Tuesday, December 15, 2015

AR: Book Reviews with Aurasma

AR. No, it's not a reading program, or an acronym for your favorite candy. AR, or augmented reality, is just one of the ways we are using technology in our classroom.

Have you ever stood in the library, searching for your next great read? Want to know what other students are reading, and hear reviews from people who have read the book you are interested in reading? And, best of all, have the review be from someone your own age?
Students work together to embed their videos into Aurasma

Augmented Reality is allowing us here at Pier 112 do just that. And, lucky for us, the show Reading Rainbow is making a comeback. Before Thanksgiving break, we kicked off this fun activity with a few quick videos (yes I even threw in an old one) of the Reading Rainbow book reviews. Students evaluated the reviews for content, quality, and engagement. Over the break, they read a book and wrote a short, one minute or less book review. When we came back, they went to work.
Students worked together to capture their trigger images and test each others' "auras"

What a great opportunity to embed so many concepts into one lesson. Collaboration? Students troubleshot technology issues with Aurasma, the augmented reality iPad application of choice. Assess writing skills? Students submitted a copy of their script before recording their videos. Practice fluency skills? Students practiced reading their script before filming their videos.

Now, hanging in our library are several pictures of books the students can choose from to see a review.

Interested in using Aurasma for your next project? Watch this short how-to video and find out how.

It's All About the Ocean

That's true this week at Pier 112, where our class is docked. This week marks the beginning of our venture into the sea, where we will explore underwater food webs, underwater research with ROVs, the interaction between land, water and air, and most importantly: Why people should care about the ocean.

Giuliana on Skype
We kicked off our next PBL, or problem-based learning unit, with a Skype session with one of NOAA's scientist, modeler and oceanographer Giuliana Turi. She talked to our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students about her love of the ocean, Swiss chocolate and cheese, and her studies in ocean acidification. She was amazing! Keeping 90 students engaged for half an hour is quite a feat. We are excited to continue to work with her through this unit.
3rd, 4th and 5th graders at CSA tune in to the Skype with NOAA scientist Giuliana Turi