As most of you may have noticed that augmented reality for education is a passion of mine.  I love how AR can bring learning to life and open the doors to endless possibilities.  I am excited to announce we now have a Twitter Chat dedicated to augmented reality for learning. #AR4Learning

The chat will take place every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month so bi-weekly at 8 p.m. central time.  You can also use the hashtag between chats to share what you are doing with AR in your classroom as well as asking questions.  I have a few friends that are helping me out with the chat and watching the hashtag, so please post often.

On July 23rd we hosted our very 1st #AR4Learning Twitter Chat.  Now when you start something new you never really know if others will catch on and join you.  I've been using this particular hashtag for almost a year.  If you go back through the hashtag history you will notice it is normally me posting to it.  I was so nervous starting this chat.  My biggest fear was that I start this chat and I am the only one on and participating.  I decided to go for it anyway, if I am the only one talking oh well I am use to talking to myself anyway.  When your a mom to teenage boys you at least feel like your talking to yourself a lot.

I have to say the chat was a success.  We had people from all over joining in asking questions and participating.  I was on cloud nine when the chat was over, which for me it really wasn't over.  I had so many people sending messages, asking questions, wanting information and etc... I ended up staying online talking with people in private message, Twitter, and etc... until midnight.  I love to connect, learn, and share so if you send me messages I will do my best to answer them as quickly as possible.

If you want to stay up to-date with our Twitter Chat, Google Hangouts, resources, and so much more feel free to join our Google+ Group Augmented Reality for Education.  In the group you can find our next events being a chat or a hangout.  There are tons of resources as well as the archived chats and hangouts.  I even have a Remind class you can sign-up and be reminded on when the chats and hangouts are.

My goal is to help others get connected, learn, and to share.  My dream goal is to get #AR4Learning trending in the world of Twitter.

I also wanted to give a BIG THANK YOU to those who helped out with the chat and helping make it successful! Without your help and support this wouldn't be possible so Thank YOU!


Touching a Life ....

Touching a Life  ....

You really never know who you reach when you are writing blog posts.  Yesterday I released my #SemicolonEDU story, in minutes I was receiving messages.  Most of the messages where thank you for sharing but several were are you the same Katie Ann that had another blog called Tech Tips by Katie Ann? My jaw literally dropped especially after I received several messages in the same regard and asking what happened.

The answer is yes I am the same Katie Ann that wrote that blog.  I had started that blog in 2008 to share ed-tech tips and tricks with some fellow teachers.  I was having health issues later in 2010 and started to pull away from people.  When you start going down that dark path you start to listen to the negative people around you, and that is exactly what I did.  I had several people that I saw face to face tell me over and over that there was no reason for me to write a blog, that no one would ever ready it, and I wasn't making any difference.  I needed to be in the real world.  So I listened to them and I totally cut myself off from everyone.

Who was I to think I could make a difference?  Who was I to think anyone would ever listen to me?  Those questions just kept flowing through my mind the deeper I went down that rabbit hole.  So I deleted my blog, stopped sharing, and just stopped trying.  It wasn't until my sons came to me almost 2 years later, sat me down and started to use my own words against me.  I had taught both of them in my classroom and they have seen me teach other teachers, so they knew me as both a teacher and their mom.  When they looked at me and told me that I needed to find my passion and to follow it even if others don't like it, I just need to do it.  There are billions of people in this world and there will be a few that just don't care for you and that is OK.  There are tens time that many people that think you are amazing.  It is OK to be different.  It is OK to go against what is popular.  You need to do what is right for you not what is right for them.  Follow your dream and just be you.  It will be hard, but you can do it.

I don't think I ever cried as hard as I did that day, which I did in private.  I looked at them and all I could say was did you just used my words against me.  Their response was maybe, we heard it from somewhere and thought the person who said it was pretty smart.  Both of my sons helped me come up with a name for my new blog.  They heard people call me the Techie Chick most of their lives so they thought that should be my nickname.  So the Diary of the Techie Chick was born.

