My Favorite Apps or Tools for 2013 ....

My Favorite Apps or Tools for 2013 ....

colAR Christmas Tree

2013 has been a great year to explore new apps and web tools.  Listed below are just a few of my favorite apps or web tools.

Apps or Web Tools to Try:

If you haven't tried these tools or apps I suggest you give them a whirl.

A Year in Review - 2013

A Year in Review - 2013

In 2013 I did a lot of growing professionally and personally.  My goal was to become a connected educator and not a fade away.  I attended the MACE conference in March which was the spark I needed.   A passion in wanting to learn more came from that conference, that is when I realized I was a life long learner.  I spent a lot of time in 2013 teaching myself how to create Green-Screen effects and then turned around and taught whoever would listen to me.  Augmented Reality become my other passion.  I just had to learn more about what it was and how it worked.  Once I learned what it was I wanted to create my own Augmented Reality pieces.  My classroom is overflowing with AR objects, I've even taken it to the hallway trying to capture as much attention as I can.  I've introduced teachers to AR and watching the ideas fly out of their minds in how they could also use AR in their classroom has been amazing.

I attended my 1st edcampKS and edcampKC were I met a lot of amazing educators from around the mid-west area who just like me have a passion to be a life long learner.  If you get a chance I totally recommend attending an edcamp near you.  I also attended EdmodoCon this year and boy did the ideas start flowing.  From attending Podstock, EdmodoCon, & EdcampKS I became inspired to create a Global Project.  Now I get the opportunity in 2014 to share how I created my Global Project.  I will be presenting how to create a global project at the MACE 2014 conference and at the ISTE 2014 conference.  I just know that my story will spark a project or two.

My Recommendations:

  • Learn at least 1 new Tool and use it in your Classroom
  • Connect with someone who inspires you
  • Embrace your Passion and share it with others
  • Sit in on a Twitter Chat - Great way to Connect and Learn
  • Attended a SimpleK12 Webinar - Great way to Connect and Learn
  • Read a Teacher's Blog
  • Read a Student's Blog
  • Attend a Edcamp
  • Don't be afraid of technology! - You really can't break it!

2013 was a great journey and I am glad a I met some amazing teachers to share that journey with me.   I am not sure what 2014 will hold for me, but I do know it will be even better!

Dreaming with My Eyes Wide OPEN....

Dreaming with My Eyes Wide OPEN....

Technology is aways evolving, changing, expanding, and reinventing itself.  I think that is why I love teaching with technology so much.  I never get bored and love learning new ways of using technology, I also love sharing how to use the technology.  I have been seeing teachers embracing the use of Google Glass in their classroom.  Every time I hear that a teacher has the chance to use Google Glass my mind goes into overload.  Just think of the possibilities Google Glass can offer.

  • 1st Person Video Guides or Tutorials 
  • Use of Augmented Reality
  • Creating Augmented Reality
  • Creating One of a Kind Interviews, Stories, and Projects with Green-Screen effects
  • Learn New Languages or just Translate a Language
  • For Observations
  • A Student's View of a Lesson or a Teacher's View of the same Lesson
  • Making Connections through Google Hangout
  • Record Research, a Science Experiment, or Document the Learning Process
  • Use to Reflect on an Assignment or Lesson
  • Record a Field Trip or a Once in a Life Time Experience 
  • Build a Portfolio
  • Exploring the World through a Different Perspective

Twenty-five years ago who would have thought we would replace the kitchen wall phone with a phone that can access the internet, check email, or take a picture.  Even ten years ago we thought wearable technology was Science Fiction, but here we are and it is happening now.  I do not know what the future has in-store for us. What I do know is that the possibilities are endless, we just have to think outside of the box and be a little creative.

App / Tool of the Week .... Livebinders

App / Tool of the Week .... Livebinders

Think of Livebinders as a Digital Trapper-keeper.  I like to use Liverbinders as a Digital Portfolio for my students.  Student can create a Digital Binder and add their work.  This Digital Binder can follow them through their Educational Career.  Students are then able to then show their growth.

Things You Can Add to Your Binder:

  • PDF, Word, & Spreadsheet Files 
  • Websites
  • Images
  • Videos 
  • Basically anything you can make digital can be added.

Ways to Use Livebinders:

  • Organize Class Resources
  • Science Fair Projects
  • Class Projects
  • Research Projects
  • Showcase Student Work
  • An Assessment Tool

Example of a Digital Portfolio:

Google Draw + Green-Screen + iMovie = Amazing

Google Draw + Green-Screen + iMovie = Amazing

For our end of the semester project my students combined 3 powerful tools together to create a one of a kind digital story.  Before they could even start drawing, recoding, and publishing their stories they first had to write them.  Once their stories were on paper they got busy putting shapes together to create their illustrations.  They used Google Draw for this part of the project.  The only requirement was that they needed at least 4 scenes for their stories.  After they had finished creating their illustrations they downloaded each one as a jpeg file.  Since they had to use the computer to use Google Draw and the Green-Screen app was on their iPads they had to email themselves their picture files.  Once they had their picture files saved to the camera roll on their iPad they could use the app Veescope Live Full version to record themselves telling their stories in front of my green wall.  After all the recording were done they imported all of their recordings into iMovie and put together their stories.

Click Here for Student Stories - Check often as we are still finishing our stories.

