Showing posts with label app programming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label app programming. Show all posts

Saturday, August 19, 2017

What Was There? - An Augmented Reality Activity

My bicycling club has a route that goes past some neat local history landmarks. One of those landmarks that most people miss is the site of the old cattle pound. Historically, most small towns in New England had cattle pounds or livestock pounds where wayward animals were held until their rightful owners claimed their animals and took them home. Going past the cattle pound this week made think about creating an augmented reality app in which students can learn about the hidden historical landmarks in their communities.

This morning I began working on an augmented reality app that will let people learn about the hidden historical landmarks in my community. I am using Metaverse Studio to make the app. In the video embedded below I demonstrate the basic process that I am using.


If you have an idea for an app, consider getting involved with the Metaverse Teachers Hackathon that is starting later today. You could win $200 in classroom supplies while also creating a great app for your students.

Disclosure: Metaverse is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Monday, August 14, 2017

DIY Augmented Reality - 3 Ways To Use It In School

Disclosure: Metaverse is a new advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com 

Metaverse is an amazing platform that brings that for the first time enables anyone to create rich augmented reality experiences. In many ways the capabilities within Metaverse remind me of the early days of Minecraft (before it was sold to Microsoft) except that instead of creating games and experiences that only exist on your computer's screen Metaverse lets you create experiences that exist in augmented reality. What does that mean? It means that can create games, quests, and other activities that are completed by locating digital artifacts in a physical world. In other words, you could create your own educational version of Pokemon Go.

Here are three ways you can use Metaverse in your school:

  1. Create augmented reality scavenger hunts for historical landmarks in your community. You can make this as simple or as complex an activity as you want it to be. Start by giving players a clue to the first landmark then when they arrive at the landmark they can use the Metaverse app to see if they're in the right place, to learn more about landmark (you can make videos and animations play when people get to the right place), and answer questions to get a clue for the location of the next landmark.
  2. Have students develop augmented reality choose-your-own adventure stories. Have students first write their stories and the possible paths that readers can take in the story. Then have students use Metaverse Studio to put the story into an interactive format that readers can follow on their phones. In the process of using Metaverse Studio students will have to verify that the logic blocks that they use will correctly lead followers from one scenario to the next. Students' stories can be location based or be location-independent.
  3. This last idea is a fun one for the first day or school or any other time that you need an ice-breaker activity. Google Vision is one of the logic blocks within the Metaverse Studio. With Google Vision in Metaverse Studio you can create an app that detects if someone is smiling or not. See this logic block illustrated in the video below then read on for my idea on how to use this as an ice-breaker.



  • I think it would be fun to create an ice-breaker activity that has people snap a picture of a person's face either smiling or not smiling. Then have the app prompt the user to ask, "why are you smiling on the first day of school?" or "why are you frowning? Can I do something to make you smile?"  
Still not sure how Metaverse works? Check out this playlist of videos or check out one of the free webinars for teachers that are offered through the Metaverse Teachers group on Facebook

Disclosure: I tried Metaverse earlier this summer on my own, loved it, and brought it to a couple of workshops. Since then Metaverse approached me about advertising on FreeTech4Teachers.com and I was excited to help them reach more teachers. Everything you read here is my writing

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Thunkable - Design and Publish Your Own Apps

Thunkable is a free platform for designing, testing, and publishing your own Android apps (support for iOS apps is coming soon). Through Thunkable you can create your apps even if you don't know how to write code. That is possible because Thunkable uses a drag-and-drop design framework. That framework, based on the MIT App Inventor, shows you jigsaw-like pieces that have commands labeled on them. Your job is to put the pieces together to make your apps work.

Thunkable offers detailed written tutorials and video tutorials. A playlist of tutorials for beginning app designers is embedded below.


Applications for Education
A service like Thunkable and MIT App Inventor could help your students become the next great app inventor. Both services let students test, develop, and publish their own apps. Your students might make an app that helps them study better like George Burgess who developed Gojimo did.