Augmented Reality Using Aurasma

Aurasma in Art Education

Aurasma in Art EducationI definitely think like a kid when it comes to technology- it has to be fun or I don’t really want anything to do with it. Maybe that’s why I LOOOVE Augmented Reality (AR) and the Aurasma app. Similar to the way a mobile device scans a QR code and links to a website, AR lets you see something not there in reality except when viewed through the mobile device. The best way to show you how it works is through the video of my students using it in class:

(Trouble viewing this video? Click here.)

What you saw in the video above was a still image (called the trigger) and video overlay creating an “aura”.

Excited to try this out right now?

1. Download Aurasma (Free)

2. Using your mobile device connect to my school channel here: (case sensitive)
Or scan code:
Monroe Art Aurasma
3. Hold mobile device over any of the images below!!!! (You might want to click images to enlarge)

aurasma Monet
aurasma Penny Portrait

Thick Brushstrokes Painting Quiz
aurasma St. George and the Dragon

So cool right? Want to create these for your classroom?

Ok- here are the first things you need to know. There are two kinds of Aurasma “Auras”. One is location specific and the other can be viewed anywhere on earth by subscribing to the appropriate channel. If you are into this, I would highly recommend creating a channel. Best way to do this is by using Aurasma Studio online (sign up here for free). For your first AR “aura” you need one digital still image (trigger) and one overlay such as a video. You don’t need to make your own video – just use to download one from YouTube connect it to an image. Or even better, have the kids create an artist statement video and attach it to photo of their artwork (this is on my to-do-list for this school year). Once you have your “auras” ready then connect all of the mobile devices you want to use to your channel (a little work up front, but you only have to do it once). To help you get started in Aurasma Studio, I created this video walkthrough:

At this point you can continue to create “auras” in the Aurasma Studio as you go throughout the school year. However, before you go to all this work, test one out to make sure your school wifi filters haven’t blocked Aurasma from working (something your tech can hopefully fix).

I can’t wait to find more ways to use Aurasma this next school year. How will you use Aurasma in your room?

Theresa McGee

Hello! My name is Theresa McGee and I am a National Board Certified Art Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator teaching in Hinsdale, Illinois. My curriculum is structured around creative thinking and technology integration into the learning process. I have authored eighteen articles for the Tech4ArtEd Column in SchoolArts Magazine and several iTunes U courses for professional development. I've presented at the state and national levels including several online webinars for art educators. In 2010, I was awarded Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year and in 2011 I was awarded the national PBS Teacher Innovator award. I love to share ideas that contribute to the art education profession!


  • June 30, 2013

    Kevin Hodgson

    Thanks for sharing the steps. I still wish it were a bit more intuitive, but maybe we are just in the first stages of figuring all this out. Like anything, I need to keep exploring AR myself before I can think through the applications for the classroom (plus, we don’t have devices in our classroom … yet)

  • June 30, 2013


    Awesome post. I love that students are at the center of your aurasma use. Too often people try to sell the newness of technology instead of its pragmatic use for students in the classroom. My partner in crime & I also use aurasma @ Lets steal from each other :) !

  • Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee
    June 30, 2013

    Theresa McGee

    Charles – I would love to steal ideas! In fact – I will start- I am stealing your Tourwrist /Aurasma combo — FANTASTIC!!! Did you just add it as a 3D object?

  • July 3, 2013


    Wow! This is amazing!! Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to give it a try!!

  • July 5, 2013


    Thanks for the great info and your classroom looks awesome. :) I wondered if you have had problems with any of the images you have used? I used a picture of myself…then an overlay of a video I made. It never seems to work. It is very “touchy” and takes a while to open…and only sometimes from others. I am wondering if it is because my photo is not GREAT print quality. ? Any ideas?

  • Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee
    July 10, 2013

    Theresa McGee

    Yes there have been times when some of the images don’t register very well. First make sure that there isn’t a glare on the image since it changes the way the image looks. I also discovered that it is better to use more complicated imagery. Basically, the more visual information the app has to “read” the better. However, I’m not sure why your photo doesn’t work well (you certainly have enough detail). Maybe it is the print quality or major change in color output? Please let me know what you discover – have fun!!

  • July 28, 2013

    Mary Howard

    Thank you for sharing your Aurasma ideas!! I’ve had great luck with Aurasma in the classroom! Feel free to stop by my blog and check out what my sixth graders created AND my Aurasma Scavenger Hunt!!!

  • August 5, 2013

    Desiree McInnes

    If I video my students presenting their speech, and would like to make Aura with these videos, do I first need to ask their parents’ permission to do that? I concern that many of the parents don’t know this technology and may not be willing to give their permission for me to do that.

  • Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee
    August 7, 2013

    Theresa McGee

    In my school we have a form that parents sign to approve/disapprove student photos/video shown on the Internet. So if I wanted student Auras with video to go online, I would need to make sure that the parents approved their child’s image to be shown on the Internet. If you only want to create Auras for in-class presentations then I would think it would be OK – but if you’re not sure I would definitely check with your principal.
    Fun idea – I hope it all works out for you!

  • August 22, 2013


    I am a music teacher who must teach art one day a week. I’m very interested in your use of Aurasma in the art room. I just recently was introduced to Aurasma and have brainstormed many uses for the app in the music room!

  • January 27, 2014


    HI, Tahnk you for this post – very helpful. I have followed it however, established auras in Aurasma studio via my desk top, made my channel public, but when I use my ipad to check all is Ok it says there are no auras in my channel. I am an Englishlecturer not a techy person so I am totally stumped. I can see them on my desk top, have put aurasma on my ipad, but now need to check the studnets will be able to see them in the wall display I intend toput up. I alsoneed to then be able to show other teachers how to use this but I am stumped myself. Any ideas of what I have or have not done to enable this. Thanks

  • Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee
    January 29, 2014

    Theresa McGee

    Hmm. The first thing I would suggest is to see if it works from home. Sometimes there are filters on school network servers that can block Aurasma from working. Other than that – it is a mystery to me why it won’t work for you. If the auras still don’t work from home, I would definitely suggest asking Aurasma directly in their community forum.

    I would love to hear if you can figure out a solution!

  • January 29, 2014


    Love your site! At the Alaska Society of TEchnology in Education (ASTE) conference last year 2013, there was funding for arts done using Aurasma. Thought you might like to see some of the ways students used AR.
    Here is the video made by Jason Ohler who spearheaded the project.

  • February 1, 2014

    Theresa McGee

    Thanks Lara! The link to Jason’s video is great. I look forward to meeting him in person at the National Art Ed Convention in San Diego in March. I can’t wait to bounce ideas off of him!

  • February 15, 2014


    Very new to Aurasma but love it! My classes had their first activity yesterday. I would like to get them started making their own, but I want then to post to my channel. Is this possible? We are a byod classroom. It would be easy if they could post to my channel that they alter was follow than try to follow each other. I track 5th grade.

  • February 16, 2014

    Theresa McGee

    Good question! Since they will be creating on the iPad, getting them uploaded from the iPad to Aurasma Studio may be challenging. As far as I can tell, these movie files will need to be emailed and downloaded to a computer. Then you will need to give students access to your Aurasma Studio channel for upload.

    Another option is to try doing location specific Auras, where no channel upload is necessary. The location specific aura is created within the Aurasma app and should work in your location. However, I have not been too impressed with how they work for me – but your situation might be different.

    Please share what ends up working for you! Good luck in the meantime!

  • May 2, 2014


    hi there, I love this!!
    Can I ask how you got the QR code to to be able to scan to follow your channel?

  • May 3, 2014

    Theresa McGee

    I just use the website to make my QR codes. The 2nd video shows how to get the URL to subscribe to the channel – I just made a QR code from that URL.

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