This is an image- not an actual photo. But as a special educator, this is one of my personal favorites. How do we see ourselves?
How are we teaching students to view themselves?
AR Basketball is a good example of an app that was designed as a game but can be used for many educational purposes. AR Basketball can be used as a reward for following directions or completing a task but can also be used to teach younger students counting, to work with younger students on fine motor skills, or to have whole classes compute averages based on the numbers each student made during a 30 second trial in class. The use of AR Basketball in class may be a stretch for some of us but it is another AR app that students may find enjoyable and, with some creativity, we can make our lessons more engaging by using it.
Spacecraft 3D allows users to operate a variety of NASA rovers and satellites to explore space. Using a printed marker, Spacecraft 3D is useful for young students who are generally interested in space and machinery to engineering students looking at models and inspecting the builds of space equipment. Many of the space craft have interactive features and teachers can use these tools to excite their students about exploration and science!
Freedom Stories is an AR app produced by the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples. You simply print the flash cards from their website, launch the app, point the camera at the image on each of the cards, and see the stories come alive on the screen. This can be such an effective way for students to learn as it can be more effective at engaging learners. Also, for students who struggle with reading, this type of AR app provides one more way for them to receive the content.
*This app was just released and works better on more recent versions of the iPhone and iPad.
Anatomy 4D “takes viewers inside the human body via a simple-to-use 3-dimensional learning environment.” This is another marker-based AR app that allows users to view multiple body systems and “interact” with those systems by turning the body over, flipping it upside down for a better view, or to go inside the body for a specific part or function. Science has an AMAZING array of tools for students to use as they interact with content. Anatomy 4D is another one of those tools.
The next few weeks I will be going over some augmented reality apps. Don McMahon (@inclusivetrkr) and I collaborate on many projects and we are currently finishing up a piece called “Augmented Education: 50 Teacher-Friendly Ways to Use AR in the Classroom”. I thought I would preview a few of these tools throughout the rest of the month. Please feel free to let me know of other AR tools that you use and how you are using them in the classroom.
Augmented-Reality (AR) allows you to take a real environment and overly virtual or augmented information on top of it. Like most things, it is a concept best seen rather than explained. AR can be very powerful and engaging tool for learners and I encourage you to allow your students to start trying some of these apps as they can be a lot of fun and very effective for learning.
String AR Showcase is a “marker-based” AR app which simply means you have to download and print a marker from their website before you can begin. There are four different photos to choose from and multiple ways to use String AR in your classroom. At a very basic level, you could use String AR as a reinforcer for positive behavior. However, you could also use String AR to teach sight words by having Proto (below) walk to certain words, you could use the sneaker marker to help students in a fashion or design class create shoes, you could use the scrawl marker with art students to create virtual sculptures. AR is the next wave of apps coming to our classrooms- have your students discover some of them and try them out!
Click on the image to take you where you can see him in action!
This week’s Monday Success Story comes from a teacher who decided to try out something different based on the Vocab Smackdown detailed earlier this year. This teacher (who would like to remain anonymous) had her 5th grade students demonstrate their knowledge of their vocab list in any way EXCEPT writing. They could take photos, draw pictures, make videos, etc. I am posting a video that one of her students submitted below. Please note how engaged, excited, and knowledgeable the student (and his little sister) is regarding the words on this weeks list.
Which demonstrates the learning of these words more effectively- a list of written definitions or the video below? For me, the answer is pretty obvious. You can do this type of project in any subject- demonstrate a math concept without writing, show how the science concept we are discussing is “alive” in the community, represent your understanding of this battle through something other than an essay… the possibilities are endless. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out. Good luck!