Thursday, November 29, 2012

Seeing Auras, Through Aurasma, That Is!

I've been hearing a lot about augmented reality in the last few years and it's been hard for me to imagine how it could work in classrooms. Luckily, some great teachers I work with began to pave the way. My science teachers came to me to show me the app Aurasma (Lite). Aurasma lets you add augmented reality layers to any trigger image you choose. The science teachers wanted to use it to have a video play once students were finished reading an article.

It went like this.

The students read an articles on bees from a physical piece of paper. They took notes and did some great reading strategies while reading the article. When they were done, they picked up an iPad, opened the Aurasma Lite app, and hovered the camera over the photograph in the article. And then,


A video appears in place of the photograph. (Commence oohs and aahhhs) Not forgetting that the point is to have the students then learn more from the video that has been magically summoned by the technology gods, students were to record new facts about the topic (bees) that were covered in the video but not in the article.

Talk about raising student engagement.

Students that hadn't read the article, suddenly buckled down and began reading.

Students that had been FAR off task, took on leadership roles and began showing other students how the app worked (and discovered some things the science teachers and I hadn't tried yet!)

It was a great class and a fun way to use the app.

But I want more.

What if students recorded themselves doing a book talk and then used the cover of the book as the trigger image? Anyone with access to the app could scan the cover of the book and then watch the students' book talk.

Or what about once a student has completed a work of art? They could record themselves discussing what what challenging about the piece or what ideas they were trying to convey.

I'd love to hear from other educators about how they've used this app or how they envision it being used. I love the idea of a school covered with augemented realities that show off student work in a multitude of formats and media.

In the mean time, Aurasma has great tutorials and guides to get you started, check out Creating Your Own Auras on

If your interested in creating a lesson like the science one described above, see my post Augment Your Own Reality.

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