App / Tool of the Week .... Google Draw

App / Tool of the Week .... Google Draw

My students have been busy learning how to use Google Draw to illustrate for a children's story.  They learned that they could layer shapes over other shapes to create a totally different shape or object.  They also discovered that they could group their shapes together to avoid messing up their new object or shape.
I like to give my students a day of "Sandbox Day".  On this day they get a chance to play around and learn a new app or tool.  The only instruction I give them is explore and discover what the app or tool can do.  Some students take off and go to town exploring, discovering, and trying different things.  While others just look at the screen with a blank stare while repeating out loud that don't know what to do.  As teachers we can't assume just because they are kids and they have grown up with all of this technology around them that they know how to use it.  I like think of myself as a cheerleader for my kids.  I encourage them to try things, click on something, hover your mouse over items or tools.  Once they get over the fear of trying something new some amazing creations start to flow.

Google Draw is free and can be found in your Google Drive.  I suggest you play, click, explore, and
build something with this tool.  It can be great tool for math, story telling, a writing prompt, and etc... It does have auto save like Google Docs and Google Sheets.  I suggest making sure that you name each drawing so you don't end up with a dozen Untitled Draws.  You can even make folders and save your drawing to them.

To use your Google Drawing as an image I suggest you download it as a jepg file.  This way you can import your drawing into apps, iMovie, web tools and etc...  When you are drawing you will notice your workspace has gray and white squares.  If you do not cover your entire work area with shapes or color those squares will become a white background after you download your image.

Willy the Wiggle Worm - Created in Google Draw

Edmodo Certified Trainer ....

Edmodo Certified Trainer ....

It is official, I've completed my training to become an Edmodo Certified Trainer.  It is an honor to be selected to be in the 1st group of trainers for Edmodo.  Since I am a 21st Century Educator and Edmodo is a secure platform that brings your classroom into the 21st century, it seemed like a perfect fit for me.  With Edmodo it is all about connections.  Edmodo allows teachers to build a powerful network that connects them to students, parents, administrators and publishers.  I can't wait to start connecting and sharing with other educators.

Getting Started with Edmodo:

  • Create your account
  • Complete your profile
    • Add a Picture or Avatar
  • Your Groups
    • Create a group
    • Share the Group's URL
  • Add Folders
    • Share resources
  • Start Posting
    • Lead collaborative discussions 
    • Give Assignments, Quizzes, & Polls
  • Install Apps
  • Engage students, Inspire Creativity, & aAssess Learning
  • Follow and Participate in Communities
  • Connect with educators from around the world
  • Discover great resources

If you need any help or need a person to bounce ideas off of I am hear to help, I'm only a message away.

My Edublog Awards Nominations for 2013 ....

My Edublog Awards Nominations for 2013 ....

As I sat here this morning thinking about who I wanted to nominate for this years Edublog Award I received several messages from educators that they nominated me or are going to either for my Global Project or for my Teacher Blog.  I became very speechless, humble, and honored all at the same time.  I didn't realized that this small town Kansas girl has reached out to so many this past year.  I was in awe this year when I attended a few conferences and edCamps to meet people who follow me on Twitter and or read my blog.
My husband was curious to see how many people really take a moment to read about what I post.  I normally do not pay attention to the stats of my blog.  I feel that if I share and it inspires or helps 1 person then I've done my job.  I like to think that I plant seeds of knowledge or inspiration and that some day they will grow into a beautiful garden and will inspire someone else.  To put an end to his curiosity I logged into the stats part of my blog.  To my surprise I've had 20,000+ views to my blog from over 20 countries from around the world this year alone.  The top two posts with the most views are my Green-Screen Effect on the iPad and The Global Digital Scrapbook Project, each with over a 1000 views.  All my husband could say was "The Power of One", which he remembered me sharing with him my presentation I had been working on.

My Nominations for this years Edublog Awards:

A Little Green-Screen Fun....

A Little Green-Screen Fun....

I teach technology skills and part of that is keyboarding skills.  This latest typing project involved kids having a little fun with the Green-Screen.  They had to write and type up a Mini Movie Script or Trailer.  Once they had their movie script turned in they could record their scenes in front of the Green-Screen.  This project was a fun way of incorporating typing skills and speaking skills.

We used the Green-Screen App Veescope Live Full version.  Student recorded each scene using the app.  Their recordings were saved automatically to their camera roll.  Once they had finished recording their scenes they dragged and dropped their scenes in the iMovie app.  With a little creativity their written mini movie script became a fun video.

App / Tool of the Week .... Santa Spy Cam

App / Tool of the Week .... Santa Spy Cam

I friend shared this app with me that brings a little magic of Christmas alive.  I had just put up our Christmas tree and thought I would give this little app a try.  In a blink of an eye there was this elf coming out of my tree doing a little jig and I got it all caught on video with my phone.  I had left my phone out and went to bed.  My 4 year old had discovered on her own the video clip that got recorded the night before.  She integrated her teenage brothers trying to learn how this video got on my phone.  She came to the conclusion that it was magic.  All day we have been receiving lessons from the littlest Wilson on how magic works.

The Santa Spy Cam app came just in time to reintroduce our Elf on the Shelf and spark a little Christmas magic.

