Hobgood Students Use Tech App to Unlock Virtual Classroom

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Students in Ms. Gilliland's fifth grade class at Hobgood Elementary are experiencing the wonders of technology through the use of their iPads and an online app named Aurasma.

"I was doing online research and saw this app used by an art teacher. I thought wow, this is really interesting," said Ms. Gilliland. "I was really impressed with the capability and saw a tremendous opportunity to engage and excite the students."

Using this technology students can scan a photo on their classroom wall and be shown a video, article or audio broadcast that provides detailed information about the picture. As a part of February's classroom curriculum, photos of notable African Americans were mounted to the wall outside the classroom. Once any of the photos were scanned using the app students were transported to a virtual learning environment in their school's hallway. Videos or articles about the person's accomplishments, activities and contributions to history generated instantly on the user's screen. New content was loaded as soon as a different picture was viewed by the iPad's camera.

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The process is fairly simple. A teacher uploads a photo to the Aurasma app and pairs it with selected graphics. When the image is scanned through the app the attached media plays inside the image, making the image come to life.

With technology being a prominent fixture in society today, teaching students how to use it, view it as a learning tool and to meet educational standards is important. Future lessons for Ms. Gilliland's class include more American historical figures and scientists.

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"The possibilities for engagement are really endless," stated Ms. Gilliland. "Students could upload a book report to a poster they created and present it as a class project. Teachers could even solve an example math problem and attach the video to a photo in a book as part of a homework assignment."

Murfreesboro City Schools is a district of twelve schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.

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