Augmented Reality (AR) uses cameras and sensors to project virtual content on top of the physical world. This new tech could potentially change the way we view the world, and ease its way into our daily lives. AR apps are quickly becoming a large trend in the education system across the US 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 tech has matured a lot over 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’ll have to download and print coloring sheets from Quiver’s website. Each drawing has a unique QR code. Once you scan it, the app uses AR to animate a virtual and 3D object of the drawing, which your children or students can then color. For example, a drawing of a circle can turn into a sphere.
Quiver features unique animations for each coloring sheet. A few of the packs are free, but you’ll need a subscription to access the rest. This app features different coloring packs that can range from simple ABCs to math and geography.
Download: Quiver for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
3DBear provides a quick and easy way of introducing your kids to AR. The app contains 3D models, avatars, and even simple stickers that you can use to make short augmented reality videos. It uses the camera to capture real images, then uses AR to superimpose the 3D models on top of that footage.
This app also has a social element. You can view 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 is a great way to engage with your child’s curiosity and imagination. 3DBear also features lessons in the app catered toward 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 fairly simple to use, just open the app and point your phone toward the sky. The app will then scan the environment and quickly provide you with all the relevant information.
It helps you to spot constellations and explains the significance of each one you come across. You can use the search option and let it guide you toward new constellations. Tapping an AR image will give you some quick information on 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 plan a stargazing night.
Download: SkyView Lite for iOS | Android (Free, in-app purchases available)
4. AR Atom Visualizer for ARCore
If you ever wondered how electrons are organized and move around the nucleus, this app will show you that with AR. Explaining atoms to a child is hard, 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.
Once you launch the app, it will open its camera. From there, tap the plus sign (+) button and choose any of the available elements, and the app will create a 3D atomic model for it. You can then zoom into this model, take a look at its structure, and see how electrons move around.
You can switch between different visualizations of the atom, making it easier to explain it to children. The engaging and hands-on approach here goes a long way in creating an interest in science.
Download: AR Atom Visualizer for Android (Free)
5. Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go is not necessarily an educational app, but its benefits for young learners are interesting. In this game, you use your phone and walk around the real world while on the hunt for Pokémon. They appear on your screen as if they were present in the real world, and you can catch them using Poké Balls.
Also, this recreational app features benefits people on the autism spectrum. It helps with emotional regulation and can improve social skills since it urges you to explore the real world.
Children on the spectrum can be anti-social, so this app could be a great way to make them comfortable with their surroundings while outside. Teaching your child how to play Pokémon Go could also build their curiosity since you’re asking your child to look at the world from a different lens.
Download: Pokémon 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 uses your phone’s camera to project 3D models onto the physical world by displaying them on your screen. As the name suggests, this one features models of wild animals.
The standout aspect is that this app features 3D models that are almost true to scale. Using this app outside is a good idea since that 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 life-like manner. Each animal also has an information card which works well in engaging education for young children.
Download: Animal Safari AR for iOS | Android (Free, in-app purchases available)
Photomath can help students who are struggling to understand math concepts. The app uses your phone’s camera to scan a math problem from your notebook, and the app will provide you with the solution.
The best part is that it thoroughly walks you through the steps and lets you know what concepts are involved with the problem. It even features an entire library of explanations and guides.
Photomath features AI animations, verbal descriptions, and visual solutions, so students can learn however they like. The app will also check in on concepts from time to time to see if your child is prepared for their 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 kids when they are learning how to spell. The app uses your camera to project 3D models of letters on the screen. You need to “catch” these letters by holding your phone and moving toward them.
Then, put those letters into a box to spell out the word. It’s a physical experience as well since your child will need to move around a bit. They don’t need to touch the screen, and moving toward letters automatically selects them. Move the letter toward a box to lock it in place.
You can also add your own wordlists 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 likely aware of Google Translate and have used it in the past. After opening the app, you’ll notice it’s 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 however you prefer.
Tap the 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 multiple results on the screen.
Google Translate is an excellent example of the application of AR in our daily lives. This app is an excellent tool if you’re trying to teach your child a new language
Download: Google Translate for iOS | Android (Free)
Level Up Your Learning With Education
Smartphone app stores have a lot of great AR applications. However, when it comes to educational apps, these are the cream of the crop. Whether you want to power your child’s education while at home or make them familiar with AR, these apps will provide an interesting perspective on education for young students.
The educational section 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 allow you to enroll in free courses as well.