Merge Cubes enhance augmented reality in the classroom

Oak Knoll’s coeducational elementary school is encouraging students to learn in a whole new dimension through augmented reality.

Utilizing MERGE Cubes, students can learn and create using augmented reality. While appearing to be nothing more than a black and silver cube, when viewed through a smart device it can appear to be anything from a celestial body to an internal organ.

Through the cubes, Oak Knoll’s makerspace continues to serve as a safe environment for students to embrace 21st century learning, said Kimberly Connolly, Oak Knoll School’s Associate Director of Technology Innovation & Integration.

“In a time where augmented reality is becoming an active part of our daily interactions – facial recognition, enhanced navigation systems, virtual shopping and gaming – it’s important for our students to understand what augmented reality is, the impacts on daily life and how it can support learning,” Connolly said.

The cubes also include creation features that allow for critical thinking, computational thinking and programming, she said.

Students are already embracing the cubes in cross-curricular activities such as using them to create interactive book reports, Connolly said, adding she believes they are only scratching the surface of all the learning applications augmented reality can provide.

“While there’s still much to explore regarding how augmented reality can truly support education, we are already seeing how it can increase student engagement and intellectual curiosity,” she said. “This brings learning to an entirely new level.”

upper school students collecting donations for those less fortunate.