Monday, January 13, 2014

Augmented Reality in the Library

With augmented reality, I saw an opportunity to inspire upper elementary students to explore our selection of picture books, get creative, and use that creativity to encourage younger students to read. I asked fifth graders to choose one Caldecott book to read in order to participate in this project, but they were allowed to use a non-Caldecott book if they wanted.

After reading the books, students wrote booktalks and drew some sort of picture to represent the story. Some students chose to recreate the book's cover. Others drew one of their favorite scenes.

The only mobile device in the library is my personal iPad. Recording 25 students with one iPad would've taken forever. Thankfully, I had a colleague who had three extra iPads to help me with the next part of the project.

After students finished their pictures and practiced their booktalks, we were ready to record. The books' covers were photographed with iPads to use for trigger images. Then students held up their pictures while reading the booktalks they had written as we recorded them (I didn't want any student faces in the videos).

Book talk written by a student

One particular student had an impact on me as an educator. She had just arrived from Korea and hardly knew any English at all. But she tried her best to participate in the augmented reality project. Not very confident about her English, this student asked me to read her booktalk for her, which I was more than happy to do. I was touched by her enthusiasm and willingness to participate in the project even though she had limitations. What an inspiration!

Creating the booktalks and auras wasn't an easy process -- there was definitely a learning curve for all of us. Nervousness was also a factor for the students even though my colleague and I reassured them it would only be their voices recorded and shared with the younger kiddos.

I have to say, I can't recall a project where I've seen students so focused before. The project integrated reading, promoting literacy, public speaking, creativity and technology -- definitely more than what the students are used to during one week in the library. The students and I explored elements well beyond our comfort zones and had fun while doing it.

I hope the takeaway for the students who created these booktalks is that they understand what an impact they have as reading role models for our younger students.

What's even better -- the teacher who helped me by providing extra iPads now wants to use Aurasma in her classroom and I can not wait to help!


  1. Love your project! So glad I was in #denchat tonight!

    1. Thank you, Karen. It was really nice to connect with you on #DENChat last night. Hope we get a chance to meet at DENSI someday!