Reprinted from ISTE.org with permission from ISTE.
Ever since schools started using copy machines in the 1960s, worksheets have been a perennial classroom favorite, beloved - by teachers anyway - for their convenience and their ability to foster independent work.
For students, however, worksheets have their downsides. Static text on a page is seldom engaging for digital natives, who are used to having so many more dynamic options.
But what if there were a way to combine the easy prep and independent work of a traditional worksheet with the engagement of digital tools and multimedia, such as websites, videos, 3D imagery and podcasts?
As it turns out, there is a way. Ever hear of augmented reality? AR is a technology that allows the blending of real and virtual objects - like the holodeck in science fiction movies or what you see when you wear Google Glass.
Although true AR may still be out of reach for most classrooms, there's a new, more accessible experience called interactive print that you can use in your classroom right now. Interactive print blends print materials, such as worksheets or posters, with virtual elements. A student just has to point her mobile device loaded with an AR app at a printed sheet of paper, and the app launches a corresponding digital element, such as a video, quiz, map, podcast or virtual representation of a 3D object. When the student holds the mobile device over the printed page, it looks like these digital enhancements just "pop up" over the page.