Augmented Reality is the term used by apps which overlay content on top of real world objects. Imagine viewing a textbook page through your iPad and the pictures come to life with sound and animations. This can have some great educational uses. From bringing spacecraft or animals into the classroom, to bringing storybooks to life with 3D models.

While investigating new Augmented Reality apps for a workshop I was planning, I stumbled across this set of apps from Octagon Studios, a multimedia company specialising in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. They produce many different AR apps, but here are 3 that would be of interest to classroom teachers.

All of these apps are free to download, but they require special packs of cards which you can purchase via their website. There are several packs of trial cards you can download and print for yourself if you want to test out the apps and decide if you want to buy the full versions.

Space 4D+ (iOS / Android)

Space 4D+ is a collection of 37 educational AR flashcards about space including the solar system, planets, space objects, satellites, rovers, and space missions.

Solar System 4d

Students could hold the solar system in the palm of their hand!

The Lunar Rover card even allows them to drive a rover around the moon using the on-screen buttons, which is rather cool.

Solar System 4d

Dinosaurs 4D+ (iOS / Android)

Create a virtual Jurassic Park in your classroom with the Dinosaurs 4D+ app. The app also provides  some of the history, features, and interesting facts of each dinosaur.

Create a habitat for a dinosaur and place the card in the middle to see the dinosaur take up residence. Capture the image to use in a piece of creative writing.

Dinosaur 4d

Animal 4D+ (IOS / Android)

The Animal 4D+ app allows you to have a giraffe in the palm of your hand! Scan a number of cards simultaneously to make a mini zoo! Examine the animals up close in 3D mode. The 2D sketch will turn into a 3D moving animation which allows you to spin, turn and zoom in and out of each animal.

The pack also comes with food cards – so children can match up the correct food to the correct animal.

Like the dinosaur app, these would provide a novel way of bringing wild animals into the classroom – make a display come to life, discuss habitats, or use as part of a creative storytelling lesson.

4d Animal

For free apps, these are all worth investigating, try the free card downloads from the site to see what you think.

If you like this sort of thing, then check out 4 Great Augmented Reality Apps for Teaching Science, and Virtuali-Tee lets you view inside the body with Augmented Reality.

Find out more about Octagon Studios, and download their apps here.