Becoming a Resource .....

Becoming a Resource .....

The moment you realize you are a resource for other educators is just priceless.  I had that moment today. I've been busy this week tweaking my personal website and was looking for all of the interviews and other resources I had created. As I was searching I noticed my name was tagged for the TCEA 2014 Convention. I thought to myself for a little bit, I know 2014 had been a busy year for me but I was pretty sure I had not attended the TCEA convention, even though I would have loved too.  I became a little curious and followed the link.  To my surprise I was a resource for Debra Atchison's presentation about green-screen projects.  I was overjoyed to learn I had became a resource for someone.

I became a little more curious so I did a little searching and discovered the following people had me as a resource of some kind:

I am sure there are more, those were the first ones I came across.

I love discovering how I have inspired others, helped others, and touched others in some way.  You really never know the impact you have.  As I continue on my path of being a presenter, trainer, speaker, and blogger I can't wait to see how I have inspired others.

Feel free to check out my personal website -

App / Tool of the Week .... EduCrate

App / Tool of the Week .... EduCrate

What is EduCrate? EduCrate is a media curation tool for educators.  It is a place where you can explore, share or even create your own crate of educational videos. The best part is that the videos can come from a multiple of online video sites and you save them all in one location.  If you can copy and paste website links then you can create a crate.

What I really love about this tool is that you can tag your crate (a group of videos) with a certain common core standard, topic, grade, and even subject. When you share your crate that has a variety of tags can help educators find video clips in that area.  There are so many video clips that educators, students, and even companies are making is mind blowing. To be able to have them all in one place just makes life a little easier for busy teachers and students. 


  • Add a description to your crates.
    • This way you will remember what type of video clips you have saved.
  • Add additional web resources to your crate.
    • If you have a game or other resources besides a video clip you can add the link to your crate and tie it to the subject/topic/skill/grade you are teaching.
  • Tag your crates.
    • If you use tags it will help you find similar video clips for that certain topic/subject/grade and etc... 
  • Add the Crate Bookmarklet to your browser.
    • This will help you save your video clips when you are surfing the world wide web.

Some Crates:

A Year in Review .... 2014

A Year in Review .... 2014

I've grown a lot personally and professional throughout 2014. My family even reached memorable milestones.  From my oldest son turning 16 and started driving himself around. To my daughter starting kindergarten while my youngest son started high school.  2014 for me is going down in my record book of a year of growth.

I started 2014 off by hopping on an airplane headed to FETC.  I was glad a had a friend traveling with me to help guide my way during such huge conference. Thanks Brenda for the guidance and the little push, without you I don't think I would be heading down my new path.  I do believe that FETC has been the largest conference I had attended in my career in education.

The hardest and most memorable journey I took was hopping on a plane to go to iPadpalooza.  I hadn't really traveled by myself before, but thankfully there was a kind face waiting for me when I landed.  Wendy opened up her home to me and watched over me while I was at iPadpalooza. Wendy you will never know how much your kindness help me get over a huge hurdle in my life.

I had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people face to face in 2014. From Adam Bellow, Kathy Schrock, Wesley Fryer, Todd Nesloney Brad Waid, Drew Minock, Kevin Honeycutt, Ginger Lewman, to the Blue Bunny gals at SimpleK12.  I even met some amazing people online which I hope some day I will be able to meet face to face such as Craig Yen, Sheryl Place, Monique Dalli, Jess McCarthy, and Terri Eichholz just to name a few.

My PLN has grown tenfold in 2014.  Without these amazing people online and in person belonging to my personal learning network I don't think I would have
grown as much as I have.  If I need help I know I can reach out to them and they are there to lend me a hand. If it wasn't for their support I don't think I could have hopped on those planes and head off to uncharted territory.

If I had to pick a theme song for 2014 it would be Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. I totally believe that today is where my book begins and the rest is still unwritten.  I feel that 2014 has started the first chapter of my this amazing journey I am on.  I am not sure where this journey is taking me, but I know I will learn a lot along the way.

If I had to pick a theme song for the end of 2014 and the start of 2015 I would have to go with Let it Go by Idina Menzel.  I have this passion building up and I need to learn to let it go and let others see me. I've been told that others have heard me through my blog, but now they want to see me. See what I really have to offer.  I would like to extend the walls of my classroom to reach the world.  I want to share how to bring learning to life, even if it is just one classroom at a time. I attended a Launch Me workshop and have connected with lots of people from around the world that would love to see me
achieve my dream.  With their help and support I believe that I will be able to change my theme song to This Girl is on Fire by Alicia Keys.

I can't wait to see how 2015 unfolds and where I go from here.

Website -

App / Tool of the Week ..... NextLesson

App / Tool of the Week ..... NextLesson

I teach skills such as researching, creating spreadsheets, presentations, and etc.... I sometimes find myself using the same lessons or projects to teach these skills, which get boring for me.  Like most teachers I just don't have the time to create rocking lessons for every topic I teach.  I was introduced to NextLesson during the EdmodoCon 2014.  I surfed their content and found lessons I could do with my students in a matter of seconds.  I love how the lessons/projects are broken down into stepping stones. I also love how interactive they can be.  There are already created lessons some of them are free others do cost.  You can browse by Common Core standards, grade level, and even subject.  You can even create your own lesson or project.  If you need help learning about NextLesson there is a built in tour that will walk you through the different features.

