Katie Ann Wilson Talks Augmented Reality in Education
Augmented reality when used as a tool in education, can make a huge impact in the learning process. AR a.k.a. augmented reality captures the user’s attention and maintains it longer than plain text ever could. Depending on the augmented experience the user could interact with 3D models, be transported to different environments, interact with animated content, and even hold the universe in the palm of their hands.
Why read about the Roman coliseum or just look at a photograph of it when you could experience it. Why not bring the coliseum to your classroom as either a 3D model or a 360-degree environment or better yet both. What about the Grand Canyon? Why not give your students the experience of standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon and then relocate them down at the bottom near the river. Talk about getting a different perspective.
What if you are teaching kids about the stars or you are reading a book and the it focuses on the night’s sky. How can you give your students an authentic experience? Use an app such as Star Walk which augments the stars, constellations, it even has the space station’s orbit along with pictures from the Hubble telescope and other educational information.
Do your students take notes in your class or do you use an interactive student notebook? Why not make it a truly interactive and enhance the content at the same time by adding augmented triggers throughout. If you don’t have time to create your own augmented content, no worries there is now a few ways you can still obtain augmented content. You could always ask me to help you out, I love creating augmented content. You could join the Teach Connect from Aug That which is a teacher community where teachers share augmented content they have made. I have placed tons of augmented activities and lessons in the Teach Connect myself. Aug That is also creating augmented content. They currently offer animated lessons, 3D models, and 360-degree environments. They are constantly adding to their augmented curriculum and library of augmented triggers. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.
For my STEM class I was able to bring a augmented 3D model of the Golden Gate Bridge to my classroom. My students were able to spin it around and look at it from all sides. I used that trigger to jump start their minds to design their own bridge. I even made my own triggers that took my students to video clips explaining why certain shapes hold weight better than others. My students then designed and built a bridge out of paper. This lesson can be found in the teacher community at Aug That.
With augmented triggers you can change how you deliver content. One way is to have augmented vocabulary wall. When students scan the trigger an audio file can auto launch explaining the word, along with a link to the definition, and also a video demonstrating the meaning of the word. Talk about differentiation. Using augmented triggers in this way can reach the student that needs to hear it, the one that needs to see it, and the one that needs to read it to understand. You can even put these triggers in students notes, notebooks, journals, and etc…
My goal this year is to reach 1 million students via augmented educational content. In less than a month of launching this campaign I have been able to reach over 240,000 students. Teacher and students all have their own needs and I am just trying to crack open a window or door to new possibilities, to think outside of the box. I want to reach kids and open their thinking, creativity, and understanding how things work. I want to engage them like never before.
There are several companies popping up that offer augmented content. Remember I just want you to try it with your students. I tell my own kids you never know what you are going to like until you try. I suggest you try it out for yourself before having kids play with it just to make sure the content meets your needs. Remember you will need both the app and the trigger that goes with the app to access the augmented content. Not all apps are built the same, and will not work with other’s triggers or targets. Some apps like the Star Walk do not need a trigger or target to scan to access the augmented content.