This past week I was at the Apple Distinguished Educator PD training in Austin, Texas. On Thursday July 18th, some augmented reality app resources were posted on Twitter and it sent all of us tech junkies into a frenzy. The information about the new app colAR Mix was favorited and retweeted by many folks all over the world. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this new app I will give a little background information. The app is essentially a 3-D coloring book. You download the app and print out a series of coloring pictures many of which a free between now and July 28th. The kids color in the 2-D picture and then you scan it with the iPad app and the image becomes 3-D and there is even killer background music. My only regret about being at ADE last week was that I did not have any real live kids to try out the colAR Mix APP with. However, today I returned to my summer teaching assignment and got to try out the app with a variety of different students. Here are my results… and be forewarned that using this app in the classroom may result in high levels of student engagement.
The elementary kids did not know why they were coloring because I only told them that we were making “magic”. One rather savvy fourth grader said to me “We are not making magic we are going to do the same thing that we did with the dinosaurs last week.” He is referring to AR Flashcards another terrific app that I have written about on this blog. One elementary child was so excited when his 2D drawing became a 3D dragon that shot fire, and he literally started to squeal and bounce up and down in his chair. I want to thank the creators of this app for giving educators this tool, which stimulates a high level of engagement in the classroom.
When I brought my colAR mix pages up to the middle school I was not sure about the type of reception that I would receive. I was worried that I would even meet with resistance about the coloring aspect. Not only did the kids like coloring in the dragons, dancing girls, and sneakers but the moment that I scanned the first 3D drawing they were catapulted out of their seats to see what was going on. Each middle school student did not leave the room today without asking me to write down the name of the app for them. The teachers and I were already having conversations about how we could use this app to support reading and writing skills. Also, I loved the way that this APP engaged their natural curiosity: both the teachers and the students with whom I was working. To the folks at colAR mix I want to say thank-you and keep the content coming baby!!