In Kansas there are very few conferences to attend so my husband encouraged me to look outside of Kansas, so I did.  I started submitting presentations proposals at ed-tech conference I could find and load and be hold they were being accepted. Which then came the big issue, the cost to travel to these conferences. When you are just a teacher in Kansas or anywhere you really don't get paid a lot and schools really do not have the funds to send you money becomes an issue.  My husband decided that I needed to go, I needed to present, I needed to follow my passion so he sent me.  He calls it an investment into our future. When I am working with teachers he tells me I just light up and I become me.

Now when those question start to pop in my head who am I to think I can make a difference, who listens to me.  I look at my kids and remind myself I've already made a difference and have already touched their lives. I see it in their eyes, feel it in their love, that someone truly listens to me and I do make a difference each and everyday.  My blog, my presentations, and my sharing is spill over from showing my kids that following your passion no matter if it isn't popular is what you need to do.  Doing what is right for you may not be what is right for someone else, they may say negative things, and they put you down.  But it is OK to be you and to follow your passion.  Where there is a negative person trying to put you down there are a dozen others that think you are amazing and I am one of them.

On my NotAtISTE badge I added a ribbon that says "Follow Me I am Lost Too". Which I added as an inside joke and which actually happened in Atalanta. People were following me in hopes I could lead them to a session or two.  Who knew while I was lost I would find my own path.  I encourage you no matter what your passion is follow it.  Make your own path and find your own way.  Even if there is someone negative in your life don't listen to the negative, because when there is one person that is negative there are a dozen others that think you are amazing.  I am one of those that think you are amazing!

My #SemicolonEDU Story....

My #SemicolonEDU Story....

Talking about depression and or mental health is a BIG taboo.  It is just something we just don't talk about.  In the field of education you really don't talk about it at all.  People want to believe that teachers are these happy go lucky people who entertain, educate, and keep the little people happy.  Teachers have it all! They only work 180 days out of the year, have their weekends, and holidays off. They get to see happy little faces, so why would they ever go through depression.

Almost 4 years ago I went through the roughest part of my life.  I was having trouble breathing, constant migraines, and bouts of dizziness.  I would keep all the lights off in my office or classroom since I was so sensitive to lights.  I wore earplugs to dampen the noise, and when you are in an elementary building there is a lot of noise.  I would avoid any stairs, afraid I would pass out while trying to climb them.  There would be days my blood pressure would rocket really high then drop pretty low.  I felt like I was ran over by an 18 wheeler who decided that the job wasn't done and back over me just to run over my again.  It took the doctors almost a month to figure out what was wrong with me and when they did I had no time to think or to really plan.  I did talk them into giving me a week to get my classroom prepared for me to be gone.  I had to explain to them why I couldn't just leave my classroom.  I had to find a sub, make a plan, provide lessons, resources, and activities for all the classes I teach.  I was more worried about leaving my classroom for any period of time than my family.  When I stop and think about now, I can't believe I was so worried about my classroom.  My classes would have went on without me just fine and they did.  I should have focused more on myself and my family.  It took me awhile to learn that lesson.

On Sept. 30th at 5 in the morning I was taken into the OR to have my aortic valve and aorta replaced.  I was born with a defective valve which over the 30+ years just couldn't function properly any more and had caused my aorta to balloon out.  I had an aneurysm that had formed and was ready to rupture at any moment.  Up until that moment when they were taking me back to the OR I realized I needed my family beside me before I went.  It hit me like a rock that this may be the last time I get to see them and up until that moment I had worried about my classroom not my family.  I cried all the way back to the OR, the nurses where crying and so was my husband.  I didn't get to see my kids before I left and I was devastated.

The surgery took longer than expected.  The doctors really didn't know the severity of the damage until they opened me up.  The plan was to only remove the part of the aorta that was damaged and the new mechanical valve would already be attached to the root of the aorta.  The damage was to severe and they had to completely replace the aorta.  While I was in recovery I wasn't making it and was taken into the OR one more time.  I can't imagine what my family were going through when they received the news I was taken back into the OR.  During the original surgery some of my arteries were damaged so I received a double bypass.

