Virtual Reality in Schools

Virtual or Augmented Reality

Today we were lucky enough to have a short siorre in the library for “bring your child to work day”.  For the day the library became a true makerspace as the children were able to walk around and engage in various learning activities.  For the Think Tank, I set up a little virtual reality station using the app ColarMix, which is a fun tool that allows students to download pictures, color them and then make them come to life in 3-D.

The fun part of using ColarMix is that it is new, it really “shocks the system” to see images literally jumping off the page.  The high school students were just as impressed as they will always be with a new technology.  But the question becomes:  How can we use this in education? And can it work at Hamilton West?

Augmented Reality in the Classroom

Most people are familiar with QR codes, if they haven’t used them they most likely have seen them in magazines or advertisements.    A QR Code looks like the barcode in the image below.  If you download a QR reader to your phone you can scan the QR code and link it up with a video.  It is often used in advertising.

Image

 

In the classroom many teachers use it to link to videos that provide help on problems or links to further information.  It is a great way to differentiate in the classroom and one you become familiar with how to make them, they are really easy to use.  Can they work at West?  Well, teachers are already using QR codes here, the math department often uses them to supplement tests and worksheets.  All that it requires is students with a cell phones, an internet connection and an app that is free.

Another tool that is really interesting is call Aurasma it basically takes QR codes out of the stone age and makes it a bit more personal.  Instead of a clunky barcode, the teacher can now attach a video, audio or website to an image.  Students can download the app and images will come to life.  They can be used in much the same way as the QR codes.  Additionally, teachers can use them to create scavenger hunts, create links to projects in the classroom, or in the hallways.  Information and resources can be added to everything…it basically enables learning to come to life.

Resources

ColarMix 

Aurasma

QR Codes Explained and Ideas for Classroom Use – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne

5 Uses of Augmented Reality in Education – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne

Nice list of resources and ideas.

Want to Learn About Makerspaces?  Here are 26 Resources  – A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet

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