A new brand of technology helps Wendy Boling monitor attendance, gauge her students’ wellbeing and combine movement activities with a variety of academic subjects.
The Lake Forest Hills Elementary School physical education teacher demonstrated the Lü Interactive Playground for Richmond County School District officials Feb. 2.
Students filed through the gym and tapped on images on the wall.
“This is a good gauge for me. It lets me know how kids are feeling for the day,” said Boling, as the students made their choices which included anger, fear, happiness, calm, neutral and sadness.
Some of them touched fear because they knew they had special guests watching them and were a little nervous, she said.
Once the students had signed in, they demonstrated one of the 48 different games available on the system geared toward fun, learning and movement. Games can be tailored according to grade and activity level.
School administrators found the system on social media.
“It met all the boxes of our school improvement plan — the academic goals as well as (social and emotional learning) goals,” said Lisa Hughey, principal.
Officials wrote a proposal to purchase the program, and it was installed in December. The Lü Interactive Playground costs $27,000.
“It’s a great tool for trying to close COVID gaps. They can actually get support in P.E. because that’s not something that would usually happen before we had the Lü,” said Catherine Douglas, the school’s instructional specialist.
Boling works with other teachers to find out what the students are learning in their classes. If they are learning fractions or map skills or colors, these and many others can be incorporated into P.E.
But Douglas said the technology isn’t a substitute for other instruction. It merely augments what they are already learning.
“It’s definitely not a replacement,” Douglas said. “We don’t want computers to become the new worksheets; we don’t want interactive games to become the new teachers. We want it to be a supplemental thing, and Coach Boling doesn’t use it every day.”
Officials hope the system will reinforce attendance as well and plan to offer dance parties with the Lü Interactive Playground for children based on their attendance rates.
Douglas said teachers will be able to utilize the system as well.
“We have Wellness Wednesdays at the school,” she said.
Yoga and meditation exercises could be added to that teacher program through the system.
Lake Forest Hills is the first Richmond County school to implement the new technology, but Douglas said she hopes it will find its way into all the county schools.
Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at email@example.com. Subscribe to the newsletter here.