Aurasma is an amazing new app for augmented reality. It is free (which is incredible) and fairly simple to use. Once you have downloaded, you will need to set up a free account. This is important as this is where all your ‘auras’ will be stored. If you have multiple devices (I was using 8 iPads), it’s important that each iPad is logged onto the same account so that you all have access to the same information.
The objective of this activity was for the students to create interactive displays of various landforms. After creating a 3-D model of a landform for their homeroom class, I asked them to choose another landform and draw a picture of it. The picture had to have labels and color. This picture would then serve as the ‘home’ or the tagged item (could be a picture, physical object or a location) upon which they would overlay an ‘aura’. As far as the app is concerned, the ‘aura’ can be a video (which they record or which they find on the web) or another picture or animated picture. I wanted them to use videos, specifically a video of them talking about the landform and giving details of what it’s called, how it’s formed, some examples, and maybe some fun facts.
It was a multi-step project.
First, they choose the landform and drew a picture. Then, they used iPads and an app called Landforms:
They wrote down what they already knew about the landform and then took detailed notes from the app. The next step was to turn those notes into a short (2-4 minutes) presentation that they would record using the camera on the iPad. They worked in pairs at this point filming each other.
Once each student had the video on their iPad, they were now ready to use Aurasma and attach it to their photo. I took them through the process step-by-step. They had to open the app and log on to my account. They had to create a new aura using the + button and upload their video from the camera roll to this app. They then selected the video and clicked ‘next’ – this took them to a screen that looked very much like a camera. They had to position the ‘camera’ over their landform picture and take the photo. To finish, they followed the naming and next steps as was required. The photo is the trickiest part, because if you include background with the photo (say if the picture is on the whiteboard), the screen will only recognize that picture if it has the same background.
The students were super excited. It was incredible to watch them engage in the activity, and figure the app out themselves. One of the students even magically discovered that when he positioned the iPad over a Percy Jackson picture, it linked him to the Wikipedia site for Percy Jackson! Incredible! Many of them went home and downloaded it themselves.
For the following lesson, they placed their picture in separate locations around the room. Their mission was to individually go from picture to picture with their iPads, listening to other people’s videos and recording information. They had a chart to fill – name of landform, presenter, something they learned from the video and any further questions they had.
Yeonatan listening to Flora’s presentation on islands.
Ivo listening to Yeonatan’s presentation on volcanoes.
Oliwer listening to Anita’s presentation on canyons.
They reflected as a group afterwards about the activity. Some of the comments were: “We got to learn more information about each landform” “We could work by ourselves at our own speed” “we learned how to use this new app on the iPad” “It was really fun because we could discover new information.”