Imagine reading a book about dinosaurs — and seeing the animals appear in front of you, even watching miniature versions of them walk right up your arm. With augmented reality, that’s possible. A book called iDinosaur lets readers hold a Tyrannosaurus Rex in their hands.

The University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA) has 36 augmented reality children’s books in its libraries, including a handful of titles in Spanish. And future teachers are being introduced to the books as options for their classrooms.

Ilna Colemere, instructional technology coordinator at UTSA, researches ed tech and offers trainings for teachers and students on the technologies she sees as having the most potential in schools. Augmented reality books occupy just a tiny corner of the reading market, and many are published outside of the United States, making them hard to use here. The augmented reality elements of the books come alive through apps that are downloaded on phones or tablets, and Colemere said some of the apps aren’t available in the United States yet.

But she sees these books as powerful tools for engaging young readers.

“They add depth of understanding when it comes to the vocabulary,” Colemere said. “It makes it real, in a sense. That is where the wealth of this technology comes from.”

Read the full article about augmented reality in the classroom by Tara Garcia Mathewson at The Hechinger Report.