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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Three Apps to Explore the Potential of Augmented Reality

On Friday I am giving a presentation about augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality in education. If you're unsure of the differences between the three, take a look at my explanatory video and slideshow on the topic. As a part of the presentation that I am giving I will be demonstrating a few augmented reality apps that you can use in your classroom. Those apps are Google Expeditions, Plum's Creaturizer, and Metaverse.

Plum's Creaturizer
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).



Google Expeditions AR
Google Expeditions is best known as for its virtual reality tours, but it also has an augmented reality component. In late May of this year Google added augmented reality tours to Expeditions. The AR content in Google Expeditions lets students view and manipulate digital content in a physical world context. The new AR content can be used as components in science, math, geography, history, and art lessons. Some examples of the more than 100 AR tours that you'll now find in the app include landforms, the skeletal system, dinosaurs, ancient Egypt, the brain, and the Space Race. And as a good Mainer my favorite of the new AR tours is about lobsters.

To use the AR content available through Google Expeditions you will need to print marker or trigger sheets that students scan with their phones or tablets. Once scanned the AR imagery appears on the screen. (You can actually preview some of the imagery without scanning a marker, but the imagery will not be interactive or 3D). Students don't need to look through a Cardboard viewer in order to see the AR imagery. You can get the Google Expeditions Android app here and the iOS version here.

Metaverse
Metaverse is both an app and an augmented reality game creation tool. The app, available for Android and iOS, lets you find and play augmented reality games. The app includes a large selection of educational games. The game creation aspect of Metaverse lets anyone create his or her own augmented reality game. Since its launch eighteen months ago, teachers have been using it to create AR games for a wide range of topics including geography, math, science, and language arts. Watch the following video to see how you can create an augmented reality game on Metaverse.