What it is: Augmented Reality, how cool is that technology? Dialing up the awesome factor a couple of notches is AR Sights. AR Sights is a company who makes it possible to view Google Earth right in a web browser and then zoom into places of interest (Pyramids, Eiffel Tower, etc) and take a look at them augmented reality style. The site brings landmarks to life in four easy steps. Download the browser add-on, download some points of interest, print out the AR Sights marker, and zoom into Google Earth and take a look. I am amazed at what this technology provides for students! Students can zoom right in and manipulate the landmark by moving the paper around. Now for the downfalls, AR Sights only works on PC’s right now, us Mac folks will have to hunt down a PC or wait until it is available for the Mac. The other downfall is the downloads, they require administrative rights (some of you may have to convince your IT to let you download this goody). After you print off the AR Sights marker, you hold it up to your camera and up pops the landmark you have chosen in Google Earth, as you twist, tilt, and move the paper the landmark moves accordingly. This is SO outstanding!
How to integrate AR Sights into the classroom: AR Sights makes virtual field trips so impressive! As your students are studying geography, allow them to travel around Google Earth and take a look at the landmarks. Use AR Sights with a projector or Interactive whiteboard to show your whole class landmarks at the same time. Create a travel center on your computers where students can travel around and learn about the world. AR Sights is a great way to bring geography alive! AR Sights also has a download to use with Google Sketch-up 3-D drawing program (free from Google). Older students can create their own 3-D augmented reality landmarks. Students could draw places of interest, your school, etc. and view them with AR Sights as augmented reality. Talented high-school and college age students (or ambitious teachers) could create Sketch-up models that can be used in education such as the skeletal system, a beating heart, the solar system, historical landmarks, etc. for students to interact with in 3-D augmented reality. The possibilities with this could be endless!!
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using AR Sights in your classroom. If you or one of your students creates a Sketch Up model for AR Sights let us know about it!