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The Augmented Reality Library

What it is: Okay, so the augmented reality library doesn’t exactly exist, but I ran across a few items today that had me dreaming about what augmented reality could do for a library.  First a definition for those of you unfamiliar with augmented reality.  Wikipedia has this definition for augmented reality (AR): “a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are augmented by virtual computer-generated imagery.”  If that is a little cumbersome for you, let me give you my definition.  Augmented Reality generally uses a camera to let you overlay virtual data on top of the physical world you are seeing through your camera lens.  The virtual data could be a map, information, multimedia, or even look like a holograph that you can manipulate.  For a really simple explanation you can check out this AR Common Craft Video.  Augmented reality apps are available for many devices, the iPhone, Android and now the iPod Touch.  Layar is a cross-platform app that is a reality browser that contains a large catalog of data layers.  The AR apps use geolocation data from the GPS to layer data over the physical view.  Junaio is another app that uses markers to help the device determine it’s location.  When GPS isn’t available, AR markers can be used.  These are square black and white barcodes that store data.  You may have seen the AR markers begin to pop-up on advertising, grocery items, and books.  The markers allow a device to gather data about the product and overlay that data on top of your physical view. How to integrate Augmented Reality into your library: You may be wondering how augmented reality could be used in a library.  I recently read an article in the School Library Journal that got my wheels spinning about the ways augmented reality could transform the library experience.  In the article they suggest putting AR markers on a book cover so that when a device is used, a librarian could walk across the book jacket and deliver a quick review of the title.  Markers inside books could cause 2D diagrams or images to come alive as 3D interactive simulations.  Another idea I loved was to create a literary tour using an AR program, which would describe locations that appear in a book.  When you actually travel to that place, the text that took place there could pop up along with additional information or content.  Each of these ideas is amazing in itself but thinking of transforming a school library, here are the ideas I came up with: Connecting your card catalog with augmented reality so that students could search for a book or topic from their mobile device and instantly get a layer that directs them to books that may be of interest. Connecting a tool like Shelfari, where students keep a virtual bookshelf and rate the books they have read ,with augmented reality.  Students could instantly ask for books that are recommended based on their ratings of other books and recommendations could pop up in a layer directing students to those recommendations. Turning booktrailers (professionally created or student created) into an augmented reality layer.  Students could use an AR marker on the book cover and instantly watch a booktrailer about the book. A this day in history layer where a fact pops up each day describing an event in history, the layer could then direct students to additional information, include a video or challenge of some kind. Connect AR to a search engine so that when students are researching a topic, book recommendations pop up in a layer with directions on where to find them. Our library is often a showcase of student work, what if each diorama, piece of artwork, or project had an AR marker on it?  Students could record themselves (either audio or video) describing their work.  This could be attached to an AR marker so that as students viewed other’s work, they could get an introduction to it by the creator. (This would be awesome for parent teacher conference time as well!) AR Markers next to the computers could remind students of important Internet safety rules, the school acceptable use policy, and what to do if they have been bullied. The school librarian could have a special selection of books each month that contain an AR marker linked to the librarian reading the story. Does your school have author visits or use the Skype an Author network?  If so record the author (audio or video) and connect it to AR markers on their books. Label the areas of the library using AR so that ESL and ELL students can get a vocabulary lesson as they walk through the library. AR could bring libraries to life in new and exciting ways.   What ideas do you have for the use of AR in the library? Tips: Currently this technology isn’t as easy as download and go for the library.  Content needs to be created, and background building has to be done.  For now you can download Layar to get a feel for how augmented reality works.   You can also visit the “Create” section to create your own layers of AR (this is how you could make some of these ideas happen).   Junaio also allows you to create a channel that offers information.  Junaio makes it very easy to add information by tagging directly within the application.  You can tag your library with comments, pictures, audio, or 3D objects.  If you are using AR in your library please let us know more about it! Want to see more AR tools? Here are some that I’ve reviewed. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Augmented Reality in your library.

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Google Art Project: Virtual Art Museums

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Art, Evaluate, History, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Virtual Field Trips, Websites | Posted on 01-02-2011

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What it is: Google never stops amazing me, this time they are amazing me in the form of a partnership with art museums around the world.  Art Project is an incredible collaborative project that is powered by Google to bring art museums into your classroom.  Art Project lets students discover and view more than a thousand pieces of art online in incredible detail with Google street view technology.  Students can virtually move around the museum’s galleries, zooming closer on works of art and navigating through interactive floor plans where they can learn more about the museum and explore.  Artwork view lets students view the art at high-resolution, expanding the information panel lets students read more about the art, find more art by the same artist and watch related YouTube videos.  Students can act as curator and create their own artwork collection by saving specific views of the art and build a personal collection.  Comments can be added to each piece of art and share with families and friends.

How to integrate Google Art Project into the classroom: Google Art Project brings art museums from around the world into your classroom.  Take a virtual field trip to the museums using a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  Let students take turns acting as a museum tour guide by clicking on the extra information and reading it out loud for students while they look at the artwork. After the class tour of the museum, students can use classroom computers or a lab to create their own collections.  Students can comment on each piece of art and share the collection they curated with family and friends.

Use Google Art Project for a compare and contrast activity. Students can compare and contrast the type of artwork they see in the various art museums, compare and contrast styles of art, or compare and contrast the work of different artists or time periods.

Use the artwork as the base of a creative writing activity, students can choose a piece of art and write a story about the artist, or about what is happening in the work of art.

Need help demonstrating a technique? Art Project lets students view artwork in such detail that the techniques are easy to point out and describe.

Tips: Due to copyrights, some pieces of art will appear a bit blurry when students zoom in.  The majority of the pieces can be seen in very high levels of detail.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Google Art Project in your classroom.

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[...] Project a try by clicking here!!For a much more detailed review check out Kelly Tenley's wonderful blog. Sphere: Related Content Posted by dkapuler at 2/04/2011 Labels: art, [...]

[...] Google Art Projects: Virtual Art Museums [...]

[...] iLearn Technology Use the artwork as the base of a creative writing activity, students can choose a piece of art and write a story about the artist, or about what is happening in the work of art. [...]

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