Or How to Create Augmented Reality Talking Displays
I recently discovered Aurasma, a great free app that allows you to create augmented reality (AR).
Result? My year 7s think I can perform magic and I’m ‘cool’.
I have started a ‘Talking Wall’ in my classroom to display pupil ‘work’ using the app. It is a bit fiddly to start with, and I am still refining the process as I am working between my personal iPod Touch and MacBooks (until I manage to procure iPads for class use).
The idea was a simple one – pupils often produce classroom displays of written work, but I wanted to motivate my lower ability year 7 groups to speak. Having covered the topic of hobbies in French they conducted a short survey that was filmed and inserted into a key word poster. How great to be able to share oral work in this way?!
Below is my ‘How To’ guide in its simplest form, and some of the pitfalls I encountered.
Special thanks to David Mitchell @deputymitchell for making an Anywhere before me, and sharing it on Twitter (thus prompting me to make my own), and Simon Widdowson @xannov whose blog post on his 2DiY display in his classroom helped my ideas along http://www.digital-teacher.co.uk/2011/06/displaying-the-game.html And of course @joedale for saying I really should share this…
- Download the Aurasma app to your device, available for iPod Touch/ iPhone from the Apple store, also on the Android market for any device that is 2.2 or above http://www.aurasma.com/how-do-I-get-it.jsp
- Create your Aurasma account following instructions on screen
- Download a QR creator/reader app – I have been using QR Reader (also free – and I will blog about QR codes at a later stage) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/qr-reader-for-iphone/id368494609?mt=8
- Film a short clip of pupils talking – I used the camera on my iPod touch and edited using the iMovie app
- Create an image for your poster (in class we used Comic Life, but Word or publisher would work for simple key words/pictures and Numbers for bar graphs/pie charts, or Excel if you are PC based)
- Photograph the image using the camera on Aurasma – this can be resized by dragging/pinching the box
- Upload the video clip you want to use and name the file – reposition the clip as necessary
- Share the file – I emailed it to myself so that I had the link
- Cut and paste the Aurasma web link into a QR creator to create a QR code
- Copy and paste the image of the generated QR code onto your poster (this is one I made with my own children – for fear of sharing images of pupils without permission)
- Print and display!
To view the ‘Anywhere’ or ‘Aura’ (piece of augmented reality) pupils will need to scan the QR code with their device – this opens the link to the shared file (and prompts the viewer to download the Aurasma app if they haven’t already done so.) On hovering over the image with their device the Anywhere will open and they will see the video clip.
- When you create an Aurasma it needs to be shared for other people to view it. You obviously don’t want to email/tweet/fb all your pupils so by creating a simple QR code with the link needed and embedding this in the poster anybody can access your Anywhere.
- Aurasma cannot support large or long video clips at present if you want to share them (which you will). I was unable to share anything over 30 seconds and even then I struggled with some over 25 seconds. Compressing files with iMovie did not seem to work so I ended up editing out ‘dead time’ in the end and in future will warn pupils to keep it short and sweet (quality not quantity).
- It can take a while to ‘share’ files as they need to be uploaded to Aurasma – be patient, or make a cup of tea…
- If you take a photo an image but do not immediately add the video to it the photo is gone and you will have to take it again. Nothing will be saved until you complete the whole Anywhere
- Aurasma doesn’t like dim light when it is scanning an image, or being too close to it either. This can be frustrating when demonstrating how AR works
- I have been working across 3 pieces of technology as I only have my personal iPod Touch which will not currently connect to the school network – this means I was unable to share the Aurasma when at work to create the QR code. This will be rectified when we have a class set of iPads.
- I found out today (when checking links to write this post) that the Apple states you need to be 17 or over to download the QR Reader app I used. I will need to see if all the QR code reader apps say this.
Ideas for other uses
- AR around the school for out of hours visitors to see classes in action?
- Learning walks around school grounds (a discussion held with @BenRogersOVA from Ormiston Victory Academy on Twitter led to this idea). ARs around the site could cover history/science/geography (how great would it be to see a short clip about what type of tree you are sat under?)
One final word – To help the visual learners amongst you I have uploaded a short clip of how this works to my YouTube account. The clip is only accessible via the link below: