Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our Test Drive With Google Cardboard Through Amazing Virtual Reality Experiences....What A Trip!

Hagan and I ordered several pairs of Google Cardboard from Amazon a few weeks ago.  We have been hearing about them and really wanted to give them on a test drive ourselves through amazing VR (virtual reality) experiences.  
Then last week when our friend Joyce wrote My First Cardboard Experience, we really couldn't wait to try ours out too.  
We watched a little video on how to put the two Google Cardboards together that we had with us at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
There are lots of little spaces to punch out first....make sure they are all out before you start the folding.
With the tiny lenses in the holes for your eyes, the Google Cardboard came to life with each fold we made.
You will need to make sure you keep every piece within the will use one rubber band, a tiny piece of cardboard for the nose piece, the magnets, and pieces of velcro.
Before we knew it.....Our Google Cardboard was ready to go!

We just needed to download the Google Cardboard app onto my iPhone 6.  It is a free app....and one of many that can be used with Cardboard.
Hagan opened up the Google Cardboard app, slide my iPhone 6 into the top, and put it up to his eyes.
He couldn't believe the trip that his Google Cardboard took him on.
 Hagan picked Urban Hike from a small menu within the Google Cardboard app.
As he looked through the holes through the lenses, he was transported into the city streets of Venice and peering up at the Eiffel Tower a few minutes later.  He walked all over the kitchen....even reaching out to pick up various objects he felt like he could touch.
Next it was Hagan's cousin Cooper's turn.....He loved the trip he took too.
As we watched little Zoey travel places, she reached out with her hands to touch things and wandered through the streets of different places as she walked around Grandpa and Grandma's house.
And Grayce went lots of places.  
But her favorite thing about the Google Cardboard app was the kaleidoscope. 

You just have to try out Google Cardboard too!  They have created an affordable virtual reality experience that is fun and affordable for everyone. 
To start, go to the Google Cardboard website.
You can read all about Google Cardboard and find lots of places to find a viewer to order for yourself.
There are many fun designs for you to order...something for everyone and for various budgets and needs.  You can find them here.
And think about making your Google Cardboard all yours...personalizing it with various crafting and art materials and trinkets.
I love how they have also included the plans to Build Google Cardboard Yourself.  They can be downloaded right from the website and created using everyone items around the house and in a hardware store.
Once you have your Google Cardboard, there are several places to look for apps.
Hagan and I found several in the iTunes Store and within Google Play that we want to try out.  

It was definitely a wonderful afternoon and one of the best trips we took within a new this case, virtual reality.  We can't wait to hear where you go and what you experience too. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Just Look At What TackkEDU Has To Offer.....Beautiful Creations, A New Conversation & Wonderful Group of TackkEDU Advocates

One of my favorite digital tools to use is TackkEdu!  I love watching how it turns all students and teachers into content creators tying all types of media into beautiful creations.  
There are not only several reasons why Tackk works in the classroom....
Just look at all of the ways to use Tackk in the classroom.  And this is just a start.
As one gets started with Tackk, they can choose from a variety of templates within TackkEDU or start with a blank slate too. 
I created a Tackk this year to celebrate Poetry Month.  It was great fun pulling together all types of poetry materials into one place.  You can scroll through the Poetry Month Tackk above. 
With all my love for Tackk and way we can use it throughout education, I am proud of share that I can now a TackkEDU Advocate.
I am joining a group of rockstar educators who make up the TackkEDU Advocate Team.  It is a great place to go if you have questions, need to get ideas, or want to connect to lots of examples to share with your students.
There are educators in all different fields from administrators, classroom teachers, librarians, technology integration specialists and others.  You can check out the profiles and connect with us. 

I just know you will enjoy sharing and learning with all of us. 
Also, we would love to get all of your involved in a new conversation with TackkEDU.

In the TackkEDU Stream.  You can click here to go to the conversation and then read within the Tackk how to post and respond to comments yourself.
By following the conversation, you will connect to a wonderful place to stay connected throughout the summer and into the new school year.

I hope you all join us.  And start creating and empowering your students to create with Tackk too.

A Very Special Dot Day Message That Will Be Shared At ISTE Next Week

My dear friend Terry Shay shared something very special on Facebook with all of us.

It is a video that he has created to tell the story of Dot Day.....and all of the wonderful things that it has brought it has brought to our students, families, libraries, and school communities.

My friend John Schu and I created an Animoto one year after we celebrated Dot Day together. It can be seen in Terry's message too.

Thank you Terry, Peter, and Paul for creating such a beautiful way to celebrating the power of making our mark on the world.

Zoe from Chromville Teaches Our Little Ones Digital Citizenship Skills Through AR Messages

Last week I wrote about something very exciting from my friends at Chromville.....a coloring sheet just for our little ones as they are becoming amazing digital citizens.

I wrote about this in the post My Little Friend Zoe and I Created A Chromville Coloring Sheet To Share With Your Digital Citizens

Today while hanging out with Hagan, my nieces Zoey and Grayce, and my nephew Cooper, I showed them the coloring sheet and set off to have a little fun.
They had lots of fun coloring Zoe as they drew pictures and wrote words to help her be safe, nice and responsible online.
As Zoey finished, we used the Chromville app on my iPhone to scan her coloring sheet.  She was super excited to see her pop up off the paper. 
When Grayce and the boys finished coloring, we couldn't wait to see what Zoe learned from theirs too. 
 They had important messages to share.
As I was watching Zoey play with her page and the Chromville app, I saw her click on Zoe.

