AR you ready for AR?

I posted this tweet at the end of my Y7 lesson today and it has to be said I was a pretty proud teacher, we had finally conquered AR – augmented reality.  I first came across the concept at the #ililc3 conference in 2013 and have always wanted to try it with a class since then but have never been brave enough.  This year though we have been lucky enough to have been given 19 iPads for use in or languages department so there really was no excuse.

Putting together your “magic picture” as we called them, isn’t really that tricky but the results are incredible.  My Y7 class are pretty switched on but I needed to be sure that they were reasonably proficient in the use of the iPads before we took on AR.  I think one of the mistakes we make as teachers is that we think that our students can effectively use mobile technology without us teaching them how to, this in my experience is a big mistake. Our students do use mobile tech but often at it’s most superficial level and often only for playing games, listening to music or using Facebook, so my advice would be get you class up to speed with the basics of iPaddery before you try something like this.

My students have just been studying personal descriptions in Spanish and we normally end this section by making a wanted poster, this seemed like the perfect project to get them working with Augmented Reality.  I used the app Aurasma which once you get going, is pretty straight forward to use.


Firstly you need to set up an account, I set up a class account and all my students logged into it.

Secondly you need to create a  channel so that others can view the work of your students. Once that is all done it’s time to get creative 🙂

I began my lesson by giving my students a demonstration of how the Aurasma app worked   they were instantly transfixed, once I had their attention it was down to work.  We used the app Pic collage to help us create our “target image” (more of which later) which essentially was a wanted poster in Spanish.

pic collage app 2

I like pic collage – it hits my 2 app requirements; intuitive to use and it gives great results or as I have been heard to say I like my apps to be simple and sexy!  Once they had completed their work they emailed their posters to me and I made hard copies on our lovely colour printer 🙂  It took the students about 20 mins to get to the stage.  I asked them to keep their work clear and unfussy  as I am lead to believe this helps the Aurasma app recognise the image more easily.

This gave the students a poster something like this..

andrew fr_193_size580

Students then recorded a video of themselves describing what they looked like in Spanish.  Once they had these 2 pieces of information they could then start to use the  Aurasma app.

The first thing students need to do is log into the app using the login details that you have previously set up. They access this by tapping the little A at the bottom of the screen then the far right icon on the next screen which looks a bit like a sun over 2 mountains.

1 aura2 aura

Once logged in students need to tap the + sign at the bottom of the screen so that they can add their video to the class channel.

aura 3

On this screen they need to tap device and the + in the top right hand corner they should then choose photo album and then select their video.  This is called the overlay and they should name it with their name and then hit finish.  They will go back to the create/choose overlay screen and here they should now select their video from the ones that appear on the screen. They should get a screen like this… from here they should tap select.

aura 4

They now need to capture the image by holding the iPad over their wanted poster.  They must make sure that the slider at the bottom turns green and then tap the purple camera button.  Their video will now appear over their picture on the iPad screen.  They should resize the video so that it covers their face and then hit the purple arrow on the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

aura 7

They are nearly done all that remains now is to name their aura make it public or private, tap the button so that it says  yes in response to add to a channel and then select the channel.

aura 5 aura 6

Hit finish and they are done.

In order for other students or staff to be able to scan the pictures they need to download the Aurasma app search for your channel – like or follow it and then they should be able to see the  creations.

What did the students get out of this activity?

Firstly they greatly improved their iPad skills but that was not the main aim of this lesson. This lesson hits all the buttons.  Students got creative when using the pic collage which I think is really important in this very prescriptive world of education that we live in.  They also developed their written skills as I made my class write down their descriptions of themselves before they recorded.  They developed their speaking skills when making their videos.  They had to work collaboratively as there are not enough iPads in my classroom for one each but they also needed each others help to take photos and make their films.  Their work had a purpose as they know that it is going to be displayed for all to see in school and with the use of one simple app everyone will be able to see and hear their work too.  This activity was really successful and I’m glad I persevered when trying to figure out the app.

If you want to see how the app works search scan the QR code below using a QR code scanner app like i-Nigma.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 20.38.00


4 thoughts on “AR you ready for AR?

  1. Pingback: Augmented Reality--are ready for AR? How To Use...

  2. Pingback: AR you ready for AR? | Teaching Digital Ancient...

  3. What a great project – I love how it transforms the same, familiar language that you would be covering into something really creative and open-ended. We need more investment in digital technologies!

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