Friday, May 17, 2013

Interesting Ways to Use Aurasma-Augmented

A couple of weeks ago I attended EdCampDetroit . This is a free and righteous gathering of dedicated teachers coming together to learn from each other. On the first beautiful Saturday after a long Michigan winter no less. While there, I attended an App Smackdown and learned from Erin Klein of Kleinspiration about Aurasma.   Scratch that. I really learned about Aurasma  from the Ted Talk, Image Recognition that Triggers Augmented Reality given by the inventors last year but I had a lack of imagination of ways I could use it in the classroom. What Erin did was share with us ways she uses Aurasma in her second grade class which I will write more about after I explain what it does for those who may not know.

Aurasma is an Augmented Reality App. If you are unfamiliar with Augmented Reality I cannot describe it better than Commoncraft. Check out their entertaining and informative video on the subject here. Augmented Reality in Plain English

It helps to have an understanding of the vocabulary involved in using this App. So here are the basics:
  • Triggers are the static images (reality) that the video or photo content shows through (augmentation)
  • Overlays are the photo and video content (Augmentation) that lays over and plays through the static image trigger
  • Auras are the completed combo of triggers and overlays.
At least that is my understanding at this point. 

Erin told us she uses Aurasma  to teach vocabulary, tapping into kid's natural love of hamming it up. The kids create a vocabulary card with a drawing as the trigger. Then they get a classmate to video tape them acting out the word as the overlay. Once the aura is created by matching the overlay to the trigger, from then out when a student holds an iPad or iPhone on the Aurasma app up to that trigger they see the wee thespian's video. 

Ms. Klein also used Aurasma on Back to School Night to have students introduce themselves and the classroom through their "About Me" pictures. This got me hepped up and thinking. I thought of Tom Barrett's Interesting Ways Series. Tom set up and published for collaboration, Google Presentations of various web 2.0 tools and how they can be employed for learning. The way it works is various teachers simply add a slide to the presentation creating a community garden of useful ideas. I  wondered if anyone is doing that for Apps. A quick Google Search seemed to confirm that for this app at least no one has done it. My apologies if someone has. However, I decided to put it out there and collect your great ideas in one spot. If you would like to add to the Interesting Ways to Use Aurasma in the Classroom Presentation, please do so. 

I have embedded below my How to Aurasma Presentation that I put together to help my teachers feel more comfortable with using it and creating their own Auras. 

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