Zoe reached down and clicked on the mouse.....and guess what happened!  Up popped four more screens sharing important digital citizenship messages with all of them.
Each time Zoe was responsible for clicking on the mouse to go to the next screen.  They can do this as many times as they would like.
What a perfect resource to use with our students and school communities as we teach them how all of the digital citizenship skills that are essential for them to know.
I hope this is something that Grayce shares with her librarian and teachers too next fall. 

You can too....and it is easy.  
Just go to the Chromville website. You can print off this coloring sheet and the others from Chromville free from their website here

And remember to get the Chromville app too.  It is free as well. 

Have lots of fun with Zoe too. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Create A Little Father's Day Love With A Few Of Our Favorite Digital Tools

Today is the day we celebrate Father' Day.

The day we celebrate all dads, step dads (we call them bonus dads in our family), grandpas, brothers, and all of the people our lives that fill this very special role.

I happen to have the best dad in the world.  He has always been there for me and my family.....And is the best Grandpa Paul there is.  We are all so very blessed to have him as our dad, grandpa and friend.

Over the last week, I have found several places you can create something special to share with the dads in your life too.
You can create a Father's Day Game with Tynker...

Whatever you do to show your love to the men in your life, have fun celebrating and creating today. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

You Just Have To See How You Can Create, Annotate & Share Resources With appoLearning Collections

There is one website that helps me find what I am looking for when it comes to educational apps, videos and websites.  

It is called appoLearning....and I just know you will love it too. 
With appoLearning you can search thousands of expert-vetted educational apps, videos, and websites by adding them to the box and clicking on Search.  
You can Browse appoLearning when you are not quite sure what you are looking for....This can be down by Selecting Grade, Selecting Subject and Content Type.

Within this area on the appoLearning site, you can also browse content based on the Common Core Standards....
in each grade level, anchor standard, and all standards.  
As you can see, appoLearning is filled with thousands of resources just for teachers and their students and school communities.....each found and curated by expert teachers.  

Well last week our friends at appoLearning announced something very exciting....and a way for anyone to bring their own resources together in what are call appoLearning Collections.  
What is appoLearning Collections?

appoLearning Collections enable teachers to create, annotate and share lists of hand picked digital resources, including YouTube videos,iOS and Android apps, and websites, around specific subjects, topics or lessons. 

Collection creators can easily select from thousands of expert-vetted, standards-aligned resources from appoLearning search and/or add their own resources (including anything that is URL-addressable including videos, apps, websites, assessments, Dropbox links, Google Drive links, Evernote links) and upload their own files (Photos, Lesson Plans, Videos, PowerPoints, PDFs, etc.). 

Collections empower teachers to continually manage the use of great digital resources into their classroom and to share these with peers, parents, students, and administrators.
How to create Collections on appoLearning? 

Here is how one can create and view Collections on appoLearning:  
Click or tap “Create a Collection” to get started. From there, login via Facebook, Google or Twitter to get started. Once one has named, described and tagged a collection, there are three simple and fast ways to build it. 

Resources for any Collection can be pulled from the thousands of digital resources already vetted by appoLearning experts

Simply type in the search term on appoLearning, or browse by subject, grade-level, device and Common Core Standard, to find a list of vetted resources. While searching, one can also filter to show only FREE options. Simply press the “Add” button next to each resource to add to a collection. Click the “View” button to go back to the collection at any point.
Add in resources from other collections by simply pressing the “Add” button for individual selections or the “Add All” button to grab the entire collection

Digital resources that are not included in appoLearning search can also be added to a Collection. Simply paste the relevant URL - any URL, including those that point to a website, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play,  Prezi, Pinterest, Vimeo, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc., - of the selected educational resource, and it will be instantly added to the appoLearning database and included in the collection. 

Files can also be uploaded to be shared via a collection.Simply drag and drop the file - any digital file including photos, videos, lessons plans, quizzes, powerpoints, pictures, Smart Notebook software and more - and it will also be added to your appoLearning Collection. 
How to share appoLearning Collections?

Each collection has its own unique URL that can be shared via email, messaging, or any social media channel.  appoLearning includes an embed feature to include the collection on a website in addition to one-click sharing for Twitter and Facebook.  . 
How to find Collections?

All appoLearning Collections can be found via the search box at top of the Collections page or by using the tag navigation to the left of that page.  

What’s next for appoLearning? 

appoLearning Collections are free of charge.  As you begin to plan and organize your lessons for the upcoming year (after some well-deserved time off!), we encourage you to start creating and sharing your own Collections of resources to understand how easy - and addictive! - it can be. 

We are getting tremendous feedback from teachers on how to make the product even better, as well as a lot of special requests for how schools and districts can best take advantage of the platform and technology. 

If you need help getting started, contact appoLearning for a demo.

You can get started right away, or contact us for a personal demo so YOU can become that teacher everyone turns to for recommendations.