Augmented Reality Ideas Across the Curriculum

Friday, April 1, 2016 -- Scott Sterling

As the power and optics improve in mobile devices, augmented reality apps are getting better. And over time, more and more apps have been developed that find creative ways to engage students in many subject areas. Here are some highlights.

Geometry: Arloon Geometry

A big challenge when trying to learn (and teach) geometry is finding 3D representations of the shapes that students are using in their calculations. Arloon Geometry not only displays over 50 shapes that can be manipulated students, but it also has a function that shows students how to calculate areas and volumes in the same 3D, interactive way.

Addition: AR Flashcards Addition

These aren’t your parents’ flashcards. First, you print out “markers”, which are basically the paper clues that help the app call up the correct AR flashcard. Once the device’s camera views the marker, the addition equation comes to life in 3D, using animals to help students visualize the equation and the solution.

Chemistry: Elements 4D

The markers for Elements 4D are wooden blocks that students turn on their sides to create digital representations of different elements from the periodic table. Students can then move two elements together to see what kind of chemical reaction would be created. For example, combining two hydrogen blocks and one oxygen creates a block full of water.

Anatomy: Anatomy 4D

Anatomy is a lot easier to teach if you have a body to work with. Anatomy 4D is the next best thing. Students can scan a target image with a device to generate a 3D virtual model that they can explore and manipulate.

Language Learning: Google Translate

You may have heard of an app called Word Lens, where you could capture an image of a sign or other printed text and your screen would display the text in the language of your choice. Google bought that technology and rolled it into their comprehensive Google Translate app, which is available for both iOS and Android. As long as the text is printed neatly, it can be translated virtually, even keeping the same color and font. It’s great for traveling but can be used anywhere, including the classroom.

Looking for more great apps and online tools for the classroom? Check out these 10 FREE Digital Resources