Augmented Reality (AR) is technology which superimposes digitally generated information on to the user’s view of reality, this may take the form of a video, 2D or 3D image etc. AR works well with the iPad and a number of apps have been created which can be used creatively in teaching and learning, here are just a few examples.
The award-winning company, AR Flashcards, has created free flashcards which can be downloaded from the website. Once downloaded the app is used to scan the cards or ‘triggers’ to reveal a 3D image. There are two sets of free cards including the alphabet and dinosaurs. Once scanned, touching the image on-screen causes the letter/dinosaur’s name to be read out. Multiple cards can be viewed simultaneously allowing the alphabet to be used for letter recognition, ordering and the spelling of short words such as CVC/CVVC and sight words.
Chromville is a great, free AR app. There are five worlds on Planet Chromville, each with different themes. Currently there is one chapter (picture) for each world which, once coloured in, could act as a stimulus for both storytelling and creative writing. There are also customisable characters, which once personalised, could stimulate individual or collaborative digital storytelling.
Phonic Tricksters is a great app for consolidating and assessing knowledge of phonics in a fun and interactive way. Children will love chasing the Tricksters, who have stolen phonemes, around the room. In order to progress to the next stage they must identify the phoneme with a matching word. This app is free to trial and requires an in app purchase of 69p to unlock all the Tricksters.
Other interesting AR apps created by PBS Kids include Fetch! Lunch Rush, which practices addition to 20 and Cyberchase 3D Builder which, designed for 6-9 year olds, practices problem solving with 2D and 3D shape.