Augmented Reality

Resources to get you started

Augmented Reality - Explained by Common Craft (Free Version)

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) changes the way we interact with the world by unlocking digital layers that are embedded into one-dimensional images. AR combines real world content with virtual content.

What if your classroom could come alive, just like the hallways in Harry Potter? Would your students be more engaged and ready to learn?

Learn the "how" and "why" as we look at some of the resources, app and activities currently available (for FREE) to students and teachers.

Just imagine what you can do with this type of technology in your classroom!

Augmented Reality Vocabulary

- Augmented Reality: Making items "come to life".

- Aura: Auras are augmented reality actions - images, videos, 3D animations or even games that appear when you point your mobile device at a real world image or object.

Each Aura is created by tying together two different pieces of information:

  • The trigger image or object which should cause the Aura to appear, for example a poster on a wall.
  • The overlay that is inserted into the world when you view the Aura, for example a video or animation.

To create an Aura you just need to pick one trigger image and one overlay, then decide where exactly the overlay will appear on the image.

-Trigger Image: A trigger image is one of the basic building blocks of an Aura. It is an image uploaded to our databases that will be detected when a user views it through the camera. When it is detected, an overlay will appear.

For example if you wanted a photo of yourself on the beach to launch a video from your holiday whenever you point your smartphone at it, then you would set the photo of yourself as the trigger image (and your holiday video as the overlay).

- Overlay: Overlays are images, videos, animations or even 3D models that appear whenever Aurasma sees an image that it recognises. For example if you want a photo of you on the beach to play a video from your holiday whenever you point your smartphone at it then you would set your holiday video as the overlay (and the photo of you as the trigger image).

Some Auras can have multiple overlays. For example, one overlay could be a video, and the second could be an image of a button saying "Click here for Special Offers!". See the Auras help for more details.

- Channel(s): In order to get content that is of interest to them, users search for and subscribe to particular channels. This could be a channel that brings their favorite magazine to life, or one that overlays information on signs and pictures at a museum.

All Auras must therefore be placed in a channel, and your users will only get to see your Auras by subscribing to the relevant channels. When making your own applications, you can automatically subscribe all users to your channels by default.

Let's look at some options for Augmented Reality in your classroom!

AR in the Classroom

Teaching with Aurasma

Educational Ideas for Augmented Reality

- Welcome Posters

- Interactive Bulletin Board

- Scavenger Hunt Activity

- Book reviews

- Homework helpers

- Student/Parent Information

- Tutorials/Intervention Resources

- Review Materials

- Quick Access to online materials

- Center Directions

- How to videos attached to classroom equipment

- Interactive Lessons - Enhance that lesson!

  • Demonstrate or Animate a Math Problem
  • Make History come alive- Interactive maps, Historical Figures, etc
  • Have students explain a concept to prove mastery
  • Link to a quick formative assessment
  • Introduce new apps with demos by students

- Student Projects Galore!

- School Newsletters

- Public Service Announcements

- Interactive Poster ........ and so much more!

Can you see the potential????

So what does it look like?

Aurasma Demo

Just a few examples in everyday items

  • A twenty dollar bill
  • Starbucks logo
  • Carrie Underwood music trailer- Blown Away
  • Marvel Comics - Movie trailers, too * also a Marvel AR app
  • Muppet Band-aids **** requires this app

What do I need to get started?

There are several apps to get you started. Today we will download the following:

Aurasma for iPads

Aurasma for Android Devices

AR Flashcards -Animal Alphabet- iPad

AR Flashcards for Android

ColarMix for iDevices

ColarMix App for Android devices

Layar App - all devices

Later this afternoon, we will look at the website Aurasma Studio.

Aurasma Studios lets us expand the "how" and "what" of Augmented Reality, create our Teacher Channels and more. Really neat stuff!

Layar App

  • Pearson Text - Envision Math
  • Maps, Magazines, Advertising, Video Games and so much more! **We will look at some examples using Layar

Layar is primarily used in the business and marketing fields. Educators can produce Layar products, but there is a fee per item.

AR Flashcards - Alphabet & Space

AR Flashcards are a new way to interact and make Flashcards more entertaining for toddlers and preschoolers. With AR Flashcards, learning is fun! When you point your device at the printed flashcard a beautifully rendered 3D animal will pop up on the screen. Tap the animal to hear the letter and animal name.

Free version: AR Flashcards - Animal Alphabet - Ages Toddler - Kindergarten This set also includes 6 Dinosaur cards. It it recommended that the cards are printed in color for the best results. You must download the AR Flashcards Alphabet App for the cards to be viewed.

Paid version: AR Flashcards - Space - $2.99 - With AR Flashcards Space, learning is fun! When you point your device at the printed flashcard a beautifully rendered 3D planetary object will pop up on the screen. Tap the planetary object to hear the name. Tap the info button to hear interesting facts!

Download and print the flashcards @

AR Ideas in Elementary from Karen's Technology Locker

Cyberchase Shape Quest by PBS

Three math-based games focused on geometry, spatial reasoning and problem solving.

Download the app and the game board from the PBS Kids Website

Our Discovery Island: Phonics Tricksters by Pearson

Teaches letter sounds by having the child chase and capture Tricksters with the camera on their iPhone or iPad. Two letter sounds are free; for $0.99 you can purchase the entire set.

The app can be downloaded here

Fetch! Lunch Rush

In this Augmented Reality, multi-player game, you need to keep up with lunch orders from Ruff’s movie crew. The challenge is keeping track of how many pieces of sushi everyone wants.

