Category Archives: edtech

Teaching Ja’Corie about OU Create

So today in my EIPT 5513 class (yes the Saturday of spring break!)  I was showing Mr. Maxwell how to use OU Create.  I realized I have blogged a lot in the last year and while it is not peer reviewed publication, it has served me well and I would encourage someone else to do it. It helps for informal writing, and also connecting with others on social media.

OU uses the create system to allow students to start their own wordpress blog and transfer the content when they graduate.

For this graduate student, it will help him meet his own personal professional goals.  Isn’t that the purpose of higher education?

Meeting Merge Cube App Creators Steelehouse Productions

So as my friends remind me, I am bit #MergeCube obsessed.. My “teacher hoarder” “extreme couponer” tendencies are definitely awakened with this opportunity..

However, it has lead to other conversations.. that are proving to very fruitful. I have been collaborating with other ADE’s on ideas, working with former students on school integrations, and networking with new educators.   So at #EdcampOKC I did a session on AR and VR and showed the MergeCube.  As part of my practice (and general EdCamp practice) I tweeted out that I was doing the workshop. I showed a picture of Hangry Herb an App that is kind like a gigapet where you need to feed and water the little guy to keep him happy.

The creators  saw my tweet and responded to it on Twitter.. See the exchange below.

When I found out Steelehouse (http://steelehouse.com/ ) was an Oklahoma company, (Tulsa about 2 hours away).. I started to make arrangements to visit. So I went to meet with them on Friday, and figured I would drive 4 hours, to meet them for an hour..  but I ended up spending the better part of the day. They have created Super Sugar Crush, Hangry Herb,  Invasion for Merge Cube, and Ask Kranky.

So I will be honest, with my terrible eyesight, I have never been one to enjoy VR, I am more of an AR girl – because in early VR – I just cannot see..   but Steelehouse and their founder Kevin Anderson changed my mind after showing me some of their work and some of the favorite VR inspirations. 

While I thought we would spend a lot of time talking about Merge Cubes – it really just opened the conversation.   This company is well known production company in Oklahoma and they make their living on ads and promotions but their team is clearly seeing the potential of AR and VR and using it as part of their storytelling efforts.

So we had a fun frenetic conversation about the current status and future of AR and VR in education.  It was a great exchange where we got to show each other stuff and make sure we were on the same page.   I learned so much from it and I found my head spinning with new ideas, research ideas, and applications..   I went home and started reading some theory on AR and VR in education, and its been a long time since my creative gears have turned so fast..

So what did I learn from my visit:

  1. Well done Virtual Reality is about the story. If there is one great takeaway that is it.. It is not about touching unrelated stuff with goggles on, it is about having a narrative that engages the learner or participant!    Steelehouse showed me some projects they are working on – and I was engaged in the story. I forgot where I was. Even though the graphics were sometimes cartoony – the story got me.. I learned something, and I found myself wanting to know more about the topic.  And after talking to Kevin Anderson the owner – they are storytellers and that is why their content is so good.

2.   Good AR and VR content is not free.  After talking to several different app developers over the last year, this is a lesson that we must learn in education. I know we are broke.. (Come on, I am in Oklahoma.. right now we are the “brokest” education state in the country!)   but we have to be willing to pay for content that is worthwhile.  Now there is a Merge Cube app that is $50, that is a bit much, but we have to be willing to buy some apps at a reasonable price to keep the content coming or find funding to create apps to give away..(ie.. write a grant to fund the development).    This goes for all apps.  However, quality AR and VR requires animation and programmers to bring it to life.

2b.  Also I had not really engaged in Oculus beyond just grabbing stuff, engaging in an Oculus story driven scenario was totally worth it.. and the goggles and computing power was an important part of the experience and the graphics continue to come a long way from my earlier experiences. Those things all come at an expense as well.

3)The Education market for AR and VR is not clear. To prepare for our meeting, Kevin got a list of the AR and VR apps that listed as being in the education space. I only knew one of them,  Nearpod and I was able to show it to him and explain why it was so popular in education (a combination of teacher control and easy device integration).   However, the other ones that were being promoted were not on my radar. and others that I know that teachers are using like Discovery VR and NYTVR were not even listed as education VR endeavors and I know they are used widely.   For many of the VR apps that he showed me as being promoted in education, the cost of use of too high. Ie..  $10 per student per month.. Wowza.. Even CoSpaces, which I was so excited about, has gone to a subscription that does not work for US schools.  We need to pay for content -but some of the pricing models are not school friendly.  The VR content that is being developed specifically for schools is often quite pricey an maybe more appropriate for higher education settings.