One of the lessons I used with my technology classes was called My Dream Vacation.  It is a free lesson and I was able to take it and customize it to fit my students' needs.  My students really like the topic of planning their own dream vacation.  I liked it because I could incorporate all of the skills we had learned and have my students apply them in a real world situation.  I used the Rank and Reasoning with my students to help brainstorm places to go on vacation.  The discussion piece really helped my students share their findings and ask questions such as; What can you do there? What can you see? How much is that going to cost?

The stepping stones really helped keep the my students moving forward. Once they completed a task then they could move a head.  With each task you can have student notes, teacher notes, and attachments such as a web link, images, or video clips.  The teacher resources are also very helpful especially the rubrics.

One of the things I changed about the NextLesson My Dream Vacation was I wanted my students to use any tool to create a presentation.  I gave them a list of suggested tools, most of them stuck to creating a Keynote presentation others did venture out and tried something new.  Below are just a few examples of their finished product.

NextLesson Projects/Lessons:
Just a few I found interesting and fun to try.

My Dream Vacation - NextLesson

Vimeo - My Dream Vacation

Being Called Up....

Being Called Up....

I started my career in education in a small 2A school an hour north of Manhattan. My husband and I choose that small school district for a few reasons.  It was the school my husband had attended and his family was right there.  We were a young couple with a young family building our lives together, we needed the support.  I just left K-State in December with my BS in Elementary Education and had planned on going after my masters in January. I started out as a sub for the school district which quickly led me taking over the computer labs.  The school district had two grade schools, one in each small town with the high school/ middle school in the country between the two towns.  Since there were two grade schools they had two computer labs.  I ended up being the computer lab teacher, but I wasn't being paid as a teacher or really treated as a teacher.  In the past the person in the lab was a para and the time the kids spent in the lab was play time. The kids going to the lab was really a break for the teachers and the other paras.

When I stepped into the computer lab teacher roll I had to change how others saw the lab, how others saw me.  The time in the computer lab for the kids went from a play time to a learning environment.  Soon I wasn't just teaching the kids I was staying after school teaching my colleagues.  The school district had wrote a grant the year before and received some SMARTBoards.  Those boards sat unused for a year.  The principal asked me what could I do with these boards and would I share with the staff.  She ended up giving me not one SMARTBoard to use but two.

While I was building relationships with the staff and teaching them how to create lessons on the SMARTBoard, one of the teachers just mentioned that I should send in a proposal to the Mid-America Association for Computers in Education a.k.a. MACE.  If my proposal was accepted then the school district couldn't turn me down and would let me attend the conference.  I took a chance and sent in my proposal.  It needed up being accepted for the summer MACE conference in Kansas City in 2004.

I freaked out just a little, well a lot.  Here I was a new teacher with a young family just trying to stay afloat.  All I could think about was who am I that people would want to go hear and learn from.  My husband just kept telling me to try it.  He would take me to Kansas City and be there if I needed someone to lean on.  So I went to the conference. He dropped me off, handed me the cell phone and told me to knock their socks off.  I walked into a packed room and then really freaked out. These people were all here to learn from me.  I took a deep breath and told myself I'm in my classroom and I'm just teaching.  The whole presentation ended up being a blur for me.  What I didn't know was the SMART Technologies rep was in the room and watched my whole presentation.  He approached me after my presentation.  I will never forget the first words he said to me.  "We need you to teach teachers."  He offered me a job right then on the spot to train teachers how to make learning come alive.  When my husband picked me up from the conference I told him what had happened.  We talked long and hard about what it would mean for our family. I couldn't accept that job at that time.  My family needed me.

Since that day I have presented at several regional, national, and international conferences speaking on a variety of tech ed topics.  I've also had the honor to provide teachers with a wide range of workshops were they were able to learn with a hands on approach.  I've been offered numerous jobs all in the field of technology education.  The timing or the situation hasn't been right or it just wasn't the right fit for me to move a head. I had also never really felt that I was really a major league player, not until my proposal for the 2014 ISTE conference was accepted. Now I'm not thinking who am I, it is more like where can I go next.

I want to travel the world and share technology education along with my story.  I am no longer the young beginning teacher trying to change how people see her.  I'm the tiger that has earned her strips, that has the battle scars, and that is ready to change how you see and use technology.  I've been called up to play with the major league players.  I am on the batting lineup and I can't wait to hit it out of the park.

How can I help you? -

Reflection of Launch Me ....

Reflection of Launch Me ....

This week I had a chance to learn from some amazing people.  It isn't every day you get to sit down and talk with Brad Waid, Ginger Lewman, and Kevin Honeycutt.  Being next to them made me feel like a rock star.  For the longest time I've felt like I was on island or a lone ranger.  When you are at a small town school and you are the only teacher that teaches your content and or skills you start to feel isolated.  I started to attend and present at conferences so that I didn't feel so alone in my field.  I just need to connect with someone that was like me.  I started at my district level sharing what I can do and it spread to region conferences, to national conferences, to international conferences.

