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Sparking Creativity: International Dot Day and Augmented Reality

When Terri Dawson, Technology Integrator at Gorham Middle School, heard Peter H. Reynolds read from his children’s book, The Dot, at an International Society for Technology in Education conference, she knew she had to bring the book back to her school. Reynolds’ book tells the story of a young student, Vashti, who feels like she can’t draw. Her teacher encourages her to simply “make a mark and see where it goes,” and by doing so, sparks Vashti’s creativity, inspiring the little girl and her classmates to have creative confidence.

So, when Dawson discovered a collaboration between QuiverVision, an augmented reality (AR) coloring app for iPads, and International Dot Day, she knew she had found an innovative way to connect sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students to this beloved children’s book via technology. The students began by listening to Peter H. Reynolds read from his book on YouTube. That’s when they began their own creative process.

Dawson provided students with a paper template from QuiverVision that included space for the students to design their own dots and a QR code, that, when scanned by their iPads, displayed their dots in augmented reality. This allowed them to experience their drawings in a totally different way. Dawson noted that “when the students saw their dots come to life, their engagement and motivation to do another dot was amazing…it gave them another level of learning. They started to think about what else they could create.”

Dawson’s students were so engaged and inspired, they asked for the opportunity to take their iPads home and continue with their own designs using AR.

“Augmented reality and virtual reality seem to be a natural progression in education,” said Dawson, “there are so many different things that allow students to view their world differently. That’s what I want to expose them to. I want them to have these skills so that when they go out into the workforce they say, ‘I remember using AR! Did you know you could do this with a QR code?’”

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