What this app really does is bring a little Augmented Reality to the holidays.  I can see this app being used for a creativity writing project in a classroom, introduce the Elf on the Shelf, or to catch that sneaky Santa on Christmas Eve.  

Why Use Edmodo .....

Why Use Edmodo .....
when I have limited use of technology?

Even if you have 1 computer in your classroom or you have limited use of technology you can still use Edmodo.

The Power of One ....

The Power of One ....

Say something you saw sparked an interest with you and you wanted to know more about it.  You look for people that may know more about the thing that inspired you. You join Twitter, look for a Facebook Page, attend a conference, and etc...   Find what works for you and use it.  After you find what works, build your own Personal Learning Environment.  

Once you learn more about what inspired you don't be afraid to go forward and try something new. Don't be afraid to create, explore, and really discover.  If you get stuck reach out and ask your PLE for help or ask Google, Bing, or YouTube.  Don't settle, find out more, explore, play in the sandbox, see what you can do with what inspired you.

Now share what you have learned.  

  • Show Someone
  • Demonstrate
  • Explain
  • Inspire Someone
Then reflect on what you have learned, who you have shared with, and who they have shared with. That one thing you wanted to learn more about has now became the inspiration for others.  You became the Power of One just because you shared.

That one thing that I wanted to learn more about was Augmented Reality and how to create a Green-Screen Effect.

Inspiration is everywhere don't be afraid to explore and then share.

App / Tool of the Week ... Edmodo

App / Tool of the Week ... Edmodo

I bet you are wondering what is Edmodo and why should I use it. Edmodo is a secure platform that brings your classroom into the 21st century. It allows your classroom and resources to be accessible to students 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Edmodo is designed to get students excited about learning and mirrors a social network.  It also makes it easy for teachers to create a blended learning experience while teaching 21 century skills.  Edmodo offers engaging, easy-to-use apps that integrate seamlessly and personalize learning for every student.

Edmodo is all about connections.  It allows teachers to build a powerful network that connects them to students, parents, administrators and publishers.  It makes assessing students knowledge simple to track with student progress. Teachers can get the pulse of the class through polls, quizzes, discussion, and more.  Edmodo can be accessed through your computer's browser or the app for a mobile device.  There are over 23,000,000 user from around the world using Edmodo. 

Useful Slideshow on how to use Edmodo

Getting Started:

  • Create your account
  • Complete your profile
  • Create a group
  • Invite students and peers
    • Share resources, lead collaborative discussions, give assignments, quizzes, polls and more
  • Install Apps
    • Engage students, inspire creativity, assess learning
  • Follow and participate in communities

Best Practices for Social Learning:

  • Do not post group codes publicly 
  • Lock group codes after all members have joined 
  • Monitor posts 
    • Set up notifications 
  • Use read-only status when useful 
  • Encourage students to select unique passwords 
  • Set expectations

Now to answer the question "Why should I use it?"  My answer is WHY NOT!

Recap of EdcampKC .....

Recap of EdcampKC .....

Scan this image with the Layar App
EdcampKC was held at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City on November 9th.  About 300 educators from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and even Colorado got together to learn from each other.  Edcamp is a professional development that doesn't have formal presentations.  If you have a topic you would like to share or know more about you sign up on large sticky paper for a time slot and classroom.  I had planned on sharing Augmented Reality so I kind of went prepared.  I brought some items that deal with Augmented Reality with me.  After I signed up to lead a discussion about Augmented Reality I sat down and made EdcampKC-NelsonAtkins into an AR trigger.

EdcampKC offered lots of choice to pick from.  If you didn't like or thought the session you went to didn't fit your needs you could get up and move to another session.  You vote with you feet.  There were tons of educators that had never participated at an Edcamp before.  Kyle Pace's mom even made 100s of cookies for all of use to enjoy.  The experience was great and I learned from lots of people and I hope at least a few learned from me.  I shared several of my experiences from Edmodo, Green-Screen projects, Global Project, and of course Augmented Reality.

Here are my some of my notes from the session I attended:
If you took notes during my AR session please feel free to share with me.

List of AR Apps: 

During the last session I went on a tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  The photographer in me broke away and ended up exploring the museum with my husband.  All in all it was a great day and I really enjoyed connecting with other educators that have the same passion as me, to be a life long learner. 

Photo Albums:
I am still working on editing my photos.

Stand UP don't Stand By.....

Stand UP don't Stand By.....

Scan this photo with Layar.

I am currently working on making a video, slideshow, and Augmented Reality campaign for my middle school students.  Step 1 was to have all of the 300+ students at LMS color and personalize shoes.  Using the color page from the colAR app students were instructed to personalize their shoe to help stand up to bullying/cyberbullying.  Next I had the students come see me and get their picture and or video taken with their shoe using the colAR app.  With the app the shoe became 3D and started to dance around.  For this to happen you must use the colAR app.

Now to pull it all together, I am creating a wall in our school that is interactive.  My goal is to remind students that they are Standing Up and not Standing By to bullying/cyberbullying.  I have picked a few shoes that I am adding an Augmented Reality component to.  In order to view a video or a slideshow of all 300+ students and their shoes you will need to scan the shoes with the Layar app.  I will also be adding ways students can stand up and not stand by to bullying.  The goal is to make this wall as interactive as possible and to help students Stand Up and not Stand by.

To view one of the slideshows scan the attached photo with the Layar app.

