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Be an AR Superstar in the Classroom!!

Augmented Reality (AR) has captured the imagination of educators throughout the country.  Apps like Aurasma have placed the ability to create and engage students in the world of Augmented Reality.  On the heels of this new dynamic trend, many new apps are emerging on the scene.  This blog features several apps guaranteed to WOW you and your students!!

ColAR Mix

ColAR Mix provides printable coloring pages that serve as triggers for the ColAR Mix app.  When the colored pages are held beneath the ColAR Mix app, the images SPRING to life with amazing animation.  My favorite is the flying, fire-breathing dragon.

I have shared this app with many kiddos and they're always in awe, eager to design and color their own version to view in 3D.

Ideas for use:

#1.  Ice Breaker.  Use the 'shoe' image to color and design a shoe that reflects you and your personality.  Be prepared to explain why.
#2.  Write a story based on any of the images.
#3.  Discuss voice and write from the perspective of a newly animated character.
#4.  Animate the airplane image and customize the banner with your class name or have students add math problems to solve!

See this Pinterest board for great examples of ColAR pages
Go HERE to download coloring pages.

AR Flashcards

These cute little alphabet flashcards will WOW the littlest learners.  Each colorful alphabet card contains a trigger that, when used with the AR Flashcard app, houses a 3D character.  As a teacher of 6th grade, I had trouble imagining how we could use it in our classroom.  My two immediate thoughts were:

#1.  Use the creatures as subjects for a research project and have students share the 3D character to add a little extra pizzazz.

#2.  Use the creatures as station letters or as scavenger hunt stops.  To 'prove' students were in that location, ask a question about the 3D creatures.  For example, does the elephant have tusks?  How many bumps are on the alligator's spine?


I've blithered on for 2 blog posts about this fantastic CUSTOMIZABLE app called Aurasma, and it continues to be my favorite.  Aurasma puts AR CREATION at your (and your student's) fingertips.

Tutorials:   Using Aurasma Studio   Aurasma in Action

Products:  Scavenger Hunt     Secret Reveal



The DAQRI option appears to be in development and specialized.  The greatest (and most accessible) example of this AR tool is the 4D anatomy.  Using the target below, DAQRI brings anatomy to life in STUNNING detail.  If you are teaching anatomy to any extent, this app allows you to focus on skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory and any other system.  Definitely worth checking out!

Download the DAQRI app and hold it over this image for  a stunning 4D anatomy lesson.


Layar works a LOT like Aurasma in the sense that it is customizable and allows you to place digital content within print.  The print serves as a trigger for the app and allows users to access whatever content you've created and embedded within the print.

Like Aurasma, Layar has an online development platform that allows you to create your 3D items.  Layar has MANY options for 3D triggers including video, phone, text, audio, image carousels, and social media.  In playing with this a bit, I found it more geared for full page triggers with many items included.

Fetch Lunch Rush

For elementary math teachers out there, this Augmented Reality App looks like JUST the ticket!  This app uses the camera to overlay computer-generated graphics on top of the physical, real-world environment.  It works to integrate tactile skills (targets) with a video game style interface to reinforce math skills.



 Zooburst is a digital storytelling tool that lets anyone easily create his or her own 3D pop-up books. Essentially authors can manipulate and insert characters, setting, design and background as well as write story lines to accompany their stories. In addition to allowing for a narrative or explanation on each page, creators can also add speech bubbles featuring text OR uploaded .mp3 files for sound. The Pièce de résistance of the site is the augmented reality feature. Once a book is published, the site provides a target. When the target is ‘seen’ by a web camera, the book bursts open allowing for a three dimensional view of the story.

Sample Zooburst Poetry Book  
Blog posting on Zooburst

More AR Apps, Just for Fun

AR Magic Mirror

This free app focuses the camera on the user and allows them to try on different combinations of hats and glasses.  Let the kiddos run with their imaginations and capture their playful side.  Have them write a story or use their image as an avatar.

Dark Knight Rises Z+

Described as an Augmented Soundtrack Experience, this app was designed to be used while watching the Dark Knight Rises.  After downloading the app I realized that it is FANTASTIC for teaching TONE and establishing MOOD in writing at any age.  No lyrics and/or dialogue are contained within the app.  The dark, eerie music, responds and reacts to your movements and your voice.  Unexpectedly thrilling!

AR Basketball

Using a printable marker, this app allows you to shoot 'hoops' wherever you are.  Aim your iPad or phone at the marker and an AR hoop displays.   Shoot balls at the hoop for interactive fun without balls rolling all over the place!  Could be used as a class reward or challenge.   Warning, within minutes you'll be pretty addicted.  I was a BEAST at this one so look out!!

AR Missile

This app is irresistable, although I can't imagine the educational uses.  Frankly, it is downright fun!!  To use, line up a target in your sites and fire away.  The missiles launch and even track towards the target!  Take a picture at the moment of impact.  There are 2 types of missiles available for firing, and you can even launch in infrared format.

Good natured son enduring my missile launches.  

On target with augmented reality AND using Your Smarticles!!