ISTE which is one of the largest tech ed conferences accepted my proposal last year.  When I got the notice that I was accepted, it felt like I have been playing for a farm team and I've been called up to play with the major league players.  My heart just stopped, I ran around the house just screaming like I've won the lottery. When time grew near to the conference and my session had been cancelled my heart broke.  Which is OK, because I had made it. I didn't get to hit it out of the ball park, but at least I was called up.

If you watch NCIS you know about Gibbs and how he likes to knock some sense into Tony with a kind but powerful slap to the back of the head.  I think Kevin and Brad so wanted to be like Gibbs and knock some sense into me this week, which I so deserve.  Even my son got into my face after the 1st day of Launch Me and just flat out said "How many ways do people have to tell you that you are amazing at what you do."

Now that my 2 Gibbs wannabes, my sons, my husband, other teacher friends, and even my daughter is in my corner shoving me to the launch pad I best get on board.  It is always scary to start something new, to go beyond your comfort zone, to reach for the stars and hope that their is someone waiting for you.  I think Launch Me has given me the power to fly but also the energy to stay in orbit.

Thank you Launch Me family for the Gibbs slap and being there.


Bringing Life to the Holidays....

Bringing Life to the Holidays ....

When I was younger holiday get togethers where nonexistent, which happens when you have a dysfunctional family life.  After I got married the annual Thanksgiving dinner tradition began.  Eric and I always found time to return to his parents' house to enjoy a family dinner followed by a round of Hearts or other fun card games.

After almost twenty years of the Wilson's tradition it shifted just a little. The family dinner seems to hosted at my house along with the fun family card games.  I really don't mind being the hostess for these once in a life time memories.  Eric has loving memories going to his grandmas for Thanksgiving and or Christmas.  Some days I am jealous of his childhood memories and other days I am not.  I am now the mom that makes sure that everyone has a wonderful memory.  I even giggle a little at Eric who is panicking at the darn turkey getting dry or not as he is trying to smoke it.

I resent asked why our joined family loved coming to our small house to either a Thanksgiving or a Christmas dinner and the response was overwhelming.  For some reason the people around me believe that I am the heart of it all.  To them my house is warm and comforting.

I foresee my children will love coming home for the holidays, which will happen in a few years if I am ready for it our not.  I think in some way I may even be looking forward to it.  I just pray that one of my sons finds an amazing wife (which I know that they will) that one day will take on the tradition of hosting the family get togethers.  It has taken me 20 years to be the heart of it all.  I hope my future daughter in-law will not get discourage.  Don't worry I know when my daughter is ready she will take it all over and will be the heart of the family get togethers.   I've been told she has one amazing mother as a role model.

App / Tool of the Week .... Actively Learn

App / Tool of the Week .... Actively Learn 

I get the privilege of teaching 6th grade Social Studies which focuses on the Ancient Civilizations when I am not teaching technology skills to middle school students.  With common core it is my job to teach my students how to pull information out of primary and secondary sources.  I find it difficult to assess my student's comprehension as we go through the various civilizations.  I am constantly asking myself: Do they really understand the Caste System?, Do they realize what they are reading happened thousands of years ago? and etc....

I recently had a chance to test drive Actively Learn. Actively Learn is an online platform that allows the teacher to pull in reading materials either from Actively Learn's catalog, the teacher's Google Drive, online source, or even a PDF.  The teacher then can add notes, video clips, and even questions.  I found the ability to add files from my Google Drive a huge plus since most of my resources are saved to my Google Drive.  Another big plus for me was that I could connect the common core standard with the questions I am asking.  I like that I can ask question while they are reading.  This breaks up the reading and assess my students' understanding.  While they are reading about King Tut I can include a video clip about his tomb and ask questions to assess their understanding.  This type of assessment gives me a better understanding if my students are really getting and understanding what they are reading.

Since some of my content has to do with diagrams and maps I love that I could add an image/media and ask questions about that image/media.  A lot of online quizzes will not support that feature.  I really liked that I can assign proficient levels to the short answers questions.  Assessing students' knowledge is more than just a letter grade.  To have the ability to show proficiency to parents is the key.  

Another great tool Actively Learn has built-in is the dictionary.  This tool is great for my students as we wade through the various ancient civilizations.  I like it because all of my students are reading the same definition not one from Webster Online another one from and etc.... Students even have the ability to take notes and highlight text.

Even though I teach Social Studies I can see all of these tools very useful for other subject areas.  Actively Learn is free and students only need one account.  Students just need the code to a join class and can belong to as many classes as needed. When students are finished with the classes they can withdraw.

The biggest perk for me since I am a heavy Edmodo user is the ability to connect Edmodo to Actively Learn.  Having the ability to use Edmodo and Google Drive with Actively Learn for me is a win.

Click HERE for more information about Actively Learn or to sign up and give it a test drive. 

