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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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First Lady Barbara Bush, Hall Davidson to unveil new app with oral reading

In a push to promote K-12 education, First Lady Barbara Bush will give an oral reading Thursday morning for The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum 8th annual Reading Discovery Program. This year the reading will take a new-media approach by broadcasting the reading to students across the globe.
Bush’s reading of award-winning book Rushmore by Lynn Curlee will be streamed out to students in Africa and Canada. Rushmore talks about the American engineering feat of building Mount Rushmore from WWI and WWII.
Students will get a chance to interact with the book through a demonstration by Senior Director of Discovery Education, Hall Davidson. Davidson will lead a demonstration of “augmented reality” technology, which is now taking reading to a more technical level. With the technology, students can add digital information, such as videos, audio and graphics, over any image via an app.
Shirley Hammond, director of education for the George Bush Library, said the event will make history in two ways.
“We hope to break our record attendance,” Hammond said. “This will also be the first time students will not just read text on the pages of a paper book, but experience that book coming to life through Mr. Davidson’s augmented reality app.”
Davidson said it’s a big transformation in the publishing industry.
“The kids are so excited about it,” Davidson said. “One asked me if she could use the app to redo her textbook so that’s kind of fun.”
Hammond said students from area school districts will be able to enhance the content of the book that is read at the event.
“These kids can get really intuitive and I can guarantee they’ll have some wonderful ideas,” Hammond said.
To add to the interactive aspect of the event, there will be a Q&A portion with Bush over video conference after the reading.
Hammond said there are more than 40,000 participants expected and she is excited for the program to enhance the thrill of reading for students across the globe and for the possibility of education majors to gain experience as well.
“It’s a beautiful exchange because international education does make the world seem a bit smaller,” Hammond said. “And by participating, A&M students can learn about the ease in which the students they’ll be teaching can connect to other students globally and learn from each other.”
The event will be held from 10-11:15 a.m. Thursday in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.

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