Millions of us enhance our realities every day by using funky filters to put sunglasses on our selfie faces or walking the neighborhood to try catch a Pikachu. These simple and fun filters from Snapchat and Pokémon Go alter our physical world and are the basis of augmented reality (AR). If you’ve never used either app, just imagine digital objects projected on a real-world surface (much like a hologram) that you can experience though the screen of your phone. Although social media and entertainment apps are leading the AR revolution to bring the technology into mainstream, there are several educational apps that can help improve classroom learning and student interaction. Five to try:
Dino Park AR+ (iOS, Android) – FREE
Dino Park is an interactive dinosaur exploring app. Revive the dinos and watch them move and roar in your backyard in real size! Enrich your knowledge with fun facts about them and observe their skeletons up close.
Chromville (iOS, Android) – FREE
The ancient world Chromville is well known for its power source: color. It’s in a galaxy far, far away and its inhabitants, the Chromers, live in peace thanks to Chromville’s colorful beauty. However, the planet’s color is fading away mysteriously, and it’s the user’s job to get it back.
Froggipedia (iOS) – $3.99
This app helps us observe the life cycle of a frog — how it turns from a single-celled egg in water to a tadpole, then metamorphoses into a froglet and eventually a full-grown frog! Dissect and observe the complex structure of organ systems right on your iOS devices using an Apple pencil or your finger.
SkyMap (Android) – FREE
Sky Map is a handheld planetarium for your Android device. Use it to identify stars, planets, nebulae and more.
FETCH! Lunch Rush (iOS, Android) – FREE
In this multiplayer game, you manage lunch orders from Ruff’s movie crew. The challenge is keeping track of how many pieces of sushi everyone wants. Both your brain and body will be moving once you spread out the game pieces and start taking orders.