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Mile High Academy Students Experience Augmented Reality »
"Thank you for your participation in the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program. We're thrilled that you want to tell your local community about bringing innovation to the classroom!"
This is how Goggle Expeditions AR (Augmented Reality) begins their press release to schools interested in participating.
As part of her innovation research at Mile High Academy, Jamie Frain found Google Expeditions and asked them to come to MHA as part of their Pioneer Program. Currently, MHA has iPads and phones with the same learning content in Virtual Reality models throughout the school. However, Google Expeditions is now unrolling this Augmented Reality Pioneer Program to schools in order to receive feedback for future classroom use. MHA students and faculty are part of that process.
What really motivated Frain to bring the AR program into our school was watching videos of other students using AR in their classrooms. She remembers one student in particular working on the heart calling out, "That's inside of me!" We can present a book on the subject, even dissect a heart, but watching a pumping heart in front of us and realizing that it is a living thing, that's special.
Jamie Frain herself is quick to point out that, "Any opportunity we have to better student learning by bringing abstract ideas to life is worthy of exploration."
Teachers at MHA are charged with bringing 21st Century Learning into the classroom. Opportunities such as this one offer skills in collaboration, communication, and creativity and allow students to be the explorers of their own learning. As groups of two to three students gather together and discuss what they're seeing and how it works, they are living out 21st Century Learning. Teachers guide them as facilitators roaming the room. This is the goal of projects like these and others that currently go on at Mile High Academy.
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-- Text and photo by Agape Hammond