Thursday 7 June 2018

MetaVerse - create your own AR Experiences

AR is certainly a buzzword in education (and elsewhere) at the moment just look at the updates coming soon to Google Maps to include AR and the new Google Expeditions AR is very cool

AR is getting promoted pretty heavily as the next great education tool, apps like hologo, Jigspace and civilsations AR add extra features and the feeling of being there when it comes to students engaging with content.

I love this stuff, BUT even better I prefer students creating this stuff, I want students creating as well as consuming AR experiences in the classroom.

Creation encourages higher order thinking and requires both the subject knowledge and the tool knowledge as well as promoting a more thorough understanding of the subject matter, this is why it is a the top of blooms revised taxonomy.

So how can we get students creating their own AR experiences.

One tool we have been using is Metaverse, while many may say that this is not true AR nor is it as cool as some of the purpose built AR apps. Metaverse is cool in many other ways. The main way being is that students can use Metaverse to create their own AR apps. It fits my paradigm of more creation than consumption.

In it's basic form it is pretty easy to use and students can start to use it straight away, when recently using it with grade 3 students, It took me about 7 minutes to get each group started and then they played for the next 30 mins creating AR experiences on their chosen body system.

A Metaverse experience is made up of a series of scenes, these scenes can be 3D images, text, uploaded images, audio files or recordings, links to youtube videos, 360 photos and portals, polls plus a heap of others.

These scenes can then be connected together to form the experience, you can add multiple choice buttons, text questions, timers or even just press here buttons to allow the user to navigate the experience.

There are a heap of youtube tutorials on the Metaverse Youtube channel . So I wont go into details on how to make stuff with Metaverse (I will leave that up to the experts). Although here is a sample of a couple of their excellent tutorials to get you excited.

The important stuff

I will share how we have used it to add value to our teaching and learning. Innovation is not about the tool, it is how the tool can be used to improve teaching and learning.

Our grade 3 students used a simple scene with a graphic 3D or 2D, some text and an audio track of them giving more information. Like any of these activities, the hardest part is the content research, writing the script and planning out the scenes. Once the kids had this it was easy enough to create their AR experience.

The kids, their parents and their teachers loved the experiences and there were QR codes (pre made in Metaverse)

In grade 5 for their IB PYP exhibition several students created Metaverse experiences to share their understanding of their chosen topic, one I particularly enjoyed was a Metaverse game that showed a series of bullying scenarios where the user had to choose what to do if they were being bullied in different places or in different situations.

In our Grade 9 design class students had the opportunity to create a VR experience or an AR experience for a client at the school using the design cycle. Some of their projects include

  • a choose your own adventure style game
  • a game to help students find evacuation routes / fire exits depending on where they are in the school
  • a game for grade 9 students to revise some of their maths content
  • a quiz for grade 5 students to check their understanding on environmental issues
  • adding quizzes to picture books to add extra content and to check comprehension

We have only just touched the surface fo what we can do with Metaverse and student created content and I can't wait to see the projects and experiences our students will create next year. Viva the AR creation revolution.