Augmented and Virtual Reality

J2 Training - Janet Corder & Joan Gore

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What is Augmented Reality?

What if your classroom came alive just like the hallways in Harry Potter? Would your students be more engaged and ready to learn? Probably so! Augmented Reality (AR) changes the way students interact with the world by unlocking digital layers that are embedded into flat, one-dimensional images. AR adds digital elements to what is being viewed live. Virtual Reality (VR) completely immerses the viewer into a digital, augmented environment.

Let's explore some of the activities that are currently available to students and teachers and imagine what the future holds for your classroom with Augmented and Virtual Reality!

Click here for an article explaining the differences between Augmented and Virtual Reality.

Other blogs/articles:

Google AR

This cool trick only works on phones/iPads that are AR-enabled.

On your phone:
  1. Open Safari.
  2. Type in
  3. Type bear in the search box Scroll down until you see Meet a Life-sized Bear in 3D.
  4. Open it up Click on AR at the top.
  5. Point your camera at something light if the bear is transparent.

Here’s how to look at life-sized animals in AR through Google Search

AR Flashcards Alphabet

  1. Download and print in color the Alphabet Flashcards from
  2. Download the AR Flashcards App from the Apple or Google Play store.
  3. Open the AR Flashcards App and press Get Started.
  4. Hover your device over a flashcard. Make sure you touch the image when it appears.

Ideas from Karen's Technology Locker:
-shuffle the flashcards and have students alphabetize them
-shuffle the cards, lay a limited number out, have students build beginning or ending sounds
-shuffle the cards, lay them out and have students spell their name (you may need two decks of cards)
-print two sets of cards and play memory
-count the legs of each animal
-identify the color of each animal
-identify the number of syllables in each animal word that is on the flashcard

Ar Flashcards Shapes and Colors ($2.99)

  1. Download and print in color the Shapes and Colors Flashcards from
  2. Download the AR Shapes and Colors App from the Apple or Google Play store.
  3. Open the AR Shapes and Colors App and press Get Started.
  4. Hover your device over a flashcard. Make sure you touch the image when it appears.

AR Flashcards Space ($2.99)

  1. Download and print in color the Space Flashcards from
  2. Download the AR Space App from the Apple or Google Play store.
  3. Open the AR Space App and press Get Started.
  4. Hover your device over a flashcard. Make sure you touch the image when it appears.

Note: AR Flashcards has recently added a free version of AR Space, however, there are ads associated with the app.

AR Flashcards Addition ($3.99)

  1. Download and print in color the Addition Flashcards from
  2. Download the AR Space App from the Apple Store.
  3. Open the AR Addition App and press Get Started.
  4. Hover your device over a flashcard. Make sure you touch the image when it appears.

The Dot

  1. Download and print the Dot coloring page from the
  2. Download the Quiver App from the Apple or Google Play store.
  3. Have students color a picture related to your curriculum inside the Dot. Be careful not to color over the black outlines too much.
  4. Open the Quiver app and watch your picture come to life! Touch the purple circle to see more images.

Coloring Pages for Creative Writing

  1. Download and print any of the coloring pages from the Some of the sets of pages require you to make an in-app purchase.
  2. Download the Quiver App from the Apple or Google Play store.
  3. Have students color one of the pages. Be careful not to color over the black outlines too much.
  4. Have the students write a creative story based on their pictures.
  5. Open the Quiver app and watch your picture come to life!

  • Tennis shoe - "When my tennis shoes came to life..."
  • Hot air balloon - "My hot air balloon took me to..."

Other Educational Quiver Coloring Pages

There are other Quiver coloring pages available, including the following:

  • Design a Flag
  • Earth
  • Plant Cell
  • Animal Cell
  • Volcano
  • Platonic Solids includes different solid figures. Some pages are free, but there is an in-app purchase for other pages.

Quiver Education - 3D Coloring App ($7.99)

The Quiver Education - 3D Coloring App includes all of the current and future paid, in-app purchases.

Quiver Fashion

Quiver Fashion was recently added to their website. The pages include Fashion Models and Fashion Show.

NASA Spacecraft 3D

Spacecraft 3D gives students the opportunity to learn about and interact with spacecraft that have been used to explore our solar system, study Earth and observe the universe.

  1. Download the trigger/target image from NASA.
  2. Download the app for IOS from the iTunes Store. The Android app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
  3. Hover your device over the trigger/target image to discover the various spacecraft used by NASA.

Popar Smart Charts

There are currently 6 Popar Smart Charts available for purchase on their website. The include:
  • World Map
  • Human Anatomy
  • Periodic Table of Elements
  • The Solar System
  • Geography and Nations

Freedom Stories

The Augmented Reality Freedom Stories highlight the activities of the participants from the Underground Railroad. Download and print in color the Freedom Stories cards from the Harriet Tubman Institute. Hint - click on one of the cards to download the entire series in PDF format. The app can also be downloaded from this site or the iTunes store.

Amazing Space Journey

Explore the Solar System via the Amazing Space Journey app. Download the board here.

SkyView® Free - Explore the Universe

Point your iPhone, iPad or iPod at the sky to identify stars, constellations, satellites and more! There are in-app purchases for satellites and star-gazing music.

SkyView® is available for $1.99 and includes many more features, including the ability to see the night sky via your Apple watch.

Star Walk ($4.99)

• Launch the Star Walk app and point your device at the night sky. As you move your device, the star map updates in real time.
• Tap the Augmented Reality icon in the upper right corner to add the image from your camera to your sky view.

This app does not use a trigger image.

