In 2017, Stephanie Dannehl, an ambitious technology integration specialist at Bertrand Community School, started using virtual reality headsets to send students on a world of excursions without leaving her library. The equipment was purchased with assets unleashed by the Bertrand Area Community Fund.
The following year, Ms. Dannehl, her students and other staff leapt even further into the future of education by integrating Microsoft’s HoloLens with their regular curriculum. A HoloLens is the first self-contained, wireless, holographic headset that allows users to engage with digital content and interact with holograms in the world around them. Once again, the Bertrand Area Community Fund was inspired and stepped up to help the ambitious educator with a grant for the exciting new project, aided by an anonymous NCF donor, and other area funders.
“In the years ahead, this will transform the way we teach and learn,” said Ms. Dannehl. “It’s time to rethink education and teach lessons kids will need for careers we can only imagine today,” she said.
Science teacher Sara Scholz will use an app to illustrate how chambers of the heart work. Students can move the 3D hologram anywhere in the room, adjust the size, and walk around it to see it in every possible angle.
Bill Ford, the school’s industrial arts teacher, will use the HoloLens while collaborating with a local mechanic who will skype in and walk the class through lessons on automotive repair.
“This will be great for students who do not plan to attend a four-year college. Many companies are already using the technology to train employees, and kids from Bertrand will have a leg up on others for on-the-job-training,” said Ms. Dannehl. To her knowledge, Bertrand is the only school in Nebraska using this cutting-edge technology.
Bertrand is just one example of a Nebraska hometown with an eye toward the future.
Nebraska Community Foundation empowers our citizens to unleash abundant local assets, inspire charitable giving, and connect ambitious people—like those who are living and working in Bertrand—to create positive change that otherwise may not occur.