5 more tools for immersive learning during school closures

From augmented reality experiences (including ‘holding’ a frog for up-close exploration) to virtual field trips, educators can consider these options to boost student engagement at home
By: | May 21, 2020
(Photograph by Yoel Kamara from Unsplash)(Photograph by Yoel Kamara from Unsplash)
Rachelle Dene Poth is a foreign language and STEAM teacher at Riverview Junior/Senior High in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. She is a featured speaker for FETC.

Rachelle Dene Poth is a foreign language and STEAM teacher at Riverview Junior/Senior High in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. She is a featured speaker for FETC.

Over the past few weeks, I have seen an increase in the number of articles about emerging technologies, such as the use of artificial intelligence and augmented and virtual reality. In my eighth-grade course called “STEAM: What’s Next in Emerging Technology,” these are some of my favorite topics to cover, and I love to ask students for their thoughts about them during our weekly meetings.

Of course, I would prefer to teach these topics and interact with students in the classroom, but during this time of remote learning, there are tools for providing similar experiences outside the classroom. These tools can be used to create augmented reality scavenger hunts or virtual field trips, for instance.


Read: Updated: 288 free K-12 resources during coronavirus pandemic


Exploring AR/VR technologies at home

Taking students on field trips or having them imagine what a place or a thing might look like up close is now possible with immersive tools for AR and VR. When educators offer these options, they create more interactive learning experiences for students.  


Read: How to get teachers comfortable with VR technology


Not sure where to begin? Here are five more resources to consider. (For the first five, click here.)

  1. Light Up Learning: Looking for a more hands-on way to help students learn about different structures and science-related topics? Try Bridge Builder AR. Students can design their own bridges in AR and test their structures. Using Magnet Lab AR, students can simulate experiments to learn more about magnets and force. Animal Safari AR enables users to place animals in the real world. Why not make your home or backyard a safari? There is also an option for storytelling when combined with the video recording tool, which allows students to narrate their experiences.
  2. Merge EDU: Imagine holding a frog, a volcano,​ the earth or a ​statue for close exploration. With this AR/VR platform, students can explore science-related topics in AR. Users can also create their own 3D content.
  3. Narrator AR: Add some AR fun to handwriting practice for students. Once a word is written on paper, use the app to scan the paper and then watch as a rainbow unicorn trail or a rocket spells the word in AR. 
  4. Quiver: Bring a drawing to life with this coloring app. Start by printing a page, coloring it, and using the app to see the drawing in 3D AR. 
  5. Thyng App: Create AR experiences that include animated characters, text and more. This tool can also be used to scan a target image and record a video (10 seconds or less) to go with it. 

There are many great tools available to explore AR and VR and to get started quickly at different levels and content areas. For more ideas, follow #augmentedreality and #virtualreality on Twitter, and check out #ARVRinEDU, a weekly chat with ed-tech consultant and FETC featured speaker Jaime Donally.  


Rachelle Dene Poth (@Rdene915) is a foreign language and STEAM teacher at Riverview Junior/Senior High in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. She is a featured speaker for FETC®.


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