Colar Mix: App of the Week that teaches augmented reality [Lesson Tips]

Colar Mix turns simple coloring pages into 3D animated experiences and lets you teach kids about augmented reality. Here are the lesson plan tips you need. Joli Barker-Erwin @Joli_Barker told me about this app on a recent recording of Every Classroom Matters (it will be posted soon but I just can't wait to share.)

Read how Joli is using the app to teach creative writing on her Fearless Classroom Blog. Joli shared with me that she used Colar Mix as a coloring page for her students. Then, she had them write a story about what was happening in the picture. When parents came in, she used the app to animate the pages in 3D on her board. This app is available for iOS And Google Play and it is free, which makes it perfect for BYOD.

I've shown this app to Kindergarteners to Seniors and they LOVE it. For older kids you can introduce the concept of augmented reality (adding virtual enhancements on top of the physical world.) For younger kids, a creative writing activity is awesome like Jolie did.

Download the free pages and print them, watch the video, peruse the pics on Pinterest and follow these tips.

Teaching Tips with Colar Mix for All Ages:

  • Do not use dark markers. Crayons, highlighters work better.
  • Consider surprising them. I used this when I watched 4 year olds yesterday in church and said “Color these pages and I'm going to bring them to life” – they were so excited and when I did the first one, they all started coloring excitedly.
  • Be very careful about dark colors if you color with a dark black marker it can obscure the lines Colar Mix uses to recognize the image. (I tell my students that those lines are like a bar code.)  I also had a student color the whole page purple and I had trouble with it on my ipad, although the iphone app seemed to do well with it.
  • If you have just one ipad or iphone, have a system for showing the work. Maybe once or twice. Do what works for you. Definitely hook your iphone, ipad or Droid into the board so they can see.
  • Sometimes you have to stand above it to get the image and then you can walk around it 360 degrees to show all sides.
  • For Middle and High School kids you can use this Augmented Reality TED Video to talk about augmented reality
  • If students get into it, have them make their own augmented reality app like Colar using Aurasma.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere