Ok, so it’s time that we talked about Pokemon GO, right? Well, sorta. Although I’m a casual PG player myself I don’t have any scintillating insights on how to use that particular tool for education (yet!). However, there are a ton of other augmented reality apps available right now that could easily be adapted in higher ed. This week I reviewed several of them and, frankly, most of them were awful. In fact, many of them were broken. Luckily one stood out above the rest: WallaMe.
Overview and Examples
WallaMe is a super simple concept. Basically, it allows anyone with the app to create augmented reality content and view messages, drawings, and images left by others in the real world. For instance, I made the CETL door a little more friendly:
This guy seems to be using the app for some type of horticultural hitman endeavor:
Ok, so these are super silly examples but I think that you can see the potential here. Imagine how students might use this app on field trips, during study abroad, in the classroom, around campus, or around Atlanta. Creating and leaving messages in the real world is a powerful way for students to construct and reconstruct reality in context. For instance, imagine creating an assignment where students visit and comment on a contested monument in downtown Atlanta. Not only could students view and discuss each other’s creations but they could also make these public for anyone to view. In essence, students would be creating a non-destructive form of graffiti that serves as a form of public pedagogy. Other WallaMe users from outside of your class might then join in on the conversation and expand the discourse to a wider audience. How exciting!
WallaMe is a mobile app available for iOS and Android. I tried it out on both my junky $50 LG Dynamic II Android phone and my iPad. It worked great on both!
WallaMe is so simple you probably don’t even need a tutorial. However, the app’s website contains a great tutorial right on the homepage. Check it out: