This has been a very busy term for anyone working in a school, in particular anyone in a position of leading a department. It’s the time of year when school leaders begin to build plans for next academic year as they get ready for the new financial budget to be set. I have been in the middle of redesigning my curriculum and handling last minute purchasing, but not without managing to try out a new piece of technology for World Book Day.
WBD is a special day for primary teachers across the globe as its a day where books come to life, children and adults alike dress up as their favourite fictional characters, myself as Curious George, and share their love of literacy. To commemorate this special day and capitalise on the face that many of my pupils were already in costume, I decided to use the green screen to create video linked to augmented reality targets.
For anyone in the same boat as me before this lesson, with no clue what exactly augmented reality is or how it works. It’s a means of linking preselected picture, video or animation to a ‘target’ image that when scanned using an App like Aurasma or Quiver will display the video. Augmented reality is not particularly complicated or new technology, it is in fact used often for product labels or displays in museums. However, it’s adaptation to the classroom is a relatively new frontier, which has been modelled to me only by Apple Distinguished Educators, us humdrum teachers haven’t gotten their yet.
This lesson involved four steps and took two afternoons to complete for all thirty children in my class:
1- Find and print a target image (in this case I used a picture of the book cover that the children brought in)
2- Plan a small video or picture to link to the target.
3- Record your video. In this step pupils selected background images and used the green screen to record a video exemplifying a key characteristic of their favourite character.
4- Children log in to the app and link their video to their target image.
This lesson was meant to explore a new pedagogy so it wasn’t fully harnessed as an immersive writing tool or adapted to suit a maths lesson. But after seeing the children’s engagement with the texts they brought it I was blown away at the potential in this technology to engage pupils, along with developing digital literacy.