Learning Tools | News

Logical Choice Looks To Augment Kindergarten Reality

Logical Choice Technologies this week unveiled an educational augmented reality tool designed to help children in preschool and kindergarten learn to read and write. The tool, Letters Alive, debuted at the FETC 2011 conference, being held this week in Orlando, FL.

"Augmented reality" is a label for technologies that are used to add layers of video, images, text, and audio on top of real world images captured through a digital video camera, typically in real time. With augmented reality games on smart phones, for example, users can track or chase fictitious objects or creatures using GPS then use their cameras to "view" those objects superimposed over reality when they get close enough to them.

Letters Alive takes a somewhat different approach.

It consists of 26 augmented reality-infused animal cards, 94 augmented reality-infused word cards, software, teacher resources, and student activity sheets. When the animal cards are combined with a a document camera, a computer, and any sort of display and audio system, they display an animated multidimensional animal that moves, makes sounds, and answers questions created by students.

"We tested the beta version of Letters alive in one of our kindergarten classes. Our kids loved working together with the virtual 3D animals," said Janice Sinclair, head of education at Branch Community School, in a prepared statement.

In addition to creating a virtual animal, the animal cards also have the ability to interact with the word cards. If multiple word cards are connected to an animal card, a green button on the animal card can be pressed to have the complete sentence stated.

Other buttons on the animal cards are used to switch between animal and letter modes, state the name of the animal, create animal noises, or state the phonics associated with the first letter of the animal's name.

The Letters Alive teacher resources include video tutorials, a quick start teachers guide, a reference guide for units, 26 alphabet freeze cards, a curriculum map, and a school year's worth lesson plans geared towards word recognition, sentence building, phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, writing, and vocabulary. The lesson plans align with Common Core State Standards.

Student activity sheets focus on story comprehension, coloring, handwriting, sight words, letter sounds, and word families.

Letters Alive will be available on its own or in bundles with A/V equipment before the end of the first quarter. Letter Alive is expected to ship for $595, while the bundles will range in price from $890 to $1,979.

Logical Choice Technologies is displaying its technologies at FETC Exhibition hall booth 1501.

Further information is available here.

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).

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