Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tech Tips Tuesday

Coaching Others - Aurasma App for Maths

In recent weeks I have been sharing my journey as I explore the use of Aurasma in the classroom. This week I share about a Maths rotation activity a co-teacher and I created. This is the infamous co-teacher who introduced me to Aurasma in the first place and encouraged me to explore it further. Together we designed a Maths rotation activity for students to use with word problems involving sharing money.

Our idea
We wanted to use Aurasma as a self-check method for students on completion of some word problems. The aim of this was for us to practise using the Aurasma App to deliver content.

Our plan
Students visit displayed posters and try to work out the answers using their own strategies. Once they feel they have accurately answered the question, they use Aurasma to scan the poster and see a video of our explanation.

We made images with Sketchbook Pro and printed these to make posters, along with the word problem students were to solve. In this case the word problems were about sharing money between a group of students. We used an iPad to create a video overlay of our explanation, and created our trigger image by taking a photo of the poster. We saved all auras to a public channel for students to access.

In the Classroom
Four groups of students rotated through this activity. A lot of time in the first session was spent getting the iPads sorted and "following" my co-teacher. We then explained that students would use the toy notes and coins available to help them to find the answers to the questions. They could then check their answers using the iPad video explanation.

Unfortunately, I learnt a hard lesson about the need to use unique images for the trigger images. As I had reused my characters and just added to the slides when creating the images, students found that the wrong overlay popped up when scanned. We then had to do the second set of rotations without the Aurasma element.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tech Tips Tuesday

Exploring Aurasma Studio with Maths

One of my coworkers has been trying to get me to look at Aurasma for quite some time, so I finally decided to take the plunge. After a little experimentation I decided to design a Maths lesson with it for our Maths rotation activities. My idea required greater functionality than the Aurasma app could provide so I went to Aurasma Studio instead. For more information on the basics of Aurasma, click here.

My idea
I wanted my lesson to involve problem solving with multiplication and division - possibly including money as a bonus. Our rotation groups are based on ability, so I wanted to embed different levels within the task so students could experience the task at their own level.

My plan
I wanted to use pictures from grocery store catalogues as triggers for pop-up questions, with secret bonus questions (as extension) to be revealed with an action. I visited the grocery store and got a group set of catalogues.

Triggers - I used my iPad to photograph images of the catalogue items and uploaded these to my iMac.
Overlays - I used Sketchbook Pro to write up question cards which I saved as images, also uploaded to my iMac. I made some 'special bonus question cards' and uploaded these to my Flickr account - as they needed to be located at a URL in order to make the task work.
In Aurasma Studio I uploaded a trigger image - one of the catalogue items. I then added multiple question cards as overlays (one a multiplication question, one a division question). Finally I added an invisible overlay over the item price which, when clicked, took the user to my Flickr image where an extension question was displayed.

In the Classroom
Four groups rotated through these activities. The first group was the extension Maths group, and while we took some time to get everyone loaded up and following my channel, they still managed to have a pretty good go at working through the questions and recording their answers in their maths workbook. I wrote the 'shopping list' on the board so that students knew which items to look for. Those students who made it through all the questions explored the 'secret bonus questions' as well. Students worked through at their own pace.
The two mid-range groups worked through the questions at varying degrees and without the need to get the iPads set up to begin with. For the support group, I asked that they begin with only the multiplication questions, returning to the division if they had time after that.
All students seemed to enjoy the activity, even with the technical complications with wifi, location services and 'following'. Some groups found it useful to capture a screenshot to refer to so that they wouldn't have to hold the iPad still the whole time. In order to mark the work with students it helped to have a copy of screenshots of all the questions.