7 Augmented Reality Apps Teachers Will Love
With the increasing demand for technology in the classroom, augmented reality (AR) is looking to be an engaging method of capturing the attention and imaginations of students and providing a more visual way to learn and explore. If you think you’re not familiar with augmented reality, think about the 2016 Pokémon GO craze. The mobile game features an augmented reality where users can see their surroundings through their phone’s camera with an additional layer of Pokémon characters running about, making for an interactive game that, as it turns out, encourages users to explore their cities, with plenty of walking involved.
Educators are turning toward immersive technology like augmented reality to provide a fun and interactive way to increase student engagement, as the technology is often cost-effective, only requiring students to have a mobile device to engage in learning—taking away the need to purchase and learn new expensive technology.
We’ve gathered a list of fun augmented reality apps that educators are sure to love, but first, let’s go over what augmented reality is and how it differs from its immersive technology cousin, virtual reality.
Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality
Immersive technology refers to technology that blends virtual content with the physical environment, prompting users to engage with the technology in an interactive way. Augmented reality and virtual reality both fall underneath the umbrella term of immersive technology.
With augmented reality (AR), users are seeing the real-world environment they’re currently in through the lens of a camera—with the addition of a digital layer of content right on top. In other words, reality is augmented with the help of a digital device. In augmented reality, elements that aren’t there in the physical sense can be seen digitally and interacted with in a visual sense.
Virtual reality (VR), in comparison to augmented reality, is a completely digital environment. Users are immersing themselves in a completely different world either through the lens of a camera or a VR device. An example of how virtual reality can be used in education is this Philips Healthcare training video, in which students and patients alike are able to get a walkthrough of what to expect during an MRI scan.
Apps that are labeled as augmented reality apps also have virtual reality elements. Technology that incorporates both augmented reality and virtual reality is referred to as mixed reality (MR), which creates a richer interactive experience that isn’t bound by location—it is only enhanced.
Augmented Reality Apps to Explore
Catchy Words AR is an augmented reality word game. Without touching the screen, users walk around catching letters and solve the word puzzles by dragging the letters to the appropriate floating frame.
CoSpaces Edu allows students to build their own 3D creations out of a library of content, animate the creations with code, and explore them in augmented reality or virtual reality. The app is intended to improve digital literacy skills, enhance creativity, and promote creative collaboration.
Curioscope is a physiology and anatomy app. Students can view a physical, wearable T-shirt, the Virtuali-Tee, through a mobile device app and dive into an anatomy learning experience that can utilize both augmented reality and virtual reality.
Figment AR allows users to turn the world around them into an augmented funhouse. Users are able to create imaginative scenes and add interactive components like emojis, animals, and other playful objects, along with environmental effects, such as fireworks and snow.
JigSpace is an educational app that offers a library of knowledge, and each “Jig” is a 3D presentation of how everyday things work, explained in simple steps and viewed in visual terms in augmented reality and virtual reality. It’s a collaborative app where users can experience Jigs or create their own. Some of the Jigs include how a car engine works, how a coffee machine works, and what’s inside the planet Earth.
Moatboat is a creation engine app for augmented reality and virtual reality. It describes itself as a “social word builder with a twist.” Users can verbally give simple commands to the app to build and create, and with the augmented reality version, users are able to “place” their creations on a table and share what they’ve worked on with others.
World Brush is an app where users can paint on the world as if it were their own canvas, and the paintings are discoverable by others. Users simply start by selecting a brush and selecting preferred color(s). Paintings are anonymous, but users still have the ability to like, dislike, and report paintings.
Because augmented reality brings an interactive component to education, Edmentum explored building a full suite of augmented reality activities for humanities courses in partnership with Boulevard Arts. Take a look at our announcement for more information regarding this unique partnership that launched last summer!
We can’t wait to share specifics of the augmented reality activities within our English 9 courses. Be sure to keep an eye on our blog for a “What’s Coming” blog post, as well as on our What’s New page for up-to-date information on future releases.