This is another guest post from Anthony Peters (@apeters522) who is an innovative English teacher from Parklands College in Cape Town. In a previous post Anthony shared his very successful Shakespeare QR code Scavenger Hunt Assessment activity done with Grade 9 students. This week we asked if he would share his lesson using Aurasma, the amazing, free, augmented reality app (for both iOS and Android devices) that can bring life to lessons. Thank you for your great sharing Anthony and Parklands College!
“The Grade 9 learners from Parklands College discovered the truly mind-blowing capabilities of Aurasma this week! Without any reservation, I can honestly say that this incredible (and free!) app is not simply the greatest innovation since sliced bread, but bread itself!
I utilized this wonderful application (available on both Apple and Android app stores) within a lesson designed to help learners identify and correctly analyse different forms of humour. Needless to say, the best way to teach humour is through laughter and both learner and educator alike can confirm that this was achieved in vast quantities!
A ‘many-a-giggle’ introduction…
The lesson began by eliciting several jokes from the learners, which on reflection were far superior to my own! After many-a-giggle we delved into the six main facets of humour as dictated by the National Curriculum. These included the nature of and what constitutes: pun, ambiguity, irony, parody, satire and stereotype. The learners were exposed to a host of examples of these and were required (in pairs) to identify the types of humour being used (via Keynote) as well as being able to explain it clearly and concisely.
The fun begins…
Then the fun really began! Prior to the lesson, the learners had been instructed to download Aurasma and then to ‘follow’ me: ‘apeters522’ (surreptitiously connecting them to a series of videos which I had stored in ‘the cloud’). The app itself plays videos when recognizing ‘triggers’ through its camera view which can be any image set up with a uniquely drawn code.
|“The learners were taken, through Aurasma, to videos stored in the cloud…”|
Up to this point, I had not informed the learners what Aurasma was or what it could do. Instead, I simply told them to download it, ‘follow’ me and then to forget about the app…which set the scene for the ‘shock factor’ I was aiming to achieve!
Mystery is in the air…
The learners had noticed the photo images of their teachers I had put along the classroom walls but had no idea what they signified or what I was going to ask them to do. Maintaining this ‘air of mystery’ contributed greatly to their enthusiasm and attentiveness with the tasks and instructions I gave, which in turn created the optimum learning environment.
Next task introduced..
Finally, I gave the learners the instruction to get into groups, open Aurasma on their devices and hover them over the various pictures around the classroom.
Shock factor achieved…
As the photos sprang to life and began spouting various jokes, the reaction (and volume!) within the classroom was explosive! The ‘shock factor’ was achieved and the ecstatic learners flew around the classroom in order to animate the images in front of them. The pictures had simply caused Aurasma to play the videos I had saved online but due to my taking screen shots of those videos, it appeared that the pictures themselves had sprung to life!
Goal of the lesson achieved
Despite the fun element with this pedagogic strategy (a necessary quality in every lesson in my personal opinion), there was a specific and ever-present linguistic goal. Each group had to correctly identify the type of humour within each ‘animated picture’ as well as to justify their choices by explaining why each joke was amusing.
A reflection on using Aurasma
Aurasma is such a versatile and fantastic app that it could be applied to ANY academic subject! It could be used for explaining concepts, problem solving, literature/character analysis or even revision (by having a board set up on a classroom wall or school corridor). The possibilities are quite literally limitless! A huge thanks go to my learners at Parklands College who made it such a terrific success and took to the initiative as enthusiastically as ever! For full lesson details, feel free to contact me via Twitter (@apeters522) or
via email (apeters(at)parklands.co.za).”
Thank you very much for sharing such a good lesson with us Anthony. The use of augmented reality in lessons is being talked about all over the world, so to see it happening so successfully right here in South Africa is very exciting. What a great way to present a lesson on humour! It seems that Aurasma is definitely a ‘must have’ app for any iOS or Android device.