Merge, the leader in mixed reality for K-12 education, announced today their new hand-held digital teaching aids are now available for teachers and students worldwide. The hands-on digital collections help students with science related studies in a whole new way as they continue to learn at home, at school, or in a hybrid environment during and post COVID-19.
“As a Microsoft Education Partner, Merge is focused on providing educators our new hands-on digital teaching aids, which are one of the most significant technological advancements in education since computers were first brought into the classroom over three decades ago,” said Franklin Lyons, Founder and CEO of Merge. “We are working to help teachers across the world upgrade their learning tools by integrating Microsoft technology like Immersive Reader and Teams with Merge EDU.”
“We’re pleased that Merge is a top-tier Microsoft Education Partner,” says Dan Ayoub, General Manager, Education Experiences at Microsoft Corp. “Merge is making an impact in education. The Merge Cube is an innovative school supply: with a single Merge Cube, students have access to thousands of dollars of real-world 3D models they can use for hands-on learning.” Merge’s innovative approach to learning resources is a significant leap forward in giving students the ability to hold and study objects in their hands without having to pass physical models and items to other students. Setting a new standard, the digital teaching aids will alter the way millions of students learn in 150,000 U.S. schools as well as over a billion students worldwide.
“Because of COVID-19, we live in a world where students are not allowed to share resources or materials in school, or they simply don’t have access because they are learning virtually at home,” says Mr. Gabe Haydu, 5th grade teacher at the Singapore American School. “For science class, this has really big implications. Science is full of abstract and complex concepts that become concrete for students only when they have access to the right hands-on resources.”
Better learning happens when students have access to differentiated instruction that engages multiple senses and gets them learning in a way that’s active and hands-on. But the official CDC guidelines to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 in classrooms advises against sharing objects like classroom resources, materials or supplies. The inability for students to use and
share teaching aids could have negative effects on learning.
In response, Merge has created collections of true-to-life digital teaching aids like rocks, minerals, animal teeth and skulls, cells, and more that cover a wide range of science topics so
that students can still learn using hands-on, real-world models. Only, instead of being physical models, they are digital 3D models that use the Merge Cube and augmented reality technology.
Merge Cube is the only product in the world that lets you hold digital objects. When combined with a mobile device and Merge EDU apps, the Merge Cube can transform into virtually any 3D object, enabling a powerful new way to learn that is innovative yet familiar. “Learning with digital 3D models works just as well as the real thing,” says Dr. Jesse Courtier, Co-founder of startup Sira Medical. “We just completed a study that compared the test scores of radiology students that used real human cadavers to study, and another group who used AR objects on the Merge Cube to study, and there was no statistically significant difference in test scores between the groups. This result is of interest, particularly in times of increased focus on distance learning, since it shows AR [with the Merge Cube] can provide students an effective method of absorbing complex 3D material independently while using fewer resources.”
The Merge Explorer app is available in 13 languages and the Merge Object Viewer app will offer the same. Merge has had more than 20 million downloads and is growing internationally in countries like India, generating up to 150,000 downloads in a single day. In addition to adding digital teaching aid collections to the Merge EDU Platform, Merge is announcing more updates to make remote learning successful for back-to-school:
- Activity Plans that work for both in-school and remote learning
- Integrated quizzes and classroom management tools
- STEM Project Plans that work for both in-school and remote learning
- In-depth AR Human Anatomy Science Simulations
With Merge EDU, science teachers can explain concepts more effectively, STEM programs can expand beyond the classroom, and schools can introduce new educational technology that prepares students for our ever-changing world.
Merge develops award-winning augmented reality and virtual reality products for K-12 education. Their spatial computing technology lets students touch and interact with digital 3D content for enjoyable new ways to learn.
The Merge ecosystem consists of Merge Cube, Merge Headset, Merge Miniverse, and Merge EDU platform. These products enable students to interact with AR/VR content and learn in new ways, while giving teachers new tools to increase student engagement, intellectual curiosity, and classroom achievement, at home and school. Merge technology is used in K-12 schools, libraries, museums, universities, healthcare, environmental science, and other industries around the world. Visit www.MergeEdu.com.
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