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Month: October 2019

Getting Started with AR in the Classroom

Jaime Donally describes augmented reality (AR) in a recent edWebinar as a “digital layer in our real world that gives an illusion that it exists in our space.”

As she highlights, it is exciting, as emerging technologies associated with AR are feeling much more realistic. AR software such as Google Maps allows the viewer to have guidance as they walk in a new area, and AR-embedded browsers can display 3D animated objects in real-life environments.

The key to giving students opportunities to use AR begins with supporting teachers to enhance learning experiences for students. Using AR software and tools such as 3DBear and MERGE, teachers have access to an abundance of activities and lesson plans that offer more in-depth content, provide opportunities for collaboration and exploration, and expand students learning experiences outside of classroom walls.


For kindergarten students, Augmented Alphabet is a lesson that is effective for teaching letter-sound relationships. Using mobile devices such as tablets and iPads, students use AR to demonstrate the letter-sound connection with reflection sheets and interactive activities. Teachers can evaluate students through their ability to respond, react, and explain what they have completed and accomplished.

The AR lesson The Mars Pioneer creates scenarios where students investigate and analyze what is needed to build a colony that can survive on Mars. Students compare both the Earth’s and Mars’ environmental offerings, such as air, food, water, energy, supply, transportation, and communication. Students can capture their images and videos within 3DBear to share and describe the space to other students and their teachers.


Students explore Earth as a system through a standards-based AR lesson called Terraforming Earth. Students traverse the Earth layers as they hold and interact with each layer, toggling the layers on and off to get a closer view. They answer questions such as tectonic plates and how the plates move, and what happens when they move. This interactive experience with augmented reality expands learning beyond just hearing, reading, and viewing to exploratory opportunities to make learning connections to Earth as a system.

The Egyptian History lesson takes creating and building 3D objects to the next level. Building an AR museum collection, students locate 3D Egyptian objects and collaborate with other students to research and understand their historical significance. Using the MERGE Object Viewer, surreal learning experiences are possible as the 3D Egyptian artifacts students create come to life in their hands.

Source: eSchoolNews
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How STEAM Prepares Students for the Global Economy

“We have students who are passionate, engaged, and comfortable with technology, yet students are living in silos and not equipped with the 21st-century skills which they genuinely need to be part of the global workforce of tomorrow.”

This statement by Amy McCooe, CEO of Level Up Village, during a recent edWebinar hit home with her two co-presenters, Esra Murray, a fifth-grade teacher at International School Dundee (CT), and Fran Kompar, director of instructional technology and digital learning at Wilton Public Schools (CT).

Kompar expressed her frustration: “We are now 20 years into the 21st century, and we should be preparing our students for the work of their time, not the future–because the future is now.”

The presenters emphasized that the global skill most vital to students is learnability: the desire, passion, and capacity to learn, the ability to synthesize and evaluate information, and the willingness to take on new challenges.

The impact of developing learnability skills will ensure that our young learners apply their knowledge and skills to the global economy and become lifelong learners.

The Four As

We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world, and it is critical to prepare our students to navigate this world and the global economy.

Kompar identifies trans-disciplinary learning as learning that can provide students with navigational tools embedded into the school curriculum and involve everyone in the school.

Four “A” elements should be part of any trans-disciplinary learning: authenticity where students explore essential and relevant questions that are meaningful to them; the agency that empowers students to have a choice, whether it be the topic, how they solve a problem, or how they express themselves; action where students are allowed to take action to solve the problem; and authentic audiences—both locally and globally—where solutions are shared broadly.

Global STEAM education

The question is how to prepare students for the global economy? The good news is that students are way ahead of us. Today’s young citizens have a greater awareness of global issues, such as water scarcity and pollution than any other generation.

To create a generation of problem-solvers for the global economy, Murray identifies steps for incorporating global STEAM into classrooms:

  1. Ask students to define the problem and give them time to synthesize and evaluate. Please provide them with global collaborative opportunities.
  2. Using the ISTE standard for Global Collaborator, plan how students can use digital tools to broaden their perspectives.
  3. Enrich their learning with skills on working effectively in teams locally and globally and teaching them to solve global problems through STEM.
  4. Support and develop critical skills such as collaboration, communication, and critical thinking to help young global inventors gain agency over their learning and find solutions to global issues that will be wide-reaching and impactful.
Source: eSchoolNews


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