Thursday, January 2, 2014

Intro to Augmented Reality & Aurasma

Introductory Prezi

I first started playing around with Augmented Reality (AR) and the Aurasma app a few months ago, and have been totally blown away by the possibilities that the app and the Aurasma Studio offer for a classroom teacher or teacher librarian, like me.

The best way I can think of to describe Augmented Reality is that it's like a suped up QR code that combines a "trigger image," which is a static image, with an "overlay" of the creator's choice (I'm pretty sure someone else explained it in the exact same way, I just can't remember where I read it!). Trigger images can really be anything: a logo, a photo, a poster, a book cover, handout, etc). Overlays could really be anything - another image, an article, a video, a 3D component that brings the trigger to life.  When you hold a device that has the Aurasma app open over the "trigger image", the overlay automatically is called up and is in view, as long as you hold the device over the trigger image.  

To use Aurasma, you have to follow user created "Channels".  Auras are organized into the Channels, and when you follow a channel, you can see a preview of the the trigger images, so that you know what to look for to scan, so that you can view the content.  You can follow Aurasma's Popular Auras channel to test it out (look for a common trigger image and then Google the image), or you can see how it works below.

Give it a Try

  1. Download the Aurasma app from your device's app store
  2. The first time you open the app, you may have to set up an account, it's free to do.
  3. Using a QR Code reader like Kaywa, which can also be downloaded in your device's app store, scan the QR Code - this will open up the Aurasma app on your device and bring you to the heidinelt channel.
  4. If you have successfully scanned, a purple speech bubble should pop up that says that you have successfully followed the channel and it may take a few minutes to get the data.

  5. Once you are following the channel, you're ready to scan one of the trigger images.  To get ready, with the app open, press the center icon on the bottom of the screen that looks like photo corners.
  6. For this particular example, I created an aura to help students fill in a research sheet. Make sure your sound is on, and hold your device, with Aurasma open over the image below:

You may have to slowly tilt the device around a little to get the image to scan.  When you have successfully scanned, a purple swirl will appear, and then the overlay video will begin.  As long as you hold the device over the trigger image, the video will play.

Pretty slick, huh?

How I'm Using it

I've been using the Aurasma app, and recently the Aurasma studio in a number of ways in the library. 
  • Book talks- when students finish work they are allowed to write up a book talk and create their own using a recording station I've set up in the library.  Here's the book talk template kids are using. It's so easy, the kids are able to follow the directions and make book talks with very little direction from me.  I often have a student who has already made a book talk captain the station and help kids who need it.  I have a private channel for this since the students often record themselves.
  • Digital Citizenship Projects Students made posters and presented information about digital citizenship to the class.  I recorded their presentations using the iPad, then used the poster as the trigger image.  When we return from winter break, I'm going to hang the posters around the school, and visitors will be able to follow a private channel to view the presentations.

Trigger Images in the private channel
  • Handout help I'm working on a series of screencasts, like the one you saw above, to help give students tips to do research.  I'm not exactly sure how this is going to work out for the kids, so we're going to play around with it when school is back in session.

Getting Started

There are some very incredible Augmented Reality and Aursama resources that you can check out to help get you started.

Here are a few of my favorites:
  • Engage their Minds: Two More Fabulous Ways to Use Aurasma for Education - by Terri Eichholz was the first blog entry I read about Aurasma and really is what convinced me to give it a try. The example videos in this blog post are incredible, I really wanted to try out some of the techniques here.  It took me a while to get around to creating things, but once I did, I was hooked.
  • Two Guys and Some iPads - Brad Waid and Drew Minock there is a TON here.  You really need to spend some time clicking through the tabs to view their Augmented Reality info, AR Tutorials and Integration of AR for lots of ideas
  • Kleinspiration: Tons of Classroom Examples using Augmented Reality with @Aurasma - A Complete How-To Guide - Erin Klein really hits a home run with these resources.  I love her ideas for using it with books, and it really could be a huge motivator for kids to create their own.
  •  Adjusting Course - by Brad Gustafson includes some great resources and ideas.  For a teacher librarian, encouraging kids to participate in World Book Talk, might be the perfect way to start with AR.

Are you using Augmented Reality?  If so how?  I would love to see more examples! Be on the lookout for future how to posts.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I love Aurasma. I used it recently to create.a READ BOX where I videoed student's reading book summaries. I am currently working on creating an interactive tour of our school for our 6th celebration. Any suggestions for how to set it up?

    1. You might want to create a channel specific to the celebration and assign the auras to that channel. If you use the app, for the channel, there's a share feature- you can pull the link from there and create a qr code for guests to scan- maybe put the code in a program with directions for how to download the app and follow the channel. It would be cool to record people sharing memories of classes or teachers and use photos for your trigger images! I would love to hear how it goes:)

  3. I've been wanting to learn more about AR so this was a great read! I cant wait to create my own! The book talk's are awesome because i can change them up to be Art Talks!! So students can talk about a piece of artwork they have created!!! Thankyou for sharing!

    1. It would be perfect for art!! I'm hoping the art teachers in my building start using it too:)

  4. it is so great thanks for sharing and posting this such an amazing idea i like it aloooot . العاب فلاش ماهر

  5. Absolutely amazing ideas! Thank you so much for sharing these. I have just discovered AG and am taking the first steps to using it in the classroom. I will definitely be trying out some of your suggestions.

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  6. Good information. thanks for sharing :)

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