How to Bring Augmented Reality to Your School's Art Show

Technology Tips

How to Bring Augmented Reality to Your School's Art Show

By Patricia Brown     Apr 26, 2015

How to Bring Augmented Reality to Your School's Art Show

Our school’s annual art show comes with a twist. This year, at the third annual Spring Interactive Art Show, each student selected two pieces from their art portfolio to display—complete with QR codes and augmented reality!

During the school year, as students completed art pieces in their classes, they wrote a reflection for each. We recorded the voices of over 400 students reading these reflections on the website This website is so simple to use a kindergartner can use it, and the best part is it allows you to create a QR code right on the website, which you can even share via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

For those of you new to QR codes, let me walk you through how to use them. Before the event, I send an email to parents prior to the event to download a QR code app reader, like Inigma. I also send this art show flyer home with students.

Parents use the QR code scanner on their device (iPad or smartphone) to scan the QR code. Then they are able to hear their child talk about their art piece. Students share their inspiration for creating their projects, the materials they used, and the steps they took in creating their masterpieces.

In art shows during prior years, parents would look briefly at the art pieces. Through the use of QR codes, the parents spend a lot longer enjoying the projects, and they get a real sense of the meaning behind the pieces their children create. Our annual art show has really become a community event, and it extends learning outside of the classroom. (Learn more in a video here.)

Our 4th grade students participated in an Art Integration Residency project through COCA. The students analyzed, interpreted and wrote about artworks both famous and ones they created! The poetry is so beautiful! It's astonishing the level of expression they were able to achieve through this art immersion. The QR codes are the poems they wrote with the resident poet, Susan Grigsby, who spent 6 weeks working with students.

This year we have also incorporated Aurasmas (augmented reality). The Aurasma App allows you to take an image, and turn it into a video. Five of our students have been chosen as our Distinguished Readers. They have posters in their honor that are of them holding their favorite book. Our Distinguished Reader posters will warp the trigger image (Image Poster) into a video using the Aurasma App, and parents will be able to watch a video trailer of their child’s favorite book.

Next year we will take our art show to the next level by incorporating more writing and reflection. We want more of our students to write poetry about their artwork, or a how-to paragraph on the process, or a story about their art pieces. We also will take videos of the art creation process, and incorporate that into the art pieces. Parents can scan the artwork with the Aurasma App, after subscribing to the school channel. They will see a video of their child creating their artwork, and discussing their art.

With the push in schools to go from STEM to STEAM which now incorporates ART. It is essentially that we see that merging Art and Technology is an additional way to engage students. It is also important for students to understand that technology can be integrated through any subject. Through our interactive art show not only are we showcasing artwork, but through technology students are able to enhance their communication, creativity, and collaboration. Our 4th grade students mentored kindergarteners to write reflections about their art work. This was a great experience for both grade levels. Students take pride in their artwork, and are excited about using technology to share their masterpieces.

Patricia Brown is a professional development specialist, an adjunct graduate professor, and an edtech consultant. She is also an official EdSurge columnist.

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