History in Focus: News from 8th Grade American History

Posted On: 12/1/2017 2:51 PM

Written by Susan Leonard, Joyce MacCrory, and Diane Smith, 8th Grade Team

What is Augmented Reality or AR? Augmented Reality (AR) is a growing field of technology that is being used in education to enhance the classroom learning experience. Hold your phone over an image and the image will generate a 3D animation or video that tells a story. In other words, it makes ideas, events, people and places come to life!  In a recent article by Discovery EducationWhy Use Augmented Reality in the Classroom?”, Author Kathy Schrock says, “Adding interactivity to a classroom learning experience always enhances student engagement. To be able to view and manipulate an object being learned about can lead to deeper understanding and further exploration and questions.” (From, “August 2017: Augmented Reality in the Classroom, Kathy Schrock, Discovery Education. View the full story here: Augmented Reality in the Classroom)

Eighth grade teachers will be modeling how to use AR technology by visiting an historic site outside of the classroom, videotaping a one to two minute story about the site, and linking the video to an image called a “trigger.” Triggers are one-dimensional images and can be pinned on a bulletin board. When students hover their phones over the trigger image, the video comes to life instantly on the phone, and history comes to life!  

We want to encourage students to do the same when they travel with their families. Visiting Boston? Great! Plan a quick visit to the site of the Boston Massacre and tape a quick video to tell the story for the class! We hope to collect short videos on location from different historic sites, cities, and states to encourage historic visits and interest in history.  Also, we plan to create an American History AR timeline for display at our 8th Grade Academic Showcase on April 13. Visitors to our Academic Showcase will travel to historic sites and learn more of our nation’s history without ever leaving the middle school gym.



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