Tag Archives: Aurasma

Puppet Pals 2 + Aurasma = Reward Coupons


I’ve posted some QR code reward coupons for the classroom on this blog in the past.  The kids enjoy the air of mystery when they get a coupon and get to “discover” their reward.  As regular readers have probably figured out, though, I easily get bored.  So, I decided to change up this year’s reward coupons by adding a little “Aurasma-tazz.”

Before I go any further, if you are not familiar with Aurasma, I highly recommend that you visit the Two Guys and Some iPads blog to learn about it.  You do not have to know how to make an aura in order to use these coupons, but you do need to know how to use the app to scan and to follow a channel.

I created these coupons using Puppet Pals 2 on my personal iPad.  We have the first version of Puppet Pals at school, but I like that the second version incorporates moving mouths and limbs.  It also adds music.  It costs a bit for the All Access pass, so we haven’t purchased it at school, yet.

Because Puppet Pals 2 did not have a turkey, I used the one from the first version by importing the photo and cutting the character out.

From my Tellagami app smash, you will have learned that I dislike the sound of my own voice.  This time, I used a website, naturalreaders.com, for the character voices.   Also, I used Canva to create the images for the Reward Coupons.

All of these coupons mention being “thankful” so I thought they would be good to bring out this month, when we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving.  But, as I know many of you are not in the States, they are not centered on this theme.

I will be placing these in my class treasure box.  At first the students will not know what each reward is, so they will enjoy the element of surprise.  Once they become more familiar with the images, though, I will probably put them in envelopes, or disguise them in another way to keep them guessing.  Another way that you could use them would be to put them in cards for the students.

I am giving you links to the images in case you want to put them in a different format, as well as the PDF with all of them on there.  The images and/or PDF need to be printed in color in order to trigger the videos.  Also, you need to be following the Hidden Forest Elementary channel in the Aurasma app.

By the way, if you would like to see some more Augmented Reality Resources, check out this page, or my Augmented Reality in Education Flipboard magazine.

Aurasma Reward Coupons PDF

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 Calendars

October Mystery Calendar

If you have not used Aurasma before, you might want to visit the Aurasma Tutorials page of Two Guys and Some iPads.  Also, you might want to visit my Flipboard magazine on Augmented Reality in Education or these other posts I have done in the past.

One thing that I have been meaning to do is to take advantage of the “Time Restrictions” setting in Aurasma Studio.  When creating an aura, you can set when the aura goes “live” and when the aura will no longer work.  I thought it would be fun to create a calendar that uses that feature. (Yes, I am fully aware that I have an odd idea of “fun.”)

I made a “Mystery Calendar” for October.  I found a list of historical people and events from October here, and chose 4 of them.  Then, I used iMovie to create short videos that gave clues about each one.  Because I have a Mac at home, I had a bit of trouble finding a good calendar template for the iWorks suite, but I finally landed on a good template for Numbers here.

Then, I searched for clip art on Pixabay.  Because I knew that I would be printing the calendars in black and white, I looked for symbols rather than color pictures.  This is where trial and error really came into play.  I finally found that the best trigger images included the number from the calendar cell.  So, I would insert an image in a cell, take a screen shot of the cell (command+shift+4 on a Mac), and use the screen shot as my trigger image in Aurasma Studio.

Once I had the trigger images and overlays uploaded, I added the auras.  You can see from the screen shot below that there is a “Time Restrictions” setting that is optional.

Aurasma Studio Time Restriction

Once you click on the arrow in that box, you can then set the aura to begin on a certain date and time, as well as to end on a certain date and time.  Both are optional.  I set each aura to start on the day that it is placed on the calendar, and did not set an end time.

Aurasma Time Restrictions

What are some other ways that you can use the Time Restrictions setting?  If you are using Aurasma for center directions that might change weekly, you can set a trigger image to have different overlays for each week of the year, if you like.  Or, you might be like me and have different grade levels each day of the week, so I can set my auras according to the day of the week.   If your students are making a holiday gift for their parents, they could set a photo to trigger an overlay beginning only on that special day. Or, how about making a countdown calendar (similar to the QR code one that I posted) that only needs one image – which changes overlays every day?  Schools could have one trigger image that parents scan every month when they enter building (or even from home) that offers new information each month.

I would love to hear any other ideas you may have.  In the meantime, here is the PDF of my October Mystery Calendar.  Be sure you are following the Hidden Forest Elementary channel if you decide to use it.  (The answers are:  Poe, Sullivan, Edison, and Houdini.)

UPDATE:  If you test your auras when creating them, they will be cached in your account.  This means that the time restrictions will not work on any device logged into the account you used to test them.  If you are a teacher, I recommend using a different account on your student devices than the one you use for Aurasma studio.  They can all follow the same channel, just not be logged into the same account.

The Benefits of Intentional Ignorance

I would not recommend undertaking this project.

But you should totally do it.

