For anyone who likes to be cutting edge there is always the Augmented Reality tool Augment to get your students using. Yes they will need some skills in creating graphics but there are plenty of free public libraries available that you can tap into for some brilliant free trials.
With Augment you can:
- Use existing public libraries
- Upload your own 3D models
- Create your own markers
- Link content on the internet to markers
There is a free version that I have used for a number of years, but you can pay for it and get higher end functions.
This example is a custom marker created by a colleague that we both use in demonstrations. You scan the marker with the Augment App which will load the 3D model of the plane. If you tap on the ‘web link’ option under the model displayed then it takes you through to a wiki page about the Spitfire plane.
We purposefully did this so that the people we are training can see that you can use existing materials for AR, but to be honest the potential to create custom content is getting easier.
As you can see it is impressive to see the plane hovering in the middle of a classroom. The students (seeing through the device) can move around and continue to view the image at slightly different angles. But the user must keep the markers in sight otherwise the plane will disappear.
But the coolest thing is now you can have you students create engineering pieces in Minecraft and view them through Augment via some simple steps.
- Create object in Minecraft
- Open the Minecraft world file in Mineways on a PC and select a portion of the the Minecraft work (the piece they have worked on) and export as a 3D model.
- Import the 3D model into a 3D package like Blender (free) and save or export ready for upload into Augment OR you can use a 3D printer to print (as long as the object is not huge).
- Zip up the model and texture files and upload into your free account at augmentedev.com
You may say that this is for high end students but I had my 12 year old successfully follow the steps and created this image – this is a section of the top of the mountain.
This is well worth investigating as so many students are getting valuable experience building in Minecraft, now you can get them to actually ‘see’ their designs in the real world.
Games are so very valuable for students to explore and Minecraft is definitely a way that we can engage and use new technologies to meet outcomes required. The added bonus, students will actually have fun while learning and exploring!