Back in November, we had a school-wide Technology Night. On this night, each grade level had to showcase how they were using technology in the classroom to parents and other people in the community. For this showcase, I wanted to create a technologically-enhanced bulletin board display outside my classroom, so I set out to find something. During my search, I ran across this project featured on the Scholastic website that used Augmented Reality to create an interactive “Who Am I?” bulletin board display. I’d never really used Augmented Reality before, but I was up for the challenge! According to the Google Dictionary, Augmented Reality is “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view” (Google Dictionary Definition). If you’re not already familiar with Augmented Reality, I think this YouTube video does an excellent job of explaining how it works.
I used the project featured on Scholastic as a guide and I altered it a tiny bit to fit my class’ needs. These are the steps I followed to complete the project:
- To start the project off, I downloaded the Aurasma app onto my cell phone. If you’re not familiar with the Aurasma app, this short video explains how it works.
- Next, I had the students write a short paragraph listing at least 5 well-known facts about themselves, and then I had them draw a picture of themselves to accompany their writing. In the original scholastic version of the project, the teacher only required the students to list 5 facts about themselves, but I wanted my students to go a step further and write their facts in paragraph form. When the students finished their writing and illustrations, I posted their finished work on the bulletin board outside of our classroom.
- Then, I used my phone to record a short video of each student saying something like “Hi, Mom and Dad! You guessed right! It’s me!”.
- After all the videos were made, I used the Aurasma app to superimpose, or overlay, each student’s video message on top of their writing and self-portrait. This was super easy to do! I followed this tutorial to figure out how to overlay the videos!
- Then, I sent a letter home to parents explaining Augmented Reality and our “Who Am I?” project. I also included QR codes on the letter that led parents directly to the free Aurasma app on the iTunes and Android app stores.
- When the parents visited the classroom, they went from post to post to read all the facts listed on the display, and they tried to guess which student was their child. When the parents made their guess, they would open the Aurasma app and hover their device over the writing to see if they guessed correctly. If they did guess correctly, then their child’s video message would play. If they didn’t guess correctly, another child’s video would play and they would have to re-guess and try again.
My class really enjoyed working on this project, and their parents had loads of fun trying to guess which writing belonged to their child. It was so exhilarating to see the students’ and parents’ faces light up with so much enthusiasm and excitement as they moved from one writing to another. This project was definitely a hit, and I can’t wait to try using Augmented Reality again!