At the end of last year I decided to start the school year with an Aurasma tour of the building. I had two of my outgoing 8th graders take videos of themselves talking about different important places in the school like the main office, and the gym.
I then took pictures of the the areas and made them the trigger images for the auras.
Today we gave the kids iPads we borrowed from the high school and the students went on the Aurasma tour. It was tons of fun! The students loved using the technology and thought it was so cool.
The tour was not without some issues. Here is what I learned from my experience:
My goal for this project was to introduce our students to Aurasma and give them the opportunity to use it themselves. I think I accomplished this and I can't wait to think of different ways to use Aurasma with our students this year!
Aurasma has changed my teaching for the better!
I decided to change things up with our author study unit and have Aurasma as one of the choices. Students had to make an Animoto video about their authors and then make those videos into an Aura. To do that they needed to choose a trigger image that symbolized their author or a character from their book.
First, I taught the students how to use Animoto and the students loved it because it was so easy to use. They also loved the ability to personalize it by choosing different backgrounds and music. Then it was on to teaching them Aurasma. I started out by setting up accounts for every student but realized that was going to be too much so I set up a class account.
I then talked to and demonstrated for students the three step process used to make an Aura in the Aurasma studio. I also posted the instructions on my Edmodo page so students had a place to go back and review it. Here are the instructions that I wrote down for them:
Steps for aurasma:
1. Download the trigger image to your computer (the trigger image is whatever image you want scanned to make the aurasma work..ie book, model you made, drawing etc)
2. Click on Trigger image
3. Upload your trigger image - make sure to name it and put the location as south orange middle school
4. Go to animoto and download your finished video
5. Click on Overlay
6. Upload the animoto video - make sure you name it - Click Save
7 . Click on Aura
8. Click on tigger image and find the trigger image you made-Click Save
9. Click on Channel make sure you choose South Orange Middle Library
10. Click on overlay and find the overlay you made.
11. Click save! You have made your aurasma!!
Having the Edmodo page really helped because it was a great way for students to ask questions when they ran into trouble at home. The students either posted their questions on my wall or Direct Messaged me and I was quickly able to help them. What made it even better was that students started to help other students with their issues!
Yesterday in class we saw some of the Auras and I was so impressed with what they had done! The image above is of a student's robot that he built as his trigger image. He then drew the robot picture on it and used that as his trigger image! Another student made a cube with different images from her author's life. Instead of just choosing one as her trigger image she made it that a number of the different pictures trigger the Animoto video.
I was blown away with the creativity of my 6th graders and I can't wait to see what they can do next.
Make sure to follow us on the Aurasma app to see all of the Auras the students made. There are two channels that we used for this project. Our main one South Orange Middle School Library and also Ms. Foreros Period 2 Class.
Hi my name is Mary, and I am in 6th grade. The other day, Mrs. Malespina introduced the class to Aurasma through a video (watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frrZbq2LpwI) and in it there was a picture in the newspaper. Inside the picture you could see a tennis player playing at Wimbledon. The curator held up his phone and scanned the picture, and almost immediatley the woman started moving and you could hear her talking. My first thought was that it was exactly the way J. K. Rowling described the wizard newspapers in Harry Potter. I was so fascinated by this that I started experimenting with a smartphone. It was so cool! There were kinks, but most of them worked. Mrs. Malespina even showed us how to make them!
After class I came up to Mrs. Malespina and asked her about it. I was upset because I did not own a smartphone or an ipad, which is required to use Aurasma. Mrs. Malespina showed me the online version called Aurasma Studio, which allows you to do more detailed overlays and even adding more than one. This morning I made my own Aura on the cover of a Harry Potter book. For the overlay I added a video of J.K. Rowling talking about her new Harry Potter game called Pottermore. (See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEu6fNbjbO4) It was supposed to take you to her webpage when the video is finished, but since I don't have a smartphone, I could not test it.
I got to school and told Mrs. Malespina. She was very excited that I was making videos. Then my friend Hanna asked me to show her how to do it. So we set the trigger image as the first Harry Potter book, and added the overlay as a video on J.K. Rowling that Hanna made for an author study project. Mrs. Malespina walked by and was so...happy that one student was teaching another, that she started taking photos.
I think that Aurasma is an amazing way to get information quickly. It is fun to use as a tool of learning, and as an activity to pass the time.
Today was one of those days that I truly love my job!
Today my students learned about the amazing augmented reality app called Aurasma.
Thanks to my friend Sandra Paul the Director of Technology for the Sayreville School District, I learned about this free app a few weeks ago. She told me about how one of her librarians, Danielle DeCarolis, was using it in her grad class at Seton Hall University and was starting to use it in her K-3 library.
After going home and researching the app more I became addicted and saw so many amazing potential uses in schools. As one of my students said today, "Aurasma is like combining YouTube and Instragram and QR codes all together into one really cool thing." I will never do it justice by writing about it. Aurasma is truly one of those things you need to see to understand.
Here is the link to the TED talk by Aurasma's founders which I showed to my students today. I wish you could have seen the look of amazement on their faces when they watched the video. It was one of those moments that all teachers love to see.
After we watched the TED talk I explained to the students that we would be making our own Auras and the kids were so excited! I showed the students some of the Auras that I made using the students' Animoto videos that they made for their author study units and used books by each author as triggers. I also made a few videos about the library and used the different areas of the library as triggers. All of our Auras can be found by searching and following the South Orange Middle School Channel on the Aurasma app. The kids could hardly control their excitment when I showed them the Auras. They all wanted their Animoto video to be an Aura and were even more excited when I told them they would be learning how to do it themselves.
I then showed the students the app by hooking up my iPhone to the Smartboard. I allowed our students who had smart devices to take them out and download the Aurasma app. I love that our school has a BYOD policy in place. It really made the experience so much better for my students to be able to have enough devices to look at all the Auras. We made sure that students who did not have devices were paired with ones that did so no one was left out of the fun.
I also showed the students ways to make Auras using their devices and the app. Within minutes students were making their own Auras and showing them to other students.
Over the next few weeks I will be working with the team 6B students to make Auras for their ET project in Science Class. The students will be designing Aliens that can live on different planets that they have studied previously. In the past students would have given a PowerPoint presentation explaining their ET and why they designed it that way. Now we are going to have the students make a video to explain their ET and then use the ET they designed as the trigger. When a person scans the ET with the Aurasma app they will see the video of the student talking about his or her ET.
We are also planning on using Aurasma for a historical fiction picture unit and a Scavenger Hunt for incoming 6th graders on the first day of school. Stay tuned for more information on those adventures.
The students had so much fun today and can't wait to begin making their Auras. I heard many say, "I can't wait to go home and show my parents." I know it was the talk of the dinner table tonight and will be for days to come. I love days like this when the excitement for learning is so palpable!
Watching the excitement of my students today is why I love my job!
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. Find my full resume above.