AR in the classroom: One Step at a Time

This is a Guest Blog from Katie Ann Wilson – Augmented Reality for Education specialist, prolific blogger, teacher and all-round-awesome human being. 

I am often asked how and where does one start with using augmented content in the classroom.  My goal is not to overwhelm someone with all of the amazing augmented tools that are out there.  My focus is to find what you are comfortable with and build on that.  Where one starts really depend on what is being taught and the age of the students.  I do not want to start people off with augmented shapes and colors if your students are way past that stage.  That would be pointless and turn both you and your students away from wanting to use augmented content.

Where I like to start most people off with augmented content just happens to be augmented coloring pages.  The coloring pages reach all age levels and coloring is a stress releaser.  I also believe the act of coloring releases creativity.  I use the coloring sheets as a story or writing prompt.  With younger students I have them name the characters on the page and then tell me what they think is going on in the page.  You could have them write out description of the page or use tools such as Adobe Spark to record the student telling about their character.  Since QR codes redirect you to one location online. I would publish the Adobe Spark as a video clip to my classroom webpage and print QR codes to redirect parents to the digital augmented story.  In the video clip I would make sure I included pictures of the student interacting with their character.

With older students I have them develop a story around their page.  I also have them do a rewrite to include a classmate’s coloring page.  When doing this you would want to make sure everyone in class has a different augmented coloring page.  To add a 3rd revision I would then have students include themselves in their story.  I would also then have them take selfies with their characters.  After students have finished their 3rd rewrite I would have them use digital tools such as SMORE or Buncee to publish their digital stories.

For those that are ready to take the coloring pages a little further you could give students a series of coloring pages.  You could have students put the pages in order they think the story takes place.  Ask students to write out the story and then include what happens next.  Make sure you have the students scan the pages during their brainstorming session in order to help them decide what happens in the series.   Then have them use digital tools to publish their story including images of the magic that happens when the pages are scanned.  

My favorite augmented coloring app is Quiver.  I love the variety of scenes and the interactivity with the pages. I can use these pages with all ages of learners and with all levels of abilities. What I love to do with the coloring pages is to add them to my students’ interactive notebooks.  I print them out so that I can fit 2 coloring pages on one sheet of paper.  Depending on the age of your students you could really print out 4 to a page.  I have students glue them on a page in their ISN and write around it.  The handwritten story I consider the student’s 1st draft.  When my students work on their revisions they are typing it out and are creating a digital story.   Once they have finalized their last revision then I have them create a QR Code that will redirect viewers of the ISN to their digital story.  The attach their QR codes near the coloring page that sparked their story.

To try out the coloring pages with your students try the Quiver Vehicles.  The can be find in the Quiver Education section of their website.  The writing prompt could be something like:

  • If you could drive a bus or train where would you go?
    • Who would you see?  
    • Who would go with you?  
    • What would you see?
    • Why would you go?
    • What would you take with you?
    • When would you go?
    • How long would you stay?
    • What would you bring back?

With older students you could have them develop a travel itinerary and a budget for their trip.  They could even design a travel brochure for their destination.  Students could even create a mini scrapbook of their trip explaining the who, what, where, and why.  Don’t forget to allow them to drive their bus and or train.

With younger students you could have them dress up as a bus driver or conductor and tell their story in front of a green-screen.  Don’t forget to include video clips via the Quiver app of your students driving their bus or train.

When it comes to using augmented content take it one step at a time.  Start with what you are comfortable with and build on it.  The coloring pages are a great place to start.  Once you are comfortable using them with your students then you can take the next step.  Feel free to contact me anytime if you need help.  You can find me on Twitter @katieann_76 or via my blog Diary of a Techie Chick.