"The Osmo has been the most amazing addition to our campus and it's all thanks to the foundation." - Brittainy Qualls, Campus Technology Assistant
With the help of her 2016 Education Foundation Grant, Brittainy Qualls is providing Parsons Pre-K students with new ways of learning via the Osmo, a system that connects physical activities with iPad applications. "We have basically created a special class for technology in which students visit once a week for 30 minutes, and every child gets to use an Osmo of their own," said Brittainy, who serves as the campus technology assistant for Parsons. "We have introduced many different educational apps on the Osmo and it is definitely a school-wide favorite. The kids love it!"
The right tool for the job
The Osmo learning system works by using an iPad's camera to capture physical activities such as drawing on an art pad or arranging numbered tiles on a desk. The Osmo connects those actions to iPad applications to create an interactive learning experience.
"The impact has been overwhelming," said Brittainy. "Before Osmo, it was hard to find age appropriate apps for students on the iPads. With Osmo, there is no worry about pop-up ads or trial and error trying to find apps that are in line with our current curriculum."
"I have learned that Pre-K students can do so much more than we may think."
Since the roll-out of this new technology class, the rate of progress the Pre-K students are making in terms of adopting these applications has been a welcome surprise to Brittainy and other teachers at Parsons. "I have learned that Pre-K students can do so much more than we may think," said Brittainy. "When we first introduced the Osmos I thought maybe they were too difficult for the students. I was pleasantly surprised at how fast they caught on and how excited they were about using the program. There have even been several occasions where I have caught students actually teaching others tips and tricks."
Making an impression
When asked about the impact this process has had on her as an educator, Brittainy was quick to highlight the immense potential she sees in her students that such a program can unlock: "...I have spent time with the students while using the Osmo and I can say that watching the students 'play' on these devices really opened my eyes to more possibilities. They don't realize that they are learning as well as having fun. Our students are brilliant and even at such a young age, they can maneuver and master technology as long as they are given the opportunity. I love watching their faces light up when they master a skill. The Osmo has been the most amazing addition to our campus and it's all thanks to the foundation. Thank you!"