Tag Archives: Aurasma

3 ways to use Chatterpix with maps

Thinglink, augmented reality and gaming

ways to use Chatterpix with mapsAlert reader Lucia Hoegeveen asked a question about our suggestion that you create a map of a country and give each state it’s own voice. Now, as she pointed out, each Chatterpix you create can have only one mouth. So in order to make our Chatter-map, we’re going to need to app-smash Chatterpix in one of a couple different ways.

Or maybe we’ll just put them all together in a blender and hope for the best. I’ll let you know after I finish this delicious coffee.

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Molecules in Augmented Reality

Science Saturday, with Tarrant Institute research fellow Mark OlofsonOne of the challenges in science is to help students make connections from concepts to their real world. This can be a particular challenge in the field of chemistry. We talk about atoms, molecules, chemical reactions… but how does that connect with the things we see every day?

Augmented reality is one way to make connections from the abstract to the real world. We’ve seen Aurasma in use in the science classroom before. This free app allows students to create content that becomes an overlay on the actual item. The “aura” is triggered through image recognition. Students can overlay videos, web content, or images on their trigger images. Allowing video and web content means that Aurasma is a great candidate for “app smashing.”

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How to app-smash Aurasma with Chatterpix

Give book characters a voice in reviews

How to app-smash Aurasma with Chatterpix A great way to bring book covers to life with augmented reality is through the AR app Aurasma. But for some students who are shy about actually appearing in videos for book reviews or trailers can app-smash the Chatterpix app to give voice to their favorite characters from books.

It’s a great way for students to think about elements of storytelling such as point-of-view, summation, showing vs. telling

Besides, it’s just fun!

Continue reading How to app-smash Aurasma with Chatterpix

How to: App-smash Touchcast with Aurasma

Green screen fun: embed yourself in a book cover

app-smashing Touchcast with AurasmaIt’s super-fun to make book trailers to embed in book covers with Aurasma, but how much cooler would it be to see your friend explain *in person* why they liked that book?

You know this would rock! And be time-effective for getting a bunch of different students’ opinions embedded in your newest library display.

Absolutely doable. App-smash Touchcast with Aurasma and boom! Hear from actual, real-live people made tiny in book covers.

Let’s do this!

Continue reading How to: App-smash Touchcast with Aurasma

4 great apps for creating presentations on your iPad

It’s that magical, magical time of the year again!

No, not the end of the school year. (STOP THAT.)

I meant it’s the time of year when your students have a lot of opportunities to share out their year’s worth of learning. And here are 4 great apps for creating presentations on your iPad.

1. Touchcast

Touchcast lets students pull links, videos and even interactive polls directly into their videos, as well as letting them easily create scenes in front of a green screen. Imaginary assignment: Have your students file an on-the-spot “news report” from locations around the globe. Also underwater. And from the center of the earth. And in space.

Seriously, someone should do this. Then send us the link, and we’ll showcase your students’ work on this blog. Is that a deal or what?

8th grade scientists in Morrisville, VT, made this series of Touchcast presentations to illustrate distance over time. STEM-tastic!
8th grade scientists in Morrisville, VT, made this series of Touchcast presentations to illustrate distance over time. STEM-tastic!

2. Aurasma

Check it out: you can now make auras directly from the iPad, inside the Aurasma app. A great opportunity to app-smash: have the student video themselves with the iPad’s camera, edit it in holy of holies iMovie, then embed the resultant polished product into a real-world artifact, like their school portrait, or a painting, or a hand-illustrated map of the U.S. Get a whole class-worth’s together and create an Aurasma-powered scavenger hunt around school for parents and visitors. Aurasma’s channel feature means that you control who sees the work, too.

Boom! End-of-year project sorted! All before your second cup of coffee!

Below, this music teacher pinned sheet music up, then embedded videos of student performances in those sheets. Y’all, teachers are so. Clever.


3. Animoto

Personally, I find Animoto the easiest app of the bunch to use when, for instance, you have a bunch of photos you just want to assemble into a montage (“Mon-tage!”) with some cheezy inspiring music laid over the top. It really is just two steps: first, tap tap tap each photo you want to include in the montage (“Mon-tage!”), then pick your music. DONE.