4) Those that develop content want to talk to educators.  We see this with the Merge Educators group on Facebook too, and all the ambassador programs, but developers want to create meaningful and successful apps.  Having a relationship with developers helps them create things that educators can use and buy and meets our needs. Quality development has educators in the equation but also may need for us to support the apps by buying them and sharing our experiences with them.    They are business people, they don’t want to spend countless hours to develop content that no one wants.

5).  Entrepreneurs are fun to talk to . I found my day at Steelehouse productions energizing. Creatives have great ideas and they like to talk to about the future.  For a professor that is lots of fun.

So after my visit to Steelehouse in Tulsa, Kevin is coming to talk to my graduate education class on April 13th to show off his team’s projects and brainstorm with my educator graduate students.   I am super excited to see what we can come up with. We are also proposing  a research/evaluation project that has great potential if we can make it happen.. I am excited for the possibilities.

We all have a role to play to harness the power of VR in education – there is a lot of room to learn and collaborate and these technologies can be the future of education if we work together to create amazing content with learning in mind.

 

 

 

I may have a problem… Merge Cube

So what is a Merge Cube and why is my teacher hoarding gene acting up?

Merge Cube is a Augmented and Virtual Reality Toy that used be around $20 at Christmas and is now on Clearance at Walmarts for $1..  It has a ton of apps available for it and it allows you to video and learn more while you use it. .

Most reviews say that it is was early to market  -but it does some fun stuff.. and well there are a ton of ideas for the classroom. For example..  this video of the pirate view game could be a great writing prompt (idea from Carrie Price)  Or using one of the anatomy apps for “looking around”

IMG_1245 IMG_1244

 

Here are some videos I made with the cubes.

 

 

 

So I may have bought a few..

And I may have gotten my former students, my husband, and even my Mom to pick a up a few..  but it has great potential. I signed up for the developer program and my husband and I are going to see what we can do.. (might as well use that masters in programming right? )

My full cart of merge cubes.
So I may have bought few..
And i may have gotten others to do it well.. (a former student and my Mom)

So You might say. I am in.. I want to find these .. How do I do it.. Here is the trick. there is a site called Brick Seek that will that will search Walmart’s inventory.

Go to:  http://www.brickseek.com

Just choose Walmart and put in the code 854590007105 and then your zip and it will show you if they are available in your area and where.

brick seek search
brick seek search

Then it will give you a list showing inventory:  Then GO shopping.

 

Brick seek results
Brick Seek results

Resources

I am excited to see what educators come up with..  but there are already some resources available.

The site for the company https://mergevr.com/cube  has some ideas.

This guide is helpful including information for login issues (under 13 etc)

An Educator’s Guide to Augment Learning with Merge Cube

A review of Merge Apps for the Classroom

https://www.androidcentral.com/merge-cube-apps-school

If you start using them.. I am excited to see what you do.. and I am excited to develop some ideas of my own..

 

 

 

 

 

EdCampOKC is This Weekend!

So this Saturday is EdCamp OKC but it is in Norman at Irving Middle School!   I am super excited because I love to see our students and grads and hear what they are up to.

Check out what an EdCamp is all about

 

They still have seats left, I really hope that you will join us!

Registration

Why to EdCamp as a Professor:

  1. it helps you build connections with local schools!
  2. It helps your students network and find jobs.
  3. You learn new things!
  4.  You get ideas for your classroom.
  5. Even if you don’t teach teachers, it can help you know what is happening in K-12 schools and improve your way of reaching Freshman and underclassmen at the University.
  6. You can learn about the Unconference Model.. (we should do more of this in Higher Education).
  7. It is Fun!

How do I Edcamp?  I am more a hallway person,I may not go to many sessions but I talk to everyone. Also, I always do a session about what future teachers want to know.  My students are usually too nervous to run their session, but I can lead them and model for them.   In this session, I invite teachers and administrators to come and answer our preservice teacher questions.   It is a lot of fun, I get to know my students better, and I love how administrators that I don’t know come to meet potential employees.

