Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mind Blown!

Today I seriously had my mind blown.   I went to a digital fluency conference and it was truly crazy.    I am kind of tech-y.   I got to tech conferences a lot.   I am willing to try new things and get excited about really geeky stuff.... but today I had my mind BLOWN.   I spent almost all of my day learning about augmented reality and seriously I almost can't wait til morning to try this out with my kids.   My own kids have been playing with it all night.

I guess this stuff has been around for a long time... but I didn't know about it.   I actually did hear about it a few weeks ago but didn't have the time to really work with it like I did today.   It is freaky cool!  And SUPER easy...!  What what?  Oh and it's all free...

One app is called AR Flashcards.  Totally free app.   You can download it on any platform.   You simply download the viewer (takes just a few seconds), go to their website - arflashcards.com, print out some flashcards and you are ready.   You hold the viewer up to the flashcards and the images POP off the the page is 3D awesomeness.   They move around and make noises.  Seriously!

Now,  I am not even going to venture a guess as to how they do this, but holy moly,  I am glad they did.   This particular app is a little young for my second graders,  but you can bet I ran the cards off my own little ones! 

The next app we used was called colAR.   Free again.   It is a coloring app.   You again,  visit the website and download and print their coloring pages.   Once colored, you view your creation through the app and they JUMP off the page and come to life.  Like the birds eat worms and the fish blow bubbles.   It literally takes seconds to download, and your kids think you are a magician!

Watch this video!

It turns out that there a LOTS of these apps.   They make Valentines cards and games and all kinds of things.  And while I thought these were AH-mazing... they are maybe more fun than educational.   So I was beyond excited to see the last app in action.

It is called Aurasma and I have actually heard things about it and have had the app downloaded for a while.  But,  I haven't really used it.  Today our presenters gave us time to actually use it and create an Aura of our own and I CAN NOT stop thinking of how many ways it can be used.   The FREE app layers a flashcard, or image with a video or another image,  so when you hold the app over your image - the video or second image comes up.   For example,   if you hold the app over a student's self portrait in an art display,  their photo will show up so you know who made it.   Or if you hold the app over a flashcard the answer may come up.   You can make vocabulary cards for a unit and have a video clip come up of what the word means.   You can download videos or create your own.   You can even make a video about how to do a problem.  Hold the app over an image of a math problem and have a video explanation come up.  I am thinking truly interactive word walls,  self check stations,  vocabulary centers....just think of how freaking amazing this could be for ELL's - image of the word dolphin, video of a dolphin swimming with the word pronounced.   

We made Auras in a few minutes and I imagine with time it will only take seconds once you have picked your images.   The only thing you really need to know is that you have to upload your overlay first - meaning whatever you want to show when you click on the image is where you start.   You upload a video or image and then select it in the app.   As soon as you do that it will prompt you to hold the app over the image you want to associate with that image or video and that is IT!   I can't wait to show my kids.   I can't see the things they CREATE!   Can you imagine this in book reports or on a report board - having a new video or image to explain every image there? Who even knows what they will come up with? 

I can't wait to try it out with my kids tomorrow!

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  1. The Aurasma app seems like it would be so great to use in the classroom! Just downloaded it and plan on playing around with it! Thanks for sharing :)


    1. Have fun! Please let me know if you do something super fun!