Imagine a classroom of fully engaged students, using technology to create an interactive 3D environment with a regular piece of paper. Sounds crazy and expensive right? Nope! Not only can it be done for FREE, nearly every student already has the required technology!
It’s called augmented reality: the ability to manipulate one’s perception of reality with a computer device (including cell phones!). Students are not only excited about it, they will actually WANT to do their work! I discovered this amazing resource at a local EdCampScience event. If you haven’t been to one of those, you are missing out! EdCampScience is a professional development opportunity led by the teachers that attend. Each session is dependent on who is willing to share, and the great thing about this event is that everyone wants to collaborate. To me, that is the best type of professional development.
Anyways, during one of those sessions, teachers introduced their favorite technology-based resources. Most were things I had heard of until I saw this: 4D Elements. And O.M.G. I was hooked!!! I just KNEW I was going to incorporate those little cubes into my classroom! One month later I did and IT. WAS. AWESOME. Just like I hoped/wished/prayed it would be! The hardest part? Making the cubes!! I may have used my Chemistry 2 classes
and broke a few child labor laws to help make all the squares but they didn’t mind once they got to play! What’s really great is that 4D elements already comes with pre-designed lessons to go along with their interactive cubes. It’s as easy as download the free app, print the lesson plans (available for elementary, middle, AND high school), create the cubes, and engage! Here are some images I took while my students were working:
This activity really was amazing. Students were able to see what the elements looked like and then try to react different ones by placing them together. 4D elements isn’t the only augmented reality resource out their either! There are:
- create your own with Aurasma (video) and Layar (video)
- AR Flashcards
- And Two Guys and Some iPads discuss MANY, MANY more!!!