Augmented Reality in year 9 geography

Every year that I’ve taught year 9 geography, the Interconnections unit has always been assessed with a multimodal presentation, which more often than not, has lead to PowerPoint presentations. This year, I’m changing it up and using Augmented Reality!

How?! You might ask… well, we’re using posters as the “triggers” and then using HP Reveal Studio to upload the “overlays.” For a quick explanation of what Augmented Reality is, you can check out this video:

I teach 3 year 9 geography classes at the moment, which presents a unique opportunity – I’ve decided to get my students to create a bit of a “travel showcase,” which each class will contribute to. I will then allow all 9 geography students to wander through the showcase and see each other’s work. Obviously, this type of cross-class sharing isn’t possible with PowerPoint presentations, so my students are very excited. It’s also taken the pressure off the assessment, because they are not expected to speak in front of their peers.

You still might be wondering “how?!” So, allow me to step it out for you:

Step 1: Students create accounts on the online platform: HP Reveal Studio

*Students will be unable to “follow” each other unless they have already made an Aura

Step 2: Download the HP Reveal app on their phones

Step 3: Students to use online platform or app to create Augmented Realities – HP Reveal call them Auras*

*Students will be unable to follow each other in the next step if they haven’t made their first Aura

Step 4: “Share campaign” through online platform and copy campaign link (otherwise, all Augmented Realities created will remain private)

Step 5: Paste campaign link in a class Google Doc

Step 6: Follow each other by clicking on campaign links in Google Doc

Step 7: Use app to find and view Auras* made by class members

*I had made one to go with the task sheet, so once the students followed me they were able to view it.

There were some lessons learned in setting the accounts up, like:

  1. I didn’t know that you had to create your first Aura before someone could follow you.
  2. Students are unlikely to try something “techy” without step-by-step instructions so we had to wait for everyone to complete each step before moving on (I thought that year 9s would be more willing to have a go, but obviously not!)
  3. When searching for an Aura through the app for the first time, it can take a while to load, so be patient!

In doing this task there is, of course, an element of risk. Whenever you try new technology for anything there’s always that “what if it doesn’t work?” question hanging around, but I have a plan! If the Augmented Reality aspect doesn’t work, the students are still required to make a poster, collect and analysis information, and produce visual/auditory aids, such as movies, graphs, and voice overlays. I can collect each of these elements and mark these without the Augmented Reality software. I am going to set up a Google Drive folder for each group to submit their work into, just in case! I have a good feeling about this task though, and don’t expect to need this.

Overall, I’m excited to see how this assessment item goes. I know that my students are actually excited about it which in itself is a win!

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