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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Augmented Reality Experiment Post 2: “Introducing the Smart Phones”

Well this is my second post on my Augmented Reality classroom experiment.  As I mentioned in my first post, I am piloting 30 HTC  Touch smart

HTC Touch Pro
Pilot Phone for class

phones to create augmented reality learning environments for Junior High students.  The goal is to get kids out of their seats and walking around the school grounds and school interacting with virtual characters and fellow classmates to solve a question or scenario.   This type of environment, I believe, can be very powerful for students.  As I begin to look at creating these environments, I have settled on two different software platforms to use since they are free. Both work well on the phones I have and have a simple interface.  To see more information about these programs read my first post “30 Smart Phones and 5 Weeks: An Augmented Reality Classroom Experiment“.

On the first day with the phones, I demonstrated the basics of how to use the phones with my pilot class. Their enthusiasm was incredible.  This became quite the learning environment, as students began to teach each other and me tips and tricks on how to work these phones.  They were very open and willing to help all students and me in the class.  I was surprised and encouraged by how the class behaved and interacted with each other. Status and cliques of students seemed to disappear and everyone was willing to help each other.  Since the students will be assigned a particular phone, they seemed to become very protective of their phone and how it was setup.  I believe that the sense of ownership is a key to using this type of technology.  So the first day was encouraging for me, and I felt like it was a great success.  Monday I will try out our first game.

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Help!! 32 Handhelds and Two Months to Show Relevance in Education!

Over the past year I have been looking into augmented reality and how I can develop this medium for the classroom.  I have discussed this before in my blogs multiple times. (See links below.) At this point I have been lucky enough to convince my district to pilot 32 HTC Touch Pro 2’s in my classroom.  These devices will run windows mobile 6.5 and Goknow mobile software.  The district is going to pay for the data plans through Verizon.  This will allow me to begin to develop different types of augmented reality learning environments for my students.  At the present I see that I will use Mscape and Goknow, including  their multiple applications that they provide  with their service, to begin creating these learning environments.  The purpose of this blog is to asked others what have you used to create these type of learning environments?  Also what are your experiences using augmented reality in the classroom?  Since this is a pilot program that is getting started late in the year I don’t have much time to convince my district of the validity of these types of learning environments.  So any help here would be great so that I can prove the worth of these devices and be able to retain them for the upcoming school year.

  1. Augmented Reality How do you use it?
  2. Augmented Reality Lesson Plan “History Detectives”
  3. Augmented Reality with Bing Maps The Wave of the Future?
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Augmented Reality How do you use it?

Over the past few months I have been looking to design augmented learning environments.  An augmented learning environment is a mix of the real world and technology.  What I found, about the environments that I have created so far, is that student seem to really get engaged with this type of learning.  I really see the potential of these type of learning environments.  Two key aspects that really enhance these environments are that students must work together to solve a problem, and students must be moving around in the real world not on a computer.

What I am interested in learning from all of you right now is:

  • Have any of you used any of these environments?
  • How have you used these environments?
  • How did you set them up?

I have used Mscape to create CSI type learning environments that require the students work together to solve a mystery or murder.

Please post a response and let me know what are your thoughts.

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Augmented Reality with Bing Maps The Wave of the Future?

Saw this video and the ideas for augmented reality uses for kids in the classroom and thousands of ideas exploded in my head about the potential uses in education.  This is a fascinating video that will get you thinking about the use of this technology in the classroom.  Must see if you are looking at augmented reality games for students to learn from.

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