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Monday, May 19, 2014

Good Ideas for Using Augmented Reality in Elementary School Math and Reading

This week I am giving some guest bloggers the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences. This is a post from Heidi Samuelson. 

One of the most exciting pieces of technology I’ve tried with my students this year has been Augmented Reality…There are many different apps for Augmented Reality, but the one I’ve had the most success with is Aurasma (available for iOS and Android).

Reading non-fiction books can be challenging for young minds. However, when you add some Augmented Reality books come to life! I used Aurasma to create auras that helped my chapter book club get an “Augmented Reality” experience as they read through Mary Pope Osborne’s “Dragon of the Red Dawn”. Aurasma gave me the opportunity to bring parts of the story to life in a way the kids had not experienced before. They could see what the shogun’s palace might have looked like as if they were looking at it through Jack and Annie’s eyes. Students used the Aurasma App on their device to scan a page in the book we were reading and view the aura attached to the words. My students couldn’t wait for book club time! Each day became an exciting adventure into a new augmentation of learning for them. The conversations and opinion sharing turned rich with vocabulary that the book club students had not experienced before! Their knowledge deepened as they were able to see and interact with the words of the story book in a new realm! They wanted to take the new technology to more areas of our learning so I began to develop more activities to use with auras.

One of these activities was to have students create video talks about books they were reading. In the talk they could tell why they thought the viewer would like to read the book. Then we used the iPad app to attach auras to the book cover using their video talks. Now anyone can use the Aurasma App to scan a book with the same cover picture and see my student’s opinion of why they should read that particular book! Imagine...taking a device to a library and being able to see and hear a little more about the book you’re holding in your hand! I made little stickers with the Aurasma App image to put on the front of the books we did video talks about so that others would know which books had talks to scan in our classroom library.

Another activity I designed helped students share more about the things students do outside of school. We have a show and share time in my classroom. Parents sent in images and videos of their children doing “after school” activities. The kids and I then created trigger images for their special auras to share with others. Students can now scan the trigger image with the Aurasma App and watch after school activities come to life. We created a whole wall of Auras to share with others.

I didn’t want to limit the experiences of Augmented Reality to reading alone. To bring math to life, I created Aurasma Auras for self-checking at the class math stations. Students choose a math equation card, solve the equation on their paper, and then use the Aurasma App to check their work. As they scan the card, the answer comes to life. The kids enjoy seeing if they’ve solved their equations correctly, and the different clipart images provided by MyCuteGraphics are perfect to change up the visuals in the answers!

Augmented Reality has been a HUGE success in my classroom this year! If you’d like to experience some of our auras, follow the directions on the graphic below:

Hello! My name is Heidi Samuelson and it is a great pleasure to be guest blogging on Free Technology for Teachers today! I’m a second grade teacher in Tennessee who LOVES to integrate technology into my classroom and Richard’s blog has introduced me to TONS of resources!! You can read about some of my activities and techie ventures on my teaching blog: Mrs. Samuelson’s Swamp Frogs. Thanks for reading along with me today! I hope you’ll “hop” over to the Swamp and check out some more ways we use technology in the room! I also share activities on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

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