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.

Another Piece to Your ThingLink VR/360° BreakoutEDU

I was asked by Suzy Lolley how I created a completion certificate for my ThingLink VR/360° Breakout EDU activity. Once someone has solved all the ‘locks’ in my Google Form and submits it; an add-on for Google Sheets, autoCrat, creates a customized/individualized certificate based off of data submitted from the Form. The data is entered into <<tags>> on a template Google Doc. Watch the video embedded below to learn how I set this up.

Do you have any questions or need any assistance with creating your own? I would love to help out through the comments below.

Teaching Economics with Real World Economics in the Technology Age

Education is increasingly transitioning to the reality of an ever-changing technological landscape. It is a challenge for many educators to leverage technology in the classroom in a meaningful and relevant way simply because the students are typically so much further ahead than the teachers, schools, and field of education in general. They are able to adapt more quickly to new technology and implement it in their personal lives far more easily than large educational institutions. However, the internet offers a wide range of options that may be more easily introduced into the classroom.

The Stock Market as an Educational Resource

Monitoring the stock market in real time is something that was once only available to those with traders on the floor. Now, it can be monitored on a second by second basis by anyone with a connection to the internet. This offers economics teachers an unprecedented opportunity to integrate real-world examples into their teaching methodology.

There are the terms and concepts that are easily recognizable as being related to the stock market such as bull market, bear market, short-selling, growth stock, value stock, dovish, and hawkish. Following the daily trends provides context to the underlying causes of the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and 2008 as well as the bubbles that preceded them.

It is also a valuable learning tool to explain the concepts of inflation, deflation, propaganda as it pertains to marketing and the value of a company, monopolies, banking and business regulations, investment, and interest rates. The more students become actively engaged in monitoring individual stocks and the performance of those stocks over time, the greater the educational opportunity.

Real Time Observation

Other technology powerhouses such as Apple, Sony, Amazon, Google, and Nintendo can also be leveraged to create interest in economic trends. Following Apple can be especially enlightening because of its regularly timed introductions of new products. Following the Nasdaq AAPL profile allows students to readily see the impact of specific events and news stories on the share price and promotes discussion on the topic.

Most students believe they are experts in social media. They receive a great deal of their informal education in these realms and they are a good place to start when introducing the concept. The stock trends of Twitter and Facebook and the implications of future developments based on investor preferences has a personal impact on how the students will interact with these services in the future.

In the News

Some of the most interesting, recent developments which students may find captivating are how the tech industry itself has been responsible for the record-breaking trends on Wall Street. This clearly demonstrates the power technology now has over the financial health of the country and even the world. This can be used to promote discussion on the role these companies have on the personal lives of the students and their families and how that translates into the larger economic role of the company and what that might mean for the stock prices of other companies with which they are less familiar.

Snapchat is another great example to use with students because of how recently the company was made public and the economic rollercoaster ride that has followed as the market struggles to determine the worth of the company. By actively watching the stock market, students become more aware of these details and can be encouraged to explore the economic and historical implications.

Economics classes have often been considered amongst the most uninteresting, however, this is rapidly changing. Technology has allowed the field to be viewed almost as a sport. It can be watched in real time, analyzed, discussed, and anticipated. With real-time monitoring, it can even be gamified by educators to further facilitate student engagement.

Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this article

About the Author: Jenna B.

Jenna is a freelance writer who got into blogging in college and copywriting upon graduation. Jenna has usually written about topics that mean a lot to her such as health and medicine when applied to family and loved ones. Jenna is an avid runner as long as it’s not a marathon distance jog! She’s on twitter (she still hasn’t fallen in love with and doesn’t use often) @JennaFromDaBlog!


Continuing to Build Your ThingLink VR/360° BreakoutEDU

Here is the next phase to March’s ThingLink VR/360° BreakoutEDU Challenge which I am facilitating. I started the challenge by kicking off this idea at a Webinar on the last evening of February; check out this post to read about the kickoff. During the month of March, participants are joining my ThingLink Group (once they filled out this Form) and creating their own digital BreakoutEDU activity using the VR/360° editor in ThingLink. To find out what kind of tutorial/help participants were looking for next, I posted a Twitter poll (embedded below).

Here is the video tutorial showing how I create a Google Form, using a multiple choice question set to ‘Go to section’ so a Breakout participant can select which lock they are struggling with and receive a hint. Enjoy!

Do you have any questions or need any assistance with creating your own? I would love to help out through the comments below.