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How Augmented Reality with iPads is Changing the Classroom

posted Nov 9, 2018, 11:55 AM by Mason Mason

How Augmented Reality with iPads is Changing the Classroom

Kids today have more resources at their fingertips than ever before. Raised in the digital era, most children have traded outside playtime for iPads and other mobile devices for communication and entertainment. Today’s students are the first to grow up amidst such aggressive advancements in mobile technology, and in order to be smart communicators, educators need to adapt to the latest tech trends. Over the years, tech in the classroom has been met with mixed views. Usually deemed as a distraction, cellphones were banned in a lot of schools, according to an article by The Atlantic. But even back then, eliminating tech wasn’t the solution. Now, it’s safe to say that teachers have learned to embrace educational technology in the name of progress.

A previous post here on Teaching With iPad sheds light on the unique ways you can use iPad devices creatively in the classroom, one of which is via augmented reality (AR). In light of recent advancements, teachers are finding ways use AR in the classroom. Students are already using AR-powered apps like Pokémon Go or Snapchat for entertainment, which means that the challenge, then, is to help them learn using this technology. Here are some notable apps to check out for learning.


Image credit: Real Estate Magazine Canada

Instead of spending thousands on heavy textbooks for each student, iPads provide a more cost-effective solution. The device is able to deliver interactive content that can be used in the classroom or at home. It is also more portable, making it easier for students to carry and more cost-effective in the long run.

Even print materials can come to life on an iPad screen with Layar. This app can scan magazines, newspapers, and other materials, and turn them into rich digital experiences.

Visual learning

Image credit: Technabob

It is a known fact that different students have different styles of learning that call for personalized methods of teaching. Very Well Family states that students with visual-spatial intelligence learn best when taught using written, modelled, or diagrammed instructions and visual media. These students are less inclined towards auditory-sequential teaching methods such as lectures, recitations, drills, and repetition. AR allows visual learners to grasp concepts better than when delivered by a teacher in class lectures.

For chemistry students, Elements 4D puts a face on all the compounds and concepts. The app shows dynamic 4D representations of elements and chemical equations. Students can even combine elements to see the reaction as it occurs in nature.

Image credit: Curiscope

According to Forbes, Virtuali-Tee presents a cool new way to learn about human anatomy. By pointing a device at different parts of a student’s t-shirt that represents the human body, Virtuali-Tee (app link) breaks down human physiology and anatomy for easier learning.

Transporting Students Places

AR has the power to take students to places a school bus cannot. Blippar (iTunes link), for example, puts learners right at the center of the solar system as planets orbit around them. Learners have the option to select which planet they’d like to discover more through a single tap.

Image credit: Blippar

To travel back in history, kids can use Dino Park AR+ (iTunes link), which builds a virtual prehistoric world around their surroundings. Watch in awe as dinosaurs can be seen moving around the classroom.

Image credit: Apple World Today

Making learning more fun

It can sometimes be a challenge to make kids interested in mentally taxing topics like math or science. Often, they have to resort to memory, which has long been proven ineffective in retaining knowledge. Thankfully, AR can make the process worth remembering since it offers more immersive experiences.

Image credit: iTunes

Those learning English can practice their language chops with Our Discovery Island: Phonic Trickers (iTunes link). The game follows a group of “Tricksters” who escaped from Our Discovery Islands and are stealing letters from the English Bank of Phonemes. Players must chase these phonic Tricksters to “save the English language,” while improving their understanding of phonics along the way.

Image credit: Fete! Lunch Rush

Fete! Lunch Rush, on the other hand, is geared towards students looking to brush up on their math skills. The premise is simple: players must keep up with lunch orders by answering basic math problems and thinking on their feet.

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Written by: Emma Pierce