Mrs. Saliesha Meder, a 5th grade teacher at Montverde Academy, gave her students the opportunity to explore the universe using a MERGE Cube. “They were beyond excited and amazed,” said Mrs. Meder.
Four years ago, after a professional development conference for the Florida Council of Independent Schools, Dr. Caryn Long, the Director of Educational Technology and Innovation at MVA, learned of Augmented Reality technology being used in the classroom through a device called the MERGE Cube.
The cube is a soft foam cube with unique QR codes on each of the six sides where a student or teacher uses a MERGE app to read the codes through specified programs that convert them into three-dimensional images for students to “hold” and “manipulate.” They take a concept and make it concrete, allowing students to create an understanding of what is happening within that concept through movement.
For students in the Lower School and Middle School, this is especially important because they need this kind of hands-on interaction to allow their very concrete brains to grasp abstract concepts like the water cycle or the connection between shapes in geometry for their understanding. For those that have ever shopped Amazon before, using the feature that places an item in a room virtually is the same kind of technology.