The Blair Finch Project
Similar to QR codes, augmented reality apps are becoming the trend in advertising. There are several apps out there for accessing augmented reality (AR), but not many for making it for free. Layar is a very cool app to check out with online tools for creating your own Layars, but currently they charge a lot as it is mainly used in the commercial world. There is an education package for Layar now but in my opinion it's still to pricey. Blippar is another free app to look into, but currently it doesn't offer much for education. I believe all this will change in the coming years.
Aurasma has proven itself to be highly beneficial in the classroom. Basically, it is a layering app that allows you to choose a trigger image upon which you can place a video over it. The result is that pictures can come "alive", similar to Harry Potter's talking newspapers. But how is this helpful in a classroom?
We all know that it's good for students to give and receive feedback to Modify their work, and it's also good to have a transparent classroom where student work is sent home, but it's often cumbersome to work both of those into a short class period. Aurasma solves this problem while offering more opportunities to reach the Redefinition stage of SAMR. Rather than taking turns watching each group perform in front of each other and hoping no one leaves inappropriate or insensitive comments.
Aurasma is a fantastic and “magical” app that students love to use. It enhances reality by layering an image or video over it, triggered by an image in a way similar to QR codes. This is a powerful tool or open houses, gallery walks, newsletters, and programs, to name a few. There’s a link below to a music teacher that posted her open house ideas, and you’ve seen how our students have used the app as a way to watch each others’ performances to give feedback. Another idea is to have an interactive program for performances - parents can scan their child’s photo and watch their child come alive to introduce himself and talk about his role in the show. This is a very powerful tool for communication in and out of the classroom, and is a fantastic example of “Redefinition” within the SAMR model.
I believe you can also get Aurasma Studio to do more complicated auras for your students and classrooms, but we have not attempted it yet and cannot comment on it at this time.
Here are some notes for how to get started creating and accessing auras through Aurasma. We figured out a few things the hard way!
1. Visit Google Play or the App Store and search for the app, Aurasma.
2. Download the free app.
3. Once downloaded, open the app and allow Aurasma access to your location while you use the app.
4. Flip through the Aurasma Intro. (swipe right to left)
5. At the end of the intro, you will be asked if you have an account or need to create an account. Create a free account by selecting "Join"
6. Create a user name, password and add an email if you wish.
7. Allow Aurasma permission to use the camera on your device.
8. Your screen will now look like a camera screen with bouncing circles on the screen. An "A" is at the bottom of your screen. This is the menu bar.
1. Click on the "A" at the bottom of your screen. A new screen will appear and a menu bar will appear at the bottom of the screen.
2. Use the spotlight on the bottom menu bar to search for a channel. Type in the search box at the top of the screen the channel you wish to find.
3. When you’ve found the channel you’re looking for, click on it and then click “follow” on the top right. You now have access to that person’s auras. I found that you will need to have the most recent update of the app and turn on “location services” for it to work correctly.
1. To create an aura, click the A at the bottom, then the “+” sign. You can choose from a pre-made aura overlay, or click on “device” at the bottom right to find one on your own device from photos, etc.
2. You will have to import them, even though they already exist on your device, so click the “+” on the top right and then click where you want to find the video (Photo Album most likely). When you’ve selected the video/image you want to use, click “use”.
3. There will be a prompt for you to name the image/video. Type in a name and click Finish.
4. You will now see the “Create” folder again with your imported video. Click on the video and it will preview it for you. Then press “select”.
5. A camera screen will appear for you to take a photo of the trigger image. Make sure you fill the camera with as much of the image as you can so that it’s easily recognizable, and put it in good lighting with no glare.
6. Once you capture the trigger image, a preview of your aura will appear and you can pinch it to make it smaller, spread it to make it larger, and move it to where you want it to appear on the trigger image (next to it? on top of it?).
7. Click the arrow at the bottom right and another prompt will come up for you to name your aura. After you name it, make sure you click “public” and turn “add to a channel?” to “YES”. If you’ve already made a channel, click that and then “Finish”. If you do not have a channel yet, click the “+” button and you can make one now before finishing.
1. Click on the "A" at the bottom of the screen. Then, click the person icon on the far right. On the top, the app will list menus of channels you are following, "My Auras", and "Account". Tap "My Auras".
2. Within "My Auras", select "public" so that parents and teachers anywhere can access your triggers. Tap the specific channel/aura you want to share.
3. On this screen, you will see the details of your channel. There is a "like" button, a "Share" button, and a "Public" button. Click the "Share" button.
4. From here, Aurasma will generate a url address for your channel. I have found that it's easiest to email it to myself from this screen and later convert it to a QR code (see the QR page we have on our site for how to do that).
5. See the example below of one way to invite parents to join your channel and access your auras.
To view this aura, search "Room 253" in the channel search and click "Follow".