Augmented Reality in the Classroom

Today students basked in the glow of augmented reality.
It was amazing!

Augmented reality (AR) apps, as they are known, are have been gaining steam in the classroom and real-world.  AR is when the real-world is supplemented with computer generated objects in real-time, kind of like live special FX.  It's a combo like when you see a KFC-Pizza Hut-Taco Bell of pure heaven.

These AR apps are pretty cool, but they all vary in difficulty level.  I started at the easiest, colAR Mix.  And you should too.

  1. Download colAR Mix.  It is free.  There are extras you can buy, but for this lesson you won't need to.
  2. Go to the colAR Mix website and print out a photo they have.  Most of the photos say FREE and others have prices.  I used a Starbucks photo, because I'm a teacher and I need coffee.  On the coloring sheet they can create their own coffee cup (very cool). side note: I also need students to create new kinds of coffee because I drink so much coffee.
  3. Kids design a coffee cup.  The more color the better.  Have them make it pretty, bright, and everything nice.
  4. Scan the ENTIRE page with the app open.
  5. Sit back and watch the kids go crazy.
I really just needed to get some of my kids writing, so we went with the theme "favorite drink" or "favorite Starbucks drink".  I used this because the coloring page was available and coffee is good fantastic.

We made a live anchor chart with categories for drinks, tastes, feels, and looks.  These can be really tough ideas for my students.  I tend to get a lot of  "good" or "fun" type responses so needed to work on expanding our vocabulary.  One kid said "mouth EXPLOSION!" 


Then we worked on sentence starters, which doesn't seem like a big deal.  But. It. Is.  Complete sentences can be tough.  Each student (this was a mix of 2nd and 3rd graders) had to write 4-5 sentences.  I know, I'm mean.  And would you believe I had kids that didn't want to stop writing?!

The we began designing/creating/coloring our AR pages.

When they were done we had some pretty cool redesigned Starbucks coffee cups.  It was quite the eclectic mix from rockets and orange juice to #swaggyunicorns and rainbows.

Above is a shot from my phone using the colAR app while iPad is too.  So meta.

We also had another third grade class create their cups.  I set a table up outside my room with my iPads and had students coming and going all afternoon checking out the app, looking at their creations, and just going bonkers.

A couple of notes about the app too:  
-You can swipe the cup on the screen and make it move.
-You can turn your paper around and see even more details
-"This is awesome!" will be spoken quite a bit.
-It looks like each image does something unique
-I let the kids teach each other how the app works. 

This is one of my favorites,  reminds me of Starry Night.

I've never heard students so excited about seeing their creation come alive.  The best part was the multiple teachers who stopped and talked with the students.  They then shared all the details and info with the teachers.  Circle of life, teaching style.

If you've thought about giving Augmented Reality a chance in your classroom, this would be the one to try.  It is a perfect starter kit.  It's easy enough for you and the students, plus they'll go home and try it out for themselves.  It's the gift that keeps on giving.

Maybe I should change my name to Digital: Divide and Coffee...

UPDATED:  Since this post the app has changed and is now called QUIVER.


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