This best practice describes an open schooling initiative developed by UFSC university and 12 secondary schools in Santa Catarina – Brazil. It was supported by the Open University OU-UK.
Care: Students were very engaged to investigate a real issue that they were concerned and interested in – the heart diseases and their causes. The activities were developed with professionals in Medicine and academic students in Biology and Computer Science who prepared the activities using AR resources developed by the OU.
Know: Approximately 360 Students aged from 11 to 15 used Augmented Reality to increase their knowledge about parts of the heart and its functions. They also explored a healthy and an unhealthy 3D heart.
Do: After interacting with professionals, students’ science action was to provide (do) a workshop for their parents to show the effects of smoking, drugs, alcohol and unhealthy food to their hearts. The key benefits for students were engagement, visual understanding and communication skills.
Findings: This initiative was based on a semi-structured scenario linked to the school national curriculum. This practice was organised by “RA in schools” led by UFSC University who engaged undergraduates in Medicine to work together with undergraduates in Computer science to plan activities with the open educational resources AR developed by the OU and BBC. Teachers found the activities very supportive, attractive and linked with the school curriculum. Parents found that kids were very excited and AR created more opportunity for them to show and discuss the content with them. Undergraduate students enjoyed to interact with school community and realised that they could develop more AR resources in other topics and areas.
Outcomes: Secondary school students found that AR helped them to increase their understanding about the heart. They also found activities with experts in Medicine and Computer Science useful for them to know about these areas, university and professional careers. They liked a lot the activities and were willing to use this approach again to learn other topics and also in other disciplines.
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