App Review – Zooburst Augmented Reality Pop Up Books

Zooburst is a free app which allows users to to view augmented reality popup books created on PCs through scanning a Zooburst code (similar to a QR code).

As this fits very nicely alongside our current DT popup books project (see previous post for how we are using iPads within this unit), I signed up for a teacher’s account on the website at a cost of $9.99 – other plans are available, but I was really only wanting a trial run to begin with. It is also possible for students to create their own free account if they are over 13, but for ease of use/assessment etc, I’d really recommend the well-priced teacher account, which allows you to manage up to 250 users.

Children are able to log in with usernames/passwords I have created and create/edit their books easily, using pictures from a stock of clip art, from the Internet, a class photo folder you have set up or pictures that they have drawn themselves.

Sound can be added to each character/other pop up element using a microphone, which plays when the character is tapped in ‘AR mode’ in the iPad app.

I couldn’t work out how to create the Zooburst codes for children’s books (although it was very easy to do so for my own ‘test’ book); however the Zooburst ‘zookeeper’ came back to me with instructions immediately via email. A teacher is the only one who can create the codes for children, so that they have control over which images etc can be viewed publicly. In this respect, the site has a number of settings options, over which the teacher has total control. I like the fact that the children can easily view each other’s books and leave comments (I also receive an email each time this happens so that I can moderate the comments).

What’s great about it

– it uses technology that has been around a few years in an accessible format
– it’s easy to use
– content created is easily shared; including the ability to share easily with parents
– it’s secure
– the pay-per-month option is very affordable and useful if, like me, you plan to only use the site for a couple of months as part of a project
– the customer support is excellent

What could be better
– controls could be a bit more ‘modern-looking’
– the ability to build books on the iPad (currently flash-based, but the website promises the ability to build books within the app as a future development)

Try downloading the Zooburst app and using it to scan the code below to see my (quickly-cobbled-together!) pop up book!

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