Jaime Donally describes augmented reality (AR) in a recent edWebinar as a “digital layer in our real world that gives an illusion that it exists in our space.”
As she highlights, it is exciting, as emerging technologies associated with AR are feeling much more realistic. AR software such as Google Maps allows the viewer to have guidance as they walk in a new area, and AR-embedded browsers can display 3D animated objects in real-life environments.
The key to giving students opportunities to use AR begins with supporting teachers to enhance learning experiences for students. Using AR software and tools such as 3DBear and MERGE, teachers have access to an abundance of activities and lesson plans that offer more in-depth content, provide opportunities for collaboration and exploration, and expand students learning experiences outside of classroom walls.
For kindergarten students, Augmented Alphabet is a lesson that is effective for teaching letter-sound relationships. Using mobile devices such as tablets and iPads, students use AR to demonstrate the letter-sound connection with reflection sheets and interactive activities. Teachers can evaluate students through their ability to respond, react, and explain what they have completed and accomplished.
The AR lesson The Mars Pioneer creates scenarios where students investigate and analyze what is needed to build a colony that can survive on Mars. Students compare both the Earth’s and Mars’ environmental offerings, such as air, food, water, energy, supply, transportation, and communication. Students can capture their images and videos within 3DBear to share and describe the space to other students and their teachers.
Students explore Earth as a system through a standards-based AR lesson called Terraforming Earth. Students traverse the Earth layers as they hold and interact with each layer, toggling the layers on and off to get a closer view. They answer questions such as tectonic plates and how the plates move, and what happens when they move. This interactive experience with augmented reality expands learning beyond just hearing, reading, and viewing to exploratory opportunities to make learning connections to Earth as a system.
The Egyptian History lesson takes creating and building 3D objects to the next level. Building an AR museum collection, students locate 3D Egyptian objects and collaborate with other students to research and understand their historical significance. Using the MERGE Object Viewer, surreal learning experiences are possible as the 3D Egyptian artifacts students create come to life in their hands.
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