Bring any project to life with AR and coding

New school year, means new ideas to try in the classroom. Not only for our students to demonstrate their learning, but also for us, educators, to introduce or revisit a topic in a fun, creative and engaging way. 

The Back to School 2023 Series was amazing. Mandy Dempsey, Rachel Minns and Chantelle Sansness shared lots of great ideas to take back to the classroom, both on iPad and on Mac. With the new school year soon approaching, there will be plenty of new and fabulous ideas for us to take back to our classroom.


Back to School Series 2023

Being able to create a unique learning experience for students is something I am very passionate about. With augmented reality and coding in Swift Playgrounds, I’ve been able to not only design alternative ways of presenting content for students, but have also given students the opportunity to create and expand their creativity through technology that may have seemed ‘too advanced’ or simply ‘out of this world’. 

Today, teachers and students have access to tools like AR Makr, Reality Composer and Swift Playgrounds (all of which are free) allowing everyone to create fascinating teaching and learning experiences and build apps that bring ideas to life. 

To help support your learning journey, here are some of the apps I used in the Back to School 2023 Series along with resources in the Apple Education Community. I encourage you to share additional ideas, ask any question, or post links to other great resources in the comment section at the bottom of this page. 👇🏽

If you are just getting started with augmented reality, AR Makr is a great starting point. With a simple to use interface, learners of all ages can get creating using one of the starter templates or create their own unique scene by linking in their design created within the app, in Keynote or even Tayasui Sketches School. 


Everyone Can Get Augmented Early Learners Teacher’s Guide by Lyndsey Stuttard is a fantastic resource for those wanting to come up with ideas on how to use AR in the Early Years. I love how she explores lots of different AR tools along with different lesson ideas you can modify to best suit your learning environment. Thanks Lyndsey!

This post by ToriSS showcases how AR Makr is used in a Year 7 English class. She does a great job highlighting Keynote as an addition to her project, along with a mini tutorial of how she used it. She then provided student samples and stepped through the process her an her students went through to complete their digital diorama. Thanks Tori!  

Now, if you want to take your AR learning experience a few steps further, Reality Composer is the way to go. 

Below is an example from a Year 6 student at Mount Sinai College, an Apple Distinguished School in Sydney. Can you guess who this student did her research on? 

Talk about having a creative mind! What an awesome and interactive way of showcasing some of the information she researched through a different medium using both the physical and digital environment. 

Not too far from Mount Sinai College, a creative educator Alison Mullens shared how her students in Years 3/4 and students in Years 5 & 6 created AR experiences for a school community Art Show. How cool is that? Thanks Alison!

And while we are talking about creative minds, here’s an amazing example from APLS Michelle Forrester - Animation for Immersive Learning: From Keynote to Reality Composer. Not only is her Keynote example absolutely amazing, but creating an immersive 3D experience in Reality Composer is simply phenomenal.  Thanks Michelle!

Where do you get started and where do you find other examples? Luckily for all of us, APLS Paul Hamilton has done an amazing job over the years sharing lots of creative ideas of how to use augmented reality. Here’s a post from Paul with a range of resources to help anyone who want to tinker in this space. Whether you are just starting or you are quite familiar with AR, I’m sure there will be something new Paul could share with you. Thanks Paul! 

Ahead of starting this new school year, I have spent the last few weeks reflecting on many amazing experiences I had last year. One that stands out is the Everyone Can Code programme I was a part of. Through this experience, I learned that in deed, everyone can in fact code, and Swift Playgrounds enables everyone interested in learning, exactly how to get started and develop your very first app.

Full disclosure, I do not come from a computer science background, so while it took a bit of trial and error and tinkering around, I have found coding in Swift Playgrounds a great teaching and learning tool. Not to mentioned, it is also fun. 🤓


In the Back to School 2023 workshop I showcased how I use Swift Playgrounds to create a fully functioning app around Green Energy for a Year 8 class.

However, there are so many great resources should you want to explore even further.

Apple’s Teaching Code site is full of extraordinary resources available for all educators. Whether you want A Quick Start to Code , Download the Everyone Can Code Design Journal, or you want more in-depth resources like the Everyone Can Code Adventure Guides in Apple Books, this is a great landing page to learn more around teaching and learning code with Apple. 

Should you want to jump straight into creating your first app with Swift Playgrounds, APLS Matt Richards - App Development in Swift Playground for iPad has done an excellent job guiding teachers and students through step by step tutorials. Thanks Matt!

Now your turn…

How have you used any of the tools above? Are there any resources you can share with us? Please post in the comment section below. 👇🏽

4 replies

January 19, 2023

Thanks for curating so many resources all in one post through the links you included! I love sharing Lyndsey's book about AR for Early Learners with the elementary/early years pre-service teachers with whom I work. They're always amazed at the examples and excited about the possibilities she explores in the book.

January 25, 2023

Such a valuable post thanks Eric! I agree with Jessica - so helpful to have these resources curated for us in the one post. I will definitely be recommending this as a one-stop-shop. I have just watched your sessions on-demand. Loved your workflow for the app development. Thank you 😊

February 01, 2023

What an incredibly comprehensive post! Can't wait to have a go at making an app! #everyonecancode (even me 🙈😆)

November 16, 2023

great resources! Thank you for sharing!

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