Monday, March 18, 2013

mARch: Play with Plants in Cactus AR

Cactus AR is a simple, free app for iPhone and iPad (camera required) that provides you with a context to engage students in "taking care of" an augmented reality plant. After downloading the free app, you can email yourself and print a "marker," a piece of paper that functions like a QR Code. Many AR technologies function this way, by scanning a marker that brings up an image- it's very cool and will give you a "wow!" factor with your students!

In addition to providing an animation (a funky-cute little cactus), Cactus AR is interactive! Each day you can check in on your cactus and give it a water mist and fertilizer- just don't overdo it! A meter shows you how much to provide:

Ultimately, Cactus AR is a simple use of augmented reality that replaces the messy process of having kids take care of real plants. In either case, they have an interactive and visual experience that reinforces the categorical (sun, plants, water), causal and quantitative concepts around plant life, a key aspect of the science curriculum. A good, though small example of FIVES- Fairly Priced, Interactive, Visual, Educationally Relevant, and Speechie.

Common Core Connection:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1g Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).

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