If you are a professor, there may be an EdCamp near you and this would be a great way to connect with your community.

https://www.edcamp.org/edcamp-locations

 

We got interviewed on BadgeChatK12

So I got interviewed on BadgeChatK12 broadcast about our use of badges in our preservice technology integration classes.

You can see it here:

 

We did it a little on the fly – I asked if any of my students in the morning class wanted to participate and I got 1 yes – From Brody Smith.. We were far from rehearsed but it is an interesting conversation.  We will practice more in the future so we share the time better!

Noah Geisel – is a badge pioneer who organizes BadgeSummit right before ISTE (day before). It was the highlight of my conference last year so I definitely encourage you to consider going in Chicago. http://badgesummit.weebly.com/ (here is last year’s link)

Noah interviewed us about using badging in preservice teacher education and the who what when where and why of it.. I am proud of what we are working on and how using badges allows busy working students to create flexible learning experiences.   the chat really helped me see where we need to go.

Participating in this chat was a very reflective process for me.  First, It got me to think about how we can bolster the project by involving administrators from local schools in the process as endorsers.  Second, it helped me to think about how I should be teaching more about badging in general – ie.. I have not been getting students to consider if they will use badging themselves and more about the equity side of badging.   Third, I see that we need to provide even more choice – so students pick 16 badges from a list of 22 or so.. versus having to do all 16.   After the interviewing, I will look for outside endorsers of the badges and increase readings.

it was a little scary to talk about what we are doing – because I know that we are newbies in the badge process.  People like Rick West have been doing badging for a long time. However it is important for all levels of implementation to have a voice..  Hopefully people who heard us talk about badging which is about a year old -will be willing to investigate it and consider trying it themselves.

 

Please comment on this post with your ideas after you watch it.. How could we better use badging in Preservice teacher education.

 

Celebrating PreService Teacher Questions

This week the @oueducation students in my technology integration course took over the #OklaEd Chat. I moderated but a lot of my students attended and asked so many questions. They are hungry to know more about being a teacher and twitter provided a good forum to get those questions out and facilitate class discussion.

How did we pick the questions?

We used tricider to have all questions suggested and then we used the top 7 (we combined a few to get most of the questions out)  Tricider is a tool for brainstorming that I learned through some of my work with ISTE.  it worked well in this context. Students put up their questions and then had a few days to vote on top questions.  The key to using tricider is time to vote and formulate orginal ideas – and those two times being separate.

Here is our tricider page:   http://www.tricider.com/admin/2U6wQfYb9mN/8ImVNecpgeP

The OklaEd Chat

The chat was frenetic..so many side questions.  Our students had a bunch of questions, and wanted them answered – and Oklahoma educators were great at doing that.  To see the actual chat transcript visit:  https://www.participate.com/transcripts/oklaed/5e8404ef-1988-4c62-98df-1c31b225c885

Also it was featured on OklaSaid by Scott Haselwood and Erin Barnes.  This podcast dives deeper into the issues.  http://teachingfromhere.com/podcast/episode-37-future-teachers-want-to-know/ 

In addition, we did a follow up activity that was a bust at first, but now has seemed to be valuable for those that got replies – I created a @Flipgrid for our students to post questions and then to have teachers answered. I had a few rock stars that answered a bunch, and they made it work.. but overall it was a bit of a bust because teachers are busy and I did not have that many answers.

https://flipgrid.com/32585d

I loved how the flipgrid showed a little picture of who had replied.

So here is what I learned from this experiment.

  1. Giving students forums to ask “real life” teachers questions is great and necessary.
  2. Find a group to get more engaged in answering – if I did this again – i would get up front agreement and not spring it on them.  (ie.. maybe a graduate class or a teacher organization).
  3. I got several several alumni to engage – which was great and helped me to foster greater alumni connections (which can be important for placement, recruiting, and to support projects as well as the alumni themselves).
  4.  Pay attention to the questions preservice teachers ask, it tells us a lot about their fears and what we project.  Most students asked about work life balance, workload, and getting a job.  This is what is on their radar and we should consider this in student teaching and first year supports. And also know that they are hearing how terrible teaching is, we need to celebrate the great parts of the job, like #TeachLikeMe and other movements.
  5. I got replies from all over the country, even people I did not know. I love how supportive the teacher community is.. but I wonder if my students get that just yet.
  6. I need to better define student roles and have them do more of the leg work in the future..  I still moderated with student created questions/tiles  but I think next time, it will be better to have a committee of students to run it.
  7. The class discussions after the chat were great. We shifted through answers that concerned them…(like stay away from Pinterest) and helped make sense of them.  It was a valuable discussion for students who participated and who did not.

