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AR encounter with the Gruffalo

Augmented reality on my phone .. but “What’s a Gruffalo?”

When visiting Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary recently (I’ve been there a few times – awesome place!) I was surprised to see they have a Gruffalo trail.

“What’s a Gruffalo?” I hear you cry.

For those of you who don’t know the Gruffalo (and that means you don’t have kids under the age of 10!) the Gruffalo is a book by the awesome duo of writer Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler.

My kids love all their books including Room on the Broom, Superworm, Tabby McTat, and Stickman. You can find out all about the Gruffalo here:


So I knew there was a Gruffalo Trail at Currumbin Sanctuary, and then found an augmented reality app too!

What was interesting is that when following the trail, and loving the augmented reality animations, I noticed two things:

  1. Firstly, unlike myself, my young daughters were not “overly impressed” with the fact that a Gruffalo (along with Mouse, Snake, Fox, etc.) all popped up out of nowhere and we could be in a photo with them.
  2. Secondly, everyone else I saw using the app just looked at the animation, and didn’t realise they could actually go in the photo at the same time – so they were pretty excited when I explained and showed them!

What does this all mean?

Well, maybe my kids are exposed to a world of iPads and multimedia so much that it doesn’t impress them – it’s kinda “normal” maybe for them?

I’m not sure what this means for learning … but the idea of wandering around a location, and interacting like this is pretty cool. Although this was a wildlife sanctuary, I could see this being useful and engaging in many situations, from transport networks, to cathedral tours, to university campus orientations.

What do you think about the possibilities for augmented reality on your smartphone? Apple and others certainly seem to think it has a big future.

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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