Augmented Reality (AR) uses cameras and sensors to project virtual content on top of the physical world. This new technology could potentially change the way we see the world, and ease its way into our everyday lives. AR apps are quickly becoming a major trend in the education system across the United States and other countries.
This is because AR apps give students an engaging and interactive perspective on learning. Developers were quick to combine it with the education sector and the technology has matured a lot in a short time. So here are some of our favorite AR apps that are great for education.
Quiver is a 3D coloring app that uses AR to bring drawings to life. To use it, you need to download and print coloring sheets from Quiver’s website. Each drawing has a unique QR code. When you scan it, the app uses AR to animate a virtual and 3D object of the drawing, which your kids or students can color. For example, a drawing of a circle can turn into a sphere.
Quiver has unique animations for each color sheet. A few of the packages are free, but you need a subscription to access the rest. This app has different color packs that can range from simple ABCs to maths and geography.
Download: Quiver for iOS | Android (free, subscription available)
2. 3D bear
3DBear provides a quick and easy way to introduce your kids to AR. The app includes 3D models, avatars and even simple stickers that you can use to create short augmented reality videos. It uses the camera to capture real images, then uses AR to overlay the 3D models over the footage.
This app also has a social element. You can see AR creations from other users, and also share your own stories with the world. Sharing these stories earns you points, which you can then use to unlock more 3D models.
It’s a great way to engage your child’s curiosity and imagination. 3DBear also has in-app lessons aimed at classrooms.
Download: 3DBear for iOS | Android (free, subscription available)
3. SkyView Lite
SkyView Lite uses your phone’s camera to identify objects in the sky such as stars, constellations and planets. It’s pretty easy to use, just open the app and point your phone at the sky. The app will then scan the environment and quickly give you all the relevant information.
It helps you spot constellations and explains the meaning of each one you come across. You can use the search option and let it guide you towards new constellations. By tapping on an AR image, you get quick information about what you’re looking at.
This app is one of the easiest and most interesting ways to experience AR. You can set reminders for celestial events and even schedule a night of stargazing.
Download: SkyView Lite for iOS | Android (free, in-app purchases available)
4. AR Atom Visualizer for ARCore
If you’ve ever wondered how electrons are organized and move around the nucleus, this app will show you with AR. Explaining atoms to a child is difficult, but this app makes the process easier. AR Atom Visualizer can show you the atomic structure of any element, making the organization of electrons easier to understand.
When you launch the app, it will open the camera. From there, press the plus sign (+) button and select one of the available elements and the app will create a 3D atomic model for it. You can then zoom in on this model, take a look at the structure and see how electrons move around.
You can switch between different visualizations of the atom, making it easier to explain to children. The engaging and practical approach here goes a long way in creating interest in science.
Download: AR Atom Visualizer for Android (Free)
5. Pokemon Go
Pokémon Go isn’t necessarily an educational app, but the benefits for young learners are interesting. In this game, you use your phone and walk around the real world while hunting for Pokemon. They appear on your screen as if they were present in the real world, and you can catch them using Poké Balls.
This recreational app also has benefits for people on the autism spectrum. It helps with emotional regulation and can improve social skills as it encourages you to explore the real world.
Children on the spectrum can be antisocial, so this app can be a great way to make them comfortable with their surroundings while out and about. Teaching your child to play Pokemon Go can also build curiosity as you ask your child to look at the world from a different lens.
Download: Pokemon Go for iOS | Android (free, in-app purchases available)
6. Animal Safari AR
Animal Safari AR is similar to the 3DBear app above, but differs in its implementation. Just like most AR apps, this one uses your phone’s camera to project 3D models onto the physical world by displaying them on the screen. As the name suggests, this one has models of wild animals.
The outstanding aspect is that this app has 3D models that are almost true to scale. Using this app outside is a good idea as it gives you a better perspective. The models have realistic features and you can even listen to their unique sounds.
You can feed these animals and watch them consume food in a lifelike way. Each animal also has an information card that works well in engaging learning for young children.
Download: Animal Safari AR for iOS | Android (free, in-app purchases available)
Photomath can help students who struggle to understand mathematical concepts. The app uses your phone’s camera to scan a math problem from your laptop and the app will give you the solution.
The best part is that it thoroughly walks you through the steps and tells you what concepts are involved in the problem. It even has a whole library of explanations and guides.
Photomath has AI animations, verbal descriptions and visual solutions, so students can learn the way they want. The app will also check in concepts from time to time to see if your child is prepared for the next test. It works well for students of all ages.
Download: Photomath for iOS | Android (free, premium version available)
8. Catchy Words AR
Catchy Words is an app that can help your children learn to spell. The app uses your camera to project 3D models of letters on the screen. You have to “catch” these letters by holding the phone and moving towards them.
Then put these letters in a box to spell the word. It is also a physical experience as your child has to move around a bit. They don’t need to touch the screen and when they move towards letters, they are automatically selected. Move the letter towards a box to lock it in place.
You can also add your own word lists to customize your child’s learning experience.
Download: Catchy Words AR for iOS (free, premium version available)
9. Google Translate
Most people reading this are probably aware of Google Translate and have used it in the past. After opening the app, you will notice that it is set to translate from English to Spanish by default. You can change the settings so that the app detects any language and translates it to English or whatever you prefer.
Press Camera button to scan text from almost any surface. The app will automatically detect the language and quickly translate it for you. If not, click the shutter icon and it will show you more results on the screen.
Google Translate is an excellent example of the use of AR in our daily lives. This app is an excellent tool if you are trying to teach your child a new language
Download: Google Translate for iOS | Android (free)
Upgrade your learning with education
Smartphone app stores have many great AR applications. But when it comes to educational apps, these are the cream of the crop. Whether you want to run your child’s education while at home or introduce them to AR, these apps will provide an interesting perspective on education for young students.
The educational part is one of the most important aspects of both the Play Store and the App Store. You can find thousands of apps that can help young learners. There are a few of them that let you sign up for free courses as well.