Monday, July 6, 2015

ISTE 2015 Minis: Moving with Augmented Reality

The annual ISTE conference is always sure to deliver, and this year's version, which just wrapped up in Philadelphia, provided a much-needed spark to keep teachers and students alike on the tech move.

A series of Tweets from ISTE attendees says it all:

These are just a few of the many ISTE2015 posts alluding to the effective combination of technology and movement for our students. It came on the heels of a mass "field trip" that saw dozens of educators from across the country use Augmented Reality to experience downtown Philadelphia in a new and intriguing way.

Rather than simply viewing historical sights via social media posts and Google Maps submissions, for example (which are very good ideas, in and of themselves), we must integrate movement into the lessons we teach.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • AR Scavenger hunt for pictures or items across campus. Nearly any static object can serve as a trigger image for the variety of AR programs on the market.
  • Place AR-enabled images throughout your classroom for gallery walks. Even movement within the room is better than sitting still for long periods of time.
  • Use AR for student presentations. Instead of everyone sitting through multiple days of one-at-a-time presentations, use AR programs to embed student presentations into images. Shuffling kids through presentations in a gallery walk structure saves valuable instruction time.
  • Apps like Google Camera and Google Photo Sphere allow users to take 360 degree photos of any location. Letting students view these "Spheres" from a directional standpoint - outside where they can "see" the Grand Canyon in relation to their own surroundings - is almost as authentic as being there in person.
Enjoy a full sphere of Downtown Philadelphia
  • Download the following apps for AR experiences: Aurasma, Daqri, Quiver, and others.
  • Daqri has a special surprise when students (and teachers) lock into their variety of apps and products. Viewers will especially like Elements 4D and Anatomy 4D. Trust me, you'll want to see this! 

Combining even minimal movement with lesson content has long been shown to be beneficial for students of all ages. From brain breaks to full-on integrated physical activity, getting our kids up and moving is the way to go.

With the technology available to us at little to no cost, it seems imperative that we give our kids a break from the monotony of traditional classroom procedures that fail to excite them on a widespread scale.

AR Technology and Movement - seems like a match made in Heaven!

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