Learning Resources

Nashville School Uses Augmented Reality

J.E. Moss Elementary School, a Title I school in Nashville, TN, has adopted an augmented reality program to help improve reading skills in one of its kindergarten classes.

Letters alive, a supplemental reading software kit from Alive Studios, has aided teacher Greg Smedley-Warren and boosted his kindergarten class’ literacy scores above all the other kindergarten classrooms in his school, according to a prepared statement. His class includes several ELL and “at risk” students.

“When I first saw Letters Alive I was in awe of the 3D technology and I knew I had to have it,” Smedley-Warren said in the statement. “If I was excited about it, I knew my students would love it.”

Letters alive utilizes 3D technology to animate 26 animals, each representing a letter. The animals jump to life and interact with students once a letter card is held under a special camera connected to a PC or Mac. The curriculum teaches letter naming and sound, spelling and sentence building and comprehension.

Alive Studios, based in Dacula, GA, provides reading and math progress assessments digitally, which is designed to make it easy for instructors like Smedley-Warren to monitor their students’ progress.

Each Letters alive kit costs $795. If a district buys eight copies or more, Alive Studios will provide free on-site professional development and a one-year subscription to online student assessments, said L.A. Ricketson, vice president of sales and marketing for the company. 

Letters alive is used in over 2,500 classrooms nationwide and worldwide, including Australia, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Turkey and India, Ricketson said.

Recent brain studies have highlighted the effectiveness of differentiated learning experiences that utilize cross-curricular, multi-modality approaches similar the Letters alive, the statement said.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].