Here’s one I made earlier!


4. HaikuDeck

Educator Mike Pall created this HaikuDeck to offer students tips on shooting great Instagram videos.
Educator Mike Pall created this HaikuDeck to offer students tips on shooting great Instagram videos.

HaikuDeck‘s both easy to use and creates a polished, SlideShare-worthy presentation that, without audio, depends heavily on narrative and visual storytelling to engage the audience. It calls on a different set of cognitive skills and really makes students focus on the message over presentation style.


So! Those are my 4 favorites, but this educator found a whopping 15! Which ones do you use?

iPad how-to: saving auras to your Evernote portfolio

saving augmented reality "auras" to your Evernote portfolioA 1-minute iPad how-to from Harwood Union Middle School science educator Brian Wagner, showing you how to save augmented reality “auras” from the popular mobile app Aurasma, to Evernote.


Wagner used Aurasma with his students this past spring in creating an augmented reality periodic table, mounted in the community gallery space at their school.


How to: create your own Aurasma auras

In a nutshell, Aurasma’s augmented reality images are called auras. You make them with Aurasma Studio, which runs in your web browser. An aura consists of two parts:

  • A trigger image, aka the image viewers will point their device at to trigger the content;
  • and an overlay, or the hidden content that will be triggered. In Aurasma studio, you lay the content over the image to make an aura.

This is an aura based off the cover of This Dark Endeavor, a prequel to Frankenstein. Point your iOS or Android device at the image below:


Here’s a brief screencast of how to create a simple aura with a video overlay.

But what can you do with them in a classroom?

Meet Aurasma: an augmented reality app for the classroom


Augmented reality apps allow users to experience a layer of additional information — usually visual or auditory — meshed with everyday objects and surroundings. Here’s a look at one of our favorites.

Aurasma is a free, powerful augmented reality app for iOS and Android devices. It allows you to embed media items — videos, links, animation, other images — in static images.

(Remember that bit in Harry Potter when they’re walking through the gallery hallway at Hogwarts, and the paintings come alive? It’s a lot like that. 🙂

There are two parts to Aurasma: viewing the augmented reality content, called “auras”, and creating auras on your own. Additionally, we’ll look at how Aurasma is currently being used in schools, including one of our partner middle schools, here in Vermont.

Here’s how to view auras:

1. Download Aurasma onto your mobile device, either through the app store (iOS) or through Google play.

2. Open up the app and create an account.

3. Auras are arranged into channels, and you have to subscribe to a channel in order to view them. So for instance, to get to the Tarrant Institute channel, tap the gray “A” symbol at the bottom of your screen, then the magnifying glass, and search on “Tarrant”.

Meet Aurasma: an augmented reality app for the classroom
Tap the gray A…
Meet Aurasma: an augmented reality app for the classroom
Then the magnifying glass. Search for “tarrant”.

Tap “Follow” to follow our channel and access our Aurasma content. Channels can be public or private, and are useful for grouping content by organization — like a class or school.

Meet Aurasma: an augmented reality app for the classroom

4. Check out some of our auras, like this one, an image of the front cover of Kenneth Oppel’s YA Frankenstein prequel, This Dark Endeavor. Point your iOS or Android device at the image below:

Meet Aurasma: an augmented reality app for the classroom

Next, we’ll show you how to create your own auras in Aurasma, and talk about how Aurasma’s being used by a science teacher at Harwood Union Middle School, one of our partner schools.

Brian Wagner on Aurasma, continued

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The annual Rube Goldberg Challenge is an opportunity for students to engage in their inner creative, design-build personalities. They are tasked with completing a simple task through a complex, convoluted, over the top device that incorporates simple machine physics and creative problem solving. There are limits to their space, time, and materials (nothing banned form school for instance). The machines that are created range from functionally simplistic to extremely clever but all offer students a chance to personalize the experience. The one part of the project that has not been emphasized over the past several years is charging students with explaining their thought process as they develop, test, and redesign their design. The use of several different iPad apps were explored during this project to see how students could benefit from documenting their thinking as they went through a problem solving process.

