Augmented Reality (AR) Application for Education: Aurasma/ HP Reveal

Aurasma, currently known as HP Reveal, is an innovative augmented reality (AR) application that transforms 2-D digital experiences into 3-D digital experiences. I explored the affordances of Aurasma and considered multifaceted ways that it could optimize educational technology integration in classrooms. After downloading this free application, I was able to use the Aurasma viewfinder, which works similarly to 3-D glasses to convert 2-D images into 3-D images via my cell phone. As my phone zoomed in on the target images on my laptop, the images automatically converted into mobile 3-D images, which made them more fascinating.

The first target image that I used with Aurasma was the Back to the Future image. As I selected this target image, a 3-D image of the Delorean car from Back to the Future appeared, and a 3-D version began to float around on the screen simulating a highlight of the Back to the Future movie. In addition, an audio narrative discussed the time travel capabilities of the Delorean. This was an intriguing AR experience that enhanced the entertainment qualities of the movie, while providing informative digital content.

The Aurasma application also provided target images related to non-fiction information regarding the historical aspects of airplanes such as the DC-3 and B-25D. As the target airplane image was highlighted, a 3-D slide appeared that displayed a fun fact regarding the history of the DC-3. This can be an awesome tool for educators to leverage in the domain of history in K-12 settings and higher education. Some learners may perceive historical facts to be mundane. This application can add an entertaining and technological aspect to history lessons that can engage more diverse learners in the digital age.

I was interested in researching various ways that Aurasma is being implemented in various educational settings. Therefore, I searched for videos on YouTube to explore more divergent ways of implementing AR in the classroom. One video that stood out to me was on Charles Cooper’s YouTube channel, entitled, “Teaching with Aurasma.” It showed a variety of ways that educators’ can leverage Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) via Aurasma and enhance technology integration in meaningful ways. One example was an instructor having a bulletin board displaying students’ work of typical writings on paper. However, AR was enhanced a traditional bulletin board by transforming the displayed papers of students’ work into target images in Aurasma. As a result, the bulletin board was transformed into an AR experience. Students were able to use their smartphones to highlight target images on the bulletin board, then an AR video would appear that provided additional video recorded presentations of students presenting their ideas. This multimodal experience is powerful because it adheres to visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic learning styles. The video also displayed a way to transform typical vocabulary cards used in primary reading instruction into an AR experience, which will engage more learners and assist with learning important vocabulary.

Aurasma is a dynamic and innovative augmented reality application that can transform educational technology for students. It has the capability to become more ubiquitous as educational technology continues to expand. AR may evolve into incorporating holograms of instructors teaching courses for students in the future. I am excited to apply it to the field of educational technology and watch its progression and evolution in education.


Digital Storytelling and YouTube as a Video Sharing Tool

Digital storytelling is a multimodal approach to traditional storytelling that emerged during the digital age. It began as a narrative tool to express personal discourse and stories. As it evolves, it is also gaining momentum with conveying non-fictional concepts to instruct learners in various domains. A digital story typically contains a video, story script, graphics, photos, music and/ or text. These components appeal to visual, auditory, musical and linguistic learners. In addition, digital storytelling can incorporate movement such as interpretive dance to convey ideas and creative art, which are great pedagogical techniques to engage kinesthetic and tactile learners. Digital storytelling is in alignment with the majority of ISTE standards for learners and educators and provides a technological instructional approach that is multifaceted and multidisciplinary.

Digital storytelling is designed to be presented in a video format. YouTube is a dynamic video sharing application that will allow you to organize, share and facilitate collaboration of digital storytelling videos for students in K-12, higher education and adult learning settings. YouTube’s various features help educators that are interested in enhancing the creation, application and collaboration of digital stories to have an intuitive interface to conveniently implement digital storytelling. YouTube is a free service that can easily be accessed by signing in with a Google account, which will lead you to your home page to begin uploading digital storytelling content. You also have the option of creating a YouTube page by creating your own account outside of Google.

When you access your YouTube page, you will have the option of adding graphics to your homepage that can appeal to a digital storytelling theme. As an educator, you can also use YouTube as a convenient storehouse to organize digital stories that you or you students create on one channel or on various channels. Educators that have multiple courses or trainings can create different channels to organize digital stories for each course. In addition, the channels also provide a playlist feature that allows further categorization of digital stories based on class themes. In addition, YouTube has an option to list or unlist your digital stories. Unlisted videos make the videos available for your personal use or for learners’ who you provide access to.

If you work in a school setting with multiple classes or have international access to other students that would like to share digital stories, the YouTube “live” option allows you to invite other classrooms to view YouTube digital stories in real time. This option is a great way to encourage discourse on the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy with students in different settings via live chat postings. In addition, learners can benefit from having the option to make comments to other learners and the instructor to gain clarification on learning goals. YouTube also features an option to embed music, text, graphics or photos into the video to highlight digital storytelling components.  YouTube is an optimal educational technology video sharing tool that allows educators to conveniently facilitate digital storytelling that will engage digital age learners.