Monday, September 26, 2016

Lights, Camera, Action: Welcome, News Crew

What a start to the new year!  It honestly has been a whirlwind of great fun.  Just last week, we celebrated International Dot Day, built amazingly awesome marble runs, made liquid nitrogen ice cream, and were featured on the news!!!

CBS 19, a local news station, visited one of the schools with which I work to see how teachers and students are using augmented reality to bring learning to life with Osmo.
Osmo, one of my favorite tools to use in K - 2 classrooms, gets results by providing practice opportunities for students in spelling and numeracy and challenges student thinking through the coding and tangrams apps.

The students and teachers love it!  Osmo is perfect for center rotations and with its 7 different apps, students are always excited to use it.
See our story here.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Giving Students Out of This World Experiences with Augmented and Virtual Realities Using Quiver Vision, Osmo, zSpace, and ClassFlow

School has been in session just 3 weeks in our district and already our students are immersed in augmented and virtual realities. These technologies are impacting student learning in classrooms around the globe, so why not in a tiny town in Texas? Experiencing augmented or virtual reality makes you feel as though you have stepped into a Harry Potter movie with paper coming to life and images literally popping out of the computer screen. How fun, right? It doesn't have to cost a ton of money or be "something else" we do. It truly fits naturally into our classrooms to support student learning.

We are using coloring pages by Quiver Vision, formerly known as ColAR, as writing prompts, STEM starters, and review pages in our interactive notebooks. The kids are always delighted when they scan their customized images to see their work come to life with music,movement, and interactive features.  We re-size the images so that time is spent less on coloring and more on guiding students through the writing and design process.

Inspired by Andrea Beatty's book, Rosie Revere, we were challenged to create our own Eggs-eptional Flying Machine

We are also using Osmo, a device that attaches to an iPad, takes interaction to a whole new level. LoVe!!! In this gamified application,  students use included tiles to practice spelling words, acquire new vocabulary, reinforce math skills, expand spatial awareness, learn coding, explore STEM concepts, and make works of art…all while “playing”.  

Literally, we CaNNoT get EnOUgH of Mo! Students love it and the academic benefits have helped students of all abilities exceed academic expectations in spelling and math.  

Finally, to see graphics jump out of a computer and into the space in front of your face, you must see zSpace! Loaded with hundreds of lesson plans and labs for math and science, this equipment allows students to interact with models in way that would have otherwise been cost prohibitive.  From frog dissections to exploration of the human brain, learning environments are transformed by these highly engaging student experiences.

AR Circuits
Regardless of budget, teachers and students can experience augmented reality.  Inexpensive apps like AR Circuits and AR Flashcards (for addition, letter recognition, space, and more) can be used to create a whole different experience for students.  Place the apps' free images into an interactive presentation software such as ClassFlow or print tangible cards using copy paper and you will immediately see increased excitement and engagement in classroom learning stations.  Pick up a copy of Moonbot Studio’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore or borrow that Guinness Book of World Records (years 2013, 2014, or 2015) from your local library to augment your reading nook. Add a VR ViewMaster to a learning center along with some of your favorite VR apps and students are immediately immersed in another culture, habitat, or experience.
With augmented and virtual realities you can do things that you’ve never done and see things that you never thought possible. The ideas are endless and, with this still new technology, the possibilities are great.  It will be interesting to see which augmented application will be developed next to positively impact teaching and learning.