Enhancing Education Amidst Adversity: My Journey with Merge EDU

Merge Ambassador Spotlight: Zeny Ulloa, Ed.S.

Enhancing Education Amidst Adversity: My Journey with Merge EDU
πŸ“· Photo credit: Zeny Ulloa

As an educator dedicated to fostering engaging learning experiences, I have had the privilege of serving as a Curriculum Support Specialist (CSS) for the Instructional Technology department at Miami-Dade County Public Schools for the past three and a half years. Prior to this role, I dedicated 16 years to elementary classroom teaching, where I had the joy of instructing a diverse array of English Language Learner (ELL) students.

My introduction to Merge EDU came through a fellow teacher outside of my school community, who recognized my passion for integrating cutting-edge technologies into the classroom. Intrigued by the potential of Merge EDU's immersive tools, I eagerly adopted the Merge Explorer and Object Viewer platforms in 2019 to facilitate my ELL students' understanding of complex science concepts through dynamic 3D experiences.

Witnessing firsthand the transformative impact of the Merge EDU apps, I became inspired to share this innovative resource with educators across my District. Participating in events like the Education Fund IDEA Expo, I was met with awe and excitement from colleagues eager to enhance their teaching practices as well.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced us into remote learning, I faced the challenge of keeping my 2nd grade science students engaged amidst the digital landscape. Embracing Merge Explorer's Mr. Body, I transitioned my lessons to an entirely virtual format from March 2020 to June 2020. Beyond traditional Zoom lectures and science videos, I empowered my students to explore the human body in a whole new dimension by utilizing the Merge Cube alongside the Merge Explorer app.

The response was overwhelmingly positive – students were captivated, parents delighted, and learning thrived despite the absence of a physical classroom. Mr. Body became our beacon of learning, igniting curiosity and enthusiasm for science even amidst the uncertainty of a global crisis.

While Merge EDU has since expanded its applications with HoloGlobe and Merge Scanner, Mr. Body remains my cherished tool for fostering student engagement and understanding. Witnessing the resilience and eagerness of my students to explore science concepts remotely reinforced the invaluable role technology plays in modern education.

In the face of adversity, Merge EDU has not only empowered educators like myself to adapt but has also enriched the educational journey for countless students, bridging the gap between virtual and traditional learning environments. As we continue to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of education, I remain grateful for the transformative impact Merge EDU has had on my classroom and beyond.

by Zeny Ulloa, Ed.S.