Half of the student groups used the Explain Everything app to document via video, text, photos their thought process, while the other half used the Aurasma app to do the same. There were some challenges with the Aurasma app because our internet connectivity was poor in the Middle Gym so reaching Aurasma was difficult and the video cannot be edited prior to attaching to an Aura (trigger). The Explain Everything app appears to be better suited for this type of activity; where students could collect their thoughts on different slides or even have multiple videos on one slide.

Students were asked to reflect on the use of their app when the project was complete. Their feedback brings me back to the SAMR model and how it relates to my research question of using technology to enhance meta-cognition In this project, the Aurasma app did not fit the bill very well for allowing students to document their thinking over time. The app and the activity were not well suited; the video cannot be paused and continued, so students were unable to document their thinking over time. The Explain Everything app had both positive and negative reviews from students but with some additional practice with the app, students will be more comfortable with the potential to revisit their prior thoughts and construct new thinking. Ideally, students would have an opportunity to document their process and then be given another similar activity to complete using what they have collected on the Explain Everything app as a guide.


Brian Wagner teaches 8th grade science at Harwood Union Middle School in Moretown VT. You can reach him on twitter: @swagsci

Brian Wagner on: Aurasma and the Periodic Table

An augmented reality periodic table

One of our partner educators, Brian Wagner, teaches eighth grade science at Harwood Union Middle School, in Moretown VT. This past spring, he used Aurasma with his students to bring elements of the periodic table to life in a gallery walk.

The Rube Goldberg Challenge was not a good fit for the Aurasma app as a means of documenting thinking over time, but it proved to be a good tool for students to teach each other about the periodic table.

In essence, students jig-sawed their knowledge about specific sections of the Periodic Table to create a larger perspective about the trends, patterns, and curiosities of table.

Memorizing the elements of the periodic table is a complete waste of time (a personal opinion but one generally recognized as valid).

Understanding the information stored in the table because of the way it is constructed unlocks chemistry at a deeper level. The author Sam Keane in his book The Disappearing Spoon writes that “…at its simplest level, the periodic table catalogs all the different kinds of matter in our universe, the hundred-odd characters whose headstrong personalities give rise to everything we see and touch. The shape of the table also gives scientific clues as to how those personalities mingle with one another in crowds….”

My objective for this activity is for students to begin to recognize the trends and personalities and teach each other about different sections using Augmented Reality. The assignment is presented in the attached file- The Periodic Table Assignment 2013

The students researched as per the assignment criteria and prepared a video presentation of their element group. They were allowed to create the video in periodicpullwhatever manner they wanted- many did not want to be onscreen but talked through their information while writing it out on paper. Some used a chalk board for added effect. Others set it up as a news cast. Each group created a simple Aura (trigger) to activate the video.

The Auras were placed around the middle school Gallery in their respective groups and an iPad was stationed at each of these areas to use for the video presentation. Students rotated throughout the gallery, watching each other’s videos and taking notes about each section. Initially I wanted each student group to prepare an annotated photo of a periodic table with the information they collected. This would act as a summarizing aspect to their learning. Unfortunately there was not enough time to go through the gallery walk and do the Skitch challenge. The following day we lost our Wi-Fi , the iPads were needed for other classes when it returned, and the opportunity was lost.
During the class time with no internet, students took a quick quiz about the periodic table. The quiz was used as a means to discuss their findings further and clear up misconceptions that arose during their research. There will be a follow-up summative quiz (using Socrative) to determine how much information has been internalized. That will be a separate post.

The use of the Aurasma app was received well by students for this activity. They saw the value in researching, outlining, and preparing a presentation that others would learn from.

Because their audience was a little bigger (the entire 8th grade) they took more time to prepare and shoot the video (manyappsglance with multiple takes to get it right). Their personal creativity was valued and the questions that arose from their research made good conversations that would have been missing from a straight up lecture about the topic.

One of the drawbacks to the app was having to hold the iPad over the Aura while watching the video. However, one student figured out that by double tapping on the video while it was playing would take the video to full screen and allow it continue playing in any position. iMovie would also be a preferred video tool for making the videos more polished.

Unfortunately iMovie is not on our iPads yet, although one student convinced me to download it for him, where he proceeded to take three individual videos his group made into one smooth presentation.

Continue reading Brian Wagner on: Aurasma and the Periodic Table