App / Tool of the Week - colAR....

App / Tool of the Week - colAR....

This past week the students at LMS colored a shoe to show that they were going to stand up against Bullying and Cyberbullying. What they didn't know was that shoe was magical.  With the app colAR that shoe came to life.  It is taking us a little longer that I had hoped to photograph or video tape each student with their shoes.  I am currently compiling all of the photos and videos and will have a video clip of the LMS students Standing Up Against Bullying.

Keep any eye on this project by visiting our Standing Up page on our Global Digital Scrapbook.

Watch the teaser trailer:

Keep Calm & Glow On....

Keep Calm & Glow On....

What most people don't know about me is that I was born with a defective Aortic valve. Due to my valve being a bicuspid Aortic valve instead of the normal three leaflets I only had two, I developed Aortic Stenosis. As the Aortic valve became more narrow, the left ventricle had to increase pressure to pump blood out through the valve. To do this extra work, the muscles in the ventricle walls became thicker, which then caused me to have chest pain, dizziness, and trouble breathing.  My condition became severe and blood was having trouble reaching the rest of my body.  I had trouble walking for very long distances, jogging wasn't even an option for me.  I also started having panic attacks if I had to go up stairs.  I had blacked out going up a flight of stairs and feared of ever having that happen to me again.

Two years ago I had to have open heart surgery to repair my valve.  I had developed an aortic aneurysm, my Aorta had ballooned out.  They ended up giving me a Aortic Prosthetic and mechanical Aortic valve.  After the 6 hour surgery my heart started to fail.  I was rushed into surgery yet again and received a double bypass.  It has taken me some time to recover and to test my limits.  When you spent most of your life not being able to do things it is a little scary trying new things.

When it was decided to hold the Keep Calm and Glow On 5K on Oct. 5th my heart sang.  I couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate my 2 year anniversary.  My family joined me and walked the 5K all decked out in glow items.  When we returned home reality hit my family and everyone was just speechless.  In the past I couldn't walk 2 blocks without stopping to catch my breath, which made family walks really hard to do.  Going up any kind of hill about killed me, and jogging was out of the picture.  My oldest son was amazed about what we just did and had to inform me that I just walked a little over 3 miles without stopping once.  Maybe my next 5K I will jog a little.

What I have learned from this experience is that in life you just have to Keep Calm and enjoy the moments.  It is the moments in our lives that make life memorable. 

A Story + A Green Wall = 1 Amazing Transformed Digital Story....

A Story + A Green Wall = 1 Amazing Transformed Digital Story....

Transforming learning through digital stories by building on creativity of a child's imagination and making them apart of their creation.

Creating a Digital Story in front of the Green-Screen is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
  1. Have a story. 
  2. Create illustrations either digitally or scan original artwork. You can even use photographs. 
  3. Record your story in front of a Green Wall. 
  4. Put it all together in iMovie. 
  5. Student Examples

Visit the K-12 Online Conference the week of Oct. 28th through Nov. 1st to view my presentation and demonstration on how to create 1 Amazing Transformed Digital Story.

App / Tool of the Week - Toontastic ....

App / Tool of the Week - Toontastic ....

To kick of the letter of the week for Pratt's Tiny Tadpoles I created this cute little story via Toontastic.  The app lets students create animated cartoons.  They learn about the setting, characters, climax, conflict, and resolution.  What I like is they also learn about mood by picking out pre-recorded music clips, which helps set the mood of the story.  What I love the most about this app is that it records in your child's voice.

I will also be offering this app as one of the tools this week for my 6th grade social studies students as they have to tell the story of the Iceman in their own words.

Toontastic has a safe place called Toontastic ToonTube where you can upload and share your digital stories.

The Magic Monkey

Using Green-Screen Effects in Your Classroom .....

Using Green-Screen Effects in Your Classroom .....

I am fascinated with the Green-Screen effect and the many projects you can do using this effect.  Students can be transported to foreign, magical, & exotic places without leaving your classroom.  They can bring stories to life and also be apart of their stories.  I've teamed up with TeacherCast Educational Online Learning to offer you a free online course on how to create amazing Green-Screen effect projects using your iPad.  The best part is you don't have to have a green screen or a green wall to create a Green-Screen Effect.

You will watch a few short video clips, answer a few questions, and receive a certificate of completion.

Using Green-Screen Effects in YOUR classroom! (by Katie Ann Wilson)
Click the above link.

Making an Ice Mummy ....

Making an Ice Mummy ....

Most days I joke around about having the pleasure of teaching 6th grade Social Studies since I am really a Technology Teacher.  What I really teach is skills and try to create memories along the way.  All week we have been doing research on Otzi the famous Iceman.  My students had to do a quick background research to find out what is Otzi and why is he called the Iceman.  The students were given the following information and had to pick out context clues to help them guide their background research.

You are to write a story about the life of Otzi the Iceman. You need to include how he lived, what kind of job he might have had, if you had a family, and why he was on the mountain. Don't forget to include how you think he died.
We will be using Toontastic or Sock Puppets apps on the iPad to create your story. 
 Once they figured out what he was we got together as a group and planned out a Science experiment to try to recreate this effect.  We talked about the items needed to make a mummy such as no light and no air.  We even talked about how people in Ancient Egypt made their mummies.

