When you hear someone say augmented reality, you may imagine a future time where hologram phones beam the person you're speaking with right into your livingroom. While we're not there yet, augmented reality is a real and useful tool for learning and sharing information.
Through Aurasma, a free iPad app, students in 6th grade created video overlays for their wall display of frequently misspelled words. Aurasma works by using a still image as a trigger point. When you're logged into the app and you hover over the trigger image, the student-created video content begins playing automatically and appears to be hovering in space above the trigger.
In the case of this 6th grade group, students were creating the overlays or "auras" but there are lots of ways that teacher-created auras could be useful. For example, if your students have access to a device with the Aurasma app at home or in school, they can use them as an extra helper in their independent work. The teacher can create a video demonstrating how to work through a math problem and when the student hovers their device over the problem, the teacher's explanation video would appear to help them. Conversely, students could each create an aura of themselves working through a problem and then have a classmate watch it and confirm if they did it correctly.
Unlike using a QR code and code reader to take you to a specific URL, the Aurasma app contains the video or animation in one place and can be kept private or public at the users' discretion. Augmented reality and Aurasma are being used to enhance customer experiences. Check out the way Marvel Comics has incorporated it into their content:
Try hovering your Aurasma app over logos of most professional sports teams and instantly find info on the team, key players or the team's twitter feed. Corporate marketing is already diving into augmented reality- give your students the tools and knowledge to create this content themselves!