Sign-up for Engaging Summer PD

In less than two months, I’ll be participating in the 4th Annual ThingLink Summer Teacher Challenge. Over the past four summers, I’ve learned various ways to incorporate ThingLink into my instructional approaches, been amazed at what fellow educators around the world have designed, and created some interactive images & videos as a means to showcase content.

This summer will be better than ever because it will leverage the power of ThingLink Premium tools and explore the vast possibilities of teaching and learning with 360/VR. As the stereotypical infomercials of past, “I’m not only a participant, I’m also a facilitator;” because I will manage one of the activities where participants will build their own 360° ThingLink Breakout!

This highly popular, self-paced professional development provides educators with the tools & support needed to create engaging, interactive 360/VR lessons & projects. To encourage educators to participate in this fantastic summer of learning, ThingLink is offering an incredible deal on a Premium Teacher account (remember, one teacher account comes with 200 student accounts)!

Get ThingLink Premium Teacher for Only $25

For a limited time, they’re offering participants a chance to grab a 1-year Premium Teacher subscription for just $25.00 (normally $120). A Premium Teacher account provides access to the following:

  • Teleport Editor App with our preloaded library of stunning 360° images to create lessons & student projects on an iPad, Android tablet, and recent Chromebook models.
  • ThingLink 360° image editor to create 360° learning experiences on any laptop or desktop computer.
  • ThingLink regular image editor, with customization and presentation features, plus preloaded icons for education.
  • ThingLink video editor to create interactive video lessons and tutorials.

 

Please share the news with your colleagues & join hundreds of educators, like me, from locations around the world in the ThingLink Teacher Summer Challenge starting in June!

Use code SUMMER17 to grab a ThingLink Teacher Premium account. Already have a Premium account? Simply sign up below to participate.

Give It Away Now!… #EdublogsClub

This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and educational technology enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week. Simply write a post and share it (via social media w/ #edublogsclub or posting a link as a comment to that topic’s posting on the Edublogger site) to join in, or sign up to receive email reminders of each new prompt. 

Prompt: Write a post that includes a “giveaway,” whether that is a lesson, a PDF, or something else. 

Just make sure it is something you’ve created (preferably) or something you have the copyrights to share.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Write a post about the importance of sharing ideas to create better student outcomes for everyone.
  • Discuss times when you felt you did not want to share your ideas and why “giving away” this one is important.
  • Share a time someone used an idea without permission and why plagiarism in the real world matters.
  • What value do ideas have and why does giving them credit matter?

I try to share everything I post on here so if it may help someone else, then they can use it. Recently, I have been creating activities using ThingLink’s VR/360° editor. They are Breakout Edu styled activities. The beginning of the month, I was contacted asking if there was a way to get a ‘teacher guide’ version of my planning docs.

Sure! In fact, let me add an item to my ThingLinks for others…

Now when an educator reaches out, I share a ‘view only’ version of the planning doc for educators that has the combinations as well as where the clue is to solve that lock.

What have you shared lately? I would like to read about it in the comments below.

Become a World Literacy Foundation Youth Ambassador

The World Literacy Foundation is inviting classrooms, peers, and groups to join the 2017 Youth Ambassador Program in a global movement to eradicate illiteracy. This provides a perfect opportunity for students and advocates to lead their wider community to make a difference in the world. Contact youth@wordliteracyfoundation.org for more information or check out their Youth Ambassador page to apply. Applications close on May 31st By applying, “You will be a part of a network of like-minded young individuals who are passionate about equality, justice, and literacy.

  • Youth Ambassador: Julia Robbins, 17, Arizona

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About the Author

The World Literacy Foundation (WLF) is a global not-for-profit organization that advocates for better education standards. WLF wants to ensure all children have the opportunity to acquire literacy and reading skills to reach their potential, succeed at school and beyond.

Digital Breakout Created Utilizing ThingLink’s New App… Teleport 360 Editor

I have been facilitating a Teacher Challenge during the month of March where educators were able to sign up to receive the features of a Premium ThingLink account so they have access to the VR/360° image editor. They could then design a digital Breakout EDU activity. Below is the one I created called: PD Day Breakout. Have fun & good luck!

