Augmented Realities in the Visual Arts Classroom

Term: 4 Year: 2016

The world we live in has become fast paced and increasingly visually saturated; our students’ lives are bombarded with images flashing in front of them with screens now an essential part of our lives. Technology use has become intrinsic to society, a new environment has emerged where technology is now part of our everyday lives. How can we use this to our advantage in the Visual Arts classroom?

Technological advances enable the use of innovative learning tools for education, such as Augmented Realities (AR). Among the AR sites and apps that I have explored recently were students creating their own 3D pop-up books at ZooBurst ( After having registered, storytellers can create their own world in which their stories can come to life. An AR marker can be assigned to the virtual book that helps the physical book to become lively.

Last year, I was asked by a colleague to look into the Aurasma App ( with the suggestion that it might be something I would be interested in. Interested was an understatement! After creating a ‘test’ Aura, I was hooked!

Aurasma is an app (Aurasma for Apple or use Aurasma Studio for PC) that enables you to ‘attach’ digital content (video, 3D works & animations) to a printed still picture, called an ‘Aura’. When using Aurasma, viewers can follow your channel and scan over printed images (embedded with an Aura) to see stills come to life.

Our Visual Arts department develops the school’s yearbook, so we started using Auras in it. I use it in class to invigorate boring art history timelines. Now they have videos of students explaining the who, when, where of the art period. We then went on to put Auras in the college newsletter to show parents what we get up to in the creative and making process. It has now been adopted as a college wide newsletter innovation, creating a real buzz and excitement from parents, teachers and students alike, eliciting an audible gasp and exclamation of “What is this Harry Potter wizardry?” from more than one staff member!

The Year 8 students have been learning about using the printing press, the history of printmaking and have explored linocut relief printmaking, with insects as their subject matter.

We use Zart Smooth Carve Lino Tiles that are 30cm x 30cm and can be easily cut into four pieces. The students warm the lino with a hair dryer and engage in safe cutting practices using the Lino & Wood Carving Tools.

Erin Caudullo
Visual Arts Coordinator
Covenant College


Using the Aurasma App:
1) Download the Aurasmas App to your device (mobile or tablet).
2) Create a free account.
3) Discover Auras “CovenantZart” & then Follow this channel.
4) Scan over the images marked with the Aurasma logo to see students in action.

Supporting teachers in creative education