Miami Device 2014....

Miami Device 2014 ....

I was a little bummed out that I couldn't make it work to attend Miami Device, well not in person any ways.  I had the chance to remote into the conference thanks to Essdack and their robot.  I was able to drive it around met some new people and say high to a few friends.  I even got a chance to sit in on a session.  Several people even took their picture with me, I kind of felt like a mini star for a moment.

I did have an issue with staying connected to the robot, not sure if it was on my end or theirs. Anyway it was a lot of fun attending via the robot.  When I wasn't operating the robot I was living vicariously through the attendees that Tweeted out resources, pictures, and their experience at Miami Device.  One of my take aways from the conference is the augmented reality puzzles by Ravensburger.  It appears that they currently have 5 different puzzles that have been augmented.  I can't wait to get my hands on those.

Another thing that I learned about was Sketchnotes.  You can create these sketchnotes with a variety of apps such as Notebility and isketchnote to name a few.  Creating sketchnotes makes your thoughts visible.  What I loved was that Marie made her sketchnote interactive by turning it into a Thinklink.  AWESOME!

Since the robot had no arms Brenda was very nice and signed my Twitter handle to Kevin Honeycutt's guitar for me.

It was great being apart of Miami Device even if it was just for a moment. Maybe next year I can present at Miami Device instead of living through the hashtag.

Thanks again Essdack for the chance of using the robot.


Take a Stand & Lend a Hand in 4D ......

Take a Stand & Lend a Hand in 4D ......

I am really into bringing learning to life and make connections with people.  This year I am promoting an Anti-Bullying campaign in 4D.  I asked my students and staff to help me by capturing our building taking a stand and lending a hand.  We had a week where everyone participated in spirit days.  On Tuesday "It was NO Sweat to stand up to bullying".  On Wednesday was National Blue Day, students wear blue to support standing up to bullying.  On Thursday we wore our Team colors to show we stand as a team against bullying.  On Friday we wore Red & Black to show we wanted to stop violence. During the week the technology students researched websites that they thought would help bring awareness to bullying and cyberbuylling.

We purchased a banner and asked everyone to sign it.  I used this banner and added an augmented reality twist to it.  When you scan the banner you will have an interactive experience.  I am currently going through all of the content to add to the interactive experience.  The augmented experience is live.  All you have to do is either scan the banner or a picture of the banner.  I will be adding more content to the experience in the next few days.

Interactive Elements 4D Lessons ....

Interactive Elements 4D Lessons ....

I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of creating some of the lessons/activities for Elements 4D.  The augmented blocks are a great way to bring learning to life.  Students of all ages will enjoy exploring the elements with these amazing blocks.  The lessons are created by a variety of educators that each brought a unique perspective to the table.

I am currently working on bring more interactivity to chemistry along with other topics by creating lessons built around the 4D studio.    

To access the lessons for Elements 4D please visit the links below.

Elements 4D:

Hand in Hand ....

Hand in Hand ....

September is a remarkable month with the Wilson's.  It isn't only the start of school and being a teacher it is like Christmas in September with all the cool new school supplies.  It is an anniversary to my second chance at life.  In 2011 I received a life saving operation that allows me to be a mom to my outstanding, loving, caring, and amazing children as well as a wife to my husband. September is also the month that our little angel became an official Wilson.

I remember when she entered our lives five years ago.  I held her for two weeks straight and wouldn't let anyone else touch her.  She was my baby and I loved her dear.  When she left my arms she would cry so hard, it broke my heart.  Even though she was only 8 months old when she entered our lives she was a Wilson the moment she arrived and she knew it.

According to my Angel I am the Mom of the year, the century, for a LIFE Time.  I am her whole world and she is ours.  She loves her older brothers, they in return love and protect her.  She is also daddy's little girl.  I think she has him wrapped around her little finger.

Don't worry we protect her and her face will never be reviled in social media.  If you see pictures of little girls, don't worry they are my nieces and my great nieces or even students or photography subjects of mine. We are very protective of our little Angel.

Take a Stand and Lend a Hand in 4D ~ Coming Soon!

Take a Stand and Lend a Hand in 4D ~ Coming Soon!

The week of October 6th - 10th is Bully/Cyberbully awareness week.  During the week I asked our homeroom/AB classes at LMS to take pictures or create video clips how we can Take a Stand and Lend a Hand to Bullying/Cyberbullying. My technology classes did some research and come up with websites that help with internet safety and leaving a positive digital digital footprint.  Those websites will be added to our project.

During the Bullying/Cyberbullying week I asked all students 5-8th and staff to sign a banner I had put up.  My goal is to make the banner 4D.  When you scan the banner or a picture of the banner you will get an interactive experience how you can Take a Stand and Lend a Hand to stop Bullying/Cyberbullying.

I will post our Take a Stand and Lend a Hand campaign soon.  Be ready it will knock your socks off.  Thanks to an amazing staff and LMS students!

Bring Learning to Life One Classroom at a Time....

Bring Learning to Life One Classroom at a Time....

