It’s like the stuff from the Back to the Future movies. When I hear the term ‘augmented reality,’ images of Marty McFly running around the futuristic world of the year 2015 (I think we’re going to fall short of expectations, by the way) pop into my head.
But in reality (pardon the pun), there are apps that let you add a digital layer to what you see around you. It doesn’t actually feel too far off from what Marty saw in the second film either. We may not have hover boards yet but we do have the augmented reality tools that Marty and Doc used.
So how can you leverage the power of the future using just your smartphone or tablet? Grab any of these apps and prepare to take your students on an adventure where they never look at their surroundings the same way again.
This is likely the closest augmented reality app to what you’d expect in Back to the Future. Acrossair is an immersive app that lets you see digital information of what’s happening around you. Students and teachers alike can use it to build interactive digital field trips around the classroom or school grounds, share photos from their virtual trips, or even show multimedia they created when someone visits a particular location of the school.
I could see Acrossair acting as a great tool for any classroom looking for a fun new twist on field trips. What if you handed out a few devices with Acrossair on it … told the students they were on a treasure hunt … and hid clues all around the classroom or school? It would take some clever minds to decipher your clues and assemble the information to figure out the answer. I wish I was a kid again.
If you’re looking to enhance your students’ understanding of the world around them, GeoGoggle will be a big help. Designed to assist students in geography and basically getting around without getting lost, GeoGoggle has a myriad of high-end features that leverage Google Maps to deliver a great experience. It’s free and for Android 2.1 or higher.
A great way to use GeoGoggle would be to have your students guess how far it is to something. Then have them guess how high something is. Then make them go to that location or object and use GeoGoggle to get there. You’d be surprised at how far off their guesses will actually be!
This is an iOS app that lets you add thousands of various images to the world around you. You can then customize these images, icons, speech bubbles, and animations to make a story out of the world around you.
Better still, you can create a detailed story and have your students create a virtual play since there’s the ability to incorporate webcams into the story.
ZooBurst is great for most grades in K-12 and would serve as a fun way to energize your classroom, use in a project-based learning environment, or just keep up the movement to get moving.