I woke up three days later in so much pain and being told I was so lucky.  I didn't feel lucky at all.  It hurt to breath, to move, to sit, or to lay.  It just hurt and I didn't want to cry because that made it hurt worse.  I spent a week in the hospital all by myself.  No one came to visit me other my husband and he would bring one kid with him at time.  I think it was more for him to have company on the ride.  Depression had sit in and I felt so alone and I was in so much pain.  I was mad at myself for worrying about my classroom when I should have been worrying about my family.  There were days I had wished that I didn't make it.  I hated feeling the way I did.  I hated that I worried about something I had no control over.  I hated I didn't think of my family first.

The next 3 months were even harder.  I was home all a lone, I only had a few visitors during that time, so I felt a lone yet again. When the kids came home from school I didn't want them to see me all in pieces either. I felt so broken it wasn't funny.  I wasn't myself and that scared me even more.  I pulled away from everyone.  It took me two years to come out of that depression.  During that time I got really good at hiding how I felt. I didn't want my students or family to see me broken and hurting.  I had to learn to meditate, to find my inner calm, and to let go.  Letting go and accepting help was the hardest thing for me to learn.  When you are a mom, a wife, and a teacher you are the one who is caring, helping, and giving.  It is hard to not be able to do those things.  I think that is why teachers find it so hard to talk about depression or asking for help.

I was lucky that I didn't go too far down the rabbit hole that I couldn't get out.  There are many that are not that lucky and they can't find away out.  I've learned my story isn't over because I am not done writing it.  I can't get a tattoo since I am on blood thinners and I have to take massive doses of antibiotics when I get my teeth cleaned so I've placed a temporary semicolon next to one of my scars.  When the doctors pulled the veins for the bypass they damaged a bundle of nerves, so this scar is a constant reminder even though I go through pain daily my family needs me more.  With their help, love, and support I was able to fill in the rabbit hole.  They are my inspiration to continue each and everyday as well as my support to share with others. Hand in hand we take this journey together, one step at a time.      



Pre-made augmented triggers can take learning deeper. We are going to go a little beyond skimming the surface with some already made augmented triggers. For step 3 of the series we will be looking into how pre-made triggers that are connected to an animated lesson, a 3D model, a video, or a 360° environment can take the learning experience to the next level.

Making an Interactive Notebook, Binder, or Journal:

I know several teachers that like for students to take notes, write in a journal, or keep a running binder of resources. Why not add an enhancement to the student's journal, notebook, or binder and reinforce a concept, topic, or enhance the learning with an augmented trigger. Someone else has already done the work of creating the augmented trigger all you have to do is match it the topic, concept, or lesson. That someone being the team of Aug That. They have tons of animated lessons from 1st grade through 8th grade on both English/Language Arts and Math, which by the way they have aligned to the common core standards. They also have massive library of 3 dimensional objects and 360° environments.

Studying space and different rockets why not put a augmented trigger of the rockets you are studying in your students' notebook. When they scan the trigger the 3 dimensional rocket pops out of their notebook where they can spin it around and zoom in on the rocket for a better look. You can't really get that experience just looking at a picture.

You have a few students having trouble with retailing a story. On their journal page adhere an augmented trigger that is tied an animated lesson that reinforces how to retail a story. A student needing a little help with developing a supporting topic, print out the already made augmented trigger and have the student attach it to his or her notes, journal, or added it to the resource binder. What if a student was gone and missed how you explained how to added and subtract decimals. Stick an augmented trigger on the assignment or, in the notebook, or send home a flashcard with the trigger on it.

Studying different historical sights such as the pyramids in Egypt. Why not have the students add an augmented trigger to their notes. When they scan it a 3D model of the pyramids pops out. Want to take them to see a volcano, summit for a mount range, or an ocean reef? Add an augmented 360° trigger to your students' writing, notes, or resources. When they scan the trigger it will transform your classroom into that environment.

