Caspar Thykier, CEO, Zappar
Whether we like it or not as parents, children are growing up in an increasingly connected world where the discovery, presentation and dissemination of information are fast becoming fundamental life skills. As technology continues to transform the way we learn, work and play, the tools at our disposal continue to grow, too. This presents a host of new ways to engage children, foster creativity and nurture the development of digital skills.
But that’s not all – as areas like Magic Leap and wearables continue to grow, one question continues to rear its head – where will we find the content creators to deliver these experiences? Getting students comfortable with the tools and techniques needed to do this is something we're looking to pioneer for the next generation of digital creators.
Education has always been a fascinating area for augmented reality, but putting the right tools in the classroom at an affordable cost has always been a barrier. At Zappar we’re all about democratising AR, and helping people deliver fun, valuable experiences within that magical space that exists between a physical object or image and a user’s device. In the classroom, this could be anything from a poster or newsletter to a text book or course work.
Our Zapcode Creator plays to both sides of this coin. Delivering zaps not only gets children engaged with content in a multisensory way, it also nurtures a whole spectrum of skills. While inspiring children in developing core desktop computing skills, it also encourages development in areas like design, multimedia storytelling, presentation skills and team work.
In many ways this language is at the heart of all digital design and coding, and we see the Zapcode Creator as the building blocks to educate and excite kids about the digital world.
We’ve taken the Zapcode Creator to primary schools, secondary schools and universities, and have been really excited to see pupils getting engaged across the board. Why? Because the Zapcode Creator is simple, intuitive and packed with exciting features.
And from our experience, AR really does have appeal across the board - whether we’ve been introducing the Zapcode Creator to students as young as eight (St Faiths and St Stevens schools) or incorporating AR into the design course at Mexico’s University of Monterrey.
Similarly, we’ve worked with St Catherine’s College to bring to life a unique poster for the prestigious Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, and helped worked with StoneOak Media on a ground breaking Kickstarter campaign to create The Rockwell adventures, introducing STEM to younger users in a fun, interactive way (feel free to add your support for that one here!). Finally, Ira Kaufman and Chris Horton in their recently released college textbook, Digital Marketing: Integrating Strategy and Tactics with Values, used zapcodes to digitize content in the print version of their book. They included 52 zapcodes which provided updated digital content and was linked to a companion website. The book has been adopted by business schools in North America, Europe and Australia. There really are a wealth avenues to explore across the education spectrum.
While it’s still early days in the fascinating world of AR, our experience in taking the Zapcode Creator into schools has shown that AR really does has the ability to deliver a fun, interactive and educational learning tool. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for AR in education – and to continue to pioneer the delivery of AR in the classroom.
Take a look at the work we’ve been doing with the pupil’s at St. Stephen’s School: