If you read our earlier blog post on our district’s Augmented Reality Sandbox, you likely have an idea of how the tool can enhance student learning through hands-on and experiential activities. As the sandbox has made its way to different buildings in the district this year, our creative teachers have added their own spin to how they use the sandbox to engage their students.
Amber Korn at Huber Ridge is one such teacher. Amber took full advantage of the sandbox’s time at Huber Ridge to deepen her 4th graders’ understanding of weathering and erosion. Working in stations, students built landforms, reproduced natural events, and observed the impact of weather on topography. While they greatly enjoyed building mountains, digging out lakes, and causing earthquakes, the most exciting part for many of the students was making it “rain” in the sandbox with virtual water. By making it rain, they were able to see the movement of the water and predict the impact water has on landforms. But Amber didn’t stop there! She brought the learning experience home through the use of higher-level thinking activities. Once everyone in the class was able to experience the sandbox, the students got together and connected what they had observed in the sandbox with what they had already learned about landforms, developing a more thorough understanding of the meaning and impacts of weathering and erosion. The class created a collaborative document detailing their understanding of these concepts and each student made their own artistic representation of the impact weathering and erosion have on Earth’s landforms. Through manipulating the content in multiple ways, Amber used the power of experiential learning to engage her students and bring her science unit alive in a new and exciting way that her students won’t soon forget.
Watch this video by UCLA to see how the AR Sandbox works.
The AR Sandbox has great potential for any grade level and subject, such as illustrating point of view, making inferences, solving multi-step problems, demonstrating cause and effect, creating sculptures that reflect contour lines, and even helping students process emotion, to name a few. Want to experience the AR Sandbox for yourself? Good news! The sandbox will be a part of Westerville Partners for Education’s Starry Night event on April 8th at Westerville North High School. Come and check it out!
If you would like to explore how to use the sandbox with your students, contact your Ed Tech Coach!