K-12 Schools

Interactive 3D fly-though tours of the universe a huge hit with kids

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The curriculum came to life in exciting new ways for Junior School students at Presbyterian Ladies College (PLC) Melbourne recently.

For two weeks, the AARNet IGLEw (Immersive Global Learning Environment), an inflatable 3D theatre equipped with the latest immersive and interactive technologies, was stationed on the school grounds as an interactive classroom.

Satellite imagery from NASA’s Digital Universe Atlas and other scientific resources is streamed into the IGLEw in real time at high resolution with AARNet’s high-speed broadband network enabling collaborative connectivity anywhere on the planet.

PLC students from Prep to Year 6 travelled the surface of the earth, visited ancient Egyptian temples and the International Space Station, flew by planets and moons (even landed on Mars) and continued out into the Milky Way to the origin of the universe.

“The IGLEw experience takes the students to another learning dimension where they’re living a concept rather than just being told or reading about it. They gain knowledge through experience – it makes learning real,” said Paul Hamilton-Smith, ICT Coordinator PLC Junior School.

The IGLEw’s advanced gaming platforms and HD video conferencing enables students to access, navigate and manipulate multiple sources of data in real time and collaborate with experts located elsewhere to create unique experiences.

For teachers, the IGLEw’s educational content provides a way of presenting complex concepts in an easy-to-understand visually engaging learning environment.

Hamilton Smith says the IGLEw visit was a hit, not only with the girls and teachers, but also with a group of fathers who were introduced to the experience as part of a Fathers Day event at the School.

“Connecting to AARNet has opened up a world of teaching and learning opportunities for PLC.  AARNet provides the students with access to real-world experiences that weren’t possible before,” he said.

Through a range of initiatives, such as our IGLEw, we provide AARNet-connected schools with access to the vast resources of the global research and education community. We are continually seeking new and innovative technologies to bring the curriculum to life and support students in their quest for knowledge.

To enquire about the AARNet IGLEw visiting your school, please contact Nick Cross.

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