Friday, September 20, 2013

Celebrating International Dot Day at George Watkins Elementary School, New Kent County

For those of you who do not know, there is an International Dot Day designed to inspire creativity and based on the book “The Dot” written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. The day (or week in our case) is on or around September 15th. This year a collaborator in the celebration was Puteko Ltd., the developer of the colAR Mix application. The librarian, Peg Noctor, and I teamed up to bring a technology enhanced lesson to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.
Augmented reality makes an image of the real-world  environment ”come to life”. In this instance the computer application colAR Mix senses the image of the coloring pages through the camera of an android tablet and an iPad. We printed the pages from the colAR Mix website, the students colored them creatively and the application made each image 3-dimensional and interactive. All of the students could observe the interactive images from the SMART board attached to one of the tablets through a VGA adapter. The application adds another layer to the creation.
Augmented reality applications in general add a virtual layer of information on top of  the information from the physical image. Many applications are available on the iTunes or play store that can add valuable information to our everyday life: Layer, Wikitude, Theodolite, Worksnug, Carfinder,  and Yelp Monocle to name a few. Some applications add information and fun: the IKEA furniture catalog app, Google Sky map, and SpecTrek (for ghost hunting) would be some to try.
What can we do with this in education? Educator Erin Klein, author of the education blog Kleinspiration, uses Aurasma to create augmented reality in her elementary classroom.  One of her projects was to have her students bring their word wall to life. Besides engaging the students, augmented reality provides another avenue for students to create their own learning experiences. Richard Byrne writes in his FreeTechnology4Teachers blog about Zooburst to create stories and Fetch! LunchRush! by PBS for creating math lessons.

Create something with your students using augmented reality!

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