Imagine living in the magical world of Harry Potter, where the school hallways are lined with paintings that are alive and interactive. Now imagine creating an atmosphere like that for your students. Augmented Reality (AR) allows educators and students to do just that: unlock or create layers of digital information on top of the physical world that can be viewed through an Android or iOS device.
You can read about how my students created interactive paintings here.
In our elementary school classrooms, we can use AR to create active learning experiences that has been inconceivable before now, and in the process redefine the learning space. Educators know that learning deepens, not just through reading and listening, but also through creating and interacting.
The app JigSpace offers a bank of AR experiences with an educational focus, categorized by topics – Science, Machines, Space and even History. It also has a special “how-to” category which contains an eclectic bank of AR guides to things like assembling an office chair, reverse parallel parking and even building some Lego Star Wars models.
My fourth grade students used JigSpace to get a close look at Gutenberg’s printing press while learning about print making. Students were able to sit the printing press down in our classroom, walk around it, look under it, manipulate it, and navigate through narrated information about the printing press. Providing this experience for my students was far more powerful than any article I could have given them to read or picture I could have shown them. They were able to interact with the subject they were learning about and they were really excited about that.
Imagine trying to teach concepts like planet revolution and rotation, something that is conceptually hard for young students to understand. Now imagine being able to sit the solar system down in your classroom. Imagine your students being able to interact and explore the solar system with the touch of a fingertip.
This changes everything.