Free Technology for Teachers: Wolves in My Yard and Penguins in My House!
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Free Technology for Teachers: Wolves in My Yard and Penguins in My House!

Thanks to where I live and the amount of time that I've spent hiking, camping, fly fishing I have slightly more experience seeing wildlife like bears and moose than the average person. Almost every night at dinner my three-year-old asks me to tell a story about seeing a bear, a moose, or other animal. But last week when she asked for a story about a wolf, I didn't have one because I've never had an encounter with one in the wild. So I did a quick Google search on my phone to show her pictures of wolves. That's when I was reminded of Google's augmented reality in search experiences. 

When you conduct a Google search on your Android or iPhone/ iPad Google will suggest objects to "view in 3D." Of course, your search has to be for something that Google offers as a 3D augmented reality object. The complete list of objects can be seen here in Google's Search Help Pages. 

Some of the animals in Google's 3D Augmented Reality Objects in Search:

  • Timberwolves
  • Tigers
  • Pandas
  • Alligators
  • Great White Sharks
  • Penguins
  • Golden Retrievers

Animals aren't the only things available to view in augmented reality via mobile Google search. You can also view representations of chemistry, physics, and biology concepts. There is also a small selection of cultural objects and sites available to view as 3D augmented reality objects. Again, that complete can be found here. Some highlights from the list include:

  • Red blood cells
  • Metallic bonding
  • Plasma membranes
  • Human digestive system
  • Apollo 11 command module

Applications for Education

One of the neat things that you can do with the 3D objects is view them in augmented reality while recording a video about those objects. To do that you open the object on your phone or tablet then tap "view in your space." Then you'll be prompted to point your camera at a flat space. Once you've done that the 3D object appears in your camera view. I did this to put a wolf in my front yard (see the video here). I recorded the video by simply holding the camera shutter button while viewing the object. 

Your video of the 3D object in augmented reality can include sound. Simply start talking while recording. Doing that could be a good way to record a short video lesson for your students. Likewise, it could be a good way to have students record short videos about animals or concepts they're learning about in your classroom. 


This post originally appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web. Featured screenshot created by Richard Byrne. 


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