School blends history and hi-tech

A Staffordshire primary school has made use of the latest classroom technology to celebrate its 100th anniversary year

Pupils at Henry Chadwick Primary School in Hill Ridware near Rugeley, Staffs, put together scrap books depicting the school’s history which have been given another dimension through the use of Augmented Reality. 

The scrap books were just one element of teaching that was planned around the school’s past, present and future; with pupils tasked to chart their own school experiences. The Augmented Reality component was added following a conversation between the school’s ICT Coordinator Vicki Barnes and Sally Tippett, a consultant at educational ICT specialist Fantastict that has been supporting the school through its A-Three consultancy package. 

Vicki said:“I was trying to think of different ways we could mark the centenary and get the entire school excited about using the technology in our classrooms and, while chatting with Sally, she came up with the idea of using Augmented Reality. I went away, gave it some thought and realised that the scrap books represented a great opportunity to make use of this and the rest is history. Sally came into school and gave me some training on the Aurasma software, I then worked with my own class to get the project up and running before training the rest of the staff who rolled it out in their classes.

“The result has been brilliant, both the staff and children loved the project and it is the first time I have introduced some ICT and not been met by apprehension from staff – this is a real first!”

To help bring students’ scrapbooks to life, Sally recommended the use of the free Aurasma app on the school’s iPads. This allowed pupils to link videos to their photos in scrap books so that, when viewed through an iPad, the app would automatically pick up video content related to a specific image.

Sally said: “Aurasma is a great, free app for schools to introduce the concept of Augmented Reality and bring a new dimension to things like classroom displays. The use of it with the scrap books was an inspired idea of Vicki’s and one which has really captured the imaginations of her colleagues and pupils. It’s a pleasure to work with teachers like Vicki who are so keen to push the boundaries with ICT – it needn’t be scary and there is so much fun to be had if you embrace technology rather than shy away from it.”