We have amazing people in Asheville City Schools. Walter Dove, a member of our district’s General Maintenance Department, is one of those people who goes above and beyond for kids. Walter came across the UC Davis website (https://arsandbox.ucdavis.edu/) on how to make Augmented Reality Sandboxes and decided he could build one too. He found his old XBox Kinect that he wasn’t using anymore and started building. After a lot of hard work, many conversations with our IT Department, and lots and lots of sand Walter finished the first ever AR Sandbox for ACS!
The first time we had the opportunity to play with the AR Sandbox I couldn’t believe what was happening. Very quickly, I start coming up with ideas on how teachers could integrate their science standards into AR Sandbox lessons. I realized even students as young as PreK could learn from the AR Sandbox!
As a district we created a schedule so ALL students at ALL schools would have a chance to explore the AR Sandbox. In January, my students finally had their opportunity!
I had all classes sign up for 45 min lessons and we had students rotate through 3 stations. Our Media Specialist, teachers, and myself collaborated and came up with the stations. Our Media Specialist taught lessons using the AR Sandbox (I am unable to use the Sandbox for long periods of times because it triggers my migraines), I took students on VR Field Trips to National Parks using Google Expeditions, and the classroom teachers focused on the key landform vocabulary words that we used in all of the stations. It was a huge hit!
It was amazing to see the students connecting the landform vocabulary words with the AR Sandbox and then with what they saw on the VR Field Trips to Mt. Rushmore, Yellow Stone, and Yosemite National Parks!
True innovative and real life learning.
And to think our students would not have had these amazing, innovative learning opportunities if it wasn’t for Walter’s intuition and hard work. HUGE thanks goes to Walter Dove!