Last mARch I focused on applications of augmented reality (AR) in education. Augmented reality is the technological process of accessing digital information in our analog world. Location or device orientation information, printed "markers" or other data are used, often in conjunction with a mobile device camera, to display relevant information. AR has a major "cool" factor and is very engaging for students to use- often they have not ever experienced anything quite like it!
AR can be quite simple to use as well, as is the case with apps such as AR Flashcards-Animal Alphabet, which I wrote about last year and also just won the 2013 Best Mobile App in Education Edublog Award. The folks who created this app have targeted another topic- the Solar System- in their new app AR Flashcards- Space ($.99)!
This app would be a fun tool to incorporate for students studying space, the solar system or an earth/sun/moon unit. After you print a set of colored flashcards (available here if you would like to preview them), launch the app and point your rear-facing camera at a card. The planet depicted will appear in dynamic 3-D. Tap the planet to hear its name (SLPs, let's acknowledge that the articulation of the students who recorded the planet names, well, has some errors) and another button will play a paragraph-length audio description of the planet.
-The images that appear are great stimuli for descriptive language skills- what do you notice about the planets?
-The information played auditorily for each planet is schematic (focusing on category, e.g. gas planet, temperature and other features) so could be used for auditory comprehension activities or also perhaps to fill out a planetary scavenger hunt graphic organizer of facts about each planet.
-This app could also be paired with Aurasma to create your own content about the planets or another topic.
AR Flashcards-Space is well worth it for $.99!