This is a fairly extensive project and I’ve tried to keep the description as brief as possible, but at the same time I do highlight the curriculum areas or curriculum areas and objectives that I wanted to cover, as well as pointers to other extension projects. A key element is capitalising on the iPad’s strength with connected workflows, as opposed to using a single app (which is fine!). This project uses an integrated approach combining many skills and concepts, outlined below.
This project was originally thought up to encourage story writing or to explore the challenge of creating a sequence of instructions. The class involved were 7-8 year olds and had been using iPads for several years. In addition the class had successfully used the free app, HP Reveal, to script and record book reviews. (When the book cover is scanned in HP Reveal the student’s book review plays).
One additional point about the way I used HP Reveal for both projects: all the class iPads are logged into the same account. When any book or cube is scanned from any iPad then the AR experience will work. I’ve created a PDF on how to use HP Reveal (note its former name was AURASAMA) in this way and you can download it, and all files for this project below: 


Part 1 of the lesson focused on the Merge Cube. The Merge cube generates augmented reality experiences when scanned – the experience changes depending on the app used. (There is an excellent facebook group that supports educators using the cube btw).  The project was originally inspired by a posting to the FaceBook group where a cube had been photocopied and the images enlarged and glued together to create a really large cardboard Merge cube. Awesome! Having checked that the Merge Cube developers were happy for educators to inspire and engage students by creating their own cubes from photocopies (ie I didn’t want to infringe any copyright restrictions) I created a template net of a Merge cube of my own for the students to use on A4 card.

Back to the lesson; I demonstrated two applications with my own Merge Cube from my iPad to the class:
The free app Explorer

and the paid app – 57 degrees North.

With 57 degrees North the students could see how the different faces of the Merge Cube generated a very different AR experience and sowed the seeds of a cube being used to explore /generate a story.
The two free applications, Explorer (link above)  and Dig

were installed on the student iPads. Two very contrasting applications – I am sure teachers can put the learning context on these themselves otherwise this will become a very long and tedious blog! The students were obviously excited to try these out with their own cubes that they then cut out and assembled. The Merge cube was the ‘hook’ for my lesson, with students taking their cubes home and installing Merge Cube apps on their own iPads.

AR StoryCubes Part II 

Bearing in mind that the student already knew how to use HP Reveal and Puppet Pals, I was able to focus on the main context of the lesson: writing a story and breaking it down into 6 parts, scripting, rehearsing and creating a video for each part to be used with a cube they design and create themselves and scan in HP Reveal to make the cube ‘come to life’ and tell their ‘story’.
Note: The project was devised to be expandable to future projects such as:
The water cycle
The life cycle of the frog
Breaking down a maths problem into six parts or six different maths videos… watch an equation come to life …
A science experiment
Bringing history to life (can you imagine six sides with a head on each side coming to life using Morpho Booth so that the heads come to life and speak!)
A Geography cube of the globe where a map comes to life with a video created in Explain Everything. ( A journey cube?)
The student planning document was literally six succinct sentences before then writing a short script for each point that would become the basis of the video script. The students then created the drawings for each side of the cube. I stipulated that they needed to design bold, coloured images that would be clearly ‘seen’ in HP Reveal.
The blank A4 cube template net is in the link above to dropbox.

Having finished the images on all six sides the students assembled their cubes.

NB The students did not scan the nets of the cubes in HP Reveal, the cubes were assembled first so that the cube could be rotated to display only one side at a time. This was so that we avoided HP Reveal becoming ‘confused’ by seeing more than one image. Students either numbered each side or added a small arrow indicating the order/direction in which the cube should be rotated and the sides viewed.
The six videos were created in Puppet Pals HD (where students can use their own images and backgrounds) but of course, there are many video creation apps:
The camera! Either as a straight forward video or stop motion / time lapse
Explain Everything – perfect for Numeracy and Science cubes
Book Creator (BC exports to video)
Puppet Pals 2
Morfo Booth
I found that students wanted to create a video in Puppet Pals, scan the relevant side in HP Reveal and test their projects as they went along.
Can I emphasise here that in HP Reveal the ‘auras’ that are created are added to the public account (check out the HP Reveal PDF above if you are unsure what this means). This is essential if you want students to be able to scan any cube from any iPad.
The real excitement started when we found that as you rotated from one side of the cube to the next the first video literally stopped and the next started –  we had recreated the same ‘magic’ experience as the Merge cube. (See the video below for a short demonstration of the work in progress).
A couple of points to note:
In brief, we are covering:
Storyboarding and planning
Video editing in iMovie (if you want to finesse your videos further)
Peer to peer work with viewing the cubes created by other students
The project has so much potential depending on where you place the emphasis in a lesson at any one time.
The project took around 10 hours to produce finished cubes. The students worked intensively on these over a day and half during one of my training visits,  (I’ve been working with the school for about three years now).  For me one of the key points of the project is that many skills and concepts can be covered and the students are exploring the possibilities of integrated workflows and how the iPad offers increased opportunities for learning through these combined workflows. Also, the students are learning many transferable skills and have learned and developed an extensive workflow that is not a ‘one off’.
If you like this project (I have many more) and would like me to work with you or your students do contact me here: or sign up for my monthly newsletter, there are some new projects coming soon.

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