SkyView is a really unique software, in that it can be used as both a virtual reality or an augmented reality. The SkyView app is designed to be used with students to teach astronomy. The app is designed so that you can use the camera on you mobile device to look at the sky. As you look at the sky through the device, the software overlays a digital map of the sky onto the user's viewpoint. This makes it possible for the student to not only learn the constellations. It also makes it possible to more fully understand the science that makes all this work.
I will never forget the great discussion I was able to have with my children when they used the SkyView app to observe the sky during the day. The first reaction was surprise, since they were looking up at a blue sky, but the device they were holding seemed to suggest there were stars mixed in with the clouds. What followed was a great discussion where I could explain how our solar system and atmosphere work together to hide the stars from our view during daylight hours. This would be a fantastic activity in an elementary or middle school science classroom.
The application also provides the user with an ability to find Solar objects. When you type the name of an object in the search field, an arrow appears on the screen directing where you should look to find the star or planet. This created another great opportunity when my son, who is in the fourth grade, searched for the moon. As he followed the arrow directing him, he suddenly realized that he was looking down at the ground to see where the moon should be. For me this was an eye-opening experience to the power of how an augmented reality tool can place the student into contextual learning situations. Moving forward, my son will never forget his new understanding of how the sunrise and moonrise happen due to the mechanics of the movement of earth.