A new dimension to learning: Augmented Reality program piloted at Wading River Elementary School

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Students at Wading River School experienced an up-close look at a volcano erupting, a dinosaur roaring and an exploration of our solar system during a one-day Augmented Reality pilot program recently held at the school. These lessons were part of the district’s continued commitment to introducing students to progressive advances in technology to supplement their learning experiences.

The Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program brought the world into the classroom and engaged and motivated students with captivating lessons that could not possibly be experienced firsthand. While many of the students were already familiar with Virtual Reality, which immerses a user so that they cannot see the real world around them, the AR technology allowed them to see a real world supplemented with virtual elements.

The technology allows the teacher to control the lesson with a master device that will place the 3D object – in these particular lessons, a volcano, a dinosaur, a planet – while students can walk around with their hand-held device, look for details in the specific object and step back to experience the full picture.

The program was well-received by students and staff alike, according to Dr. Amy Meyer, the district’s director of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With morning teacher training sessions, the Expeditions served as visual aids to the afternoon lesson plans for the students. Feedback was provided by educators and students during the sessions and will be shared with the program providers.