This fall I launched the 2nd year of the Global Digital Scrapbook Project.  My goal is to encourage others to bring augmented reality to their classroom.  I plan on posting in our global project ways I use augmented reality in my classroom.  If you are new to augmented reality start off simple with pre-made triggers such as the Dot Day coloring page by colAR.  My middle school students really love using this page and have a lot of fun interacting with it.

As I go through the school year I will continue to post in the global project ways my students are using augmented reality.  Feel free to join us and submit your class stories as well.

I also have a Google+ group just for educators to learn, share, and get help with augmented reality.  Feel free to join and share your stories, get some help, or learn more about AR.


Making My Mark ..........

Making My Mark .....

My goal is to bring learning to life, and I love to augmented reality to do this.  This year for Dot Day I had my students write about how they could make their mark on the world.  When they finished with their writing assignment they were instructed to use the Dot Day color sheet by colAR Mix to design a LOGO to go with their assignment.

The second part of the assignment was for my students to create a blog.  I want them to own this blog, make it theirs, and post to as often as they would like.  Their 1st post was their Make My Mark assignment.  They also had to include an picture or a collage of pictures of them and their LOGO.

What my students may not have caught was I was making my own mark in their lives.  I love planting seeds and watching what grows. Encouraging them to write and own their own blog my just unleash the next best seller novel writer, the next high paying blogger, or even the next famous photographer.  I can't wait to see were my students' blogs will go.  What I do know is that writing for an audience is more meaningful then just writing for the teacher.

I have created a Symbaloo board to house their Make My Mark posts.  I plan on added to it as more posts are submitted.

How do you plan on Making Your Mark on the world?

Sneak Peek .....

Sneak Peek .....

I have received several messages these past few weeks wondering why I haven't posted or why I haven't been very active online.  Well I have been very busy brainstorming and creating activities to accompany the 4D Elements blocks by Daqri.  I can't really share the details just yet on the activities but I thought I would just temp you a little.

I think you will really like the activities that I am creating.  There will be hands on activities to learn the key vocabulary, to interactive activities with the 4D Elements blocks all the way to creating your own augmented reality.  My goal is to help teachers bring learning to life with the use of Daqri's 4D Elements.

Keep your eyes and ears open.  The details to these amazing activities will be coming your way soon.

AR in the Mail....

AR in the Mail....

You never know where augmented reality will show up in your life.  My oldest son is a junior this year and since spring he has been receiving mailings from universities and collages from all over.  Yesterday he received a mailing from Emporia State University and right on front there is a little message saying "Scan with Layar".  When scanned the guy comes to life via a video.

What I would have liked to have seen with using augmented reality is more than just a video.  I think Emporia State should have done besides the video was add a link to their university website, maybe even have an additional video touring the campus.  Augmented reality needs to be interactive not just a video.  If you just do a video then it is more like a QR code.

I will give kudos to Emporia State University for thinking outside the box and giving AR a try.

Bringing Learning to Life....

Bringing Learning to Life....

I am proud to announce the launch of the 2nd Global Digital Scrapbook project. This Global Digital Scrapbook will showcase how augmented reality is being used in the classrooms around the world.

Project Goals:
Teachers and students will engage in discussions with others during the project about they are using augmented reality in their classroom. They will share how they are using pre-made triggers and or if they are creating their own augmented reality triggers.

Duration: 2014-2015 School year:
  • You can participate in the 1st semester session.
  • You can participate in the 2nd semester session.
  • You can participate in both sessions.

Targeted Grade Levels/Age Groups: All ages.

How This Project Works:
Teachers will communicate via the Augmented Reality Google+ Community.
Teachers will submit content to be added to the Digital Scrapbook.


Teachers will need to submit a photo that will represent their school or classroom. This photo will be used as a maker for the interactive map as well as the header for their page.

Throughout the project teachers/classes will submit images, videos, write ups, and etc... that will be added to the various pages for the Global Digital Scrapbook.

How to submit your content will be posted after the project has started.

For further information
DM @katieann_76

The Project:

Summer Goals....

Summer Goals....

During the summer I like to set goals for myself and I get really excited when I meet these goals.  One goal was to create a interactive ebook for my 6th grade history class.  I knew it would take me most of the summer to complete this task since history is not my strong subject.  I am sure after I start to use the ebook with my students that I will be adding and changing things, but for right now it is complete and ready for me to use.

Another goal I set for myself was to start a global community for teachers to learn more about augmented reality.  As of this morning I have 132 members from around the world that have joined the AR for Educators community.  I am really thrilled about this group, we have not only educators in the group but also some developers.  It is a place where educators can go to learn, share, and get help with augmented reality. My goal for this group is to connect with as many educators and augmented reality developers in order to share and learn more about ways to use augmented reality in the classroom.

Coming Up Next...

Next on my to do list is to launch my Global Digital Scrapbook Project.  This year the project is going to focus on how teachers and students are using augmented reality.  My plan is for the project to showcase ways augmented reality is being used in the classrooms around the world.  Keep an eye out for the launch.  I would love for your classroom to join in on this project.