Students worked in small groups to collaborate the materials needed and their procedure.  My students were having trouble getting past that they needed a person like material to try to make into a mummy.  I of course being the prepared teacher had already had the experiment we needed to do.  After we discussed why their materials and procedure wouldn't work we got busy working on the experiment I already had ready for them.

Students got busy recording material needed and the procedure they were to follow.  They had to decided in their small groups who was responsible for which materials.  Knowing kids and their forgetfulness I made sure I had extra materials just in case.


  • 4 - Hotdogs
  • 4 - Containers with Lids
  • 4 - Pieces of Paper
  • Tape
  • Baking Soda
  • Kitchen Scale


  • Place hotdogs #1 & #2 in a container and place the lid on them.
  • Place hotdogs #3 & #4 in a container and make sure they are covered with baking soda and place the lid on them.
  • Tape a piece of paper onto each lid and tape it into place.
  • Record each members name at the top of each paper.
  • Record on #1 Hotdog in the dark.
  • Record on #2 Hotdog in the freezer.
  • Record on #3 Hotdog with baking soda in the dark.
  • Record on #4 Hotdog with baking soda in the freezer.
  • Weigh each container on a kitchen scale and record its weight at the bottom of the piece of paper.

  • Place #1 Hotdog & #3 Hotdog place them in a dark place for 14 days.
  • Place #2 Hotdog & #4 Hotdog place them in the freezer for 14 days.

In 14 days we will know if we have mummies.  While we wait you know I just have to include a techie project to go along with our mummies.

App / Tool of the Week - Spacecraft 3D by NASA

App / Tool of the Week - Spacecraft 3D by NASA

Explore space with NASA's Spacecraft 3D app.  It is an augmented reality app (a.k.a AR app) that lets students learn about a variety of spacecraft that are used to explore and study our solar system, the Earth, and even the universe. With a printed AR Target it looks like a pile of rocks and the camera on your iPad, tablet or smartphone your students can get up close with the amazing spacecraft.  Students can see how the spacecrafts move and learn about the engineering feats.

The App - Spacecraft 3D by NASA

Once you have the app you will need to print the Target Image.  Place the Target Image on a flat surface and choose your spacecraft.  Then point your mobile device at the Target Image.  Once the spacecraft appears on your mobile device you can move around the Target Image exploring and learning about the spacecraft.

Twas Night Before the 1st Day of School ....

Twas Night Before the 1st Day of School ....

Twas the night before the 1st day of school a buzz was of excitement was in the air.  All of the children quickly ate their dinner and took their baths before heading to their rooms to take their evening nap.  The oldest of the Wilson kids had already completed his summer homework assignment and was eager to turn it in.  His dreams all summer long were filled with the Lords of the Flies and vocabulary words he wasn't sure if he would ever use again. The middle Wilson child, who had plenty of 1st days of school, had planned on sleeping in his new outfit so he could have an extra 30 minutes sleep when morning comes.

The youngest of the 3 Wilson children was the most excited of them all, it just happened to be her second time for her 1st day of school.  Her smile and joy silently fell when she was told that tomorrow wasn't going to be her 1st day of school after all.  That she had to wait a whole 5 days before she would have her 1st day of school.  She slowly started to smile again as she thought about her 1st day of school.  She jumped up and down and repeated over and over that she would have her special 1st day of school.  She was still excited and continued to pick out her outfit.  With a smile on her face she informed us that tomorrow was going to be a practice 1st day of school.  She became even more excited and decided that she would have 4 practice days and on her real 1st day of school it would be perfect.

With the excitement slowly dying down.  The kids quickly snuggled deeply in their beds with dreams of new pencils, pens, and paper all dancing in their heads.  When morning shall arise there will be two boys begging to sleep until mid morning.  Whining and pouting will follow with over stuffed backpacks slung over their shoulders as they head for the car.  One excited little girl will sing as she dresses, enjoy her breakfast, and explain how the 1st day of school shall go.  A quick 1st day of school photo will happen with complaining and reminding that there will only be 2 more 1st day of school photos.  I sweetly smile as there will still be collage.

App / Tool of the Week - Evernote

App / Tool of the Week - Evernote ....

The tool other than the Google Apps I use the most is Evernote.  Evernote is a tool that is web based and can be accessed with a computer, tablet, or smartphone.  The reason I love using this tool is I can access my stuff on any device.

I love that I can have Notebooks.  I think of the Notebooks like a filing cabinet drawer.  I can break down a notebook even more by adding more notebooks to the 1st one.  For example I have a notebook labeled Summer PD.  In that notebook I have created a notebook for each conference I have attended.  Within each conference notebook I have a note for each session, I have also tagged each session.  Say I attended a session on creating student blogs one of the tags I would assign it is blog.  This way I can do a search for blogs and everything I have tagged blog will show up in the search not matter what notebook I have assigned it to.

Evernote also has a Web Clipper.  You can capture parts of a website and import them onto a note within Evernote.  You can also add audio, images, websites, and other resources to your notes.

Here are some ideas you can use Evernote for:

  • Note taking
  • Recipes
  • Collaboration Tool
  • Saving Websites
  • Sharing Resources
  • Trip Planning
  • Shopping Lists
  • Reminders a.k.a Sticky Notes
  • Store Documents
  • Record Audio
  • Capture and share images
  • Manage a Paperless office or classroom
  • Projects

Evernote has some really good video clips in YouTube.  They also have some other great tools that work with Evernote that I am still learning about.

