Layar: Another way to add augmented reality to your classroom

After playing around with Aurasma and using it in several different ways in my classroom, I think that it is pretty child-friendly. However, if you teach older kids or you as a teacher want options for creating augmented reality, Layar has some interesting and simple to use features as well. You cannot use Layar to create on your mobile device, the app is just for scanning. What you need is the Layar Creator on your computer in order to create something. This is why I would say it isn't so child-friendly, at least not for early childhood, as they can't create pieces of their own. The second down side would be that the free version attaches ads to your overlays.

Layar works similarly to Aurasma Studio in that you can upload images to act as trigger images. Then using a drag and drop format, you can layer on overlays such as videos, image slideshows, sound buttons, share buttons, and even create you own buttons. Unlike Aurasma, you do not need to create channels in order for others to view your work.

One feature I like in Layar is the image carosel layer. I get the kids to take lots of photos using their iPads and I can see using this feature to organize their work digitally without having to print out the pictures physically and cutting and pasting them in order. One way that I have used it is in our science unit on Tress, Wood and Paper. We dripped water on different types of paper and observed which papers absorbed the water quickly, slowly or not at all. Then we made predictions about why this happened. I had my students work in pairs and they took turns doing the experiment and taking photos on their iPads to document each piece of paper. I put it all together on the Layar Creator and added sound through Audioboo (putting the link in from Audioboo and just adding .mp3 at the end of the link).

To view the example of this project:

1. Download Layar onto your device

2. Scan the image below using Layar (tap the screen to begin scanning)

Here is a simple guide through Layar Creator:

During a student-led conference I would probably want the child to focus on explaining their work. So I probably would just put in the image carosel without audio so that they could spend time explaining each picture to their parents.

If you do try out Layar, I'd love to see some other ways that it is being used in the classroom!

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