I’ll be honest.  I think  a lot of my “pioneering spirit” has something to do with my complete lack of foresight.  If you ask me to do something and outline all of the obstacles, there is a large chance I am going to find something else to do.  But, if I jump into something without any thought about the potential problems, I just force myself to wade through them to get to the other side.  It’s not bravery; it’s intentional ignorance.

That’s what happened with the “You Matter” augmented reality project I dove into a couple of weeks ago.

To summarize briefly, I thought it would be a meaningful way for my students to start their school year with me by scanning a photo of their parents with the iPad (using the Aurasma app), that would trigger a video message from their parents telling the students how much they mean to them.  The students would keep the photo all year in their class folder, and be able to scan it any time or even just look at the picture to remind them of this message.

You can see the first two posts that I did on this project here and here.  (But if you are like me, and find the knowledge of a bunch of hurdles at the outset too daunting, then you might not want to click on the 2nd link…)

As an elementary GT teacher, I currently have 40 students (2nd-5th), with more to come in November when I add 1st.  Of course, I didn’t decide to try this with just one grade level.  Instead, I asked all of the parents to contribute.

But I’m not going to spend this post complaining about my own lack of vision.

In the end, I got videos for every student from at least one parent.  In some cases I got two videos.  In some cases, family pets got in on the action.  In one case, a beaver costume was used.

They were funny, touching, loving, and creative.

Just like my students.

I have never done anything so completely exhausting and so completely rewarding in my life.

Through this project, I learned a lot about my students that I never knew, and I learned a lot about their parents.  Many of these parents I have never seen or spoken to, even though this may be the second year I have their child.  But now I have had contact with each and every one.  And they know that I would do anything to make their child feel special, even if it means I have to call every number on their contact list or text message them at 9:00 at night on a Saturday.

And then I added one more piece to the project.

I videotaped the reactions of the students to the videos.  (Each student watched his or her video with me privately.)  The kid who thought his parents were speaking to him live through FaceTime and started talking back to them?  I got it.  The big smiles, the tears in the corners of the eyes, the guffaws of laughter?  I got it.  And I sent it to the parents (after getting their permission).

Because I wanted them to see how much they mattered, too.

I have a daughter.  I tell her, “I love you” every day, and I chauffeur her to all of her extracurricular activities.  I spend time with her playing games and doing fun projects – and all of those things are vitally important.

But I’m going to make a video for her, too.  Because there is something about someone saying those words, taking the time to immortalize them, verbally acknowledging the important part that a person plays in your life, that makes an impact.

No, I wouldn’t recommend this project to anyone.  It’s time-consuming, nail-biting, throw-your-computer-at-the-wall-because-it’s-too-slow frustrating.

But you should really do it.

(If you would like to learn about “You Matter,” Angela Maiers is the amazing speaker and writer who inspired me to incorporate this into my classroom.  She will be the guest on the Two Guys Show next Tuesday, October 1st, at 9 PM EST.)

from: angelamaiers.com
from: angelamaiers.com

You Matter – with a bit of Aurasmatazz (Part 2)

Never Forget that You Matter!

After getting a bit of a “Two Guys Bump” on their AR 101 video Tuesday, I thought I should give a progress update on the “You Matter – with a bit of Aurasmatazz” project (inspired by the work of Angela Maiers – who will be on the “Two Guys Show” in 2 weeks!).

Here are some obstacles I’ve encountered so far, along with possible solutions:

Videos sent in different file formats – I don’t know what other video formats work on the Aurasma app when using the iPad, but .mov is the one I’ve used for everything so far.  Solution:  If you get a file in a different format, which I have, and your computer does not have software to convert it, then Zamzar is a great online file converter.

Rotated videos – The weird thing is that several of the videos have played fine when I checked them on my school computer, but they rotated once I uploaded them in Aurasma Studio.  Some are sideways; some are upside-down.  I could not find a way to rotate the overlay (video) once it was in Aurasma.  Solution:  Go back and rotate the Trigger image outside of Aurasma, then re-upload it.  To avoid this happening, I would upload all of your overlays (videos) first, so you know which Trigger images you need to fix before you waste time uploading them. (UPDATE:  Here is another possible solution to rotated videos.)

Speaking of Trigger images…

Trigger images are not ideal – To get the Trigger images, I took screen shots from the videos the parents sent.  The picture quality is not great, so when I upload them to Aurasma, I get a warning.  So far, I’ve dismissed all of the warnings, and the Trigger images have worked fine.  So, you don’t need a solution to this one – hopefully. (The reason I used screen shots instead of pictures sent by the parents is that it looks more “Harry Potter-ish” if you use an actual image from the video instead of a photo taken out of context for your trigger image.)

Difficulty reaching parents which is causing me to hyperventilate – I finally got my last e-mail address today for a parent, and sent out the request.  So far, I have 7 videos (2 are from divorced parents for the same student) out of 47 students – and the deadline is Friday.  Solution:  Put it on the class blog, e-mail everyone again, and start getting out the phone numbers.  If I were to start my year over again:  Give the parents more time and/or invite them to an early parent meeting with the room set up next door and a volunteer to videotape them on the spot.  (That would actually have solved all of the above problems, too – wrong file format, rotated videos and bad trigger images.  Now I really wish I would have thought of that!)

