Orientations on the Augmented Reality experience
Through this Augmented Reality (AR) pilot plan, we shall make the project more attractive to students and this will help to get them actively involved with the knowledge of railways in Europe. Teachers and students will be able to use their own mobile units to collect data that they will then georeference (a railway station, for example) and associate with cartography before making this data available through the web site. The main subject relates to the changes experienced by the railway network in Europe. Using the local scale to better understand the global one is the adopted learning procedure.
Students can therefore go on field trips and take photos that reflect this local reality. In this way, they can actively collaborate in the task of improving our knowledge of their territory and they will be motivated by the fact that their work will be visibly useful. Promoting student motivation is a key element and using free technologies we think is a good way to do this.
For our experience we have used Hoppala as Content Management System and Layar as Augmented Reality Browser. Both tools are free to use and don't need any installation, you can operate them from your web browser.
Hoppala is the tool that allows you to pin a particular point in a map and associate to it digital resources.
Layar is the tool that allows you to publish the information you have created with Hoppala so anyone can visualize it through the screen of a smartphone.
Results of the Lleida Railway Heritage experience are double. Firstly, data on Lleida railway stations (e.g. Lleida, Mollerussa, Pardinyes...) has been generated by the students and are publicly available on the Augmented Reality section of this website. And secondly, all this information has been geolocalized in order to create Augmented Reality content in the form of Points of Interest (POI). If you want to access this Augmented Reality information, follow these simple steps:
1. Download and install the free Layar application in your smartphone.
2. Go to "Geo Layers" and look for "Lleida Ferroviaria".
3. Use the radar in the smartphone screen to orientate your device to the POIs.
4. Touch any of the POIs to get access to its additional information.
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How to use Augmented Reality (AR) in the classroom
1- Choose a topic to work on
Something close to your students that can be gelocalized (e.g. railway stations)
2- Organize a visit
Take your students to different locations and make them produce digital contents (e.g. pictures, videos, sound files)
Make your students research on particular spots so they can complement the information they have generated
4- Create AR content
Make your students use an AR Content Mangement System (e.g. Hoppala) to associate the information to its geolocalization
5- Publish your AR content
Publish the AR content through an AR browser (e.g. Layar)