Originally created in 1968, augmented reality became a major buzzword in 2016 with the release of Pokémon Go®, a game that brought the popular tradable monster cards to life. And much the way people were catching creatures, you can use augmented reality and tech giveaways to capture student attention.
AR versus VR
As you bring this engaging tech into the classroom, it should be noted that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have some similarities but are not the same. VR presents a world or experience unrelated to the current environment, while AR “augments” reality by layering information or experiences on top of the real world. AR can be accessed through a smartphone, tablet or specialized gear by using apps with codes or triggers tied to predetermined physical locations. Uses for AR in (and out) of the classroom include:
Educational escape rooms
AR can take learning to new levels when you use it to transform part of your classroom or school into an escape room. Students will have to work together to answer questions, solve puzzles or perform activities in order to progress in the game. A phone holder and stand is the perfect tech giveaway idea to make it easier for students to hold onto their devices while they solve puzzles.
Far-out field trips
Using GPS coordinates, it’s possible to add layers of learning to a field trip. For example, one class in Greece wore clothing from the Middle Ages while they worked their way through a variety of challenges based on a story from that time period. If you don’t have access to a castle or other venue for learning on location, a combination of VR and AR can take students anywhere from a virtual trip to Paris to the bottom of the ocean. With a smartphone app and a pair of virtual reality glasses, your students can see every corner of the world. Using technology for an extended time can be a drain on device batteries. Provide power banks or charging cables to keep students amped up for learning.
Science laboratories contain a variety of rules and hazards that often need to be reviewed prior to performing experiments. AR can simplify this process by allowing students to scan AR triggers in the classroom that will display text or videos explaining how to safely perform experiments.
Students become teachers
Instead of requiring a written book report, have students create a video book review with sources that discuss the book or the book’s author. Link the review and additional information to the book using an app. With a smartphone or tablet, their classmates can scan the cover of the book, access the review and sources, and find other books which might interest them. A selfie stick is an ideal tech giveaway to make shooting their video a snap.
Beyond the real world
Finding a new way to get kids excited about learning is an amazing experience. And by combining AR with these tech giveaway ideas, you can bring a thrilling experience into the almost-real world.