Are you exploring augmented reality in the classroom? At ISTE this year I had the chance to see Virtuali-Tee in action. It’s an amazing augmented reality tool for students and users of any age. When it comes to using AR in the classroom, there are compelling use cases across the content areas.
Just a few days ago, the team at Virtuali-Tee released a mobile app that brings their popular t-shirt to life. They’ve built a free Heart Rate Tracker into Virtuali-Tee. I had a chance to see this in action, and it is very impressive. The Heart Rate Tracker lets users check their heart rate through their device. Better yet, it gives you a visualization of your beating heart in action while you talk about a science concept.
AR Heart Rate Tracker
Using augmented reality technology, the new mobile app layers a visualization of a beating heart on top of the Virtuali-Tee shirt. The t-shirt acts as an augmented reality trigger image. When you hold your mobile device over the t-shirt, it recognizes what you are wearing and creates an AR experience in your classroom.
If you’ve ever taught a unit on the human body, you know this type of technology could completely transform your student’s classroom experience. As a fifth-grade classroom teacher, systems of the body was one of my favorite science units. We all know a textbook doesn’t do it justice. So I was super excited to see this augmented reality classroom experience in action last month.
Scannable Technology in the Classroom
Regular readers of my site already know how passionate I am about scannable technology in the classroom. In my book, Deeper Learning with QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom, I share the ACES Framework for scannable technology integration. Virtuali-Tee and the new heart rate tracker can definitely engage (E) students in deeper learning experience. Here’s an excerpt from my book explaining this concept:
“When students are immersed and engaged in the learning process, they are connected with content in an authentic manner. Scannable technology can grab the attention of your students and keep them interested in the subject matter you are teaching. Creating learning experiences that require students to interact with content in real-world settings, grabs their attention with a wow factor, and connects to curriculum goals are all achievable with a simple scan!” (p. 59)
Augmented Reality T-Shirt
While there are definitely use cases for the science classroom, you might introduce Virtuali-Tee in a physical education program. Students can participate in a variety of activities to see how their heart rate changes. Imagine how a student heart rate will look different in a yoga pose, sprint, or volleyball game. Students can also make connections in math and science. They might also explore how data like heart rate information could be used to inspire narrative storytelling. So the possibilities are truly endless!
How does it work? Well, I had the chance to connect with the team behind Virtuali-Tee after the ISTE conference. They shared how the Heart Rate Tracker uses photoplethysmography. It’s an optical technique used to track heart rate on your device. The mobile app running on your smartphone or tablet uses the camera to measure the amount of light that passes through your fingertip at a given time. Virtuali-Tee’s mobile app measures your heartbeat and also creates a visualization right within the augmented reality experience.
Head over to Virtuali-Tee’s website to learn more about this fantastic tool for classrooms!
10 Things You Need to Know About #ScannableTech
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Best, Dr. Monica Burns - Founder of ClassTechTips.com