Sunday, September 25, 2016

Using Aurasma in Any Content Area

I will be the first to admit that Aurasma is a bit of a deviation from the regular topics on this blog.  Personally, when I think of augmented and virtual reality, they seem more dissimilar than anything that they might have in common.  While VR seeks to recreate real-life experiences in order for the user to experience a reality that wouldn’t otherwise be possible, AR seems to simply add to our experiences. I guess I would tend to think of the two as opposites on the same continuum.
With that distinction out of the way; Aurasma, where have you been all of my life?

The process is actually really simple. 

Think of QR codes on steroids.  The user simply takes a picture or screenshot to set as the "trigger" image.  Step 2 involves creating an "overlay" or the image/video that will appear when the user scans the first image. Over the course of the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to introduce Aurasma to numerous teachers, students, administrators, and parents alike.  What usually ensues is kind of a mind-blowing experience.

On the part of the educator.

There is an immediate turning of mental gears as the experimenter begins to think of all the ways that the engaging technology could be applied to what they already do.  In my opinion-the sign of a perfect educational technology.

For the student.

The level of engagement is unprecedented.  Maybe it has something to do with the recent Pokémon Go craze or perhaps it is the idea that the sum is a much greater experience than the individual parts.
One of the teachers that I work with, Mr. Smith, did a quick poll of his kids and found that they all preferred giving their presentation in video format using Aurasma as opposed to presenting in front of the class.  Watch him model the project in this short clip.

The beauty in this is that the kids have now presented many times to their peers, parents, and other teachers, simply because their projects are posted in the hallway as a new digital-age display on the walls of our aging school.

Even parents can see the power in this disruptive technology and are quick to download the app in order to share in what is going on in the classroom.  Is Aurasma in the classroom a good idea?  I’ll let you be the judge of that, it’s easy enough to try out yourself.  Aurasma, I just wish I had found you sooner.