Sunday, July 7, 2013

Aurasma vs. Onvert

I have been spending a lot of my summer reading blogs, following Twitter, attending conferences and trainings, and leading a few of my own trainings.  Little did I know when I accepted this position that it meant that summer vacation was a thing of the past.  It has been super exciting, draining, and has allowed for me to learn a lot more.  In all of this summer learning, I learned about two iPad programs, Aurasma and Onvert.  I have played with both a little and decided that the next blog of mine should be devoted to comparing the two apps.
I first learned about Aurasma from another blog I follow from Matt B Gomez.  Aurasma is basically a QR scanner with a twist.  Instead of a QR code leading to another web based resources, you scan an 'Aura'.  An Aura is a picture which will trigger  media.  When you scan a 'Aura' another resource appears directly on top of the Aura.   The website has a set of media that you can utilize, or you can upload your own pictures and videos to the  Aura.  To be able to utilize this program you download the free Aurasma app which is available through Google Play and Apple's App Store.
Image I used for my Aura

Strength of trigger photo
I tried out this program and created my very first Aura. All Auras are created on your device.  For the media that will be displayed I created a Keynote video on my MacBook and exported it to iTunes.  This caused me a bit of a headache as Aurasma wants to load videos from your camera, photo album or something called blinkx which I haven't explored yet.  After playing for a while I ended up recording the Keynote while it played using my camera on my iPad. Once you have selected your media that will be shown over the trigger picture, you select the picture that will be scanned, the trigger.  Through trial and error I discovered that the picture must be relatively complex.  I originally wanted the trigger to be a sign with a few numbers and letters, like an element on the periodic table of elements.   Aura will show you how strong your image is with a bar ont the bottom of the selection window.
 You also have to actually take a picture of your trigger image so be sure to have that ready to go.  Once you have your trigger and overlay set up you save and you are done!
I could see a lot of excellent uses for Aurasma, the most exciting being student created Auras.  They are very easy to create especially when you use the camera tool to record your overlay.  Students could create anything from book reviews when you scan the cover of a book, to All About Me's a the beginning of the year when you scan their photos.
QR code you scan on the first step
Onvert is a program I learned about from a session that I attended at ISTE this summer, Crackin' the QR Code by Kurt Kohls.  He shared a lot of different ways to use QR codes.  My big take away was Onvert.  Onvert is a web based program that allows your iPad to scan QR codes, and then creates 3D media that is displayed when you scan a picture with the same QR code. Onvert works with both Apple and Android devices as well.  You create an Onvert QR code on the computer.   Go to the website and follow the steps.  Upload information about yourself the first time, load the trigger image and what will be layered over the tigger when scanned.  You can also load audio recordings as well.

Image to scan after you've scanned the QR code
I found this program to be a bit tricker than Aurasma.  The images had to be certain requirements and it required more work to set this up.  Students could use Onvert to create any type of presentation in the classroom.  They would need to be sure to have images and audio already recorded.
When thinking about which would be easier for a student to create I think Aurasma was the winner, although Onvert does has value as well.  I had some difficulty getting pictures which were the correct dimensions and it was difficult to change the layout of the layers.  I encourage you to try these programs out.  Both allow for students and teachers to create more interactive activities.

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