Thursday, 19 February 2015

Augmented calendar - Luna's wall of names

So in the previous instalment, I spoke about what Aurasma actually is and how it works, leaving you all with a bit of a cliff hanger. This time round I will make good on my promise and demonstrate how we have integrated the app in our learning hub. Time for the “Tourasma” Don’t worry, what we’ve used it for isn’t as remotely lame as my puns.
            You may have already seen our Rationalefor using AR in school  and “Howto” videos (really recommend watching these as it shows our finished product) if you frequent our blog. I will be going into a bit more detail of the ideas touched on in the first video, plus the process of our journey with Aurasma. Also, there will be more videos to follow so make sure you subscribe to Jim’s YouTubechannel so you don’t miss out on any more future content.
            So the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Jim’s big idea. We needed something to brighten up the empty wall space in our waiting room, plus we wanted a way of remembering all of our students' birthdays. But we didn’t want just your typical run of the mill birthday display, we went all out for an interactive birthday calendar, with the help of Aurasma to bring it to life.
            Having settled on an idea, we got to work on our new project. Jim did the donkey work of making a lovely calendar with everyone’s names and birthdays tagged on. There was a fear of a lack of wall space, but a bit of ingenuity from Jim and we just about squeezed in all 12 months. The next step was adding the Augmented Reality. Let the fun commence!
            As we wanted this to be a student orientated project, we counted on them to provide us with some good quality content. We set about drawing self portraits, accompanied with a video recording during lesson time. Self portraits are fairly self explanatory, but for the videos we tried to add some spice and variation. We recorded some of our young learners playing a game or singing a song, with the older ones building up to a short self introduction using familiar language. For teens and adults, we had a bit of fun getting them to record and interview each other as an alternative to a monologue self intro.
            Having assembled all the pieces to our puzzle, all we had to do was put them all together, with Aurasma being the glue. We added everyone’s drawings to the calendar in order to create their “Auras” (If you don’t know how to make your own "Aura", you can read the previous blog post or watch the how to video) A lengthy process overall but well worth the effort. What we are left with is a display that shows what our students get up to during lessons, what they are capable of and how much fun they have, on top of serving as a birthday calendar. It’s a great feature for when we have visitors, as it allows them a peak at what goes on in ALL of our classes. Can’t come to observe one our classes due to time restrictions? No problem, you can have a look at what those students get up to with our birthday . The look of shock and wonder when parents and visitors alike see one our students pop up and their device and starts talking/singing never gets old.

We had a blast putting together our project and we would highly recommend you trying something similar. I will be following this up with another post on some of the difficulties we faced, and things we would do differently with a little hindsight. If you would like to see the display yourselves, don’t hesitate to swing by Luna to witness the magic of Aurasma.