Example of an Interactive Math Notebook:

I've been working on a 7th grade Interactive Math Notebook for a teacher friend. This notebook is basically a spiral notebook kids are writing notes, adding foldables, and other resources that pertain to 7th grade math. The teacher gave me the notes the kids are writing along with foldables she has created. My job was to go through Aug That's library and match up the math concept with the already created augmented triggers such as adding and subtracting decimals, fractions, and etc...

Once I found the augmented trigger that went with a certain math concept I copied and pasted the trigger image on to the foldable. If there was not a foldable just notes I then created a sheet full of that the trigger I wanted to use. The kids then cut and pasted the trigger next to their notes. Below is the link to one of the math foldables I added a pre-made augmented trigger to.

The Challenge:

You will have to contact Aug That's support team for this challenge. Ask them to show you an augmented animated lesson, 3D object and a 360° environment. Let them know what grade level and subjects you are working with. Don't forget to let them know I sent you.

Once you have tried all three different pre-made triggers I want to share your experience. You can choose how you want to share it. For example you could write a blog post, Tweet out your experience, share it with a friend, or even join my Augmented Reality for Education Group and let us know about your experience. Remember when sharing via social media use the hashtag #TechieEdu.


Podstock STEAMpunk Edition ........

Podstock STEAMpunk Edition ........

What is Podstock? Podstock is a small edtech conference located in the heart of Kansas.  A bunch of educators get together in the middle of July to connect, learn, and share.

This is one of my favorite conferences to attend and present at.  Everyone is so energized, excited, helpful, and caring.  Every year I walk away with my head spinning with all of the tools, tricks, tips, and ideas.  This year the tradition continues.  There are so many sessions I want to sit and can thanks to some amazing friends sharing via social media using the hashtag #podstock15.

Some Tools So Far:

Lets change how we view hands-on, problem-base, project-base, STEAM, STEM, and lets learn by creating!  Dream, Design, Build...Repeat!

AugThat's Ambassador Program....

AugThat's Ambassador Program....

I am really excited to announce that AugThat has launched an ambassador program and I get to help run it.  I love sharing and helping other educators learn and use Augmented Reality in the classroom.

Augthat Ambassadors program is a community of K-12 educators leading the industry in ed-tech. These educators are supporting, empowering, and inspiring teachers inside and outside of Augthat! They will be spreading the Augthat philosophy and immersion of augmented reality throughout their networks and partner with the Augthat team to help other educators become power users of ed-tech.

Some Expectations:
All Ambassadors are able and encouraged to:

  • Be present in the Augthat community and large teacher groups to answer questions, provide tips to new users, and share ideas for using ed-tech and and Augthat. 
  • Become a Certified Trainer and provide formal Augthat! Professional Development
  • Get early access to new features and share feedback directly with the Augthat Team
  • Flag any technical issues you come across so our engineers can investigate
  • Drive the conversation about ed-tech and Augthat through social media
Participate in the Augthat Ambassador Professional Learning Community to share learning with fellow Ambassadors and stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in Augthat and ed-tech.  Does this sound like you?  If so please apply to become an AugThat Ambassador.  Click here to fill out the application.

For more information about the program please click here.

Exciting NEWS:

All Ambassadors will have their very own button within the app to access the Augmented Content they have created.  For example if teachers have any of my triggers once in the app all they have to do is click on my name and scan away.  The AugThat Ambassadors will be like featured Augmented Content Creators.  The AR Rock Stars!  What is even more exciting Ambassadors will have early access to new AugThat's content, lessons, activities, and curriculum.  I have to tell you that there is some amazing stuff being developed, that I can't wait to try out.  You thought the 360 ° environments were mind blowing just wait.

Eye Catching News = Augmented News Report

Eye Catching News = Augmented News Report

I am so excited to announce the release of Eye Catching News. This project takes current events and brings it to life. With a help of a talented friend at AugThat we developed 2 unique triggers, one for World News and one for National News. When you scan these triggers using the AugThat's STAR app (Supreme Tutoring Augmented Reality) you will receive an animated news report. What is the unique part is the stories will change about every two weeks or so. The triggers will stay the same but the news stories will automatically change.

