7 Augmented Reality Apps for the Classroom

In a quest to look for ways to get my students outside active and learning in the real world.  I have begun messing around with different Augmented Reality Applications.  I have made a couple of games using different programs, as regular readers of my blog know.  If you are a new reader and are interested in these past blogs click here for a list of past blogs on this topic, or click on the Augmented Reality in Schools link on the left side of this blog.

I have had phenomenal success with this type of application in the classroom from the few games that I have created, so I have begun to look for more programs to create these types of applications.  The following is a list of 7 programs that I believe could be excellent for creating location based educational games.

Note: All of these programs require the use of  a GPS enabled device to play like a cell phone, or Garmin GPS device etc.

FourSquare : This application can be used on almost all hand-held devices from the iPhone to Android.  It is very universal and is great for scavenger hunts. Has a large support community and is well maintained. You can download the app from the Android App store.

SCVNGR :  The idea behind this site is to complete challenges at specific locations.  This application is also for the iPhone and Android devices and is well developed.  This application allows users to collect points and easily share information and locations like FourSquare above. You can download the app from the Android App store.

Joyity : Like other location based games this turns your environment into a game space.  At different locations you must complete certain tasks to earn point and accomplish missions.  “JOYity is for use on both Android smartphones and Java (J2ME) phones.” You can download the app from the Android App store.

GPS Mision :  This is a webbased game creator for Windows Mobile phones, Nokia and the iPhones.  This application allows you to create location based games.  You can also download and play games as well.

WhereIGo : Originally designed for Geocaching, this application can be easily converted into location based games. This application is limited to Windows Mobile devices and Garmin GPS devices. Game creator can only be used on specific Windows machines. You can download the app from the Android App store.

Tourality :  This location based game like the others can be played on Andriod, Nokia and Blackberry devices.  You can download the app from the Android App store.  Another great application for multiplayer games.

Layar : This application can be download on most devices. This application is great for overlaying material over the real world using the camera on the device.  Great for showing what something looked like in the past or may look like in the future.  You can also overlay game characters to instruct or provide information for the game.

Here is a great video that shows the type of things that this type application can deliver to students to engage them.

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Interested In Augmenting Your Classrooms Reality?

AR Game

Over the past year I have begun exploring different Augmented Reality learning environments for my students.  I had the good fortune of receiving 30 GPS enabled cell phones for my class that I could experiment  with the last three months of last year.  In that time I was able to piece together some Augmented Reality games for kids to play on our football field.  The results were astounding, the level of engagement and the conversations among students were highly educational and inspired me to look into this type of learning environment more. As I surfed the web I came across games such as:

I began to wonder why could we not use this type of technology in our classrooms.  Getting the students into the real world and interact with virtual items or people to solve real world problems.  While the games I employed were simple and crude do to the time frame that I was under last year I did find that the learning and engagement of the concepts I was trying to teach increased in all students.  Also the post game discussions about the topic were much more productive since all of the students had a stake in the conversation due to the experience they just had playing the game. So this summer I have been looking at creating different types of Augmented Reality learning environments to use in my classes next year.  If you are looking to create these same types of learning environments or know someone who is please contact me.  I would like to know what you are looking at creating.

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Great Online Gaming Tool for Your Classroom

Over the past weekend I came across a great resource to use in the classroom.  This site allows you to create jeopardy games to play in your classroom.  They are very easy to create and it allows you to keep score of up to ten teams in a game.  This could be used as a pre-assessment to see where your class is at before you develop your instruction or to review and assess what students have learned over the past few weeks.  There are also many games already created on many different topics that you can choose from.  I really liked the functionality and how quickly you can create these games.  This is a resource that all teachers could use, check this one out at the web address below.

http://jeopardylabs.com/

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Interactive Whiteboard Resources

If you have an interactive whiteboard Hitachi has a great list of simulations, activities, games and other resources on their website. Simply go to the following address and look at some of these resources. They are worth a look!
http://www.hitachi-soft.com/icg/educators_corner/classrooms.html
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Gaming to learn

Over the course of the past couple of years I have been including games in the classroom to help students learn. While the games have not been particularly difficult or very complex the enjoyment and engagement that I have received from the kids has been phenomenal. Simple jeopardy games in PowerPoint or simple learning games off of the web can be quite effective.

Websites like:

In a Blog I read this morning called “Free Technology for Teachers” they show cased a website called “Purpose games.com”. Located at the following link:  http://www.purposegames.com/ This site allows you to create simple games that I have found to be very effective in engaging and teaching kids mundane tasks like states and capitals, vocabulary, geography concepts and dates.  The greatest thing about this website is that you can create your own game that will fit your content specific area, rather than having to adapt an exsisting game to your curriculum.

Purpose games