zSpace Comes to Oak Hill Academy
Nature in all its wondrous glory is all around us, and our children can explore most of its grandeur by simply observing the sounds, scenes, and smells that we interact with on a daily basis. However, many secrets of science are not so easy to experience. These are hidden behind the mysteries of biology, physics, and chemistry. Here we find the deeper understanding of what everyday life brings. For instance, we can ponder: What does the daily weather have to offer? What is the behavior of the animal kingdom? How do machines work? How do electricity, cell phones, and computers make us so connected to our world? Typically, answers to these questions would have the learner dive into textbooks or have laboratory experiences. Textbooks provide facts and illustrations, but not an engaging or realistic experience. Laboratories with their experiments are wonderful, but they need a great deal of time and may involve costly equipment, and can be subject to human error.
Enter zSpace, a new highly engaging technology that is being introduced to students across the world. zSpace uses a laptop computer which is loaded with apps that bring real life scientific phenomena to the user in 3D. Teams of students working collaboratively are able to use a stylus to detach images from the screen to interact with authentic representations of science processes and phenomena. These real life representations of three-dimensional imagery create a sense of visual reality through sight, touch, and sound. The user can take apart the image getting tactile feedback replicating the sense of touch. The 3D image renders perception of depth and physical presence. This personalized form of education puts learners in complete control as they take action, digest results of testing, make adjustments, try again, and then draw conclusions. This technology is high-quality instruction with minimal outside assistance. Teachers can now guide the learning as students work independently. Now the teacher’s role is to make suggestions, give feedback, probe for answers, and celebrate success.
Using the zSpace studio, for example, the student can examine the human heart. As they grasp the fully 3D and animated model, the content-specific vocabulary is highlighted and presented to the learner by making concrete connections. By experiencing immersion, the learner is better able to situate new vocabulary words to the object, which enhances comprehension, and fosters short and long-term retention.
Beginning this fall, students at Oak Hill Academy, a Pre-K through 8th grade school in Lincroft, New Jersey, will be able to utilize zSpace in multiple areas of learning including science, history, and math. For instance, they can use Franklin’s Lab software to build a functioning circuit board or Newton’s Park to discover what forces are needed, on Earth, the moon, or a planet, to move an object through a hoop using various gravities. Chemical and dissecting experiments can be done safely in the science room providing student novel environments, which allow them to try out new ideas. This leads to students’ growth in knowledge, persistence, resilience, and grit.
This emerging technology can also provide students different modalities to experience cultures and life experiences unlike their own, both today and throughout history. They could actually relive the lives and discoveries of women in science, such as Grace Hopper, Marie Curie, and Jane Goodall, and appreciate the historical challenges they faced. With Curie’s Elements software, students could individually explore the periodic table to visualize trends in its columns and rows, and then build and combine atoms by using the system’s activity guides.
In a practical sense, this technology is providing Oak Hill Academy’s students and teachers robust learning experiences that might otherwise be too dangerous, counterproductive, too expensive, or even impossible to execute.
With this user-directed software and teacher-designed activities, students can dissect thousands of animals without harming a single one, build circuits without fear of failure or accidental harm, and feel the beat of the human heart in their own hand. The incredible 3D technology gives the user a one-of-a-kind experience that closely replicates real life. Completed work can be photographed by the student and electronically sent to their teacher for review and assessment.
At Oak Hill, science is alive, well, engaging, exciting, and user friendly. Our students are ready to make discoveries to help humankind improve life for us all.
Oak Hill Academy is a NJ private school that is co-educational, independent, nonsectarian, and nonprofit for grades pre-kindergarten through eight. Oak Hill Academy is dedicated to a traditional, challenging, and caring learning environment that encourages comprehensive thought processes and deep understandings; thus promoting the wholesome intellectual, emotional, moral, and physical lifetime growth of our students. If you want to learn more about what makes Oak Hill Academy one of the best private school in NJ, visit us online at www.oakhillacademy.com , or subscribe to our mailing list to be notified when we post more topics.