Thursday, June 11, 2015

Using Augmented Reality in the Classroom

Augmented Reality, AR,  is becoming a more widely used tool in education.  There are many awesome AR apps out there for both Apple and Android devices.  The great thing is, many of them are free to use. 

On my Tech Nerd Training website, I described some of the ways that AR can be used in the classroom.  The uses are unlimited.  There are many AR apps that allow you to use it in many ways.  Your creativity is the only limit.  Apps like Aurasma and BlippAR allow you to create the "target" for the app to scan.  This allows you to use whatever you want.  It could be a worksheet, notes sheet, poster in your room, or anything else you want to help your students learn.  Certain apps also allow you to create your own 3D images and import those as models for your students to view and manipulate using the AR app. 

Other AR apps don't have as much customization, but still provide students with great information and a great experience.  There are apps that use your location to show what stars, constellations, planets, and other galaxies are above you.  There are apps to show you how dinosaurs look and provide information.  There are apps that show you the human anatomy, see how different chemical elements interact with each other, and even apps to instantly translate signs, posters, or any other text right in front of your eyes!  You can even make library books triggers to student-created book reviews so students know if the book will interest them or not. 

The options of how you can utilize AR apps in the classroom are limitless.  There are also many ways you can use AR apps to give parents and visitors a better experience.  You can have posters around the school that can give visitors a tour of the building by having videos of students explaining what each part of the school is.  You can have a list of staff members or pictures as the triggers to give a brief bio to let visitors get to know the staff.

Administrators can also use AR apps in staff meetings to present data, save paper on agendas, create a fun meeting opener, and more.  Yearbook staff can insert AR triggers inside the yearbook to give a video message from staff, students, parents, etc.  Every student loves getting a positive message in the mail from the principal.  Why not send a video message on a postcard so the student still gets physical mail but a digital message of praise? 

The ideas just keep flowing.  Sit down with some innovative educators and spitball new ways to use AR and you 'll be amazed at the list you come up with!  If you have not used AR apps in your classroom, I highly suggest you try it this Fall.  It is easy, exciting, and the students will remember it for the entire year.

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