Forget QR Codes… What’s your aura?

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Augmented Reality (AR) has increased in popularity in recent years and indeed months. The infographic shown here gives an explanation of what AR is, it shows a timeline for the evolution of AR technologies and finally it illustrates the future of AR.

In brief this technology makes QR codes look like a black and white television screen. We want content creation. We want autonomy. We want excitement.

Like many others, I too have been impressed with the wow factor of Mobile Apps such as AR String. Nonetheless, I failed to translate this into the educational context for authentic learning experiences. There is only so many times you can watch an alien climbing out of the classroom floor or a dragon flying through the door.

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Aurasma is an app that allows the user to attach a picture, video or animation to any picture, poster or book cover. It takes us beyond advertising and gets the children thinking about what they would like to say when you scan a poster, book or their own picture.

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My interest in this technology was reignited when I discovered the World Book Day 2013 books had their own AR app called ‘Books Alive’ available for iOS and Android devices. Many of the books for World Book Day were from authors that children already love. What a wonderful way for publishers and indeed authors to integrate technology and books to create a more authentic experience for their audience.

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The following video is a very basic demonstration of Aurasma in Education. There is a wealth of instructional videos both from educators and from schools using AR technologies. Use of video to learn the workings of the Aurasma platform is more effective than following a list of instructions either through the app or online. There are a number of other AR apps currently available such as Layar. Other AR apps come with pre-loaded content such as AR Abacus, Morris Lessmore and his IMAG – N – O – TRON app and Lego Story Builder.

Aurasma is different to these because it does not require the user to make any purchases. The target image can be their own creation. The ‘aura’ they create is unique and they can then share their creation with another person if they too have downloaded the app.

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This technology is just waiting to be used, it is not as difficult as it may seem to set up and the aura shown in the video clip below was created entirely on Aurasma on iPad. It is a very exciting technology with numerous potential uses in the classroom. So go on, check it out and show the world your aura!

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