UCF and Leap With Alice — The Future of Ed-Tech

“Innovative technology, such as Leap With Alice and the use of Augmented Reality, will have tremendous impact on the way in which students conduct education, as well as there future for all programs, including STEM.”
-Dr. Trey Vasquez

Over the last few weeks, the Leap With Alice community has seen huge growth! Word is traveling across Facebook and we just launched our Telegram channel. Significant milestones have been reached, such as the release of our Demo App (iOs and Android) — giving users a tangible demonstration of what Augmented Reality can look like in the classroom. Things are just heating up! The road to ICO is paved with a variety of announcements and milestones. However, today is a BIG!

Leap With Alice is thrilled to announce our official partnership with the largest university in the United States, the University of Central Florida — working together to create a deeper connection within the education community. This partnership will allow Leap With Alice to conduct impactful studies, collecting data to strategically implement our technology and better the future of education. Leap With Alice’s offices are located on campus, within the Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute.

Collaborating with Dr. Trey Vasquez (Associate Professor, Child, Family, and Community Sciences) and Dave Edyburn (UCF Dean of Research), Leap With Alice will participate in studies to show the efficacy of AR in the classroom — including research studies conducted in association with the National Science Foundation. Further, we will determine how our approach best targets students with unique learning abilities. As Leap With Alice grows, so will the partnership. Future plans include the establishment of an endowment to further the progress of EdTech and the development of truly engaged classrooms, across the globe. The University of Central Florida and the Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute will play a vital role in this growth.

From Dr. Vasquez’ perspective, “…the mission of the Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute is to facilitate the development of knowledge and skills necessary to provide educational and clinical services for children and adults with exceptional needs. The educational learning environment is evolving at an unprecedented pace (Christensen et al., 2013; Edyburn, 2013). Florida’s Governor Scott signed the Digital Learning Act requiring public school students to take at least one online course prior to graduation. School districts regularly spend about 36% of their entire budget on technology (Piccano & Spring, 2013). Commercial publishing and technology corporations have recognized this lucrative opportunity. Funding for educational software startup companies has totaled more than $6 Billion since 2012 (Wan, 2016). A well-known reading intervention for students with disabilities, Read 180 Next Generation, exceeded $50 million in its initial 4-months of sales and is currently used in over 20% of U.S. Schools (Scholastic, 2012). It took nearly two decades to get a computer in every classroom, but schools are now purchasing tablets and other devices, accompanying software, and entire curricula in an attempt to prepare learners with college and career readiness skills. This partnership illustrates a clear opportunity to juxtapose innovation in technology with expertise in instructional design to impact students and families with and without disabilities.”

Deeper establishment of our roots within the Central Florida community provides Leap With Alice the reach to impact education on a much larger scale. As we grow locally, our ability to scale globally picks up momentum. Partnering with the largest university in the United States grants us the resources, knowledge, and credibility to proceed forward in our quest to disrupt the outdated education system. Leap With Alice is incredibly grateful to the University of Central Florida and the Toni Jennings Exceptional Education Institute. We are excited for the journey ahead! Join our community and come along for the ride, as well!

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