Augmented reality lessons are next up on my list to do.  I can't wait to share with you the details of this project.  I almost did a backflip when I was asked to work on this project.  If all goes according to plan these lessons will be launched by October.  I will keep you posted on the details.

Check Out My Completed Goals:

When downloading ebooks use Safari on your iPad.  You may also download these ebooks to your Mac if you have Maverick.
It does take a long time to download these files.

Coming Soon:

Going Beyond a Simple Textbook....

Going Beyond a Simple Textbook....

Last year I created an interactive ebook for my technology classes.  I filled it with a variety of of video clips, screenshots, presentations, and resources for them to refer to.  This year I wanted to create another interactive ebook but I wanted to be able to be used cross-platform and on all devices.  I guess like always I am ahead of my time.  If I wanted to make my interactive ebook available for all devices I would have to pay a company to convert it for me and there was no promise that all of my interactive components would work.  So I went back to iBook Author and created my interactive book which can only be accessed via iBooks.

I haven't decided if I wanted to submit this book to the iTunes Store or not.  The iPads that my students use block the iTunes and App Store so it isn't possible for them to download the book from there.  I did find a alternative way around that issue.  I saved the iBook file to my classroom website and my students can download it from there. It does take a while for the book to download and if I make any changes the kids will have to download the book again.

Now I can say I am a published author and I now have 2 editions to my Computer Apps e-Textbook.


Mrs. Wilson's Computer Apps - Bringing Learning to Life
Use Safari on your iPad to download this file. You can also download this file if you have Maverick on your Mac.  It will take a while to download.

Under this Tree....

Under this Tree....

Under this tree I learned about little fairies that tend to my flowers.  These special fairies are so small that they could fit inside of my tea cup.  Each fairy has a special job to do.  Some make sure each flower has just right amount of water. While others make sure the nectar is so sweet that it will make the bees dance with joy.  Some of the fairies even paint the beautiful designs on each butterfly.  When we are away the fairies like to play.  I've been told that they love to hop on the
back of our dog and have him run around the yard while they yell for joy and grin from ear to ear.  While under this tree I learned that there was a magical door built into the tree that the fairies use.  For you see these little gardeners live within my tree.

Under this I also learned about kindergarten or what my daughter dreams kindergarten will be like.  In kindergarten did you know that you get to play all day with your friends. You can run and jump outside and swing high on the swings, while your best friend pushes you.  At lunch you get yummy food that your mom packed for you. My daughter just can't wait to eat the pudding or applesauce, because those will be the best parts of her lunch.  I also learned that she now will have a music class, which she can't wait for.  She loves to sing and hopes the teacher will even let her dance a little.  She doesn't understand this thing everyone is calling P.E. but she knows that it requires tennis shoes.
Under this Tree We Dream

My dream for her is to always believe that school is fun, learning is fun, and being around people you connect with share with is best part of school.

While under this tree I was inspired to do a little doodling.  I do not doodle a lot, but when I do I love to try out new art apps. The app I used was called Drawing Desk.

My Reflection of EdmodoCon 2014....

My Reflection of EdmodoCon 2014....

This was my 2nd EdmodoCon I participated live in.  I had watch some of the past recordings when I started using Edmodo in 2012 and thought this would be a fun EdTech conference.  You don't have to leave my home and you can wear my PJs if you wanted to. I did choose to get in the spirit and wear my Edmodo shirt.  The best part of the conference other than it was FREE was connecting with other educators from around the world.

In 2013 EdmodoCon inspired me to develop a global project. 2014 EdmodoCon inspired me to continue my project. It also helped me narrow down my focus for my global project and allowed me to make more connections. I was also inspired to use the badges in a more effective manner than I had in the past.  My favorite saying I will be using with my students is "Edmodo That".

If you didn't get a chance to attend the free online EdTech conference you can still watch the recordings form the event.  It takes about a week for them to be processed and posted online.  I also suggest you attend the Edmodo Chats on Thursday evenings at 7pm EDT.  

"Edmodo is a highway and I am going to ride it all year long!"


Miami Device Wishing...

Miami Device Wishing...

In my school I am the 1st implementer for EdTech.  I learn the tech tools and go back to my district and teach those around me what I have learned.  There are very few EdTech conferences in Kansas so I am reaching out to other EdTech conferences so that I can continue to learn.  If I could attend Miami Device I would attend as many session as possible that focuses on student-center learning, project/problem/challenged base learning, as well as game base learning.  My goal is to put learning back into the hands of kids and equip them with the right tools.  Amazing things happen when we let kids teach.  I also hope I inspire all of those I connect with.

I also present at as many EdTech conferences as possible.  I really like sharing what I learn with others.  My new gained EdTech knowledge that I obtain from Miami Device will help me in what proposals I should submit to other EdTech conferences.  Since I am also a blogger I would also promote Miami Device and write about my experience from the conference.  My Google Glasses help me in capturing my experiences and Google loves to put all of my pictures together into Google Stories, which makes it easier to share.

I look forward to Miami Device in person or living vicariously through Twitter.

The AR Community ....

