Last week I mentioned augmented reality during a presentation and I could tell from the looks on some people's faces that augmented reality was a new thing to them. That's not uncommon. Sometimes when people hear "augmented reality" their minds drift to some vision of a science fiction world. The truth is augmented reality isn't science fiction, it's technology that is readily available now. To learn more about it, watch the short video below (if you're reading this in RSS click here for the video).
Here are five potential uses of augmented reality in education today.
ZooBurst is an amazing service that allows you to create a short story complete with 3D augmented reality pop-ups. Students could use ZooBurst to create short summaries of books that really jump off the screen. ZooBurst offers an iPad app to complement the web-based version of the service.
The Getty Museum offers a neat way to view art through augmented reality. As employed by The Getty,
augmented reality creates 3D displays of art from printed PDF codes
displayed in front of a webcam. The example that The Getty provides in
the video below is a 3D display of one of the cabinets of curiosities created by Albert Janszoon Vinckenbrinck. If you want to try it for yourself after watching the video, the directions are available here.
Fetch! Lunch Rush!
is a neat use of augmented reality to create a mathematics lesson for
young students. The free iPhone app (it also worked on my iPad 2) was
developed by PBS Kids. The purpose of the app is to get kids moving
about a room in search of numbers that are the correct answer to the
questions posed to them on the app. Students read the arithmetic problem
on the app then search out the correct answer. When they think they
have found the correct answer they scan it with their iPhones or iPads to
find out if they are correct or not.
is a free iPad app produced by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Spacecraft 3D uses augmented reality technology to bring NASA spacecraft
to life on your iPad. To get started using the app you first need to
print out the spacecraft target codes. Then your students can scan those
target codes with their iPads. The spacecraft then becomes a 3D model
that your students can explore.
Star & Planet Finder
enables you to locate the planets and stars in the night sky through
your iPhone or iPad. To use the app, select from a list the planet or
constellation you want to locate. Star & Planet Finder will then
give you directions to move your iPhone or iPad until you can see
through the camera display the planet that you're looking for. The free
version of the app only identifies planets. For $.99 each you can add
lists of constellations, lists of satellites, and lists of brightest
stars to the app.