Augmented Reality (AR) allows teachers and students to extend the physical world with a virtual overlay. Whether you have iPad, Android, or a smartphone, scanning a trigger in the physical world with an AR app allows a new layer of information to appear. This information could be a link to a web site, a video, an audio recording, or even a 3D model.
The two most popular tools for creating Augmented Reality, Layar and Aurasma, work with both iOS and Android devices. Using either of these tools, you and your students can create Augmented Reality experiences to extend and enhance the learning context, but how do you know where to begin? Each tool has a few technical differences which the table below explains.
|Viewing AR content||Free iOS/Android App||Free iOS/Android App|
|User Accounts||Scan triggers without logging in and create auras on mobile devices without an account. However, you do need an account to create from the online Aurasma Studio.||While it’s possible to scan triggers without a login, you do need an account to create new experiences from the web-based Layar Creator.|
|Creating AR content||Create from within the app or online via Aurasma Studio.||Use the web-based Layar Creator.|
|Types of AR content||Once a trigger image has been scanned by a device, the Aura (Aurasma’s term) could be an image or video, as well as an interactive “click-through” – make a phone call, add an event to calendars, send a text message, compose an email, etc.||Once a trigger image has been scanned, you can include a number of items to tap: YouTube videos, Flickr images, web links, other images, 3D models, audio recordings, etc.|
|Considerations…||Auras created on a device can be viewed only on that device. However, to view auras from any device they must be created via Aurasma Studio and shared through channels. It is also important to note that the Aurasma Studio login and the app login do not sync. This means that there are planning considerations for disseminating access to content with students.||As soon as the AR content is made public from the Layar Creator web site, then anyone can experience it if they scan the trigger image with their mobile device.|
|AR Experience||When trigger images are scanned, the auras immediately start playing/appear over top of the trigger.||When images are scanned, virtual touch points appear but have to be tapped in order to play or do anything.|
“Augmented reality is ability to bring the digital world into our physical world. Digital content overlaid onto physical objects gives us the ability to bring learning content into the classroom like never before. When learning about the Solar System, you can have students read an article, look at pictures, or watch a video, but with augmented reality you can put the entire Solar System on their desk in 3D to interact with. That is powerful!” – Drew Minock (@TechMinock), Co-Author of Two Guys and Some iPads
Recently, sixth grade students at Blake Middle School in Medfield, MA leveraged augmented reality to extend the potential of paper posters. Collaborating with their peers, they created an interactive mission to space. Extending their learning experience well beyond the walls of the classroom.
Though augmented reality is still fairly new in the classroom, there are some excellent resources created by educators from around the world.
Beth Holland will be teaching about Augmented Reality in a number of sessions as part of the EdTechTeacher Summer Workshop Series. She will also be talking about the impact of Augmented Reality on future learning at the Learning Futures Summit in July.
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