Things got lively in first grade this week as students got a first hand introduction to a technology known as augmented reality, which you have to see to believe. If you’ve ever shopped for LEGOs at the large Toys R Us store in Manhattan, perhaps you held a LEGO kit in front of a screen that displayed how the finished model will look in 3D. If so, you’ve been exposed to augmented reality. Today, boys used iPads and an app called colAR Mix, to experiment with a flying dragon as part of their mythical creatures discussions. Teacher Nicole Biondo explained the connection to their classroom work: “During our study of Ancient Italy, the boys learn about mythical creatures. They listen to stories about these creatures and discover why and how they are tied into Roman daily life. As a class, one way we can expand our understanding is to recreate a mythical creature through mosaics. However, before the boys do this, they will first use colAR Mix. This app will provide fun inspiration that will foster conversations about one mythical creature and perhaps inspire the design some of their own mythical creatures as well.”
First boys colored their dragon drawing (printed from the colAR Mix app), and then listened to a brief introduction on how to hold the iPad for the image to appear. This was the first time this app was used in the classroom and we discovered that some of the pictures would not engage the software to produce a 3-D image; but boys colored new dragons and everyone gained success.
When we ended the activity, we sorted the pictures into ones that worked and ones that didn’t. As Nicole has time, the boys are going to examine the different images to see if they can discover the difference between those that worked and those that didn’t. They will look for patterns and develop hypotheses to test with the app during their free time. Check back for their recommendations on how to color the drawings so that they will be successful with the colAR Mix app!