Category Archives: Augmented Reality

A Cornucopia of Creative and Critical Thinking Activities for Thanksgiving

from the Autumn S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packet, "Put to Another Use"
from the Autumn S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packet, “Put to Another Use”  This student decided a hay wagon could be used as a Space Simulator for animals!

Many of us in the States have only a week and a half left before the Thanksgiving holidays. Here are a few resources that might be fun to sprinkle into the curriculum as everyone starts running for the light at the end of the tunnel.  All of them are free except for my shameless plug at the end 🙂

Pumpkin Adaptations – a cute activity from Miss Trayers at “Not Just Child’s Play”

Thanksgiving Thinking Hats  – I use this with my 2nd graders to see if they can “think about their thinking” (see my Thinking Hats post for more info)

A Thanksgiving Timeline via Google Earth – a wonderful way to integrate Thanksgiving, Technology, and Geography from Laura Moore at “Learn Moore Stuff”

Thanksgiving Fun – a plethora of fun tech activities from “Technology Rocks. Seriously.”

The First Thanksgiving – from, includes videos, historical letters, and resource guides for teachers

Thanksgiving Jokes with Tom and Ben – a fun activity my Multimedia Club did a couple of years ago with the iPad

Thanksgiving Analogies – from “Minds in Bloom”

What are You Thankful For?  Ask it Better. – I love these great ideas for putting a twist on this age-old question, also from “Minds in Bloom” (You could use a Padlet wall for the responses – H/T to Richard Byrne)

You are the Historian – Investigate the First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving SmartBoard Activities – pretty much what the title says 🙂

Thanksgiving Sudoku – online

Thanksgiving Sudoku – printable

Thanksgiving Puzzles (Sudoku, Magic Square, Word Jumble, etc…) – from Cybersleuth Kids

Augmented Reality Reward Coupons – not completely Thanksgiving related, but great way to show gratitude for a job well done (students LOVE these!)

Autumn S.C.A.M.P.E.R. Packet – available on TPT for the bargain price of $2.00 🙂

Can You Keep a Secret?

I debated about whether or not to post this, yet, and finally decided to take the plunge.  The con of doing this is that I am planning a surprise for my co-workers, and I don’t want them to find out.  The pro of posting today is that some of my readers might want to try a similar project, and would like some time to actually plan it (rather than barreling into it blind as I, sigh, seem to have the tendency to do).  So, I decided to remind everyone of the time you snuck a peek at a gift when you were little, and how totally not fun it was to have to act surprised when you got the gift.  I will leave the choice up to you.

Now that you have received your Spoiler Alert, those of you who would like to continue may click on the link below to take you to my real post for today.  As long as you are not someone who works on my campus, I promise you won’t suffer from any residual guilt – at least not for this particular action.  Of course, now that I’ve built it up, I hope no one is disappointed, either…

Click here.

Oh, here’s the password 😉


Morfo/Tellagami/Aurasma App Smasharoo

Graphic Design - Canva, Videos created using Morfo and Tellagami, Scan with Aurasma
Graphic Design from Canva. Videos created using Morfo and Tellagami. Scan printed page with Aurasma to make art come to life.

UPDATE:   Tellagami no longer offers the text-to-speech or customization in the free version of the app.  You can read more about the Tellagami changes here.

I decided using three apps and a website for one project was not enough, so I decided to throw another iPad and an additional website into the mix this time. Inspired by these Morfo projects, I thought I would use that app for a lesson I was planning on searching the internet.  My 3rd graders are about to embark on a brief study of Leonardo da Vinci, but I hadn’t told them that yet.  I decided to let them figure out who the mystery artist was by doing an internet search using clues from some of da Vinci’s work. I knew the Mona Lisa would be a dead give-away, so I chose some other pieces from the artist’s massive collection.  I saved four of the portraits/sketches in which the subjects were mostly facing forward (one is not, and her Morfo somewhat suffered as a result) to my Photos on my iPad. Since 3 of the subjects were men, I deliberated on how exactly I was going to record them speaking.  Then I remembered Tellagami.  I got out a second iPad, and typed into Tellagami what I wanted one of the subjects to say.  On the first iPad, I got my Morfo ready to record.  I hit the Record button on Morfo at the same time as the Preview button on Tellagami, and got my video recording without having to fake a deep voice! I created the page using Canva, my new go-to site for graphic design,  to display the four portraits.  You can learn more about Canva here. I uploaded the 4 portraits to Canva, did a couple of page edits and then printed out the final copy. Then I fired up Aurasma Studio on my laptop, and loaded the original images as the triggers, and the Morfo videos as the overlays. I opened Aurasma on an iPad, and scanned the page. Nothing. I realized that my trigger images needed to be from the page I printed, as the original images from the internet were much smoother than what my inkjet printer produced.  I took shots of each image on the printed Canva and loaded those as the trigger images instead. It worked! Each portrait “spoke” when I aimed the iPad at it with the Aurasma app. I’ll be honest.  I wish the Morfo videos merged better with the printed images (maybe some of you have a suggestion?).  Instead, the video overlay puts a black box on top that kind of ruins the effect.  But the students did not mind at all, and were completely engaged in taking notes from the spoken clues.  This will be great prep for when they make their own. So…

Morfo+Tellagami+Aurasma+2 iPads+Canva+Aurasma Studio = Engagement
Morfo+Tellagami+Aurasma+2 iPads+Canva+Aurasma Studio = Engagement

Interested in checking out the finished product?  Be sure to follow the Hidden Forest Elementary channel in the free Aurasma app before you print out and scan this file with Aurasma (and turn up the volume on your device!)  Also, be sure to check out myAugmented Reality page if you are interested in finding more resources.