Not only did we design these triggers but we also have developed lessons and or activities to go along with the news stories. Best of all the stories can be used at all grade levels. You can download a lesson and or activity that best fits your needs. There are some lessons/activities designed for younger students, older students, and along with question starters. Being a technology teacher and knowing how important it is to have tech integration I've also included Tech Integration ideas and tools. I broke down the tech integration into apps and web based tools since not everyone has iPad/tablets and or computers/netbooks/Chromebooks.


  • Start an interactive notebook and attach the two triggers to the cover or inside the spiral notebook, 3 tab folder, or a 3 ring binder.
  • Use the writing prompts to start a journal and or blog.
  • Have students write/create digitally and submit their work via an LMS such as Edmodo.
  • Post Question starters in an LMS such as Edmodo to create an online decision.
  • Mix and match the pre-made lessons. (Don't use the same one for each story.)
  • Can be used as a center - self guided.

Using the Triggers:

  1. Download the STAR app from AugThat (Supreme Tutoring Augmented Reality)
  2. Launch the App
  3. Tap Start Lesson
  4. Tap Current Events
  5. Scan the Triggers

The Activities:

Other Activities & Triggers:

I already of requests for a Science, Math, and a Person in History augmented lessons similar to the Current Events.  So keep your eyes peeled I am sure I can work something out.

#NotAtISTE15 Reflection ....

#NotAtISTE15 Reflection ....

I wasn't able to attend ISTE this year, which was a little disappointing.  I did get over it quickly after I joined the #NotAtISTE15 group.  I was able to follow lots of the conversations that were going on at ISTE from home.  I was even able to participate in not one #NotAtISTE15 Ignite session but three of them.  I really enjoy sharing so I was ecstatic when I was able to share.  I even was able to have my own badge that I just had to augment.  My edtech friends did let me know that they would be very disappointed in me if I had not put an augmented twist to my #NotAtISTE15 badge.  If you scan it with the Daqri app you will receive the augmented experience.

I really like the Personalize Your Chromebook Experience with Extensions, Tips and Tricks by Molly Schroeder.  The Voices from ISTE 2015 with Rory Newcomb on Gamification and Avatars was also very useful. Avatars can be a very powerful tool in the classroom in building self-esteem. Even if you can't be at ISTE you can always count on Jeff Bradbury to broadcast live from ISTE Blogger's Cafe.

If you are on social media you can review the hashtags #ISTE2015 and #NotAtISTE15 to find tons of resources.  Including the 3 #NotAtISTE15 Ignite sessions I recorded.

Resource posted by Kasey Bell - @ShakeUpLearning 
Not only do you find amazing resources from following the hastags but you will meet some amazing, passionate educators who love to share. Such as Matt Mill @DitchThatTxtbk, Craig Yen ‏@craigyen, Joy Kirr ‏@JoyKirr, and Todd Beard @TeacherBeard.  If you can't attend a conference find out what the hashtag is and follow along online.  You will receive mounds of resources, information, and meet some amazing people along the way.  Until the next conference, un-conference, or workshop let's Connect, Learn, and Share!

My Ignite Sessions:


Seeing the Universe via an Augmented Reality ....

Seeing the Universe via an Augmented Reality ....

On Tuesday June 30th, 2015 in the nights sky you might have noticed the double star.  Well it wasn't a double star it was Jupiter and Venus lining up.  To the naked eye it appeared that the two planets lined up perfectly to form a double star.  In reality the two planets were millions of miles apart and their close encounter is called a conjunction.  This conjunction will be one of the brightest stars in the constellation of the Lion, the star Regulus.  Using two different star watching apps I was able to capture this amazing dance in the sky.

I used the Star Walk app which game me information about the two planets. The SkyView app allowed me to overlay the augmented content and see the Lion.  I enjoyed seeing the planets alignment and the visual of the lion.

The view using SkyView app.

The view using the Star Walk app.

Augmented reality brings learning to a whole new level.  There are several different star watching augmented reality apps.  Some do cost such as the Star Walk one while others are free such as the SkyView app.  You can use them interchangeable.