WIRED Hack October 2015- Touch Cast, Aurasma, Minecraft

GD introduced us to TouchCast- we’ve seen a demonstrating video of what it is and been able to create teacher accounts. TouchCast is an exciting immersive and interactive experiential video creation website.

JC introduced Aurasma- an augmented reality app which links the physical world to the virtual world for our students.

JT has demonstrated how Minecraft is being used in Drama and the positive implications for our students who we can meet in their ‘third place’. Engaging way to interact with the students.

JV recapped how to use Plickers- Assessment for Learning Tool.

CN shared Nearpod- which is a 21st Century Interactive Presentation Tool.

We have all agreed:

  • New members of WIRED to sign up to WordPress.
  • All of us to register and create an account with TouchCast and Aurasma over the next week and to try and create an example of each to try with our classes
  • We have agreed to all blog on what we have done in our trial by the end of next week
  • SR is going to feedback to PSLT and will get the apps installed on primary iPads
  • GD is going to liaise with other WIRED members


  1. I have played around with Touchcast whenever I could this week. I think it is a great piece of software with a lot of opportunities. My question was that if I upload a video/resource made in Touchcast onto YouTube, will it lose its interactivity? And indeed, as expected on YouTube you will be no longer able to interact with the resources on the video. This is a disadvantage but I will try to think of ways to use it in the future.

  2. Carrie Ingham · · Reply

    Touchcast is potentially a brilliant way to create more opportunities for independent learning. I’ve been trying to work out how I can create lessons without using an iPad. I think a combination of video shot on my smartphone, with the software installed on my PC, might be the way forward.

  3. Since the WIRED Hack last week, I have signed up for both Touchcast and Aurasma and trialled using an Aurasma with pictures of students from my class reading overlayed onto a reading quote. I am thinking of ways to develop this in class. We are studying Aquila which is about two boys who discover a spaceship and a Roman soldier. The students will do an independent project on a topic related to the book. I thought I could make some aurasmas about the different topics for the students to have a play around with. I may also try to get them to make some for their project so that we could have an interactive exhibition at the end of the topic.
    Also I have spent a lot of time developing the LDD Moodle Pages with TK in my department. We are advertising our Learning Hub and Aiming High Gifted and Talented students via the student bulletin and have been promoting participation. We are trying to ‘gamify’ aspects of the page by linking to games such as Grammaropolis, Spelling City, ABCYA and Storynory so far. We have been going through the links that DB sent to see which students can use straight away. We also have been making explicit links between the Graduate Profile and our pages so that students can see how their learning links to the GP. We’ve also tried to add some more interactive elements for example polls/surveys. We also converted our pages so that they use the new ‘tab’ option for ease of use.
    I’ve also been sharing some good finds with other teachers and departments- http://www.whatwasthere.com/ is a super History/Geography resources which ties historical photos to google maps so that students can see how familiar streets appeared in the past. Another good find was a 17th Century 3D representation fly-through of the street where the Great Fire of London started…could be good for Shakespeare/History etc http://www.openculture.com/2013/11/fly-through-17th-century-london.html

  4. AHHHHH!!!!!!!

    I have been working with TouchCast for a few hours over the weekend (I wanted to present it during the secondary briefing) but I am not at all happy with it and will therefore not present it to my colleagues. I noticed the following problems:

    – Touchcast kept on crashing on my computer or it took ages to upload a video or add a vapp. When I wanted to add a question for instance, it took me over 5 minutes to be able to write the question and the answers.

    – I do not see a timeline underneath my video. I thought to have my video ready and then adding the vapps afterwards (and putting them at the correct time in the video). That must be possible but I have been trying (plus reading their manual) but did not figure out how to do that.

    Anyway, very frustrating situation. Did anybody have the same problems or answers to mine? I would hate to realise all my hours of work are simply to find out I will never use it again. For TouchCast has great potential but at this stage very user-unfriendly I think.

    Hope hearing from you guys!!

    1. I know CI has also been trying to experiment with it and has had some issues. SC told me he was going to observe GD using it in class- so perhaps she will be able to help?

  5. Yesterday I went to see Georgina Dean using Touchcast in her Year 2 lesson teaching about the features of instructional writing. Unfortunately, there were some technical issues which meant the lesson didn’t go ahead and Touchcast has still not been added to the Primary Ipads yet. However, I did get to watch the Touchcast video that Georgina had prepared and I can see the potential. Georgina had recorded the teacher input and provided the activities on the screen for the children to potentially interact with. What I can see is great about Touchcast is that children can be very independent in the lesson and work at their own pace while the teacher can work more closely with those that would need more support.

  6. I’ve made two Touchcasts, one for Y8 and one for Y12. The Y8s, who used it in class time, were very positive about it; they were really engaged in the lesson and the Socrative feedback was very positive. However, due to the fact that they were all trying to use the features and videos at the same time, not all the videos worked. In addition, they were only able to access it on the school iPads, not their own devices, presumably due to the firewall. My Touchcast was designed to be immersive and to facilitate independence; it didn’t have a prescribed order of events or a specific task. This was partly because on my school laptop, I can’t film myself, but only use my voice to give them a brief intro to the topic. When I have had some feedback from the Y12s, I will comment on their experience.

  7. I’ve also made a couple of Aurasmas but can’t actually test them -I’ve made them on my MacBook but now can’t see whether they work. I will see if I can borrow a school iPad and have a play with that at home.

  8. Jenny and I discussed our experiences with these apps and with our use of technology so far this term. She has been making presentations with Y7, giving them choice over the mode and medium. In practice, this meant that she had some wonderful presentations but because they were all on different apps, from prezi to powtoon, there were lots of issues around getting the compatibility sorted so everyone could see them. If students with the BYOD scheme were given a choice of, say, macs or iPads, and if all teachers had the same, it would enable a much more streamlined approach to this issue with less time spent in class on fixing compatibility issues, and would also mean that the reflector app could be used in classrooms.

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