Every video makes you cry – No solution for this except to stop being such a softy.  Seriously.  And, while we’re discussing that, stop bawling at that new Cheerios commercial, too…

One surprise that I’ve gotten so far – one parent, instead of just talking to the camera, did a short skit involving a stuffed animal with a whiteboard, and concluded the video in a costume.  It was very creative!

If I haven’t scared you off from trying this, here is a link to a PDF file or an MS Word file that I created for printing the screen shots/Trigger images (I used a Pages poster template to make this.)

Update:  See my conclusions about this project here.

You Matter – with a bit of Aurasmatazz

from Angela Maiers' "You Matter Manifesto"
from Angela Maiers’ “You Matter Manifesto”

This is a continuation to yesterday’s post about using Augmented Reality in the classroom.  (Don’t forget to watch the AR 101 Show tonight at 9 PM EST tonight!)  As some of you know, one of the uses of AR in education is to use it to explain something or share work.  For example, this music teacher posted about how she videotaped students performing, then hung up papers in the hallway that people could scan to see the actual performances.  Or, there are many examples that show students sitting in the classroom or taking work home, and scanning the paper for videos that explain the instructions.

This weekend I was trying to think of some other uses for Augmented Reality, and had a sudden inspiration that I immediately put into action.  (It’s possible I read about this idea on someone else’s blog, and my brain is claiming it as its own – so let me know if you have already posted about this.)

“What if, instead of the kids videotaping themselves for the parents, I have the parents videotape themselves for the kids?”

I am constantly inspired by Angela Maiers’ “You Matter Manifesto.”  I think that showing people they matter to you, especially your students, greatly increases understanding and motivation.

“What if I ask the parents to videotape themselves (secretly) telling their kids they matter, and ask them to send the videos to me?  Then, I will print out a screen shot from each video, and hook them together in Aurasma.  I will put the photos on each child’s desk when he or she comes to class, and let them scan the photos to see the parent’s special message.  We will put the photos in their folders, and they will always have that inspiration to look at, or even play, to motivate them in class for the rest of the school year.”

I immediately ran to the computer to compose a message to the parents for this special request.  (I was so excited that I did not realize there were a couple of typos in my e-mail.  NEVER send an e-mail to parents on a Saturday immediately after you’ve had a sudden burst of inspiration!)

Here is the corrected version of the e-mail I sent.

I sent the request Saturday.  No one responded. (FYI – I have about 45 parents on my e-mail list since I teach elementary GT.)

Monday morning, I fired up my laptop, and disconsolately checked my e-mail.  And there was the first parent video a father had created for his son, telling him how much he cares about him, and what he hopes his son will achieve this year.

I almost cried while I watched it.  And he isn’t even my dad!

This is not going to be easy.  At least 2 students have parents who don’t have e-mail, and possibly even more may not have the technology to videotape themselves.  Some may forget, or choose not to do it.  I don’t want any students to be left out, so I have offered to meet with any parent who wants me to create the videotape, and my backup (if e-mails and phone calls don’t get them all) is to ask a teacher to create the message.

But I really think it’s going to be worth it.

Update:  See how the project is going so far by clicking here– and learn some logistical problems you can avoid if you try this, too!

Update2:  See my conclusions about this project here.

This Product has heARt!

This post is related to using Augmented Reality in the classroom.  If you are new to this, be sure to tune in to the “Two Guys Show” tomorrow, Tuesday, September 17th, at 9 PM EST as they discuss “AR 101.”  Drew and Brad have tons of AR resources on their site, “Two Guys and Some iPads,” if you are interested in just jumping in to the AR world.  Also, you can click here for my Flipboard Magazine on “Augmented Reality in Education.”

I have one more week before I start teaching again (as a Gifted and Talented teacher for our district, I have been testing the last three weeks).  I’m not sure this school year is going to be able to fit all of the ideas I’ve generated this summer and during my test monitoring sessions!

Augmented Reality is definitely going to be used a lot in my classroom this year, and I wanted to come up with a way for students and parents to identify items that can be scanned to deepen their experiences.  I mean, I plan to use AR quite a bit – but not on everything!  I don’t want kids dumping a bunch of papers on the kitchen table for parents to sift through, and then a parent misses a potential extension to a product that has been brought home.  Also, I don’t want people walking past a bulletin board without knowing its interactive capabilities.

So, I designed a logo (using the TypeDrawing app) to put on anything that incorporates Augmented Reality.  It says, “This product has heARt”  – the “heARt” standing for “handiwork enhanced by Augmented Reality technology.”

I will either add the logo to sheets that we plan to use for an AR project or affix small stickers that I have printed out with the logo.

I think it’s clear from the example that I am definitely not a graphic designer.  Feel free to borrow or improve upon this concept 🙂

I have included links to two graphics (one with just the heart, and one with the acronym explanation).

You can also download this example of the parent letter that I intend to send home.  For another parent letter example, as well as more tutorials and examples, visit this post from Erin Klein.

Parent Letter