Dr. Cowin’s Merge Cube and Google Expedition Poster for the Virtual Poster Fair at the 2020 NAFSA Conference

When I submitted my poster to the 2020 NAFSA Conference I had no idea how much our country, the world, and education were going to change through COVID-19. Thank you to NAFSA eConnection for creating a virtual poster fair! I’m excited to see that many of the resources, ideas, and recommendations for virtual collaboration and connections are now recognized as fundamental for the future.

The Merge Cube lets you hold virtual 3D objects, enabling an entirely new way to learn and interact with the digital world. Google Expeditions lets a teacher take student explorers through collections of 360° and 3D images. Merge cube features a free Miniverse App incorporating Google expeditions such as the animals of the Galapagos or the Grand Canyons. The Merge Explorer features interactive experiences for elementary through middle school, where students can investigate a smoking volcano, examine a great white shark, and hold the earth in the palm of their hands. Using innovative virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) technology, and aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), students can learn about topics such as earth science, life cycles and traits, ocean animals, space systems, structure and properties of matter, energy, waves, light, sound and more.

In this poster, you will find a QR code with a printable merge cube which has limited functionality for you to try it out. Download and launch a free Cube app on your smartphone or tablet. – I included 3 free Merge apps with their QR codes on the poster. Point your device at the Cube. Watch the Cube transform into a virtual object!

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Multisensory Learning
The Merge Cube enables a multisensory learning experience since students can engage with digital content naturally and intuitively using visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile senses, for more memorable and impactful learning.
Developing Spatial Abilities
With the Merge Cube, students practice and develop spatial intelligence through manipulating and inspecting digital 3D objects. Students with strong spatial abilities excel in STEM fields, allowing them to go further.

Google Expedition
Google Expedition can be accessed either in an immersive VR view or a 360 mobile view, by clicking on the non-VR view icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. This non-VR view means that students do not have to use any additional technology, their mobile device is enough. Students are probably familiar with using their device in this manner, due to Facebook 360. There are more than 900 virtual field trips available in the Google spreadsheet included through a QR code for you. You can take your students anywhere in the world from the Grand Canyons to the Louvre.