Carbon Paper Cube by DAQRI ....

Carbon Paper Cube by DAQRI ....

The Paper Carbon Cube
DAQRI had their 4D Elements project on Kickstarters.  DAQRI reached their goal to fund their 4D Element cube and now is sharing a paper Carbon 4D cube. You too can try out their Augmented Reality through this paper version of one of their Elements cube.

To interact with Elements 4D Papercraft Edition:

The Paper Cube via
the app

  1. Print out the papercraft template - fold and glue along the lines to create a cube. 
  2. Here's a FULL RESOLUTION PDF you can download. 
  3. Download the free Elements 4D App or Elements 4D Google Play.
  4. Open the app, point the device at the top of the papercraft model, and enjoy!

For more information about their Kickstart project visit their project page.

Augmented Reality with DAQRI....

DAQRI's Clock Cube

Augmented Reality with DAQRI....

DAQRI is a company bringing Augmented Reality to the hands of students.  Augmented Reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.  DAQRI has taken the computer-generated image and made it interactive, or 4D.

DAQRI's Clock Cube through the app.
This summer I attended the Podstock conference where I had the pleasure of meeting two amazing teachers embracing Augmented Reality in their classroom.  They were handing out a few DAQRI's clock cubes.  One of the teachers I was with at the conference was lucky enough to walk away with one of DAQRI's clock cubes.  DAQRI also has Elements blocks that I can't wait to get my hands on and a interactive Periodic scroll.  You will need their app to interact with their cubes and scroll.

DAQRI is a leading developer in the field of Augmented Reality.  Their interactive portfolio speaks for itself.  Below is an demo video of the interactive clock cube.

The Global Digital Scrapbook Project

The Global Digital Scrapbook Project

Project Founder & Coordinator - Katie Ann Wilson - @katieann_76

Project Goals:

Teachers and students will engage in discussions with others during the project about their country, school, hobbies, favorite activities, etc.
Students will learn to respect and appreciate the opinions, cultures and customs of others.
Students will be able to see the differences and similarities between themselves and others around the world.

Duration: 2013-2014 School year.

Targeted Grade Levels/Age Groups: All ages.

How This Project Works:

Teachers and students will use Edmodo to communicate with the others in our group. Edmodo is a social network that allows students and teachers to create groups that are closed to the public.


Please make sure your students are using proper grammar and spelling and not using “texting” language. This is an educational group. Teachers should moderate all comments in the group. If you see anything anything inappropriate, take a screenshot of it and then delete it. Share the screenshot with that students' teacher and use it as a "teachable moment" to explain what postings should look like.

Please be committed to commenting in the group about once a week. It is not fair to the other group members when classrooms don’t follow through after signing up for a project.

Students and teachers will each need to create their own individual Edmodo account with a username and a password. After you sign up I will send you an email with the group's URL so that you can join. You will also receive an email from Weebly inviting you to join.

Here is the link to the Home Page

For further information
DM @katieann_76

My Dream .....

My Dream ....

In high school I dreamed of become an International Business Woman.  I joined the "Young Business Professions of America" and became involved in a work study program.  I learned typing a.k.a keyboarding skills in my business class.  My teacher had us learn how to type on any machine that had a QWERTY keyboard.  The best advice that she every gave me was that I need to learn how to adapt to meet the needs of the people I am either helping or working for.  I was fortunate to be placed in the office of the pharmaceutical company in town for my work study.  During my time there I helped organize international trips for some of the people in the office.  This just made my desire to work overseas grow even more.  My computer skills became very important during this time as well.  A lot of the programs that the company was using was new.  One of their newest software programs that they were trying to learn and use was Outlook.  The birth of email had happened and not to many people knew how it worked.  Before I left the company to attend collage I ended up teaching a lot of the office staff how to use email among other computer programs.  The plant manager at the time along with other office staff kept telling I needed to go into education and teach.  My heart was set on going into business and travel.

My other passion photography was growing a well.  During my high school career I became one of the yearbook staff photographers.  My instructor at the time saw talent in me and kind of hired me out to other schools including a few Community Collages.  I also became an intern to a local professional photographer.  He tight me a lot about compositions, lighting, and some additional tricks with the camera.

My dream once I crossed the ocean was to travel as much as possible, learn as much as possible, and to take as many pictures as I could.

To be continued .....

AR Flashcards Capturing Young Learners ...

AR Flashcards Capturing Young Learners ...

My Favorite Flashcard!
Even though this app is for young learners I had a blast playing around with the flashcards.  The AR Flashcards are an interactive way to learn the alphabet and dinosaurs with the use of Augmented Reality.  You will need print the flashcards and download the app before you can begin.  Once you have the flashcards it is suggested not to laminate them do to the glare making it hard for the app to pick up the trigger to make it interactive.

The creators of AR Flashcards are busy making finishing up the AR Flashcards - Space.  I can't wait to see these flashcards in action.

Some Tips:

  • Print the flashcards from
  • Flashcards cam be displayed on a monitor or mobile device or even through a projector.
  • Avoid dark areas and bad lighting when using the app.
  • Touch the animals to hear the letter and animal name.
  • Make sure the camera is focused.  If not try double tapping your screen to focus.
  • Try using a stand with your iPad, Tablet, or Smartphone.

