Augmented Reality Brings the World into the Classroom
Ardmore School students jumped as a very large spider crawled around the Art Room despite knowing that the spider was visiting courtesy of Augmented Reality (AR) Expedition. The students also stared in the eye of a category 5 hurricane and watched as a tornado began swirling in the corner of the Art Room. One student described how a tsunami was created by an earthquake under water because she watched the earthquake start the wave right in front of supply cabinets.
Show and tell has moved to another level with AR. Instead of sitting in rows with someone standing at the front of the room talking about an artifact, students gather in groups around a selfie stick that holds a phone. They aim the phone at a QR code and a world of volcanoes, tornadoes, dinosaurs and tomatoes come into the classroom.
“You are able to see things that might be hard to explain, but a picture is worth a 1000 words,” said District 45 Instructional Technology Facilitator Melissa Guido.
The AR Expedition was provided through a Google Expeditions Pioneer program. At the 2018 Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) Conference this winter, Instructional Technology Facilitator Melissa Guido attended a presentation on bringing Augmented Reality experiences into the classroom. Knowing that this would benefit our students, she contacted D45 Instructional Coach Lauren Asuma who was instantly onboard. Mrs. Guido found a two-day pilot, Expeditions AR, through the Google Pioneer Program. The pilot ran all-day for two days at Ardmore, York Center and North Schools and also at Jefferson Middle School.
“We are a Google district,” said Melissa Guido, who pointed out that this gives our students first access to incredible opportunities such as the Expeditions Augmented Reality.
Instructional Technology Facilitator Melissa Guido also shared that Virtual Reality (VR) is coming to District 45 very soon. There is a box of Virtual Reality goggles ready to be unpacked. Soon classrooms around the District will have access to a set of goggles that will bring the world into the classroom.
“No tool is going to replace what a teacher can do, but there are tools that can supplement what a teacher is doing and engage students to make learning more meaningful,” said Melissa Guido.