Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Augmented Reality

It was another great week in the same 4th grade classroom. I have to admit that 4th grade is my favorite grade. I was a 4th grade teacher for 7 years before becoming the computer teacher. This week we used augmented reality to create videos that went along with biographical 5 paragraph essays that the children had already created. We covered quite a few CCSS ELA standards with this project.

Before I came the children read biographies about famous Americans. The classroom teacher had them write 5 paragraph essays, and find a picture of the person they read about. The pictures and essays were hung up in the classroom and out in the hallway.
Next we had to create the video or the overlay. The picture above shows me recording a student who is speaking in 1st person as the person he read about. A few of the students chose to dress up like the person they read about, but it was not required. Some of the students got into it by being really expressive, some even changed their voice. It was great to see them act.
Once everyone was recorded we used the Aurasma app for iPad (there is also an app available for Android devices) to create our auras.  I have an iPad 4, but the classroom iPads are iPad 2s. Originally, I was thinking that I could Airdrop (a new feature in iOS 7) the videos to the student iPads from my iPad. I quickly realized that Airdrop is only available for iPad 4s that have iOS 7. Earlier versions of the iPad do not support Airdrop even if they have iOS 7. Each student used my iPad to create their project. Work flow continues to be an issue on iPads. I think that iOS 7 and Airdrop are a huge improvement, but not all schools are always going to have the latest and greatest.
Next as a whole group we created accounts using student email address. I read the privacy policy and the terms of use policy. This site has no age restrictions. Our student email address reveal no private information about students.
The app is very intuitive. The first thing to do is to find an overlay. An overlay can be a 3-D object or video. In our case it was the videos that the students created. We uploaded the video from the camera roll. Then you take a picture of your trigger. Our trigger is the picture that students printed out and hung up with their essay. There are some size restrictions on the trigger. Next you join them together. Finally, you create a channel, so that other people can search for and like your channel. There is an option to make the auras public or private. I had the children create a channel and make their auras public. We are going to share these with parents on the night of open house, so I want the content to be available to everyone. You can search for someones channel and like it. Once you like it then the trigger image will bring up the aura or overlay video on your device. If you mark the video private then only the creator will be able to view it on the device used to create the project. Below is a screen shot of the essay, the trigger, and the overlay video or aura. Aurasma has a You Tube channel and one video in particular that tells about the app upgrades made recently.
The students liked creating the auras and watching themselves star in the video. The students don't seem as impressed as the adults by this new technology.
The classroom has 3 iPad 2s. Next time I would rotate the iPads that I used for recording, so I that I could have the students make their auras in groups of 3 instead of one at at time.

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