The Global Digital Scrapbook ...

The Global Digital Scrapbook ...

The launch of The Global Digital Scrapbook has been a success.  I bet you are wondering how I can even say this project is already successful when the school year hasn't even started for me.  My goal for this project was to connect my 6th grade students with other students so that they can learn how to build positive connections.  I wasn't sure how it would all work out, but I had to try.  I spent several days brainstorming how to organize and run such a project.  I tried to think up every question that might be asked of me and find a solution.  I created the group in Edmodo and tried to organize the folders within the group.  I wanted to be able to provide as much information and resources to teachers and students who decided to participate in this global project.

My new goal for this project is now to connect teachers and students from around the world and help them share their stories, cultures, and traditions.  You can help by sharing this project and encouraging others to participate.  You to can also join in and participate with this global project.  We currently have 18 schools and over 800 students involved in this project.  I am excited to connect and collaborate with teachers and students from all over.  I can't wait to watch the scrapbook pages start to take shape.

For more information about the project or to watch it grow please visit:

Leadership Day 2013....

Leadership Day 2013....

A leader in any profession is someone who sees the path, walks on the path, and guide others through the path.  In education it is no different.  You don't have to be the techie type of person to lead others in the field of Edtech.  No one is going to expect you to code, program, and build hardware.  The skill you need the most is the skill to adapt. Technology is constantly changing, it is becoming smaller and more mobile and you need to be able to adapt.  You also do not need the newest coolest tech toy out their to function, but if you are reading your emails on a machine that built in 1990 it is time to upgrade.

Leaders in Edtech are people that do great things with the tools they have and advocates to bring in more, to do more, and to include technology as much as possible.  They inspire others as they go through their journey.  They don't just stop with inspiration they go out of their way to help others as much as possible.  They may not know the answer to every tech question but they are not afraid to say "Well lets figure it out together".  They are also not afraid of exploring and sharing what they have discovered.

I think Peter Drucker said it best "Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes."

App / Tool of the Week - Remind101

App / Tool of the Week - Remind101

Remind101 is a safe way for teachers to send text message to students and to stay in
touch with parents.  The best part it is FREE.

How to get started:

  • Sign up for an account.
  • Start creating your classes.
  • Let students and parents know how to connect to your Remind101 classes.
  • Start sending out your messages.
  • You can send or schedule your messages via your computer or the app.

Change in URL ....

Change in URL ....

It was requested that we shortened the URL and with some global collaboration the new URL for our Global Digital Scrapbook Project for 2013-14 is now

Please pass on the word about the new URL.

To Get Started:

  • Tell people about this project! Share & Share Often!
  • If you do not have an Edmodo Account please sign up for one.
  • Fill out the Sign Up Form.
  • Once you have signed up you will receive an email with our Edmodo group URL. 
  • Log into Edmodo and check out our group.

My Global Project for 2013-14....

My Global Project for 2013-14....
There has been a change to the URL!!

After attending a "Follow Me" presentation at Podstock '13, a presentation for a "Global Read Aloud", and hearing the words from yet another presenter "Lets do something Great together", have inspired me to create a "Global Project".  I want to connect my students with other students from around the world. I want to knock down the walls of our school and let my students experience cultures from around the world.

Last year my Social Studies students sent out a plea for postcards. We did end up receiving several postcards from around the world, but most of them came from friends and family of my students.

I thought to myself what can this small Kansas town teacher do as a global project? Then it hit me, a Global Digital Scrapbook. My mind has gone crazy thinking how can I organize this project? I've decided to use Edmodo as the platform to collaborate and Weebly as the house to hold our Global Digital Scrapbook.

Now I need your help.  I need you to spread the word about our "Global Digital Scrapbook".  I would like to have as many people as possible involved in this project, the more the merrier.  I would love to see it grow.  I know with your help this project will be amazing and powerful.

To participate in this project please visit the home page of our "Global Digital Scrapbook" for 2013-14 and fill our the Sign Up form.


It All Starts with a Spark...

It All Starts with a Spark...

I've been asked several times; "What's your story?".  I am going to try to write little tidbits here and there about myself in order to share my story, to share my passion.  I will try not to bore you with every little detail about my life.

As long as I can remember I loved going to school.  I love being around my friends and learning new things.  When I was in the 3rd grade my school received its first desktop computer, an Apple II and it was placed in the library.  If you wanted to use this machine you had to enter in commands, which no one knew how to do.  During school I would spend hours in the library playing around on it.  It fascinated me, it puzzled me, and it intrigued me.  The librarian challenged me to create a searchable database for the books in the library, like a card catalog.  By the time I moved away I had entered over half of the items into the database I created which was all saved on those big "Floppy Disks".  It took me a while but I figured out about the "What IF" statements.  After I figured that out my database was searchable.  I had created an digital card catalog.  You have to keep in mind I was a third grader put in front of this machine and told let see what you can do with it.  No one showed me how it worked, what it could do, or how to get data into it.  I just played around until I made things happened.  I did move away after I had finished the 5th grade so my learning didn't happen over night, nor did I give up.  This challenge sparked a passion in me to learn more about this machine.

