simple it is to create your own AR aura using Aurasma.


Other AR applications include LayAR which can be used to add multimedia information to printed magazines and much more. ColAR is an app that brings children's coloring pages to life (link to free pages included, additional pages are in app purchase) and Spacecraft 3D by JPL (free) allows you to "play" with NASA's robotic spacecraft. Daqri is another AR creation app.

There are also AR apps for android devices, including Google Skymap, which tells you which stars you are looking at when pointed at the night sky.  You can read about more Andriod (and iOS) AR apps (some for general info) in this Digital Trends article.

Check out AR, it is amazing, your students will love it!

ColAR coloring app

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