Next Year’s Valentine’s Day Apptivity!

Heart CamI cross my heart, this is my last augmented reality post for a while.  And it’s just a quick hit.  I found the Heart Cam app and just wanted to share.  This one is just for fun.  Simply print out the trigger image and let the kids pose.  It’s an easy and fun way to incorporate augmented reality.  My plan is to use this one for Valentine’s Day next year.  Maybe a writing activity: Dear Teacher, You stole my heart… and ask the students to write a love letter to their favorite teacher?  We might use the app and take pictures with our favorite teachers stealing our hearts!

Photo Mar 24, 7 30 13 AMDo you have a way to incorporate this app?  Comment below and give us some great ideas!

 

Bringing Writing to Life – Literally!

In the last post, I gave you a great free app to get you started on augmented reality.  Are you ready for the next step?  This was my first big iLesson that incorporated AR and the kids LOVED it.  This began as a plain old writing lesson, inspired by a picture I found on Pinterest.  It morphed (as good teaching usually does) mid-lesson into an iLesson.

Found this image on Headproduct's Tumblr page.

Found this image on Headproduct’s Tumblr page.

Students were given the task of beginning a story from this picture from Headproduct on Tumblr.  I found the image on Pinterest and had saved it for a writing prompt.  Students had to begin the story from the point where they saw the dragon in their hand.  It had to incorporate narrative writing characteristics and had to ultimately tell the reader what happened to the dragon.  Otherwise, there were no constraints to the task.

After students edited their rough draft, they published the piece in Word, with a twist.  I used the washed out picture settings in Microsoft Word and loaded a lighter version of the image as the background for the written piece.  Creative publishing is always an easy way to hook writers.  As if that weren’t enough, I decided to have my first go with adding augmented reality to the kids’ writing.

aurasmaWe gave augmented reality a try using the app Aurasma.  It was ridiculously easy to use! Students created a trigger image by taking a photo of their published dragon narrative.  We then selected a dragon Aura from the images provided by the app.  Some came up as just images, but other belched fire or flew across the screen.  After saving our auras, we were done. It was just that simple.  Now, using the Aurasma app, viewers could scan the students’ written work and watch it come to life.  Literally!

The work I got from my students was some of the best writing I’ve seen this year.  But, the best part about this entire assignment?  It was finished in two days.  By two days, I mean two writing classes.  By finished, I mean from rough draft, to edited, to published, to augmented.  Two class periods.  That was it.  A writing task like this easily takes us five days.  Because my students couldn’t wait to add their auras, they whizzed through the assignment (and the typing) faster than they’ve ever worked.  That is just another reason why technology is such a great tool.  In this lesson, it served solely as the ‘hook’.  It was the aspect of the project that kids most wanted to get to, so they worked hard to get there.  And their work paid off!  I’ve uploaded a few of my students’ finished pieces for you to try out.  Feel free to load the documents and scan them with the Aurasma app.  For the best results, make sure to get the entire page into the screen – Enjoy!

Dragon Narrative 1

Dragon Narrative 2

 

 

Getting Hooked on Augmented Reality

So obviously, I didn’t make my goal of one post a week for the remainder of the school year…Ha!  So I’m going to post all of my iLessons from the end of the year during the summer months.  When teachers actually have time to write and read blog posts!

I spent the spring getting hooked on augmented reality.  For those who haven’t gotten hooked yet – just  try it.  Seriously.  Augmented reality is basically using your iPad to add depth, dimension, sound, or even video to a two dimensional object.  There are some great apps that deal with augmenting reality, but this post is just a quickie to get you started.

Shape QuestIf you’ve never experienced an app that deals with augmented reality, try PBS Kids’ Cyberchase Shape Quest.  First of all it’s free.  Secondly, it’s educational.  Third, it’s awesome!  The app focuses on manipulating shapes to complete a path.  Teachers read: shape identification, shape rotation, and combining shapes to create larger images.

shape questTo begin with, you’ll need to print a game board here.  Then simply open the app, point it at the game board, and follow the directions.  The game comes to life right in front of your eyes.  Users need to help Buzz and Delete save the animals and transport them across the board.  Unfortunately, the path is broken.  Players must pick up the correct pieces and rotate them to fit the path.

Shape Quest   DSCN0384

This app kept my fifth and sixth grade boys busy for weeks!  I did use it, legitimately, one day during a geometry lesson.  The boys were obsessed and used every free moment to beat the levels.  And we’re talking end of the year chaos time… it was awesome.  The “Wow Factor” kept them actively engaged in an educational game, and I couldn’t have been happier.  I’ve also used it with my five year old, but he still requires a bit of hand-over-hand to manipulate the pieces.

If you haven’t given augmented reality a try.  Download this one and give it a go; you won’t regret it.