Once again, we’re here to introduce you to a briliant and truly inspirational educator. Meet Benjamin Kelly from Canada, a teacher and innovator from Caledonia Regional High School in Hillsborough, New Brunswick.
Ben has been teaching in this school for 13 years now, specialising in STEM subject, whereas Technologies and Sciences are his favorites. He’s a true expert with University degrees in Biochemistry, Physics, Education and Education Technology. He also proudly wears titles of Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert or Apple Distinguished Educator and we’re more than happy we can call him our ambassador in Canada!
To let you get to know him more, we did a short interview with him allowing him to talk about…
I’ve been teaching for 13 years at the same school in New Brunswick, Canada. I worked as a camp counsellor for six years in New York prior to teaching to pay for my university education. I like that every day in classrooms can be new, exciting and meaningful. I really like working with students instead of telling them what to do for me. I enjoy when I create projects that engage students and after thirteen years, students still run to my classes with smiles.
Our school is Caledonia Regional High School built in 1974. We have 300 students in grades 6-12. We offer French Immersion as well as English programs for all grades. New Brunswick is the only official bilingual province of Canada. I teach six different classes of technology and sciences weekly or about 110 students. Our school year runs September to June yearly and has two distinct semesters for high school.
…first meeting Lifeliqe.
We were lucky enough to have one of Canada’s first Microsoft HoloLens devices and Lifeliqe’s App was one of the richest offerings for the device after its launch in 2016. Having a deep history of science experience and education I was drawn immediately to how Lifeliqe used cutting-edge mixed-reality technology to help students and adults better understand scientific concepts. I found the Bohr Atomic Model, the Water Cycle and I was sold when I saw the Solar System Model. I knew then Lifeliqe was a big part of the future of STEM education.
See how Ben’s students use Lifeliqe Augmented Reality to shoot their own videos.
…getting a HoloLens.
We are very lucky to have a company called Brilliant Labs in New Brunswick and their sole mission is to support innovative teaching and learning initiatives for both official languages. They do an incredible job of supporting well-constructed proposals for learning opportunities and events. Since I had students who had demonstrated abilities in game development and VR development with Unity 3D, Brilliant Labs supported our effort to develop for HoloLens and mixed-reality.
…raising funds for his classroom tech.
I have had extreme success with grant writing. Call it creative or communicative ability but it comes down to figuring out what students want to pursue, what you are missing and then telling the story. My strength is telling the story for my students and the stories have been appreciated both provincially and nationally for years directly improving my students’ learning environment. For those who find it difficult to tell their story, organization like Brilliant Labs can help but also our provincial and state governments are really good at finding the story in submitted proposals. Outside of New Brunswick, remember Parent Support Committees get funding to share, crowd funding does work and good old-fashioned fundraising can work when the students support the cause.
…Lifeliqe HoloLens in his classroom.
I’ve recently branched off to explore the Lifeliqe experience on iPad. I love it. The iPad with iOS 11 allows screen recording and students like how the mixed reality aspects respond on the iPad as much as HoloLens. I’ve tried the Surface Book too with students but the screen recording feature of iOS 11 is a huge hit with kids. Clean, clear and interactive learning experiences dazzle my students over and over again. HoloLens is cool, but once I saw the Lifeliqe service running on an iPad I knew how big this service would become. STEM and a whole lot more come to life with Lifeliqe on both iPad and Surface Book.
See Ben’s review of our Lifeliqe HoloLens app.
…using Unity in his classes.
We’ve benefitted from Unity’s generous educational programs for 5 years! Students began making games and experiences for Mac and Windows before branching to VR experiences with the Oculus Rift. There really is limited time in the K-12 education day to create professional level work but I feel what my students accomplish is an incredible exposure that makes careers in game and media development a reality upon graduation. Students love that Unity allows them to create experiences similar to those seen on their favourite game consoles.
…his students loving Lifeliqe.
Students in my digital productions program immediately said “This is way better than a textbook” when exposed to Lifeliqe on the Surface Book. These views only became stronger when using the iPad and HoloLens. The Stonehenge model gives an experience for students that can only be matched by being at the real site. The animated Water Cycle and Volcano experiences are just a few examples of the incredible learning opportunities that students found priceless.
Check out one more brilliant video from Ben’s students.
…his future projects with Lifeliqe and HoloLens.
I’m teaching Modern History in the coming semester so I’d like to look beyond STEM and see what the Lifeliqe HoloLens App can offer students in terms of historical understanding. Our province has also removed space education almost entirely from the grade 6-12 experience so I would like to forcefully and creatively return space education to my students and Lifeliqe’s HoloLens App is a wonderful place to start!