This game was funded by a grant from the Department of Education and is designed to supplement national standards for first and second grade math curricula.

ColarMix App

Probably one of my favorite!

Print, color and see your drawing in animated 3D worlds.

With the Dot Day page, you can create your own little worlds, diagram a cell and enjoy the process of creation.

Links to template pages

Dot Day Activity

AR Puzzles & Books

Ravensburger Augmented Reality UK

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.

AR Solar System

AR Solar System - Use AR Solar system to amaze your kids and encourage learning.

Reality of AFib

The "Reality of AFib" application is a real-time 3D medical education and patient communication tool, allowing the user to view a realistic and anatomically accurate 3D model of a heart from the exterior, and cross-sectional views. The application also shows the heart beating in normal sinus rhythm and atrial fibrillation.

Anatomy 4D

Anatomy 4D Through this free app and a simple printed image, Anatomy 4D transports students, teachers, medical professionals, and anyone who wants to learn about the body into an interactive 4D experience of human anatomy. Visually stunning and completely interactive, Anatomy 4D uses augmented reality and other cutting edge technologies to create the perfect vehicle for 21st century education.

How to Use Anatomy 4D:
To get started, email, print, or save any set of target images from the “Target Library” inside the app from the main menu. Now you’re ready to take an extraordinary 4D journey inside the human body and heart. Simply point your device at the target from the “Viewer” and watch the 4D Experience come to life.

Elements 4D

Elements 4D Part educational story and part game, the Elements 4D app offers a new, fun way to experience augmented reality and learn about real-life chemistry.

Paired with either paper or wood blocks that are inscribed with the symbols of 36 elements from the periodic table, this app will instantly transform a simple, inanimate object into dynamic, dimensional, 4D representations of each element.

Print the Interactive: Paper Blocks

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.

Click on one of the cards to download the entire set in PDF form. You can download the app from this site or the iTunes Store.

Catalog History with History pin!

History Pin is a way for millions of people to come together, from across different generations, cultures and places, to share small glimpses of the past and to build up the huge story of human history.

Everyone has history to share: whether its sitting in yellowed albums in the attic, collected in piles of crackly tapes, conserved in the 1000s of archives all over the world or passed down in memories and old stories.

Each of these pieces of history finds a home on Historypin, where everyone has the chance to see it, add to it, learn from it, debate it and use it to build up a more complete understanding of the world.

Historypin has been developed by the not-for-profit company We Are What We Do, in partnership with Google.

A Short Introduction To Historypin

Apps by

Chemistry 101 evolutionizes the way to study formulation. With this app you will have in your hands the elements of the periodic table so that you can create thousands of chemical compounds.

Chemistry 101 provides a new learning experience for both the student and the teacher, transforming the classroom into a laboratory thanks to Augmented Reality.

Geometry 101 allows you to study the properties of the most representative polyhedra of the mathematical world.

Thanks to Augmented Reality you can examine, from different points of view, various features of these geometric structures.

More AR apps for Fun

SuperHero Augmented Reality- Avengers @ Wal-Mart

ARBasketball - Print the marker from

Toy Racer RC - NEW! Toy Car RC works now also without printed targets - create custom targets easily with your camera. Just make one photo for every virtual world: use magazine covers, postcards or even paintings of your kids! Ready, Steady, GO!

So, let's Create our own lessons using the Aurasma app and the Aurasma Studio website

The Aurasma App (for iPads or Android devices) and the Aurasma Studio website provide educators the ability to create their own augmented reality activities and lessons. The following websites include step-by-step directions for using Aurasma.

We will walk through the process together, then begin to work on our own lesson activities and samples. Participants are then encouraged to share their lesson ideas, teacher channels and products.

Getting Started with Aurasma- Using iPad and Online Resources

You have 2 ways to begin creating you Auras:
  • Use the Aurasma app on your iPad or Android Tablet
  • Use the Aurasma Studios website

iPad and the Aurasma App:

  • Download the app from the iTunes store
  • Create your account
  • Let's explore the App

There are two basic buttons on the home screen
  • an "i" - for the users guide
  • an "A" which is the Aura button, this button provide the tools you will use to create, save and share your Auras

*if you are using the iPhone you will also have a lightening button in the top left to assist with lighting issues.

Handout: Getting Started with Aurasma on your iPad - Thank you Richard Wells

Using the website Aurasma Studio:

  • Set up your account, you can create a new account, or set it up with an existing iPad app account
  • The website provides more features for uploading triggers and overlays.
  • Be sure your channel is set to public if you wish to share items with your students.

Content can be added to make Auras, the augmented reality actions that appear when you point your phone at a real world image.

To make your first Aura, just follow these four simple steps.

  1. Upload a trigger image. (camera looking button)
  2. Upload an overlay image or video.
  3. Create a channel for your Auras to go in.
  4. Add the finished Aura to your channel.

***Be sure to make your channel public so you can share your Auras and students can access them. You can share the URL link to your channel with students, parents, other teachers and the general public.

Top Tips

Advanced Topics

Lesson Resources:

Teachers Pay Teachers This website includes several Augmented Reality activities/lessons. The following are links to free activities that can be downloaded.

There are other Augmented Reality lessons available for purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers. Type Augmented 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.

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My Contact Information

Karey Brown

Instructional Technology Specialist

Denton ISD

Twitter: @kareybrown88


Google Site: Instructional Tech

"Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world"

- Nelson Mandela