New Technologies are claimed to be a very significant educational tool. The educational process becomes more pleasant and accessible for the students using them. In recent years, a very innovative and perpetually emerging technology,known as “Augmented Reality”, has made its steps vivid in the educational domain. This particular article is based on a case study of a group of Primary School students in Greece, aiming at creating an Augmented Reality book, enriched with an English digital story. Students’ motivation, through the Augmented Reality as part of the Primary School English lesson, was the main purpose of this creative project. Students’ motivation was increased, digital skills were improved, collaborative learning was enhanced, students’ imagination was ameliorated, student-centered teaching was promoted, critical thinking and communication were raised and an attractive and creative learning environment was encouraged. The students managed to create an Augmented Reality book, using the application ZapWorks, and their own digital story in English based on animation techniques, as part of a collaborative learning and teaching environment.
The whole process was amazing and the students were extremely proud of themselves, proving that New Technologies can be very essential and can have tremendously positive effects on them.
The students were presented with the main purpose of the project which was to create an Augmented Reality book using ZapWorks and they started discussing the story they were going to write.
Each student started giving his/her opinion about the story and they all came up to the same theme. They decided to create a story on technology.
Day 2 & 3
The students worked in two teams.
The first team was called "the storymakers" and they had to write down the scenario of the story by creating a storyboard first.
The second team was called "the animators" and they had to draw the characters and the things used for their AR book.
The students found the sound effects of their story and they recorded it.
Day 5 & 6
These two days were devoted to animation. Using stop motion animation techniques the students created a digital story with their animation characters, so that they could use it in their AR book.
When they finished with their animation, they used "Windows Movie Maker" and they created a digital story based on animation
The last two meetings were based on Augmented Reality. The students were taught how to use ZapWorks, so they created tracking images and every time a user scanned the pictures of the book the animation story appeared on the smart device.
Then the students started creating their book using "Power Point" and then they printed it.
The result was incredible. The students managed to create an AR book using just a simple smartphone and a laptop, proving that if you want to do something creative you can do it using ordinary things. Students' learning motivation was improved and their digital skills were boosted, as well as their collaborative skills.
Augmented Reality is undoubtedly a very strong educational weapon and thanks to "Zappar" we were given the chance to achieve our goal!!!
The project was part of a thesis for the postgraduate program: "ICT in
Education" (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) with Mr. Patrikakis Charalampos, as the supervising professor (University of West Attica).