Augmented Reality Experiment Post 3: “My First Game”

Mystery Animals

My First Augmented Reality game.

On Monday I tried out my first Augmented Reality game.  The objective of the game was for my students to learn a little information about the three major fur bearing animals of the Pacific Northwest.  The purpose of this game was two fold.  The first was that I wanted them to test the technology to see if they could interact with it.  The second was an introduction into our next unit on the fur trading era of the Pacific Northwest.

The only directions I gave them were on the purpose and organization of the game.  They were told that they were to discover three animals on the back football field.  At each location on the map they would find a description of an animal and an audio recording of the sound that animal makes.  It was their task to discover the name of that animal and convert that name into a code to unlock the next location on the map.  The hint for the code was A=1.  Students then went outside, opened the software, and began navigating the game, once they obtained a satellite signal.

Students seemed to have no trouble using the software to navigate through their game.  They were highly engaged and had to be persuaded to come into the building, when it began to rain.  Students were very motivated, almost driven, to get to the end of the game.  This was very interesting to me, since some of these students are not often motivated in class.   While I assume that some of the motivation was in the novelty of the situation, the game atmosphere did seem to motivate many of the students.  All students were able to eventually navigate the course and complete the game.  As students entered the classroom after completing the game, there was a lot of discussion about the three fur bearing animals and how they came to their conclusion for each animal.  The discussion in class went extremely well.  They really enjoyed talking about the games and the information that they discovered about each animal.  Every student I felt achieved the learning target for the day, and they truly seemed excited about the possibility of doing this type of exercise again.  All in all I would have to say my first game, while not overly complex, was a complete success.

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Don’t Forget Learning is Work

Learning is work. So often I see society trying to take the work out of learning.  Teachers develop techniques that require little active engagement and focus on absorption of information.  School districts equate learning with seat time; the longer they are in class the more they learn. Learning is an experience where the student should take ownership. Anyone in the learning process must work to change either a behavior, thinking process or increase knowledge. We derive pleasure out of success in any of these areas. Without the learner actively engaged (working) in an area, there will not be change or learning taking place.

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Protect Your Identity Online With img4me

An important part of any online endeavor is protecting your personal information.  In creating your PLN or online learning community, you may need to display some personal information in order to receive feedback from others.  The problem with posting this information is that search engine crawlers often grab this information and place it in their databases for all to access.  To prevent these search engines from storing your personal information placed on your blog or website, you can convert this information from text on your site to an image.  Img4me does just that for you.  It will convert any text into an image that you can place on your site and have peace of mind that the many different searcgh engines will not grab that information and place it in their databases.  This is a simple to use site and produces good quality images that will work well on any site.  Check it out at the address below:

http://img4me.com/

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