FLINT, MI: Two Freeman Elementary students, 9-year-old Dominick Liggins and 10-year-old Carter Robertson, couldn’t take their eyes off the school’s latest interactive play system on the first day of school.
Freeman Elementary received the district’s first BEAM by EyeClick interactive projector in July. The $ 10,000 interactive projector was purchased through Title I funding for schools with higher populations of low-income families.
This, along with a complete set of virtual reality glasses, was provided to Freeman Elementary School to begin using with instructions, said Rebecca Robertson, a 7th grader in the district.
The BEAM apartment acts as a virtual indoor playground that offers from 10 to 30 different games and activities for children.
Designed to capture children’s attention, the projector helps children with letter and color recognition, shape recognition and other themes while having fun, Robertson said.
“It’s great. We could use this not only as a learning platform, but also as a reward system; you know if they do well or have a good day,” he said. “There was a game where you just “You could run and jump on balloons. We could have a lot of kids doing that.”
Freeman Elementary students Dominick Liggins and Carter Robertson played the BEAM that was being set up in the school gym during the first day back in the classroom on August 4th.
Liggins, a fifth-grader, called the BEAM “something fun” to do at school.
The BEAM apartment also keeps children active. Their games encourage running and jumping on the interactive surface that can be extended up to 18 feet wide, Robertson said.
Elementary school still finds ways to incorporate BEAM into daily instruction, but it is likely to be used as a reward for good behavior.
“There are a lot of different things we can interact with,” Robertson said. “I think kids will love it.”
Robertson has been experimenting with some online outlets with virtual reality glasses, which also came from the same source of funding.
“This is something that can get kids more engaged,” he said. “We don’t know all the games yet, but we plan for the kids to help make their own rules so that the games incorporate some learning.”
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