Not all of the students appreciated it, but those that “got it” really made great direct connections to teachers. I have to remind myself that not all students are developmentally ready to truly participate in the teacher community – but that for those that are, its a wonderful experience.  For many others, it is an early exposure to the field and teaching community and as they grow, they will know places to find it in the future.

For the future, I may reach out and see if we can do this as part of the #TeachLikeMe movement in spring.   This would be a great way to involve Preservice teachers in the recruitment of future teachers and give #TeachLikeMe involved teachers a way to communicate their message.

 

 

 

Get FIT Handouts

So I am bit behind, so all of my handouts for Get FIT are found here:

 

Using Clips to Accommodate (1-42) Learn about Apple Teacher  (3-39), Content Creation to Mix up Literacy (4:42)

I hope you enjoy these one page handouts and use them to launch your students into new projects.

Congrats on going 1 to 1 and Look forward to learning with you.

Here are the handouts:

GetfitCullen

Here are each handout by itself

literacy only

Clips Only

Apple Teacher Only

Spending Time in the Schools

So Monday and Tuesday I cancelled class and took my students instead to local schools.  I am so thankful to the relationships that I have with local educators to be able to do it.  I have to say arranging these kinds of group visits -gosh logistically it is hard! but totally worth it.

Students spent their class time during the week attending a school and observing how they were using technology.  On Monday we went to Norman North High School and Tuesday we attended the Showcase at Arthur Elementary in Oklahoma School.  Arthur is a Connect Ed School who received a grant from Apple so all students were given an iPad and teachers received a ton of Professional development.

Here are some pictures and some of of what the students did..

Chris Kalinsky – Apple Distinguished Educator and iTeam leader for Norman North High School  lead our tour of the new beautiful school.       

About 20 students attended.

Peter Leisenfeld spent a lot of time talking to students about preparing for their jobs.

The Norman North faculty and staff were amazing in supporting our students. Several teachers took time out of their day to talk to us including the librarians and Principal Dr. Pete Leisenfeld.

On Tuesday,  we took a group to Arthur Elementary – This a ConnectED School.

Students were proud to show us their work.

Principal Dr. Rhonda Schroeder took time throughout the day to talk to students to both get feedback and share her leadership philosophy.

The special education team took time to talk to your our special education students during her prep time.

 

We got to see our 2017 grad  Tessa Turnbull teaching which was great for my students. 

Carrie Price, a current graduate student in our ILAC program, taught how to create presentations in Keynote using shapes.  Something I had just seen THIS week in the Apple Teacher newsletter.  They are doing things quickly there.

 

So why is this sooooo important? 

I am finding more and more that we need to get our students into schools more.  By attending as a large group, yes, we don’t get an authentic experience but we get a shared experience that we can talk about for the rest of the semester.

My students got to see schools in two different stages of technology integration.  Norman is starting a new initiative, Arthur is 3 years in – those are very different an provide great opportunities for discussion and comparison.

The most meaningful interactions were between teachers and administrators with students. They got to see different philosophies and what they shared gave “street cred” to my curricular choices.  This is especially true when students saw the different technologies we use in use in the classroom.

So what does it do for me as a professor? 

Spending more time in classrooms helps me to keep my technology skills limber and relevant.  Let me give a great example. Many of the teachers were using Classroom app to control the iPads at Arthur.  When Classroom first came out, it was not compatible with how we do not manage our iPads.  So Barry took a few minutes to show me the update and get me up to speed. I am changing what I am teaching next week to demo this in class.  It is also really important for students to see that I have relationships with teachers and administrators.  I work really hard to make sure what we do is relevant and updated and I think this visit helps to establish that..

I really wish I could spend more time in schools.   I have often been jealous of friends who work at PDS schools and get to embed in the K-12 environment.  Interacting with teachers every day, is a lot of fun and we need to do more of it in Higher education.

 

I got to sneak peek at a new book and I liked it!!!

So I know Monica Burns as a speaker from our iPadpaloozaOU conference in 2016 and 2017 and through the ADE program.  I generally know her in only a professional capacity.

