For teachers that have always wanted to use augmented reality in the classroom — technology that superimposes digital images on top of a view of the real world through a smartphone or other mobile device — but haven’t had the chance to explore it, author, speaker and edtech consultant Jaime Donally has some suggestions.
In a recent online presentation hosted by edWeb.net, Donally shared which apps work well in the classroom. While the apps range in sophistication, all of them can be used by educators, with no coding skills needed:
- Curiscope: Using the a special T-shirt called the Virtuali-Tee and the company’s app, students can take an in-depth look at the human body. They can explore the body’s systems and get a deeper understanding of anatomy.
- Experience Real History (ERH): Starting with the Alamo in 1836, ERH uses cards and “reality boards,” to lend students historical insights. The cards feature individuals from each time period, and when two cards are viewed through the app, users can learn how the individuals interacted.
- Catchy Words AR: This app allows kids to walk around the house, school, playground, or other places and “catch letters.” Then, the student arranges the letters into words. Donally said the app is especially helpful for kids struggling with spelling.
- 3DBear: This program allows students and educators to create their own AR experiences by overlaying 3D models on top of views of the real world. It can be used by any grade level and for any subject. It also comes with a few lessons to help teachers get started. The app’s website says the tool can be used for creative storytelling, “creating a colony in Mars,” and social and emotional learning.
- Metaverse: Another app that allows the user to be the creator, Metaverse users develop experiences on storyboards that they can share with each other. Teachers have made quizzes, scavenger hunts, breakout rooms, and more with the program.
- Cospaces: This AR creation app has basic and pro levels that allow educators to create lessons across subjects and grade levels. There are development modes for beginners and experienced coders, so the AR can be as sophisticated as the teacher wants.
- Orb: This app lets kids build on top of the real world as if they are set-dressing a stage. They can also share their creations with others through the app.
- Merge VR: Not limited to classroom education, Merge VR technology uses headsets and a special MERGE cube to develop and deliver AR experiences for ages 10 and up.
- World Brush: Users can draw on the real world and share their creations with others.
- MoatBoat: With this app, students and teachers can type or speak instructions, and the app will attempt to create it.
While Donally said she understands that this tech is still growing, she believes it’s important for teachers to integrate it, where applicable, in their lessons. “That’s our students’ future,” she said.
About the presenter
Jaime Donally is a passionate technology enthusiast. She began her career as a math teacher and later moved into instructional technology. Her desire to build relationships has brought about opportunities to collaborate with students and educators around the world. She provides staff development and training on immersive technology as an edtech consultant.
Her latest adventures include the launch of Global Maker Day and the #ARVRinEDU community. She works as an author and speaker to provide practical use of augmented and virtual reality with more resources at ARVRinEDU.com.
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