Sticky Stories in AR: Teaching with a New Medium (Part 2: Younger Children)
December 3, 2019
“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.” — Ursula LeGuin
Screen-based AR/VR: Is it good for young children?
The perception exists that these screen-based experiences are in lieu of other developmental activities. A recent study determined too much screen time for very young children is detrimental to brain development of children younger than five years from attention spans to expressive language. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides guidelines, for example: For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
Our take? Of course co-viewing media, limiting screen time, and choosing quality experiences matter!. This is surely no different in an educational setting. The majority of a child’s day should be spent in exploration, creating, developing literacy and numeracy skills, as well as developing motor and social skills. We would argue that immersive experiences can (and should) be connected to student play and other learning activities.
And so far, the research supports these experiences. Children are born into a world of technology and screens. Digital citizenship and technology skills begin very young and should be introduced and honed by trusted and informed adults.
Keep asking questions
Because these technologies are fairly new, many of our questions just haven’t yet been answered. We still need to keep asking them. For example, regarding narrative story literacy development
Tie Play with Immersive Tech and Story
Perspectives XR is discovering more and more play-worthy immersive literacy tools every day. What might they look like in a daycare, preschool, or K-2 classroom?
Concepts: Opposites with disruptED
The great thing about this resource (next to Ed Heck's really cute artwork) is the Teacher Guide that goes with each book. For example, using the Monster Opposites book, there are stations, called Missions, that include both AR/VR experiences such as the VR Discussion Mat.
Read Aloud with Novel Effect
Although they'd never admit it, even teenagers like to be read to. People are using Audible more than ever. However, being read to is essential for developing literacy skills and appreciation. Both teachers and students can enhance stories they read aloud with background sounds that accompany voice using Artificial Intelligence.
Read Along, Dance Along, and Draw with Bookful stories such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Most of the books in this app are paid for, but a few, such as this classic tale, are free. The app really encourages creativity, literacy, and even kinesthetic experiences using augmented reality. It's a treasure!
Teach the Story Arc using Location-Based Memory and Wonderscope's Little Red
Lesson Idea: Four Corners (or locations)
Using a story experience such as Wonderscope's Little Red: The Inventor, teach characterization, beginning, middle, and end with your whole class ar as a center.
Location 1: Have students meet Little Red and the Wolf in 3-D before reading. With a partner, children can act out what they think the character(s) will do in the story (prediction).
Locations 2-4: In location 2, children will experience/read the beginning of the story. Location 3 will be the middle story and location 4, will be the end. After each one, children retell what happened to each other and then experience it again to check their own understanding.
Make Handwriting and Spelling Fun with Narrator AR
Lesson Idea: Four Corners (or locations)
Highlight sight words from any story by having students use this app to practice handwriting and spelling.
Children create their own stories using Storyfab
Students can retell or write their own stories by creating their own augmented or video story. It's easy and fun for kids of all ages.
These are just some of the great apps/experiences teachers can use to promote storytelling, reading, and writing with students. As we always say, it goes back to what is the learning objective for students? How can students best be engaged and able to transfer their learning into new experiences they create themselves? Sounds like this kind of screen time, could be just what students of all learning styles and abilities need to make learning STICK!
“There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories." — Ursula LeGuin
The Institute for Learning Perspectives, or Perspectives XR, is an educational non-profit dedicated to helping educators use immersive technologies to teach the humanities.
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