Letort students, teachers sample augmented reality teaching tool

Students and teachers at Letort Elementary School this week got to experience the potential of augmented reality in the classroom when they participated in Google for Education’s Augmented Reality Pioneer beta program.

The school was selected to sample the new technology, which will enable insects, dinosaurs, volcanoes, earthquakes, planets and other objects to come alive before their eyes via a cell phone app.

The images, which are controlled by the teacher, are highly detailed and can be viewed on all sides — and internally — by moving the device up, down, right or left.

Under the direction of a Google staff member and their teachers, Letort students in all grades got to experience the technology, which elicited screams of surprise and delight — especially from the bugs.

“I loved watching their faces when a new image popped up,” said fourth-grade teacher Lisa Suydam. “It was learning with enthusiasm at its finest.”
Suydam said the technology will enable teachers to create “a more authentic learning experience” by allowing students to view objects in a new and detailed way.
“The augmented reality beta allows learning to become ‘alive’ and take the students to a new level of excitement,” she said.
Google is soliciting feedback from students and teachers at Letort and other schools before it fully launches the new technology in the coming months.
It was great for our students to experience this emerging teaching tool!