North Merrick school pilots Google technology


The Old Mill Road Elementary School in the North Merrick School District was selected to be one of the first schools to participate in the Google Expedition Pioneers Program and pilot augmented reality technology. Old Mill Road students in grades 1-6 were engaged in immersive lessons on Dec. 7 that brought the vastness of the world into the classroom.

Small groups of students walked around the room with cell phones on selfie sticks to access the technology, which maps the physical classroom and 3D objects suspended in space. As the objects popped into view on the phone screens, the students moved in closer to view details and stepped back for the full picture.

Topics varied by grade level so that fourth graders landed on the moon while sixth graders stepped into the Coliseum in Ancient Rome. When asked why this experience was better than looking at a picture in a book, all the students had the same reaction: They felt as if the objects were part of their reality.