Teaching Tips

Augmented Reality for Dance Class? Yup, and It's a Useful Tool

Q: I'm looking for out-of-the-box teaching tools to use with my students. Do you have any recommendations?

A: Augmented reality is a form of technology that presents some interesting teaching opportunities for dance educators. Examples of augmented reality that may be familiar to you include IKEA's AR catalog app, in which users can visualize how certain pieces of furniture would look in their homes by superimposing virtual versions of beds and couches onto images of their rooms. Or, Pokémon GO, where users see 3-D Pokémon on their phone screens as if they were in the same physical location as the player.

Dance teachers can make their own augmented reality in class with free apps like HP Reveal. This app allows you to superimpose images onto other videos, websites or photos on the screen of your phone or tablet.

For instance, teachers could create a dance scavenger hunt by virtually overlaying dance pictures or videos in specific locations around your school or town. Using GPS, your students can find locations where you've left virtual content, point the cameras of their phones at them and view the photos and videos you have left there as they pop up on the screens of their devices. Going on a field trip to a museum? Go earlier to set up an interactive activity for your students ahead of time. For example, if you were going to a Degas exhibit, you could create a video about his relationship to dance and virtually place it on top of one of his paintings. When your students scan over the painting with their devices, they can see the video you've created to supplement their learning.

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