Integem Holographic AR STEAM Program: A Hands-On Integrated Computer Science Solution

Computer Science is one of the more popular electives in middle school and high school. Since Technology has become a central part of our existence, a quality Computer Science curriculum is a true preparation for the careers our students will seek in the future. Integrating the standards of Technology with those of Science, English, Art, and Math by applying the principles of Engineering takes the Computer Science course out of the computer lab and makes it a valuable and relevant resource for improving academic success, increasing student engagement, and helping students develop better relationships with teachers and other students as they work collaboratively on STEAM projects.

Why AR?

There is not a student in your school that thinks Augmented Reality, or AR is boring. Saidin, Halim, & Yahaya (2015) concluded that students respond favorabily to AR because they were actively engaged in their learning (p. 5).  By using the newest and most creative technology available, Integem’s AR STEAM program allows students to build a computer program that puts them into a virtual reality and explore it independently. The students are not just using a pre-built program. They are creating it.

Where does this program fit?

In addition to covering the Computer Science programming standards, students are selecting lessons that allow them to learn Science, Math, and Art Concepts. AR STEAM programs also fit the Career and Technical Education pathways in the career clusters of Arts, Audio/Video Technology and Communications, Information Technology,  and STEM. Like a tree with many branches, Integem’s AR Holographic STEAM Program can be used with all students in a wide array of courses on your campus.

Which students can use it?

All students can benefit from STEAM projects using AR. The program provides three dimensional images that make visualizing abstract concepts easier to understand that a textbook or worksheet illustration. For example, students in a Biology class found that they were more successful understanding the process of mitosis, meiosis, and respiration when they could interact with a 3D model of a cell in an AR environment (Weng, Bee, Yew, & Hsia, 2016, p. 10).

Gifted and high ability students enjoy the flexibility of Integem’s AR STEAM Program lessons. Because the students are creating the program themselves, each lesson can be differentiated and as complex as they want it to be. Gifted Child Today (2019) praised the use of Virtual and Augmented Reality as an economic way to conduct scientific experiments with 3D models resulting in outcomes that were as successful as conducting actual experiments with less danger and expense (p. 51).

ELL students require collaboration to practice verbal language skills. Integem’s AR Holographic STEAM lessons require verbal interactions between students to create the programs. In addition, language specialists have noted that AR helps students metacognitively transfer the meaning of new words and concept into long term memory when they can associate the words with a visual image (Weng, Bee, Yew, & Hsia, 2016, p. 10). The Holographic AR environment is realistic and appropriate for showing students things that they are unable to experience in a regular classroom, such as outer space or human body systems.

A great deal of research is being conducted with special education students and Augmented Reality. Students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder have had “difficulty accessing effective and timely therapeutic interventions” for both content instruction and behavioral therapy (Liu, Salisbury, Vahabzadeh, & Sahin, 2017). High Schools which  have used Integem’s Holographic AR STEAM Programs have reported that students with ASD have stayed on task and actively engaged in the lessons. Inegem is collecting additional data for future studies for this special population of students.

How does AR teach STEAM concepts?

Engineering is the application of science, technology, and mathematics to solve real world problems. It is the perfect high-level thinking activity where students experiment, create, and collaborate. In addition, because of the visual components of AR, students can apply engineering to Digital Art Design, Making Movies, and Designing Games as well. Integem’s secondary lessons cover many different content areas, student ages, and different levels of computer programming experience. You can see the wide variety of lessons available here: courses.

Social and Emotional Skills

Any group activity allows students to practice collaboration, communication, and appropriate social interactions. The Holographic component of Integem’s AR STEAM program goes one step further, putting the student into the program themselves. Students can see an image of themselves in the AR virtual environment and interact with the people, animals, or imaginary creatures within it. Being able to see themselves in an AR environment can help students learn empathy as they mentally process the consequences of their virtual selves and their actions. Carolan (2018) noted that all technology, from the Gutenberg press, to television, to Augmented Reality gives people the opportunity to see other people’s perspectives and deepen their understanding of “the human condition”. Researchers found that when students could interact with what they saw, they were better able to articulate how they felt (Piumsomboon, Lee, Lee, Dey, & Billinghurst, 2017). AR provides the opportunity to interact with virtual images, not just see them.

Campus Continuous Improvement Plans- A Strategy that fits the Template

Campus Administrators know that Federal and State Accountability Ratings are complex and depend on many different factors, including student attendance and classroom behavior. Student engagement is linked to improving both attendance and behavioral referrals.  The more engaged students are in their learning, the less likely they are to skip school or to disrupt the classroom. Integem’s STEAM projects are highly engaging. Gase, DeFosset, Perry, & Kuo (2016) suggested that “schools have an opportunity to prevent truancy by promoting school engagement” (p. 317). Read what students and their parents said when they reviewed our program after they used it: students.

Continue Improvement Plans require struggling schools to implement strategies that meet the standards of being Universal Designed Learning (UDL) that can reach all students. Our program is equitable because it provides multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement, as recommended by UDL.

How Will Teachers Learn to Use This Program?

Integem knows that teachers are our greatest ally. We provide extensive, detailed training, both in person and online. We also have a continuous learning component to keep trained teachers up to date on the newest lessons. Integem also provides trainers to come into the classroom and initially teach the lessons to model best implementation practices for teachers.

Learn more about teacher training here: schools

How can I get more information?

Contact Integem by email, phone, or through our website: contact.

References

Carolan, J. (2018, April 22). Empathy technolgoies like VR, AR and social media can transform education. Retrieved from TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/22/empathy-technologies-like-vr-ar-and-social-media-can-transform-education/

Gase, L. N., DeFosset, A., Perry, R., & Kuo, T. (2016). Youths’ perspectives on the reasons underlying school truancy and opportunities to improve school attendance. The Qualitative Report, 21(2), 299-320. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2231&context=tqr/

Liu, R., Salisbury, J. P., Vahabzadeh, A., & Sahin, N. T. (2017). Feasibility of an autism-focused augmented reality smartglasses system for social communication and behavioral coaching. Frontiers in pediatrics, 5, 145. doi:10.3389/fped.2017.00145

Piumsomboon, T., Lee, Y., Lee, G. A., Dey, A., & Billinghurst, M. (2017). Empathic mixed reality: Sharing what you feel and interacting with what you see. 2017 International Sumposium on Ubiquitous Virtual REality (pp. 38-41). IEEE.

Saidin, N. F., Halim, N. D., & Yahaya, N. (2015). A review of research on augmented reality in education: Advantages and Applications. International Education Studies, 8(13). doi:10.5539/ies.v8n13p1

Weng, N. G., Bee, O. Y., Yew, L. H., & Hsia, T. E. (2016). An augmented reality system for biology science education in Malaysia. International Journal of Innovative Computing, 6(2), 8-13.