Tech Tools: Augmented Reality

The first time I saw augmented reality being demonstrated in a workshop, I can remember audibly saying "Wow!" The first time I showed an augmented reality app to students, that same word was repeated, along with many other exclamations about how amazing it was.

In the past year it seems that the number of AR apps has really increased creating some great potential for learning and fun! Best of all, all of the apps featured here are completely free!

colAR Mix

The first AR app I was ever introduced to is called colAR Mix. After downloading, you go to their website and print out any of a number of black and white pictures. After coloring the picture in, open the app and watch that very same picture come to life! They seem to be regularly updating the pictures that they offer, which is great. They have everything from a cute little sheep that kicks a soccer ball, to a cell where students can color in and label each of the different parts. Check out their video below to see just how amazing this app is!

ColAR Mix certainly isn't the only AR app out there. DAQRI has created a number of great AR apps that are educational and free as well.

Apps by DAQRI

Elements 4D is an app created by DAQRI that allows you to see chemical reactions take place in 4D. After printing out and assembling the cubes from their website, you can use the app to view what various chemicals actually look like in 4D. By placing two cubes together, you can actually see what the chemical reaction looks like! What an amazing way to help students actually visualize what happens when two chemicals mix.

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Another amazing app created by DAQRI is Anatomy 4D. Students can view all different systems at work in the human body to learn about anatomy and how the different systems fuction. Check out this video by DAQRI to see this incredible app.

DAQRI also has apps to view the human heart in 4D and the solar system. You can access these printables with the DAQRI app. I showed both to students at my school and they were truly amazed. They also had great ideas for different ways to explore the 4D images further. With the heart you can again view different One fun thing about the solar system 4D printable is that the closer you get to earth, the more you hear people talking and kids laughing. As you go further and further away, you start seeing planets, comets, and how things change at different views. It is truly incredible.

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Another AR app that I've had fun with recently is called Enchantium by DAQRI. This app has options for three games, a 4D fairy tale story, musical strings- where you can watch as the sound travels (sound waves lesson!), or a game that looks live a 4D version of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots,which can be played by two people. 
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If you're interested in creating your own augmented reality, DAQRI even has an Educator's Studio that educators can sign up with for free. I have just recently done this, so I'm sure there will be a future post about how this works.


Yet another AR app that has great reviews is Aurasma. With this app you can create markers that trigger "auras" to play. An aura is a video, image, or sound file that will play on loop when the marker is detected by this app. This video provides a great tutorial on how to create an Aurasma for a students project.

These are by no means the only AR apps out there. It is amazing what has been created with augmented reality. Just typing augmented reality into the app store pulls up a large number of great AR apps.

Here are a few sites to check out if you are interested in learning more about augmented reality apps to use in the classroom.

Two Guys and Some iPads

If you haven't explored augmented reality yet, you will be wowed! It is truly an amazing classroom tool and I highly recommend all educators take a look at the ways AR might be useful in their classrooms.

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