My passion grew in middle school.  I learned about coding and was able to make basic graphics.  I was also able to make a little game, and it worked.  I started hanging out with guys that shared my passion.  I asked them a lot of questions.  I wanted to know what they knew so I could apply it and grow even more.  I went in search of new knowledge and wanted to learn from others.  During this time another passion was sparked.  It started with a cheap point and shoot camera.  I became hooked and wanted to learn photography too on top of computers.

Throughout high school I kept learning more and more about computers and computer programs.  I not only watched the evolution of computer technology, I lived it.  The birth of computer programs was happening and was shared with schools.  I look back now and I was lucky that my school embraced this tool and exposed us to it.  My teachers would ask me to figure out how these new programs worked.  They would hand me those very thick instruction manuals expecting me to read them, I would just hand them right back.  I couldn't read how they worked, I had to explore and experience it.  It didn't take me long and I could figure out every program that they set in front of me.  Not only could I figure out the program I was able to teach others how it worked.

To be continued .....

My Recap of Edmodocon 2013.....

My Recap of Edmodocon 2013.....

I bet you are asking yourself what is Edmodocon.  EdmodoCon is an entire day of short professional development sessions on a variety of topics on using technology in the classroom and is sponsored by Edmodo broadcasted in a webcast.  I was just one of the 25,000 educators from 170 countries enrolled for this one of a kind conference.  There were several viewing parties, where educators got together and participated virtually as group during the conference.  I myself was a party of one.

During the conference I learned a lot about Edmodo itself.  In the past I used Edmodo here and there with a small group of students.  Listening to how others have used this powerful online tool inspired me to totally embrace all of what Edmodo can do.  I didn't realize how powerful the groups can be within Edmodo.  During the conference I kept hearing how kids love to earn badges.  During one of the breaks I created Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, and keyboarding badges.  I plan on creating more and defining how to earn them later this week.

In the past I knew about the folders but I wasn't very organize when I uploaded my stuff to the library.  During another little break I was able to organize the items I already had thanks to a teacher I was in a chat with and started adding new items that were shared in the community.  I didn't have to upload items if someone else already shared it what a concept.

I am wanting to do Flipped Instruction with my students so the Edmodo platform just became the right choice for me.  I love the idea that I can connect with classrooms from around the world.  Having everything in one place, assignments, quizzes, videos, and etc... will just make my life a whole lot easier.

I am also taking "The Challenge" to apply at least one thing I have learned from Edmodocon.  I looked at the list of all that have signed up for "The Challenge" and I was 23rd on the list.  For the first 500 people who participate in the whole process by completing "Th Challenge" form and completing the form they will share October 1st, will win $100 in promotional Edmodo Store Credit to install and integrate apps in your groups.  I am kind of motivated and would love to have the GoAnimate app for all of my students.

I use Google Docs in my classroom I had no idea that I could incorporate my already created Google Forms/Docs/Spreadsheets and etc... within Edmodo.  This discover with the help of yet another teacher I was chatting with during the conference made my heart sing.  You can also embed items.  So if you have embed codes they should work wonderful within Edmodo.  There was so much information shared I have picked a handful of my favorites to share with you.

My Global Project thanks to Edmodocon 



  • Make folders in your "Library".  Keep organized!
  • Join groups/communities that fit your needs.
  • Lock down your groups.
  • Use the widget to help turn items on and off with in your groups.
  • Use the Filter to help filter posts.
  • Modify your notifications to fit your needs.
  • Make connections within Edmodo.

App / Tool of the Week - Weebly.....

App / Tool of the Week - Weebly.....

Weebly is a web-hosting service that features a drag-and-drop website builder.  I use Weebly to build my classroom website.

Getting Started:

  • Go to and sign up.
  • Log into your account.
  • Start by "Adding a Site"
  • Name your Site.
  • Pick your Domain Name.
  • Pick a Theme.
  • Start modifying your website by adding "Elements".
  • Add pictures.
  • Add content.
  • Add pages - Classroom Rules, Assignments, and etc...
  • When you are ready "Publish your Website".


  • Keep your content up to date.  Don't make it and then forget about it.
  • Share your website with your students, parents, and colleagues.
  • Add content about yourself.  Let kids and parents get to know you.

My Website:

Intro to Layar and Augmented Reality ....

Intro to Layar and Augmented Reality ....

The Layar Creator is a web based application when partnered up with the Layar app for your Smartphone or Tablet will create Augmented Reality.

Steps to get started:

  • Go to and create an account.
  • Verify your e-mail account.
  • Log into your Layar account and go to the Creator.
  • Have your image ready to upload to the Creator.  If it is a drawing scan it and save it as a digital image.
  • Click the button "New Campaign". 
  • Name your Campaign.
  • Click "Create Campaign".
  • Click "Add Page".
  • Upload your digital image.  This becomes your Trigger Image.
  • Once your image is ready start layering your content on top of your image.
  • You can add a slide show, video, audio, websites, and etc....
  • After you have placed your components on your image return back to your list of campaigns.
  • When you are ready click "Publish".  Once it is published your image becomes live.
  • Print your image and test it out with the Layar app.

Below is a video tutorial I made to demonstrate how to create Augmented Reality using the Layar Creator.

If you would like to test this out, download the Layar app and print out this picture or scan it off of your screen.


  • Have a sign or the Layar Symbol next to your Trigger Images so people will know what app to use to scan it.
  • Start off simple.
  • Test your image.