Yesterday, before we went to the hair salon, I told my daughter to “bring your crayons.” She looked at me with one raised eyebrow. She is ten, and doesn’t really “color” anymore. “It’s a surprise,” I said.
While I was getting my hair colored, so was the two-dimensional young lady on one of the coloring sheets I provided my skeptical daughter. The real fun came when we used the ColAR app on my iPad to bring her drawing to life. Before we knew it, we were demonstrating the app to the owner of the hair salon and 4 other customers. A shy, five-year-old girl delightedly took one of the other sheets I offered, and giggled excitedly when we made her teddy bear, complete with the monogrammed t-shirt she had designed, gesturing to her from the page.
ColAR is an augmented reality app (available on both iTunes and Google Play) that has been touted on several websites in the last 24 hours, but I first read about it on Larry Ferlazzo’s “Website of the Day.” On the website, there are several coloring pages that you can print out to use with the app. Once a picture is colored, you use the app on your device to scan the colored picture, and it will become a virtual 3-d picture. I like Larry’s idea to have students write stories about the drawings, as I’m sure young students would be totally motivated to create original writing once they see their pictures move.
ColAR is limited right now. There are only 6 coloring pages at the moment – but you can see from their Pinterest board that kids can come up with many variations for those pages. The app is free, but be forewarned. To “unlock” all of the current pages, at this time you need to make an in-app upgrade to the full version. The full version is free until 7/28/13. However, if you have an institutional iPad (in other words, one belonging to a school district), in-app purchases may be blocked – even if they are free. I ran into this problem on my school iPad, but was able to access everything on my personal one, thankfully – or I would have had some explaining to do to my daughter!
For more on Augmented Reality, you might want to visit this post, as well as Richard Byrne’s post on augmented reality in education. Also, here is another use of an augmented reality app “for fun.”