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.

My Recap of EdcampKS 2013 .....

My Recap of EdcampKS 2013 .....

Every time I around other educators that have a passion for educations plus technology I get inspired and energized. EdcampKS couldn't have been timed better for me.  I was pumped at Podstock '13 and EdcampKS has continued keeping me pumped up and energized.

I love meeting and connecting with new people that have the same interest and passion as me. What shocked me was when I arrived at EdcampKS several people came up to me and introduced themselves and told me that they either follow me on Twitter or read my blog.  I was kind of feeling like a little rock star.  My mini people in my life have always made me feel kind of like a rock star or magician.   It was a good feeling to see people I view as colleagues having that same kind of aura about them. 

I love to share what I have learned so below are links to the notes I took while at EdcampKS.

During lunch break Brenda Hauff and I went down to Old Town and there just happened to be a Chalk Art Festival going on.  The photographer in me started to cartwheels.  Below is a link to my photo album of the pictures I took with my iPhone.

I had a great time at EdcampKS and enjoyed meeting people I also follow on Twitter and many new ones.  My goal this year is not to be a fader, but to stay a connected educator.  Keep in touch and I will do my best to post in my blog what I am doing in my classroom.  I am also going to make tutorials or at least try to.

EdcampKS - Who to Follow

EdcampKS Tweeps:

(just to name a few)

New Features to the Diary of a Techie Chick....

New Features to the Diary of a Techie Chick....

With the changes of technology in education I have made a few changes to my blog.  I now have two new pages; The App/Tool of the Week and Augmented Reality.  You can find these pages at the top of the screen above the title "The Diary of the Techie Chick".

To stay organized I have tagged all of my posts.  The tags will appear underneath the title of the post.  For example if you want to know more about IWB a.k.a. Interactive White Boards you click on the tag and if I have any another posts with the IWB tag they will all show up for you.

I still have the following pages; Technology Tips, DIY, Freebies, & My Store.  Also feel free to follow me on Twitter - @katieann_76.

If you would like SWAG to show off you follow the Diary of a Techie Chick I now have a Cafe Press Shop where you can pick up some of my designs.