klahoma City University (OCU) has joined forces with Apple to usher in a new era of education for Native American Tribes in Oklahoma, focusing on Augmented Reality (AR) and other cutting-edge teaching techniques.
This groundbreaking partnership unites educators from various Native American Tribes in the state at OCU, as part of a collaborative program involving Apple, OCU, and local schools. The primary objective is to introduce computer coding and technology education to underrepresented communities in Oklahoma, with a special emphasis on Augmented Reality.
Helen Gaudin, OCU Apple Community Education Initiative Project Manager, sheds light on the partnership's mission, stating, "In this collaboration, our aim is to equip educators with the skills to harness technology effectively, engaging students while fostering innovation in the classroom."
Teachers from different tribal backgrounds came together to explore the integration of Augmented and Virtual Reality into their teaching methodologies. These immersive technologies have proven to be remarkably effective in capturing students' attention and enhancing knowledge retention—a particularly crucial aspect for communities where student retention and graduation rates face significant challenges.
Gaudin highlights the unique difficulties faced by these communities, explaining, "Many tribal communities partnering with us have struggled with student retention. Students often need to travel long distances to reach their schools, making the journey to 12th-grade graduation far from guaranteed."
Apple's involvement includes providing iPads to teachers and students, ensuring that students in underserved communities gain broader access to technology. This generous donation facilitates learning and tech integration in areas where its impact can be truly transformative.
Gina Batie, a librarian at Cherokee Elementary, enthusiastically shares her experience with the program, saying, "We're discovering so much that we didn't know before. It's fascinating to step into the learner's shoes because learning can be quite demanding." Despite the challenges, the participants are excited and invigorated, eagerly discussing the knowledge they can bring back to their libraries.
Tina Lamirand, a librarian at Muskogee 6th & 7th Grade Academy, believes that integrating technology, particularly Augmented Reality, will greatly benefit struggling readers who are already well-versed in the digital world.
This initiative showcases the commitment of educational institutions and tech giants like Apple to bridge the technology gap and provide innovative learning experiences to underprivileged communities, with Augmented Reality playing a pivotal role in this educational transformation.