The AR Community .... 

My goal this summer was to reach out to educators and share with them some of my techie knowledge.  In reaching out I created a Google+ community for educators to learn more about augmented reality.  The community is a place where educators and even AR developers can come together to connect, share, and learn.  This community is not just for the younger grades but for all grade levels.

In developing this community it dawned on me that some people may not know how to navigate within it so I created a little guide to help them out.  This quick guide will point out the where things are and how to access them.

Feel free to join the community and to share it with others.

The Google+ Community - Augmented Reality for Educators 

Creating AR with the Daqri 4D Studio....

Creating AR with the Daqri 4D Studio....

Augmented reality isn't anything new, it has been around for a while now. Creating your own augmented reality on the other hand has only been available in the recent few years.  This spring Daqri released their 4D studio to the education community. Out of all of the augmented reality creators I have used this one is by far the friendliest one to use. When I talk to others about creating augmented reality I hear; "That is too techie for me.", or "I just can't wrap my head around how it works.", or "There is no way I will be able to create something like that."  Let me ask you a few questions then.
  • Can you drag and drop?
  • Can you copy and paste?
  • Can you click on a button that says upload?
  • Can you click on a Plus Sign to start a new project?
  • Can you click on a button that says Save?
  • Can you click on a button that says Publish?
If you answered yes to these questions then you can create an augmented reality trigger.

For Podstock I created a mini tutorial on how to create a augmented reality trigger. Daqri did change a few things in their studio but it will not effect how you create a trigger.  You will just notice my screenshots just look a hair different.  I had put my tutorial in a NearPod presentation so I could monitor who accessed the presentation and evaluate their knowledge about the topic.  I will post the link to that as well.  Feel free to use the Google Presentation or the NearPod one. 

Just keep in mind this is a very basic tutorial.  I plan on creating more in depth ones soon. 


Bringing Learning to Life....

Bringing Learning to Life....

My T-shirt that I added Augmented Reality to.
This summer I set out to teach as many people as I could about creating augmented reality or use already created triggers.  I attended an edCamp and brought augmented reality to the attendees.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and presented at edCamp Home on augmented reality as well as did a hands-on workshop at Podstock.  In reaching out to others I thought a community or group was needed to keep connected with those I've reached out to.  With that thought in mind I created 2 groups.  They are both considered a private group where I have to approve your entrance into the group.  I really love Edmodo and their platform they have created.  I like that I can share folders as well as resources to those in the group.  Edmodo also has a place where you can communicate, ask questions, post ideas and etc... I noticed after setting up the group in Edmodo that some people were not as comfortable with that form of group so I created a Google+ community.  I was able to tie my Edmodo folders to my Google+ community so that people in both groups would still have access to all of the content I am sharing.

The resources I am sharing are pre-created augmented reality triggers.  Triggers are images that when scanned with the correct app will give you a unique experience by added an augmented reality component or items.  I am also posting the apps that are needed to use these triggers.  I will also be sharing how to create your own augmented reality triggers with the help of Daqir's 4D studio. The groups are also a way for others to ask questions, get help, share ideas, and etc...

If you are an Edmodo user and would love to join the Augmented Reality group for Educators feel free to join and share.  If you would rather join the Google + Augmented Reality for Educators Community feel free to join and share too.  If you want to join both feel free to do so.

The Groups:

Click here to view my interview with Chromville.

"Bring Learning to Life one Augmented Reality Trigger at a Time"

AR vs QR....

AR vs QR ....

I get asked all the time what is the difference between using a QR code in the classroom verses an augmented reality trigger. QR codes will take you to one item such as a website, document, sound file, a picture, or a video.  It is computer generated and can look like another QR code, unless you label it in some way.  An augmented reality trigger takes the experience to a whole new level.  Any item as long as you make it digital can become a trigger.  Some examples of augmented reality triggers could be your bulletin board, a fundraiser t-shirt, a poster on a wall, student artwork, or a slide to a presentation. The possibilities are literally endless.  With augmented reality you can add multiple items to your trigger and make the experience interactive.

Example of an Augmented Reality Experience:

Your class is reading say the book Charlotte's Web.  Have your students create their own cover of the book that best represents the main idea.  They could use any iPad art app, Google Draw, or even the old crayon and paper tools to create this cover.  If they draw it on paper scan it to make it digital.  Now put that student created work into the Daqri 4D Studio and start adding interactive elements.  You could add a video clip of the student explaining or comparing the book to a real life situation. You can also add a link to the author's website along with a student created presentation of some kind of the student retailing the story.  You could even add a slideshow of all the artwork or illustrations for the book the student created representing the characters, rise in action, the climax, and the solution.

Once your students are done you can hang their book covers in the hallway with a little note that says "Scan with the Daqri app to learn more about Charlotte's Web.".

Which experience would you like to have?  Would you like to scan a QR code and visit the author's website or scan a student created book cover and have multiple elements you can interact with.


