Thursday, October 31, 2013

Green Screening and Augmented Reality with 4 year olds

This week I've been truly blessed to work with some of our youngest students and their teachers.  The students have been inquiring into relationships for their Who We Are unit of inquiry. The central idea of this unit is "Relationships with each other can have an impact on our well-being." They have mostly focused on family and friends. For the past 4 days I have been involved in helping the teachers and students with their summative assessment.  The teachers decided they wanted to use Green Screening and the AR app Aurasma to document the students' learning.

Students started out by drawing a picture of themselves and a friend.  The teachers photographed this drawing using their iPads.  We set up a very simple green screen by wrapping green paper around a storage cupboard.  Each day, it was the turn of one of our EC4 classes to use this space with their students - the teachers' iPads had Green Screen Mobile Effects installed on them and the teachers unlocked both the set background (allowing the student artwork to be used as backdrops) and the time (allowing students to talk for as long as they wanted).  We had one tripod, so each day we mounted one teacher iPad on it and students were able to select their drawings from the Photo Stream and then move in front of the green paper where they be part of their own drawing.

The summative assessment called for students to talk about the friend on their picture, the sorts of words and behaviours they use with this person and how this friend makes them feel and why.  They shared stories about the things they did and how they played together.  These Green Screen movies were saved so that they could be turned into the overlays for the Auras.

Back in their learning spaces the teachers then photographed the students with their friend.  These photographs were going to become the triggers for the Auras.

Today after school we put both the triggers and overlays together to produce the Auras on ASB's Aurasma channel.  Now, by holding a mobile device over the photograph of the two friends, a video will appear with a drawing of the children made by a student, and inside that drawing will be the student talking about his or her friend.  We will be able to add the photographs to the students' ePortfolios so that they will trigger Auras and be a permanent record of the students' learning during this unit of inquiry.

I think the thing that is really impressive about this is just how easy it is to do.  Even our youngest students are very able to take photos of their own artwork, add these photos to the GSMX app, stand in front of a "green screen" and talk.  The final Auras are really quite magical.  It really is a wonderful way to capture this authentic learning.

Photo Credit: Yelnoc via Compfight cc


  1. Maggie, thank you so much for sharing this post! Do you have any links to a video example?

  2. Hi Naketa, there is no link as such, as it is the photos that trigger the auras. These photos are of students and therefore I do not think I can post them because of privacy issues. However our Art teacher has also used Aurasma, and has done this using artwork the students have done, which she has then transformed using Morfo so that it seems that the self portraits of the children actually talk and tell stories - one of these drawings might be possible to post - I will check and if so I will put this in an upcoming post.