This is the first year that I have felt like a veteran teacher.
Maybe it's because we've had an influx of first and second year teachers, or maybe it's that I am no longer quite as peppy as I used to be if I don't get a full seven hours of sleep at night. Probably, it's the fact that my school is celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year. I guess it's hard not to feel at least a little older when you realize you've been around for half the life of an established school.
My leadership class wanted to do something special to recognize our school's 20th year, so we decided to create a living history wall. The original idea was to collect photos from staff and past yearbooks, then create a bulletin board in the hallway to display them. Another group of my leadership students decided to work on a documentary film about our school's history and interview staff members who opened the school. When they started looking at footage of the interviews, one of my students said, "Wow. I wish we could share some of these clips with the school. Our movie is going to take a while to finish, but it would be cool to just show people the best of what we have."
And just like when Marty McFly realizes that time travel really is possible thanks to Doc Brown's DeLorean, my students were super excited when I suggested the concept of augmented reality. If you're unfamiliar with augmented reality, the concept is similar to using QR codes. In both methods, additional content is activated by scanning an image of some kind. In QR, the trigger image is the square code itself. In augmented reality, the trigger image can be anything from a math problem on a page, to a building on your school campus, or a poster hanging on the wall.
Not Yo' Mama's Yearbook Photo Experience
- Which photos depict a major difference between past and present?
- Which photos depict a clear similarity between past and present?
- Which photos depict a surprising aspect of campus, community, students, or staff?
"Doc Brown" Type Logistics
Using the Aurasma app, students made a special channel for this project. They uploaded short video clips to the channel, then scanned the photos. Each photo was turned into a trigger image. So, when a person scans the trigger images with Aurasma, corresponding video clips appear. Yes, this process really is as easy as it sounds. I trained a few "experts" and had them share their understanding with the rest of the team. All of the auras (triggers + videos) were created in about an hour and a half.
The "20 Years of Workman" wall debuted during Parent Conferences. In preparation, ASB students filmed several video tutorials that aired on our weekly school news episodes. Several students even took turns acting as docents with a few classroom iPads in order to demonstrate the wall to parents and allow families without smartphones to participate.
Of course, the best part about this entire process was watching the pride students took in their finished product. In the weeks following conferences, I continue to see students interacting with the content of the wall before and after school.