With the advent of Google’s augmented reality (AR) glasses, and the recent explosion in the popularity of AR apps for smartphones and tablets thanks to companies like Gravity Jack (http://gravityjack.com) that are developing new AR software everyday, we are now looking at a future that has a lot more in common with the one our parents and grandparents imagined before the turn of the century.
Now, ours is a future where audio/visual communication is as easy as the click of a button, where computer generated graphics merge usefully, accurately, and seamlessly into the world around us, where touch screens float in the air, and school children can learn about anything under the sun by interacting with digital books and pictures.
The potential uses for such exciting advances are especially evident in education, where scholars and teachers have long been exploring the best ways to teach children with a variety of learning styles in one classroom. With AR technologies, students will not only be able to interact with material, offering them tactile connection that is often essential to the learning process, but they will have the opportunity to move through the material at a pace uniquely designed to suite their individual learning speed and style.
Here’s a list of some excellent augmented reality apps to try in the classroom:
1. Fetch! Lunch Rush!
2. Anatomy 4D
An app that allows users to discover the human body in ways they never could before. Interactive skeletal, nervous, and muscle systems are just the beginning of this incredible app.
3. Star Walk
This app boasts over 6 million users, and was the winner of the 2010 Apple Design Award.
Both beautiful and easy to use, just aim the tablet or phone’s camera and Star Walk will display planets, constellations, and more! An excellent tool that can be used day or night, whether the stars are visible to the naked eye or not.
4. Science AR
An educational app that comes with downloadable posters, Science AR is a great example of how augmented reality can encourage individual exploration and understanding. The app works in conjunction with the posters to create a truly interactive experience.
An app that teaches about the geographical world, GeoGoogle employs Google Maps, and enhances the view by providing statistics like longitude, latitude, altitude and more.
With so many AR apps on the market, there’s no reason to limit a classroom to only these five. Trying out apps that aren’t traditionally thought of as educational will be a surprising experience. It’s amazing what students can learn from everyday apps when AR is involved!