St Peters Teachers creating content in the palm of their hands

A long time ago, in a school far, far away, teachers used to stand and deliver the ‘chalk and talk’ method of teaching. Today immersive, next-generation teaching styles are used to connect with different learning styles. Our blog last week, unpacking the Units of Inquiry via Primary Years Program, is an example of that.

In the classroom today there is a compelling use for immersive technology to deliver powerful meaning with relevant content. Using apps, along with Augmented Reality (AR), is part of the digital foundation St Peters teachers continually build on. Teachers continually train and learn about how immersive content creation will penetrate to the heart of student learning. 

Jonathan Nalder, St Peters Digital Learning Coach, explains the importance of exploring the best technical tools when creating meaningful content. “It links into good pedagogy, and that can now mean content creation where we’re talking about augmented reality. We are looking with teachers at how to implement that with next generation creativity and story-telling tools. As we move into a digital and automated era it’s important to continually look at these tools and most importantly the skills needed to set students apart.”

Apps being used in the classroom to help teachers and students begin this journey by interacting with AR content are Mr Body and Galactic Explorer (both free). These apps utilise Merge VR’s new Merge Cube as a way to promote unimaginable experiences. Merge Cube is an actual physical cube which brings lessons to life by triggering a hologram in your hand through the power of your smartphone. The cube, combined with apps, helps teachers immerse students into exciting worlds and deliver a seamless and exciting learning experience. Teachers and students are going beyond this with an app called CoSpaces Edu to begin making their own content.

Apps provide hands-on learning in the classroom

Mr Body (requires Merge Cube or print out of one side): Provides a hands-on holographic anatomy lesson. Students can select each of Mr Body’s parts to get a close-up view of each vital organ and their functions like the heart, brain, lungs, and more. The whole class can enjoy the exploration of the body while the cartoon content is also appealing to younger students.

Galactic Explorer (requires Merge Cube or print out of one side): Students can hold the solar system in their hands and watch the planets rotate around the sun (cube). Each planet can be selected for additional information while the sounds recorded in space are heard in the background.

If St Peters students or parents want to see these apps in action they can come to the IT help desk where we have a large sticker version of Merge Cube on display.

Building blocks of creative communication

Since students are unlimited in their capacity for imagination they can create layered worlds themselves­—once an opportunity like AR has been made available to them. A perfect example of this combination of layered worlds and technology is the professional development session held by Year 8 students this week. Taking it to another level students have created a visual representation about King Arthur using the CoSpaces Edu app which will be viewable as AR via the Merge Cube. 

“We want to build a community of practice around these building blocks of future technology,” says Jonathan. 

“We have a commitment to supporting each other with ideas which will reinforce the engagement and learning processes for all our students.”