Teachers from eight different countries spent some time as learners in the MLFTC Tempe IgnitED Lab on February 13. They are at Arizona State University as members of the Fulbright Distiguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers. Ph.D. Candidate Medha Dalal and MLFTC Associate Professor Dr. Leanna Archambault are working with the 18 esteemed educators during the program and brought them in for a lab tour and inspirational exploration.
Educational Technology Champtions (ETCs), who are ASU students, staff the lab. They developed and delivered educational sessions to introduce the teachers to emerging technologies. Karan Shah, a master’s student in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering Mechanical Engingeering Program, provided a general discussion about the educational uses of virtual reality (VR). The teachers then immersed themselves in VR worlds. For most this was their first time trying this intriguing technology. Annaleena Kangas from Finland said, “That experience was amazing!”
Anushka Katyayan, a master’s student in the W.P. Carey School of Business MBA Business Analytics Program, showcased 3D printing and explained its educational connections. The teachers were able to see the development of a 3D print using a computer application as well as a print in process. All teachers received 3D-printed keychains to represent their content areas and a bright green 3D-printed cactus. Some of the educators said they will share what they learned about 3D prints with their students when they return home and noted they found that session to be informative and exciting.
The final session for the visitors included some basic programming opportunities. Alejandra Alana, a freshman in the W.P. Carey School of Business Computer Information Systems Program, led the educators through their learning. They were able to block code with Spheros and see their programs in action with the small robotic balls. Maria Vergin A. Andes from the Phillipines shared that she is looking forward to telling her students about learning with Spheros. Since her students do not have the equipment, she will introduce this learning through videos.
For two hours, ASU students taught these visiting teachers about the potential of emerging technologies in classrooms. Through this role-reversal, the visitors developed ideas for their students and committed themselves to learning even more about the possibilities of integrating experiences like these into their teaching.