On Nov. 9, 15 science classes at Kennedy High School participated in beta testing of a new augmented reality learning app with the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program.
A Google representative trained the teachers to use a collection of linked smartphones, which students then held around the room to view virtual objects “floating” in the classroom space.
The students observed virtual DNA molecules, planets, stars, landforms, storms and human anatomical structures.
“The problem with using a virtual reality headset is that the kids are in their own worlds,” said science and STEAM Chairperson Rob Soel. “With this device, it fosters collaborative learning and students can network with each other.”
By integrating virtual objects with their lessons, the participating teachers were able to enrich lessons and guide students to explore otherwise unseen objects within a class period.
At the end of the lessons, students and teachers provided valuable feedback to the Google representative who will pass along their opinions and ideas to the Expeditions AR development team.
“Our science teachers are always looking for new strategies to engage classes and enrich their students’ exploration of the natural world,” added Soel. “Field testing the new Google Expeditions augmented reality app enabled leaning to extend beyond the walls of the classroom. This was another wonderful opportunity for Bellmore-Merrick to be on the cutting edge of employing new and innovative instructional technology.”