Star & Planet Finder

The Star & Planet Finder app guides you to view stars, planets, constellations and satellites in the sky. Choose a planet from the list and move your device according to the pointer display.

This app does not require a trigger image.

Cyberchase Shape Quest

Cyberchase Shape Quest by PBS includes three math-based games focused on geometry, spatial reasoning and problem solving. The app and game board can be downloaded from the PBS Kids website.


Chromville Science - Chromville Science joins art, technology, science and the eight Multiples Intelligences, promoting the development of kid’s creativity and their motivation for the learning process according to their needs and preferences

Our Discovery Island: Phonic Tricksters

Phonic Tricksters by Pearson English teaches letter sounds by having the child chase and capture Tricksters with the camera on their iPhone or iPad. There is an in-app purchase to release more Tricksters if desired. The app can be downloaded from the iTunes store.

AR Liver Viewer

The AR Liver Viewer is designed for secondary and beyond students and medical professionals in order to give them a more advanced look at how the liver functions. Read about the various tools included in this AR app under Features on the iTunes download page.
Download the trigger image here.

The Brain 3D Augmented Reality App

Use The Brain 3D App to explore the tissues, structures and areas of the brain by moving the device over the picture.

You can choose to view the mind in AR or switch to a 3D mode within the app. Use your fingers to rotate the image.

AR Art

Aim your device at the target picture to watch the photo come to life.

Photos and the app can be downloaded from the AR Art website.

Crayola Color Alive

Crayola and Daqri have recently announced the new Color Alive Coloring Books and App. There are 8 coloring books available for purchase online or at many stores that sell Crayola products.
The available books are:
  • Mythical Creatures
  • Barbie
  • Enchanted Garden
  • Skylanders
  • Minions
  • Monster High
  • Frozen
  • Avengers

Sample pages to download:

Trial Download - dragon
Trial Download - fairy

Trial Download - WashBuckler

Trial Download - Barbie

Trial Download - Elsa

Trial Download - Iron Man

Crayola Easy Animator

The Crayola Easy Animator lets kids create animated videos using their own character designs or use the characters in the app. When the character is scanned with the app, the design becomes a 3D character. The app also allows for voice narrations.
Retail price - $24.99

Statue of Liberty AR

The Statue of Liberty app uses augmented reality to let you explore Lady Liberty from all angles. The app includes the history of the statue, a life-size model, a look inside and more.

Walking With Dinosaurs: Photo Adventure

Want to add a dinosaur to your next photo? Walking With Dinosaurs: Photo Adventure app pictures can be saved to your camera roll to include in app-smashing activities.


Zookazam lets you experience a jungle safari or be surrounded by dinosaurs. The free version allows you to view one animal in each category. The paid version (99 cents) allows you to view all of the animals. There are two targets on the website, or you can use a one-dollar bill as your target.

Curiscope Virtuali-Tee

Learn about the human body with this t-shirt and app! You can purchase the t-shirt from the Curiscope website or from Amazon.

Squiggle Fish (2.99)

Use a thick black pen/marker and draw a fish on a piece of white paper. Color the fish in with any color(s) you want.

When you're happy with your fish, open the Squiggle Fish app and swipe down. Hold the iPad over your drawing. Watch as it magically comes to life!

Makes a great class pet!

Purchase the app here.


Osmo mixes Augmented Reality with traditional board games for an engaging learning experience. There are currently four games available:




Pizza Co.

The Osmo currently sells for $99, $145 and $189.00, depending on which games are included in the bundle.

Google Cardboard

Turn your smartphone into a virtual reality viewer with the Google Cardboard Viewer (available on Amazon) and any of the Cardboard Apps now available.
Google Cardboard App

25 Best Google Cardboard Apps for iOS and Android

Teachers Pay Teachers

Teachers Pay Teachers includes several Augmented and Virtual Reality activities/lessons. Type Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality into the search box to find them. Check the site often to discover newly added activities! You must create a free account in order to download.

View-Master Virtual Reality

Check out the world of virtual reality with the View-Master Virtual Reality and enter various 360-degree environments.

1. Download one of the View-Master VR apps to your smartphone

2. Place a smartphone into the viewer, look at the Preview Reel and simply click the lever to launch the VR experience.

Purchase the Starter Kit from Amazon.


The New York Times Virtual Reality App lets you immerse yourself in the stories from their award-winning journalists. This app is available for IOS and Android.

Google Tour Builder

Google Tour Builder allows you to add a series of locations on a map that users can click through as if they are on an actual tour.

Google Street View

Google Street View uses Google Maps and Google Earth to allow users to visit locations throughout the world. Take your students to a National Park or a famous museum with this IOS and Android App.

Make a 360 Degree VR Image in Facebook

Facebook can turn your panoramic pictures into a 360 degree VR image. All you have to do is upload an panoramic image and then your friends and family can view the picture by tilting their phones, or by dragging their finger or cursor around the photo.

Minecraft to Release New Augmented Reality Game 'Minecraft Earth'

The beta version will be available for iOS and Android mobile devices this coming summer. Watch the video preview here.

Experience Real History - The Alamo

Experience Real History: Alamo Edition - Travel back in time and visit the Alamo with these Augmented Reality products. Let your students engage in historically accurate adventure scenes with Personalized Reality Boards™, Reality Books™ and Trading Reality Cards™. Download the IOS and Google Play apps here.

Gettysburg should be released in July 2019.

Lincoln AR

The folks that brought us AR Alphabet Flashcards have released an app about President Lincoln. There is nothing to print! The app uses the floor as the trigger image.

Notable Women AR

Are your students studying great women in America's history? Try the Notable Women app to see 100 historic American women on U.S. currency.

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