Augmented Reality Resource Page

One of my students using the TracLabsAtlas to program a virtual robot
One of my students using the TracLabsAtlas to program a virtual robot

It’s been getting a bit harder to access all of my scattered Augmented Reality resources lately, so I decided to create a page for this to add to the blog.  I was going to use a pretty Symbaloo, but apparently my blog host does not play nice with their embed codes.  I won’t go into the fun I had trying to create a table that I somewhat like with little-to-zero knowledge of HTML…

If you look at the top of this blog, you will now see a link for Augmented Reality.  Please e-mail me at or tweet me @terrieichholz if you know of any great resources I should add to this page.  I tried to include some of the wonderful ideas and tutorials from:  Two Guys and Some iPads, Kleinspiration, Smarticles, and Thrasymakos, among others.

Have no idea what I’m talking about when I mention “Augmented Reality”?  Never fear!  The famous Two Guys and TechNinjaTodd have a great post called, “What is Augmented Reality?”  It’s an awesome introduction to the topic!  They have started a new series, “#ARevolution”, that I highly recommend you read.

By the way, I am launching a hashtag campaign to use #AR4edu (thanks, TechNinjaTodd for that idea) for tweets about augmented reality in education.  If any of you have taken a gander at the #augmentedreality feed lately, you might understand why 😉

colAR App Pumpkin Page

Augmented Pumpkins with the colAR app
Augmented Pumpkins with the colAR app

UPDATE 10/24/16: This particular page is no longer available, and colAR is now QuiverVision. However, you can still download an augmented reality pumpkin page for free here.

I tweeted about this a couple of days ago (Don’t follow me, yet?  Please do!  @terrieichholz), but I was so excited that I tweeted an uncolored page.  Knowing today would be Phun Phriday, I decided to spend last night making a more presentable page for blog purposes.  I wanted to get a sample from one of my students, but they haven’t had time, what with all of their bumping into walls and doing victory dances this week.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of entertaining yourself with the colAR app, yet, I strongly urge you to download it right away.  It is available on both mobile platforms for free.  The free version allows you to augment certain coloring pages, and there is an in-app purchase of $2.99 to unlock the rest of the pages.  However, the new pumpkin page is free.  Just make sure, if you already have the app, that you have the most updated version.

colAR allows you to download coloring pages from their website, then scan them with the app to make them “come to life.”  They created a special Dot Day page that I blogged about earlier this year.

If you haven’t used colAR with your students before, I highly recommend you have them color a page first, and then surprise them with the augmented reality version.  If you do it in the reverse order they may, like me, rush through their coloring just to get to the digital fun.

Drew Minock and Brad Waid over at Two Guys and Some iPads have used colAR to inspire creative writing with their students.  Once the students see their pumpkins dancing around, I’m sure the kids could come up with some unique stories!

There are a lot of pumpkins on the sheet, so you might have kids work on the sheets in groups – each coloring their own pumpkin.  For older kids, you could have them design the pumpkins to represent mystery historical characters or different artists and/or art styles.  In a modification of this idea that I just saw on Not Just Child’s Play (which she attributes to Ian Byrd), you could have them decorate the pumpkins from the perspective of different book characters.

I know many of you don’t celebrate Halloween, but be sure to check out some of the other pages offered by colAR.  The novelty will definitely “hook” your students, spark their imaginations, and motivate them to think creatively.

Brad Waid's Augmented Reality Inspired Creative Writing Bulletin Board
Brad Waid’s (1 of the 2 Guys and Some iPads) Augmented Reality Inspired Creative Writing Bulletin Board

TracLabs Atlas

I couldn’t wait until Phun Phriday to share this post.  So, I’m officially declaring today Thrilling Thursday!

On Tuesday, I saw a tweet from @techminock (2 Guys and Some iPads) about an app from FuelFX.  After responding to Drew’s tweet, I got a tweet with the link to the app from FuelFX, and an invitation to try it out, too.

The free app is called TracLabs Atlas, and uses augmented reality.  Here is the iOS link, and here is the Android version.  After you download the free app, you will also need to go the provided web link to print the marker that you will scan with your tablet.

When you scan the marker, a 3-D robot appears.  You can “program” the robot by positioning its arms and legs in a series of steps, then playing the steps in quick succession.

Yesterday was my day with my 4th grade GT students, and I decided to let them test it out.  They loved it!  And the movements that they programmed for their robots were much more creative than my boring, stilted example.  One group figured out how to make their robot turn into a Transformer.  Another one decided to maker their robot perform a couple of ballet movements.  (I embedded the latter video below.) Two other groups spent their time trying to figure out how to get their robots to interact with each other.

When I asked the students what they would do to improve the app, most agreed that they would love more options – different robot choices, colors, music, clothing, and other ways to personalize the robot.  My recommendation would be to offer a sharing feature for videos of the robot performing the programs.

As a proponent of teaching programming to kids, I see a lot of potential with this app.  I look forward to any updates or other augmented reality apps for the classroom that FuelFX offers in the future!

(Want to know more about augmented reality?  Try here or here.  Also, check out my Flipboard magazine, “Augmented Reality in Education.”)