Augmented reality is digitally supplemented (augmented) view of the real world. You can turn images or even objects into interactive content. Just scan an image with your smartphone and a whole new world will appear before you.
Augmented Reality in Education
When I first heard about this concept it sounded too complicated for an English teacher, so I stopped thinking about it. However, as it was becoming more and more popular, I kept coming across the augmented reality concept everywhere: newspapers, magazines, social media, teacher trainings. Eventually, I decided to look into it more deeply.
It didn’t take me long to realize the great potential of AR for education and suddenly I was overwhelmed with ideas.
Now, my next task was to learn how to create this augmented view of real life. I was also to check if my numerous ideas could come to life or if I was expecting too much.
So, the first theing was to find a good tool. It should be free, easy to use, not too demanding for an English teacher. It turned out that there are quite a few free tools on the market, but thanks to Claire Whittaker and her training, Aurasma seemed like an excellent and easy to use software for me.
So, I downloaded Aurasma on my mobile, read a lot of articles, watched some tutorials and here’s the summary:
1. Download Aurasma app on your mobile phone.
2. Create your channel:
– Go to My Auras on your mobile phone:
3. Upload an image: For this step you can use a desktop computer. Login to Aurasma and go to Create New Aura. Make sure you upload an image NOT a word doc. I created a word.doc and saved it as a .jpg. file.
4. Click next and upload an overlay – which can be a video or another image. It is advisable to resize your overlay so that if fits the image. In this way it will be easier to open your auras.
5. Save your product.
6. Preview it and if you are satisfied with your product and if everything works well.
7. Share it so that people can find it and view it.
My First Project
Augmented reality is perfect for teenagers. It is can easily be done because at least half of the students in our classes have smartphones with internet access. Not only that, they can find their way round more easily than adults. And they will definitely be interested and focused in doing an activity on their mobile phones (blessing or curse, I wonder).
I decided to incorporate several classes in our project. The topic was “We recommend….”
We asked students to think about what they would recommend to their peers… a book, a café, a movie, TV series… Then we recorded their recommendations.
The next step was to create Auras on Aurasma and show them the product.
After they watch the recommendations of their peers, students are asked to choose their favourite ones and to justify their opinions (discussion or writing task).
Augmented reality is motivating and inspiring way to work with this age group. They enjoy it a lot and they are 100% engaged. Our activity involved three skills: listening, speaking and writing. However, there are great AR projects which include READING as well.
If you would like to see our auras, open your Aurasma application, find the ELTISI channel and click follow. Point your phone at the images below and voila!