Teleport 360 Editor (iOS or Android)

20170330-183332.jpgI beta tested the app which released today! It provides users, who sign in with their premium account two options: create your VR/360° ThingLink by uploading your own image to the app or select an image from their gallery of high quality, 360° images (check out the sampling of screenshots I took in the Gallery below). The tagging process mimics the web browser version for desktops, laptops, Chromebooks, etc and was very easy to navigate. Add images, videos, audio, embed anything with an embed code or create transitions (links to other VR/360° ThingLinks). This app will now allow teachers and students to become creators of immersive, interactive content. Check out their press release or find out more on the ThingLink Support page.

  • Washington D.C., USA

  • Sydney, Australia

  • Dublin, Ireland

I would love any feedback on the above ThingLink VR/360° Breakout, were you stuck anywhere? Have you downloaded and tried the app? I would love to read about your experiences with it in the comments below.

The Pendulum… #EdublogsClub

This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and educational technology enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week. Simply write a post and share it (via social media w/ #edublogsclub or posting a link as a comment to that topic’s posting on the Edublogger site) to join in, or sign up to receive email reminders of each new prompt. 

Prompt: Write a post related to constant changes and the pendulum effect in education.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Write a post about learning styles and your thoughts on the recent research suggesting they are an ineffective teaching/learning tool.
  • Discuss another topic where you have seen the pendulum shift in your time in education.
  • Share about a subject where you have changed your mind and describe why.
  • What is the next great pendulum shift you expect to happen over the next five years?

What’s my pendulum? Hmmm… I feel I haven’t been an educator long enough to see major pendulum shift from one side, swings all the way to the other side, and then back again.

My pendulum swing is something I find constantly swinging to both sides: teacher voiced-choice in PD. In my role as a technology coach to a diverse population (various grade levels, content areas, etc), I try to give teachers choice in what they want to learn about.

So, let me backtrack a little here. Last year, my colleague, Kim Lowden, and I planned out PD sessions where we picked a central topic, let’s say digital assessment, then created resources for four subtopics. Teachers were able to select which topic interested them and explore the resources as I circulated checking in on each attendee. What was the feedback we would hear, “I had decision paralysis when choosing” or “Just tell me the one thing I should be looking at”

Now fast forward to this year. My new counter-part at the other middle school, Stacey Lindes, and I have taken that feedback and scaled down to showing one-two choices; for instance Engaging Your Students w/ Content showcased Nearpod and Pear Deck. What do I hear from my teachers… “What happened to having choices” or “Are there other items I could explore”

The pendulum swing of teacher voiced-choice goes from wanting multiple choices to explore, to give me just one option to enact. I know you can’t please everyone; I just want to plan sessions which respects their autonomy but doesn’t overwhelm with offerings.

Is there a happy medium? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

Embedding… #EdublogsClub

This post is part of the #EdublogsClub – a group of educators and educational technology enthusiasts that blog around a common theme each week. Simply write a post and share it (via social media w/ #edublogsclub or posting a link as a comment to that topic’s posting on the Edublogger site) to join in, or sign up to receive email reminders of each new prompt. 

Prompt: Write a post about any topic where you embed something.

That’s it! The topic is completely up to you, but we’d love to see your use of a tool or service that lets you embed.

I like to embed items into my posts; I find it brings value to my thoughts, creates a visual to assist in my description, and entertains my readers. So when prompted to embed anything, it took me a little while to think about what to embed, then I remembered I had the pleasure of participating in one of our elementary school’s, Math/Science Day, this past Friday. I wrote about it last year, but had to share it again this year because: a. I need to give shoutouts/thanks to my colleagues who helped with our lesson & b. its just a fun activity to share. So embedded below is the Nearpod lesson I did on the iPads w/ the first graders, while my colleagues (HUGE Thanks goes out to Stacey L., Kim L., & Jess V.) pulled students to get a photo in front of a green screen.

What’s a fun lesson you have taught recently? I would love to read about it in the comments below.