SMALLab Learning Announces Winners of the Flow Design Contest for Teachers

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SMALLab Learning will build the winning proposal, and winners will receive a free Flow system for their classroom.

Dr. Kim Eberle-Wang winner of the SMALLab Learning Flow Design Contest for Teachers

Dr. Kim Eberle-Wang winner of the SMALLab Learning Flow Design Contest for Teachers

I am thrilled that my embodied learning scenario, ‘Darwin’s Finches’ could bring the concept of natural selection to students in an interactive and playful environment using the Flow system.

SMALLab Learning announces the winners of the Flow Design Contest in celebration of the recent launch of their Flow learning environment using the Microsoft Kinect™. “We received a number of outstanding submissions and were excited to see such an enthusiastic response from educators across the country!” said Dr. David Birchfield, SMALLab Learning CEO.

Teachers were invited to propose ideas for an embodied learning scenarios with Flow that would address difficult learning concepts and an innovative approach to learning. Flow is designed to get students up out of their seats, playfully engaged as they learn. The system uses one Microsoft Kinect™ camera to track students’ movements in real world space. This kinesthetic approach opens new pathways for teaching and learning in the K-12 classroom. Flow can be added to any existing Interactive Whiteboard or other projection system. Judges reviewed the entries to find the best proposals for Flow. In the end, they named one winner and two finalists.

The winner is Dr. Kim Eberle-Wang, an expert science teacher from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Eberle-Wang remarks, “SCH Academy's mission and curriculum is all about educating students in innovative ways that promote the joy of discovery. I am thrilled that my embodied learning scenario, ‘Darwin’s Finches’ could bring the concept of natural selection to students in an interactive and playful environment using the Flow system. They get to experience natural selection first hand by becoming birds in a virtual environment and competing with each other for food." Developers from SMALLab Learning will build this scenario, making it available to Dr. Eberle-Wang, her students, and all Flow customers this summer.

Two finalists for the contest will be receiving a free Flow installation:

■ “Interactive Reading” by Melissa Borchers of McKeel Academy in Lakeland, Florida

■ “Students in Motion: Erasing the Gap through Motion” by Lauren Brooks and Jerod Johnson of William G. Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina

SMALLab Learning is grateful for the time that all the teachers have taken to share their experiences through their entries. The judges have enjoyed learning about the students and their schools. SMALLab Learning continues to help foster innovation in classrooms around the world.

About SMALLab Learning:
SMALLab Learning is advancing embodied learning in schools, museums, libraries, and the home. Embodied learning is kinesthetic, collaborative, and multimodal, enabling students to learn in new ways that integrate physical action with digital media. The company offers a suite of products that have been demonstrated effective. SMALLab Learning LLC emerges from over six years of research conducted at the Arizona State University School of Arts, Media and Engineering. This research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, Intel Research, and the Kauffman Foundation.

What is Embodied Learning?
Embodied learning is an emerging field that blends human computer interaction with learning sciences. Cognitive scientists have discovered compelling evidence that most language and cognition is grounded in a bodily experience. This suggests that embodied, physical activities can lead to more effective learning. Embodied learning has the potential to transform K-12 learning in schools, museums, and community centers.

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Cyndi Boyd
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