She recently asked me if I would be willing to do a review of her book coming out next week, no pressure but if I would be willing to write a review of it.  And honestly, I felt no pressure and approached it as if I were looking at for use with my preservice teachers.

First, let me say that I was complimented.  I have reviewed books before in the pre-publication phase but never been given an opportunity to endorse a book or not..   I have copies of some of Monica’s other books and I find them to be very practical and applied, which can be a great compliment when paired with more empirical readings as part of teacher education or professional development course for current teachers.  Students seem to be really motivated by these hands-on books because they are wondering how it is done in the real world and inservice teachers are looking for ideas that are well justified and tied to curricular goals.

Much like when one is asked to review someone’s tenure dossier and you realize they are “good” .. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the pre-publication copy of Monica’s Book Tasks before Apps and realized it was REALLY GOOD!  So I was comfortable endorsing and could see using it with my preservice teachers or in my spring graduate course where I always have students read one professional book in addition to research articles.

So the book is called Tasks before Apps

https://www.amazon.com/Tasks-Before-Apps-Designing-Tech-Rich/dp/141662466X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507250532&sr=1-1&keywords=tasks++monica+burns

This book deals with a problem that I have long felt in Ed Tech. The idea that we have to keep chasing the new popular app and forget all about what we were wanting kids to do in class.  Tech without content or without a sound rationale for using it.. (ie.. is it assessment? will it help students to explain? Will it engage additional communication channels or ways of explaining?)   A perfect example of this problem is whiteboard apps.. I see teachers all the time that really have mastered something like Educreations but then hear that Explain Everything is “better” and abandon their workflow and process to use the “better” app.  Both of these apps have their pros and cons but the most important factor is a teacher who knows them well and uses them comfortably with their students –  and even more importantly has their students create things with them to achieve a meaningful classroom task (explanation, assessment, presentation, communication, etc..)

Additionally, Tasks before Apps  focuses on having students using tools in content creation – which matches my philosophy and is where I see educational technology needing to go.. We need to get past teacher productivity and move to concrete examples of students creating things with technology to show their understanding.  We also need to make more examples available to teachers of how this can be done to both generate ideas and opportunities to discuss and critique actual use cases.

Finally this book has real example of how you could use different tools in the classroom in a meaningful way. I especially liked that it dealt with different grade levels. I love teaching an educational technology class, but sometimes wish my early childhood, elementary, and secondary students were in different sections – because rarely are there examples for all grade levels.

I am going to consider using this book as the practice book for my Teaching with Technology graduate class this spring (I always pick one book that is under $30 that might be read as a book group for PD)  and perhaps in the future for my undergraduate course.

When we think of our service role to our field, I think looking at new books and helping to curate content is an important role for us as professors to play. We have the opportunity to review resources both open resources and affordably priced resources that could help our future teachers generate ideas, critique and feel supported in the classroom.  I enjoyed this opportunity and look forward to other opportunities to share my expertise in the future.

So I think I have an endorsement on the book, (haven’t seen it yet, but Monica Tweeted my comment out) but happy to endorse. I think this would be a good book for preservice teachers or for a book study in a district. You might want to check Tasks before Apps out.

Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom

 

 

 

 

A new Approach to a Research Poster

So on Thursday, I am presenting at the Rocky Mountain Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in Lawton and I am presenting my work as a poster on the Teacher Flight Project.

So I will be honest, when I heard I got a poster, I swore a little and thought, dang it now i have to make a poster. And on conferences where I need to fly, I often leave them at the site and after all that work only a few people see them.

I am trying something new, for this conference, I made a series of 4 Infographics using Pictochart. This an interactive infographic maker that will allow users to interact with my data.

Why did I try this new approach? 

Since i am studying teachers leaving Oklahoma and I recruited through social media, I want to share my results in these same venues. I also want to create ways to share the research with leaders in our state.  Infographics are the way to do that. Also the data is more interesting, if you can interact with it, rather than a static image – so the Piktochart graphics allow me to do that.  I can also print out the graphics and place them on the poster board like any other poster.

I think this is the best of both worlds, so I will be able to share my results at the conference and with a wider audience through social media.

I will be sharing my graphics as I present on Thursday so please come back to it. The direct link will be http://bit.ly/okteachers  but it will be on this blog.

Looking forward to interacting with you and the conference attendees later this week.