Innovation Now 2017 Showcase : How We Are Preparing Students to be Future-Ready, plus Virtual and Augmented Reality Project

Nyack Public Schools are preparing students to be future-ready with innovative curriculum, creative learning opportunities and cutting-edge technology, highlighted at the March 30th Community Forum and Innovation Now Showcase at Nyack Center.  One of the many highlights featured was a “Virtual & Augmented Reality Project”, created and presented by NMS Team 7B teachers as a collaborative and technology-integrated approach to teaching. This first-of-its- kind project will be used as a pilot for similar tech-infused projects as Nyack continues to ensure our students are "future-ready".  Check out the Journal News piece:  "How one Rockland school is fighting 'fake news'"

The Virtual & Augmented Reality Project provided 7th graders an interactive, multi-disciplined opportunity to “explore fake news, media literacy, and how to sift through the staggering amount of information that is not only accessible put pushed onto us, decipher the truth and identify accurate, reliable information”, according to Mr. Frechette, Team 7B teacher and co-creator of the project.

Teachers Ben Turner, Jay Frechette, Betsy Peterson and Kaitlyn Murphy came up with the idea to create and embed integrated curriculum for the day in core subjects using state-of-the-art technology:  for Social Studies, “Heroes Write History But What Are Other Points of View?”; for Science, “Researching Global Warming, GMO's, and Cell Phone Radiation to Dispel Misperceptions”; for Math, “Statistics Can Be Manipulated So That Data Says Anything: How to Interpret It”; and for ELA, “Media Literacy: a Focus on Citizen Journalism, Evaluating Sources, and Identifying False News in a Social Media World”.  

Students were introduced to augmented/virtual reality at the beginning of the day; then given time to explore the various subjects.  The last part of the day was dedicated to allowing students to team up with each other and create their own augmented reality projects. Students used Zapworks app, downloaded to phones, to view the augmented reality and used Google Cardboards to view the virtual reality 360 View of global warming data and other current topics. They began to explore the advent of 360 Journalism, along with its potential benefits and impacts.

This project was featured at the “Innovation Now” Showcase as one of many new initiatives that capture the “7Cs”, or core elements, of a NPS education: critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, compassion, content mastery, & cultural competency. The evening was an opportunity for parents and community members to visualize and experience first-hand some of the innovative teaching and learning that are happening in our schools and classrooms each day.  It also provided a "big picture" snapshot for teachers, staff and administrators who were excited to see the fantastic work of colleagues in the District.

Nyack schools are preparing students to be future-ready.  We are “building bridges for today’s students to cross into tomorrow’s world with equity, innovation and optimism”.