AR and pre-schoolers: a great augmented experience!

AR, or Augmented Reality, is something that is already known to those who work in the mobile/web/tech field and is becoming quite widespread all over the world to the “common” people too as a 2.0 version of QR codes (this is my opinion, of course).

But what it is? ” Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented bycomputer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data (Wikipedia)”

Simply speaking, you need a mobile device (either mobile phone or tablet with camera) with a GPS on and an AR application.  Just point at a real object that has been previously “recorded” into the device application and watching the device screen while pointing at the object,   “virtual reality” (graphics, text or videos) superimpose on the screen, just like in this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RWwQXi9RG0w#!

What I would like to share with you is a great experience/experiment involving a class of 5 1/2 children and AR technology. You can read the whole story here, which shows you how children can easily manage technology and implement it in their real world with no problems.

The little students mission was fragmented into several steps:

1. Draw a picture of a subject (Catherine McAuley).
2. Laminate the finished product.
3. In pairs record a short video (5 – 10 seconds) of why they like the subject.
4. Check they everyone has recorded video.
5. Take a good photo of everyone’s drawing.
6. In Pairs, use AR app to put the video onto our pictures.
7. Help each other save and view the videos.
8. Assemble the wall with everyone’s drawing.
9. Test the wall display works.
10. Evaluate whether the challenge was a success of failure.

The interactive wall looks like this:

“Yesterday I joined my students in standing back and watching as the final picture was placed on the wall.  It was one of those moments that if you had have walked in you would have seen 26, 5 year olds and their 21 year old teacher admiring their handiwork.  As silence fell over the class, a girl picked up our iPad faced it at the wall and chose a picture to focus on.  Suddenly a video bursts onto the screen of a child telling us why he liked Catherine McAuley.  I laughed as one boy screams

“This is so…. Awesome!”  To me and my 26 students this is a well deserved “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!”  

As my students continue to play with the wall and watch their videos, I took the time to evaluate what we had learned and repeat how the children had negotiated and driven the learning in our classroom.  They had capably turned a boring task into an interactive and attention grabbing display that shows the true ability of 5 year old learners.”

Obviously, I would love to replicate this experiment with my daughter’s class too!

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