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Google Expeditions Visits Kennedy-Longfellow

Google Expeditions Visits Kennedy-Longfellow
Posted on 05/29/2018
By Mrs. Malone

ExpeditionRecently, Kennedy-Longfellow students had a truly unique opportunity when Google visited our school to share it’s Pioneer Program with our students and staff. Google’s Pioneer Program has been traveling through select areas of the US and Europe. Kathy Malone, KLO Instructional Technology Specialist, submitted an application for the KLO to be part of this experience last Fall. Google selected us in January and scheduled our event. This was an all day school event which took place in the school’s makerspace and library with back-to-back concurrent sessions. The event would not have been possible without the cooperation of all KLO staff. Before the start of the event, all classroom teachers selected the lessons to share with their students and participated in a mandatory training. These sessions allowed our students a hands-on/eyes-on Augmented Reality experience that brought 3D objects, like animals and insects, into the makerspace and library, so that everyone could examine these objects together at the same time here at school accessing content that would not be humanly possible for all of us to normally do during a “traditional” school day. These AR experiences were a first for many of us!

ExpeditionThe excitement was palpable while students participated in these immersive AR learning experiences. KLO teachers thoughtfully choose the Expedition tour to share with their students that would best tie in and scaffold the curriculum that students were learning. During this event, the learning experiences were launched by each classroom teacher introducing the experience with a teacher device that was then accessed by student teams holding a selfie stick with an android tablet that immersed the students into the content. The tours included many augmented reality objects that were designed to allow students access to many learning experiences that are not physically accessible to learners in everyday life. These AR experiences/tours make learning more engaging to students by bringing lesson plan subjects to life! Some of the tours students took included African Animals, Dinosaurs, Ecosystem of a Coral Reef, Insects, The Ocean Floor, Forces of Nature, and many more. Christine Burke and Kathy Malone, along with a representative from Google, provided classroom teachers with additional guidance during the event. It was an exciting learning day for all participants. Be sure to ask your child what their experience was if you haven’t already. So far, we were the only school in Cambridge that had a chance to participate in this special sneak peek of Expeditions AR, which is an unreleased feature of Expeditions that Google hopes to release next Fall.

Given the level of student engagement, in the future, we hope to attain funding to purchase our own kit that would allow the Kennedy-Longfellow teachers to regularly plan these immersive experiences to scaffold instruction here at KLO.