AR is cool…so, what?

Augmented reality has been around long enough now that its newness is fading and pragmatic question like “How does this raise the intellectual bar in my classroom?” begin to take center stage.

My partner in crime, @JillCompher, and I have been asking these questions since we first witness the potential greatness of this resource via our tech guru Cara (@caracarter1). We put together a Bloom’s taxonomy bulletin board to organize the high cognitive possibilities for our students and workmates.

Organizations like Apparmo, Aurasma and Metaio have education sections on their sites, follow educators online, and actively seek input from those of us who see a great civic potential in this technology to refine the products they offer. They want this technology to work in the education sector, it seems, as much as they want it to work in the commerce sector.

During our training sessions, we present this short clip from A Day Made of Glass to show how far we’ve come in the few short years since that ground breaking video was first published. It was soooo “pie in the sky” back then. Today, though, we’re nearly there!

Here’s a Metaio video … Compare to the Glass video. Similar!?

And an Apparmo video…

And an Aurasma video…

Finally, there’s a new coloring book app (colAR) that allows students to color a page and bring their efforts to life WITH the colors the students placed on the page. So if they color an giraffe green, the AR giraffe is … You guessed it … Green.

Here a Twitter buddy’s awesome experience with colAR ( After posting his blog @mwmedvinski and I had a short, but crucial, conversation on “what’s next” for this app. He’s got a vision for, not just the newness of the app, but how that short term interest can lead his students to deeper thinking & long term engagement. I hope AR users see his example and follow it.

At presentations, Jill and I are invariably asked “What’s the difference between a QR code and AR?” To ask that question, which is a fair and proper question, suggests the low level use most people assume AR is good for. AR is better than QR codes because it doesn’t interfere with the image (ugly box), you can layer endless levels or documents, videos, images etc. on one “trigger image” (ie. the image that kicks out your AR artifact), & AR’s can’t be hi-jacked like QR codes can (ie. students print their own QR code to a bad site and replace yours with theirs). In short, AR = good, engaging & rigorous (if educators are willing to invest a little time).

My fear: I’m worried that AR will be used as a one trick pony that will doom this wonderful technology to the “one hit wonder” folder on our desktops.


About Thrasymachus

2013 Northwest ISD teacher of the year, Humanities Texas 2012 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, and 2011 Outstanding Educator of North Texas Award (North Central Texas College). I'm currently a Regional Digital Learning Consultant with the Education Service Center Region 11 in Ft. Worth, Texas and a college government educator who incorporates philosophy, technology & humor. A student through and through, I walk with my students in their learning. Most importantly, I'm blessed with the 3 most perfect kids eva! I love on them ery day!!!
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1 Response to AR is cool…so, what?

  1. Pingback: Apparmo, just 1 click away! | Apparmo

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