Amy O'Donnell's Design Narrative: Ways to enhance learning by using Aurasma in the classroom
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2 April 2017
Title Ways to enhance learning by using Aurasma in the classroom
My role is as a workshop leader teaching other educators how to use Aurasma to enhance learning experiences.
The learning took place in my own classroom in a workshop style professional development context. Socially, the activity was aimed at my colleagues who were fellow teachers at my school. We run informal sessions after classes and I offered to host and present this one. The aim was to provide ideas and ways to use Aurasma in the classroom. Aurasma is an augmented reality app on the iPads which brings things to life and can be used to engage students and enhance learning experiences as well as the learning environment itself (e.g. by bringing wall displays to life). The beliefs and desires that shaped the interaction were very positive as they had chosen to attend this session rather than it being mandated to them. This meant that the participants arrived with an eager to learn attitude and were active participants throughout the practical session.
I was trying to instil confidence and knowledge in using the Aurasma app in their own teaching setting. My measure of success came not during the session (although attendance was good) however it came through the discussions that I had with the attendees in the weeks that followed and through my own observations of Aurasma in use in other people’s classrooms.
The first step that I took was to contact all the teachers who had signed up for the session and asking them to download and register with the app before the session started. This meant that everyone was prepared for my session and limited the amount of technical help needed right at the start of it.
When the session started, I gave a brief introduction to the app and the features contained within it.
I then provided 4 work stations with different ways to use the app that the attendees rotated through and followed instructions to complete each task. This helped them learn how to use it.
At the end of the session, we came back together as a group to discuss ways we could use the app within our own settings. This part of the session was really valuable and gave everyone key take ways which they could implement quickly into their own practice.
One obstacle that occurred during the session was with some of our non-native English speaking teachers who required a little bit more one-to-one explanation due to language differences.
A different obstacle was with the app itself and the need to align trigger pictures correctly. This is a natural obstacle that comes up when using the app so it was good that it occurred during the session as people were able to learn from each other different ways they could overcome it.
As expected, the attendance and attitude during the session were very good and I was pleased with how the session went. From observations afterwards, it is clear that the session enabled staff members to confidently go off and use the app in their own teaching. One unexpected outcome was that some staff did not actually go off and use the app which, on reflection, is actually quite normal. Perhaps they did not see the value of it in their setting or may need some extra support or coaching to feel confident to use it – something I can and will follow up on in time.
The experience gave me the opportunity to develop my skills when leading professional development sessions and it was a positive experience for me as a practitioner as I saw the positive impact that the session had on the practice of of the staff members.