EdTech Trend: Getting Started with Augmented Reality

By Monica Burns 03.25.2015 blog
Credit: Elements 4D

Keeping students engaged throughout the school day can be a challenge. Interactive learning experiences for students are becoming a must. Augmented reality offers an exciting way for students to connect to content.

Augmented reality is technology that places digital content on top of the real world. Students scan an “augmented reality trigger” with a special app on their mobile device and see a two dimensional piece of paper come to life. There are tools for creating your own augmented reality triggers like Blippar and Aurasma. For teachers getting started with augmented reality there are a handful of apps with triggers already made for students.

For each of the apps described below, users need to download the app to their device, and then visit the website of the app developer to print a special augmented reality trigger. Users open the app on their device, and then hold their tablet or smartphone over the trigger to view the augmented reality creation.

Anatomy 4D

Students exploring systems of the body will be blown away by Anatomy 4D. This app has users print out a special diagram of informational text to get started. Then they open up the Anatomy 4D app and hold their device over the AR trigger. Students will see the human body and heart like never before.

colAR Mix

colAR Mix brings illustrations to life using augmented reality. Students can color in different pages and see their creations pop off of the page. It’s a great choice for students exploring augmented reality technology for the first time no matter what their age.


A neat augmented reality app, students will love ARBasketball. Using a special AR trigger kids can open this app and see a basketball hoop jump ready for interactive gaming. This free and fun app is a great brain break.

Elements 4D

Another augmented reality app for middle and high school students is Elements 4D. This app lets students interact with different elements and notice reactions when they are combined. Users can make paper blocks or use wooden ones created by this company.

As you explore the uses for augmented reality in your classroom you’ll have to find the balance between student engagement and content instruction. Ask yourself what the value is of each tool you introduce to students and how it connects and supports learning in your classroom. Students will love augmented reality and these apps will help you get started!

Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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