How to gather information actively using the iPad

The teacher imparting information or the students actively acquiring knowledge and skills. Most would agree that the latter is more desirable.

In the geography classroom knowing where a topic refers to is very important. Geographers are not so interested in abstract knowledge, we want to know the location, the times the details. Teaching students ‘where in the world’ can be a tedious matter. I may have a passion for maps but I can’t assume my students will be quite so obsessed by these things of beauty!

i-nigma is a QR code reader
i-nigma is a QR code reader

Linking an image to a place is one way to start to overcome this problem. The traditional method would be to pin a photograph to a map on a wall. This is still a fantastic option but helping the student to acquire the image and then to work on it takes a new step forward with the iPad. A QR code can be set next to the image. The student has to move to the wall display, select the location that is relevant and then obtain the image by using the QR code. This can then be saved to the camera roll and brought into any other app (the background for Tellagami, the Pages template, the video presentation etc.).

Aurasma is an augmented reality app. Request an Aurasma Studio account to manage the content

A step on from this would be to use augmented reality to achieve a similar goal. Digitally overlaying an imager a video onto a trigger image allows the iPad to ‘see’ the trigger image through the camera lens and then to automatically play the desired image onto the screen. It is possible to trigger website as well.

Thinking about how the students get their images onto their iPad. There are four basic options:

  1. use the camera and take a photo themselves
  2. save an image from the internet (always encourage them to be careful over copyright with these and to check the licence – good habits at an early age are worthwhile)
  3. use a QR code to collect an image (or other information)
  4. use augmented reality (something like Aurasma)

The relationship that the student has with the information source then changes. The display wall becomes an object of active enquiry. The selection of information becomes more considered and the learning process has greater potential for the student.

Next post: Layering information using ThingLink


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