May 16, 2017
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Aurasma: Create Augmented Reality Experiences for the Classroom

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It’s easy for teachers or students to create Augmented Reality (AR) for the classroom.  Many easy creation tools now exist, making it faster than ever before.  In this tutorial, we’ll use one of my favorite tools — a free app by HP called Aurasma.

Estimated Time: 20 minutes
Difficulty: Medium

Introduction: What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) is an exciting new way that learners can engage with real world objects and places.  New layers of content are discoverable and appear like magic when a student uses a smartphone camera to scan an image.  There are many benefits, including:

  • “New dimensions” to learning: enhanced views of real world items, places and images
  • Allow students to create, share, interact, explain — construct their own exciting learning worlds
  • Turn passive content into vibrant, interactive content
  • Enable visualization of invisible or abstract concepts
  • Make learning more tangible (e.g. hands-on planets, anatomy)
  • Just-in-time (on demand) learning

What You’ll Need:

  • Smartphones with Aurasma app installed
  • Paper, cards, or other items to scan

Getting Started

First, download the free Aurasma app.  You can get it by searching for Aurasma in the iTunes App Store and Google Play store.  Create a new account.

You may wish to do a little planning — to prepare any videos that need to be recorded on your phone or what kind of interesting experiences could be made for the classroom.  I’ll share some interesting possible ideas at the end of this tutorial.

How to make an Aura

An “Aura” is an AR experience.  There are two ways to make an Aura: via desktop software known as Aurasma Studio, and via the Aurasma app.  In this tutorial, we’ll use the Aurasma app.  There are five basic steps.

Step 1: Create a New Aura.

The first step is to create a new Aura.

In the top right corner, tap the “+” button.


Step 2: Choose a trigger image (the image that is scanned)

Next, the camera will open up and Aurasma will ask us to choose an image that will trigger some kind of response.  For example, maybe we can use a vocabulary world written on a notecard, or a famous painting, a photograph of a person in history, etc.

Make sure the top bar shows “green”
(this means the image is easy to scan).
Tap the purple circle on the bottom to confirm the image.


Step 3: Choose an overlay.

Next, we’ll choose an overlay: the content that is displayed when the trigger image is scanned.  This is the 3D model or video that gets displayed when an Aura is activated.  Custom videos (from your phone) can be used.


Step 4: Resize and Position the overlay video/3D model.

You can change the size and position of the video or 3D model.  When you are satisfied, tap the top right corner to confirm.


Step 5: Share it to a public channel.

To make your Aura publicly viewable, share it to a public channel. Give it a unique name, like “mychannel”. Tap the top right corner to confirm.

Now anyone searches and follows your channel name can scan and view your Aura. You’re done!


Having Others View Your Auras

To view Auras within a classroom (for example, to allow all students to view Auras), everyone needs to be subscribed to the same channel. In the Discover section, search for channel named “mychannel” (or whatever is your name) and tap the button to follow this channel.

Now you can scan your Aura and a trigger video will play!


Sample Ideas

There are many possibilities when it comes to using augmented reality in the classroom.  Here are some sample ideas:

  • Vocabulary word walls with video of authentic usage
  • Scan a math problem to show video of it being solved
  • Faculty photo walls
  • Enhance stories/text with interactivity or rich multimedia
  • Narrative-driven scavenger hunts / scattered clues / Escape the Room games
  • Short lessons: Student scans a page; teacher video guides student in how to solve assignment
  • Student responses (e.g. Video book reviews: students can record a brief review of a novel; scan the cover and instantly access the review

Have fun and be creative!

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Augmented Reality · Guide · Tutorials · Video

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