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Augmented Reality apps to enhance at-home learning

One of the tasks in education the iPad enables over a Chromebook is Augmented Reality, and right now is the time for AR apps to shine. With students forced home for the final stretch of the school year, class trips, field trips, and other immersive experiences have been canceled. Education is more than just pencil and paper, but when students can’t leave the house, augmented reality comes to the rescue. ARKit2 is supported by iPhone 6s and later, all iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, or newer.

Side Note: ARKit 3.5 is only supported by the new iPad Pro and its LiDAR Scanner and depth sensing system), but none of the apps I am mentioning today require ARKit 3.5.

About Making The Grade: Every other Saturday, Bradley Chambers publishes a new article about Apple in education. He has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing hundreds of Macs and hundreds of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


While Augmented Reality apps can’t totally replace the experience of visiting new places, they can enhance the learning experience while we’re all stuck at home. Here are a few Augmented Reality apps to check out:

  • Froggipedia integrates AR to let students see a virtual frog appear right in front of them. The app allows students to dissect the frog by replacing the scalpel with Apple Pencil, providing a way to create the in-lab experience at home.
  • Plantale uses AR to let you see the growth stages of a plant from the seed and then discover how the plant reproduces to form this seed and learn all about the anatomy and morphology of all parts of a plant.
  • Boulevard AR brings to life one of the most famous paintings from London’s National Portrait Gallery: the Portrait of Sir Henry Unton. It uses AR to show the work in detail right on a wall. Users are introduced to the painting by the collection’s curator, who then narrates and guides the experience through nine individual videos, allowing students to explore the work of art.
  • Statue of Liberty is one of my favorite augmented reality apps. It allows students to discover the Statue of Liberty at home through the benefits of AR and immersive storytelling. Students can explore the statue in ways that few have been able to do before through the app’s collection of stories and visual media walks. Students can also listen to its exclusive podcast that transports listeners to critical moments in history.
  • Apollo’s Moon Shot AR  places you right in the action of NASA’s space missions of the 1960s using an augmented reality app . Users can play two AR games to test their ability at navigating a path to the moon and dodging craters and boulders to make a smooth landing, launch their own Saturn V rocket, a sit inside the Lunar Command Module of Apollo 11.
  • Civilisations AR uses AR to help students discover the secrets of ancient Egypt, reveal hidden layers beneath Renaissance masterpieces, and learn more about the origins of historical treasures. The app’s collection of items contains over 30 historic artifacts, including an ancient Egyptian mummy, Rodin’s The Kiss from the National Museum, iconic sculptures from Henry Moore, and more.
  • 3DBear helps with remote teaching by using AR-based lesson plans available for preschool, elementary school, middle school, high school, and more.
  • AR Makr allows students to sketch, scan, and snap the world around them using AR. The app shows students how to convert their creations from 2D to 3D virtual objects, while they can also place their creations anywhere. Once it’s saved, the object can be shared with friends.

What do you think about using Augmented Reality apps in the classroom once schools return to normal (hopefully) in the fall? With what I’ve seen out of ARkit 3.5, the future seems very bright.

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