My Reflection of Podstock '14

My Reflection of Podstock '14

Podstock is one of my favorite conferences to attend.  I have only missed 2 of them since they started.  When I first met this group of educators and they were all dressed up like hippies I had my doubts, but they open their hearts and welcomed me in just like family.  The conference is more than just about learning it is about building relationships with other educators from around the world.  

Even though I live little over an hour away from Wichita I like to stay overnight and participate in the extra activities.  This year Podstock added a Pine Derby Car race. It was a lot of fun connected with others while sanding, painting, and decorating my little car.  I do have to say that my little car did beat a guy or two.  The reception is always a lot of fun as well.  The 1st year, if I remember correctly, the dance was both online via 2nd Life and in person.  I highly suggest that if you attend Podstock you should really participate in the little extras, it is always a lot of fun.  You never know you might win the next Photo Scavenger Hunt.

During the conference I attended several really great sessions.  I am trying to get out of my introvert shell so I picked session that I thought would help me do that.  I also tried to take selfies, which is very hard for me to do.  The Improv session was a amazing.  I never stopped and thought about some of the "Improv Games" that you play could relate right back to education.  If you think about it you are developing listening skills, character building skills, speaking skills, problem solving skills and face it, it is a lot of fun being a little goofy.

I try to submit a proposal every year to be a presenter, so far every time I've submitted I've been approved. This year I did a presentation on creating augmented reality.  My goal was to have a hands on session were by the time the attendees left the session they had created an augmented reality trigger.  In a perfect world that would have been amazing, but that didn't happen.  I learned that I need to have my own hot spot so I don't have to battle with a conference's WiFi, now only if I can convince my husband.  One of the things I hope the attendees of my session took away was that you can turn anything into a trigger.  For the conference I had made my avatar a trigger so when you scanned it you got more information about me.  I also designed a shirt for Podstock and turned that into a trigger, so when you scanned it you got information about Podstock.  To help others I created an Edmodo group and a Google+ community were educators can connect, get help, and share their experiences with augmented reality. I have tons of pre-made AR triggers saved in the groups and a list of AR apps. Feel free to join the community or group.


Coming Soon....

Coming Soon....

I had a great time at Podstock this year like most years.  I have a ton of take away moments and resources to share including photos from the photowalk.  I will be sharing those items soon.  This weekend I will be doing the one thing I really hate to do which is studying for a test.  I would rather prove to you that I know the content, topic, or subject by creating something.  When it comes to tests I always seem to second guess myself, over think the question, or just get flustered.  I know how kids feel when it comes to those standardized tests, which is why I do not give tests.  I have my students produce and prove that they know how to the task at hand.  If my students can show me or tell me then I know that they understand.  I also have them help others, show others, and explain to others what they have learned. Normally it is a win win for me until I have to put a grade value on their understanding.

This weekend when I should be reflecting and sharing my experience from Podstock I will be reviewing and studying for my ESOL endorsement test which I get to take on Monday.  After Monday look for my Podstock 2014 post on Becoming a Superhero in your classroom.  I guess now I should stop procrastinating and get busy studying.  Wish me luck!

Getting Ready to Become a Superhero....

Getting Ready to Become a Superhero....

Scan with Daqri & Layar
I've packed my iPad, my Google Glasses, some augmented reality items, and of course my cape as I prepare to fly down the highway to Podstock.  In preparation for my augmented reality workshop I have created a few triggers.  You will need to download the Daqri app and the Layar app to activate their superpower.  The avatar of my super self can be scanned with both the Layar app and the Daqri app.  The picture of my wall scan with the Daqri app.

I have also created a Edmodo group just for teachers to get help with creating their own augmented reality triggers.  In the group I have folders full of helpful resources and other types of augmented reality triggers. Feel free to join the group, ask questions and use my resources.  I am here to lend a helping hand.

If you are attending Podstock this year feel free to connect with me.

Scan with Daqri


EdcampHome 3.0...

EdcampHome 3.0...

On July 11th I participated in EdcampHome 3.0.  I had participated in EdcampHome 2.0 as a participant and really enjoyed connecting with educators from around the world from the comfort of my home.  Being a mom of 3 kids, a wife, a teacher, a trainer, and a presenter it is nice to be able to connect and share with others in between making dinner and reading bedtime stories.  This time I stepped out of my comfort zone and offered to lead a session.  I have done Google Hangouts before so I thought what the heck and try my hand on a Google On Air. I ended up leading two session on the topic of Creating Augmented Reality.  The 1st session I pretty much was talking to myself since I didn't have anyone join in on the call, which was OK.  I knew it was recorded and was going to be saved on the EdcampHome page for others to go back and watch.  The second session went a lot better since I had people joined in on the call.  I suggest you watch the 2nd one.

I really enjoyed sharing how to create augmented reality, it has become one of my favorite past times.  I will be doing a workshop for Podstock on the subject so I created an online group for other to join and get help with creating their own augmented reality.  If you are needing help or would like to learn more about creating augmented reality feel free to watch the recordings and join my group.  I do have to approve your request to join the group, so please give me at least 24 hours to do so.

I also wanted to make sure I thank the organizers of EdcampHome.  You did a great job and I believe that it went pretty smooth.