Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Augmented Reality and SMART Goals

Our class recently completed writing their SMART goals for the first semester.  Past experience have taught me that many students tend to publish their goals and then file them away in their portfolios never to be seen again until evaluation time, usually at the end of the semester.  
For goal setting to truly be effective, students need a plan of action with checkpoints along the way to ensure they are meeting their set expectations.  Furthermore, their goals need to be easily accessible where they can be reflected upon at regular intervals.
I’ve been experimenting with a couple of augmented reality apps on my iphone recently and thought this technology could offer an interesting solution for motivating students to revisit, reflect and share their goals with others in the class.
Here is the process we went through to make this happen.  We first made a wall display of
student photos.

These were created using the ipad (self portraits) and then each portrait was run through an online photo enhancer  to give them all a slight cartoon appearance.   Students then videoed themselves using the class ipad, outlining what their SMART goals for the semester were. 
We then used a free augmented reality app, aurasma lite - only works on iphone and ipad, to create an “aura” of each of the students work.  For further explanation of what an aura is and how to create one, visit aurasma’s youtube channel.  
When the app is activated and the ipad camera is pointed at a particular self portrait, the student’s video of their goal explanation is superimposed on top of it.

Here is a video of students using the ipad and aurasma.  Apologies for the poor audio quality, but the video should illustrate the concept.

Certainly a real improvement on a static wall display of students goal setting!
There is a real “wow” factor amongst students when using this technology.  From a teacher’s perspective, this has provided me with further motivation to explore other teaching / learning opportunities for using augmented reality within the classroom programme.
I’ve set my class the challenge of thinking up some more uses for using this technology in their learning.
What about you? How else could you see augmented reality technology being used in the classroom? I’d be interested to hear your suggestions.

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