Our recent visit to Ashwood School was a visual and auditory experience. Over the morning session, almost 30 students were introduced to new technologies to experience augmented reality and music creation.
As the introductory session to these amazing technologies, they used Merge Cubes with the Merge Cube Object Viewer app to choose and view augmented reality in the classroom. They also used Sphero Specdrums to create sound from colours.
Using the Merge Cube and ‘stamping’ AR objects around the room was something new for the students. They were able to choose from a multitude of 3D AR objects in the app to view, change scale, rotate and move within the classroom. They also practised ‘stamping’ their objects to promote spatial awareness and increase understanding of AR. They also enjoyed sharing their 3D AR objects with their peers and teachers. Mixing in real objects with the AR was also a highlight such as a very large skeleton standing on the table, or putting a helmet onto a teacher’s head.
Making sound from colours also excited and inspired the students to create and try new technologies. The students used the Sphero Specdrums to create their own sound mixes and music. The Specdrums work by using an “accelerometer [that] detects taps and gestures, a light sensor [that] recognises thousands of colours and LEDs [that] illuminate tapped surfaces”. The students were able to delve into using the app, the Specdrums colour keyboard and also make their own keyboard with a combination of post-it notes, coloured paddlepop sticks, pipecleaners, textas and found objects.
The Ashwood students thoroughly enjoyed the new technologies. As observed, they were engaged with the technology through structured exploration, asking questions, sharing and experimentation. Students commented: “I really liked using the Merge Cube.” And “I want to have one of these” (referring to the Sphero Specdrums). Another student thanked Monash Tech School on behalf of Ashwood School: “Thank you Janelle and Tori for coming to Ashwood and helping us connect with using the technology.”