Ault students test Google Augmented Reality Pioneer Program

February 23, 2018

Ault Elementary School hosted prototype testing of the Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Pioneer Program
Ault Elementary School hosted prototype testing of the Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Pioneer Program, an unreleased feature of Expeditions, on Feb. 12-13. With Expeditions AR, teachers and students could see 3D objects using a ASUS smartphone attached to a selfie stick and router to run the Expeditions app.

Feb. 23, 2018—Hundreds of Ault Elementary School students were given the opportunity to use what could be the next level in bringing technology into the classroom Feb. 12-13, as the campus hosted the Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Pioneer Program, an unreleased feature of Expeditions.

With Expeditions AR, teachers and students could see 3D objects, like a mountain, the moon or a human muscular system, by using a ASUS smartphone attached to a selfie stick and router to run the Expeditions app.

The initial response from teachers was so large, a second day was added to allow even more students to experience the program and help provide feedback. In all, 20 sessions in 30-minute slots were held in two classrooms over the two days.

Using accompanying QR codes, teacher led lessons to students during prototype testing of the Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Program at Ault Elementary School
Using accompanying QR codes, teacher led lessons to students during prototype testing of the Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Program at Ault Elementary School on Feb. 12-13. Through the unreleased feature to the Expeditions app, students and teachers could see objects in 3D, including a tornado, land structures or even the human muscular system.

“They were so engaged, so excited and so inquisitive,” said Meredith Akers, an Ault assistant principal who reached out to Google Expeditions and helped facilitate bringing the prototype. “We heard a lot of, ‘Oh, look at what I can do. Look – I can go here and I can go there.’ Some reactions I wasn’t anticipating. It made it all worth it seeing the kids’ excitement.”

Following a morning training for teachers, classes made their way into one of two rooms for the Expeditions AR. With 3-4 students per group, teachers led the sessions, as each 3D object is accompanied by text that only the teacher could see, but could use to supplement a lesson as the students experienced each object.

Students were encouraged to move themselves and the phones around an accompanying QR code, which was on a piece of paper on the floor and connected each phone to the app. And with the movement, each participant could see the object move as well, going from one side of a volcano to another to even going inside a human to see the different muscles.

“It made learning 360 degrees,” Akers said. “We’re not just learning about a fish on a piece of paper or even on a Promethean board or my Chromebook, which is cool. But it’s the 3D aspect of it. Getting to go inside and all around.”

Donna Sheppard (right), assistant superintendent of elementary school administration, visits with Ault Elementary School students during prototype testing of the Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Pioneer Program
Donna Sheppard (right), assistant superintendent of elementary school administration, visits with Ault Elementary School students during prototype testing of the Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Pioneer Program, an unreleased feature of Expeditions. Hundreds of students were able to experience the program, which allows students and teachers to see objects in 3D.Teachers used the opportunity as an extension to lessons already being taught in their classrooms.

Following the sessions, students and teacher were able to provide feedback.

“We have an amazing staff who want to find ways to engage our students,” Akers said. “Whenever Google releases it, I’m hoping that we see it a lot in our schools.”

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