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Friday, December 15, 2017

A Handful of Apps for Exploring the Potential of AR in Education

Earlier this week I shared a neat augmented reality app called SkyView that helps users identify constellations, planets, and satellites in the night sky. SkyView could be helpful in sparking students' curiosity about space. SkyView shows some of the potential for augmented reality in education. There are other apps that I often share with people who are just beginning to explore how AR works and its potential in education. Those apps are featured below.

Plum's Creaturizer from PBS Kids is a free iOS and Android app that lets students create fun cartoon creatures then place them into outdoor settings through the use of augmented reality. The purpose of the app is to have students learn and show how the characteristics of an animal help it thrive in its environment. In the following video I demonstrate how the app works (apologies for the background noise, I recorded this video outside to show how the AR feature works in real settings).



Spacecraft 3D 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.

The Walking With Dinosaurs app uses a bit of augmented reality to take students on a virtual walk with dinosaurs. To use the apps you have to print out the "targets" that when scanned reveal a dinosaur's story. The apps also allow your students to include pictures of themselves in settings with the dinosaurs that they learn about through the app.

Disneynature Explore is a free iPad app designed to help children learn about bears, butterflies, lions, chimpanzees, and sea turtles. The activities for learning about each animal include augmented reality components. Students can use their iPads to take pictures to put animals into settings that they photograph. The app encourages students to go on nature walks with their parents. On the nature walks students can take pictures and record observations in their digital field journals.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will be two of the topics covered in January in the Practical Ed Tech Coaching Group