Tag Archives: professionaldevelopment

Augmented Reality Isn’t a Dream

Augmented reality (AR) is no longer just embedded in some science fiction movie.  Today’s technology is enabling the general population to experience AR as they interact in everyday situations.

Imagining how AR could be used in the classroom may still seem like a far-fetched idea.  Or maybe you’re thinking it packs a high cool factor but lacks educational value.  I’m hoping by the time you finish exploring the resources in this post, you will see the possibilities.

For now, let’s just look at some AR apps (iOS) that you could use in your classroom…

Making books come alive

The children’s book, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a touching story with many themes.  From the far-reaching impact books can have on our lives, to the ways we can inspire those around us, this book is a treasure on its own.  But, then there’s the AR app…

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.09.24 AMFor $0.99, you can purchase an app that brings the pages of the book to life.  For some interactions, you are actually immersed in the story yourself.  Words don’t do this experience justice.  Take a look for yourself.  Go now.  I’ll wait.

I try to imagine a world where our students can experience an augmented reality environment with every book they read.

Interactive math and literacy

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.10.51 AMThe AR ABC Flashcards set will bring letters (and animals) to life.  First, you have to print the ABC animal flashcards to use with the app.  Then, as you hover over each flashcard, a 3D image of the animal appears.  You can tilt and turn to view the animal from different angles, and you can touch the animal on the iPad screen to hear the letter and animal name.  Take a look:

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.13.47 AMFETCH! LUNCH RUSH is a math app that helps students practice addition and subtraction facts up to 10.  Students act as a sushi server, and they have to solve math problems by finding the correct corresponding answer card.  Teachers can post the printed cards around the room and students must go to the correct card, use the iPad to activate the card, and click the 3D image of the sushi to solve the problem.  This app is free from PBS.  Check it out:

Virtual field trips

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.11.28 AMHelp your students experience objects and places from inside your classroom walls.  For example, NASA’s spacecraft 3D app turns a printed image of a rocky landscape into a robotic explorer.  Choose from a list of interactive spacecraft.  Watch in it action:

Create your own AR

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.11.59 AMWe already live in that world where students can create their own augmented reality environments.  Tools like Aurasma (free app) are making it happen.

The possibilities are endless.  Take a look at how this app is changing how students interact with their environment and how it is helping create meaningful learning.

Aurasma education articles

Examples of using Aurasma in education – and a how-to guide

Augment Reality with a “Virtual” Routine Schedule

There are tons of videos on Aurasma’s YouTube Channel.

Want a couple more AR apps to explore?

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.12.34 AMWell, there’s the one called My Dragon Toy.




Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.13.04 AMAnd then there’s this one, colAR Mix, which is. just. plain. cool.   Print the page.  Color it.  And watch it come to life.  So amazing.



Augmented reality is changing things.
And it is going to help our students see and learn in new ways.


Exceptional Children Teachers: Discover What Your iPad Can Do!

Get the most out of your iPad! There are lots of features and settings on the iPad that you may not know about or may not have had time to explore.  Check out many of these features in the embedded document below, and see how you can maximize the functionality of this amazing tool!

Here is a sampling of iPad apps that can support the exceptional learners in your classroom.

App Icon
App Title and Link
(as of 12/2013)
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.49.01 AM Scholastic Storia
(5 free books)
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.50.54 AM Story Dice
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.51.31 AM Word Mover
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.52.10 AM Montessori Letter Sounds
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.53.34 AM Montessori Crosswords
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.54.19 AM MyScript Calculator
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.55.03 AM Little Digits – Finger Counting
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.01.22 AM Montessori Numbers – Math Activities for Kids
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.57.39 AM ClassDojo
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.58.21 AM Proloquo2Go
An expensive app!  But it is an all-inclusive communication app!
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.59.06 AM Dragon Dictation
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 7.59.40 AM SoundingBoard
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.03.54 AM SimplyNoise
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.05.03 AM Toca Hair Salon 2
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.05.46 AM Sock Puppets
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.06.16 AM Educreations
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.07.25 AM ChatterPix
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.15.46 AM Common Core Standards
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.09.24 AM IMAG-N-O-TRON: “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” Edition
(Must also have the book.)
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.10.51 AM AR Flashcards
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.11.28 AM Spacecraft 3D
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.11.59 AM Aurasma
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.12.34 AM My Dragon Toy
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.13.04 AM colAR Mix
 Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 8.13.47 AM FETCH! LUNCH RUSH

(link to Scribd document)

Donna Murray’s Resources

Other Pinterest Boards

Find some free apps

Resources for using a switch with the iPad

Direct link to these resources posted on my professional development site:  http://navigatepd.blogspot.com/2013/12/exceptional-children-teachers-discover.html 

Higher-order Thinking With Twitter

This infographic may be helpful to you as you think of ways to use Twitter in your classroom.  In addition to using this tool with older students who have Twitter accounts, there are many opportunities to teach younger students digital citizenship skills and help students understanding how this social networking tool works.

Check out more resources on how to use Twitter in your classroom from the Langwitches Blog.


Tolisano, Silvia. “Langwitches Blog.” Langwitches Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. <http://langwitches.org/blog/2012/09/19/twitter-hots-establishing-a-twitter-routine-in-the-classroom/&gt;.

iPads in Education (elementary)

Introduction to iPads in elementary classrooms. (Presented 2/20/12)

Happy New Year!

I hope you enjoyed the holidays and were able to relax with friends and family during your days off from work.

This blog is my place to share resources with educators, but I’ve always said that my personal life is inexorably linked to who I am as a professional.  So, I hope you’ll indulge me as I share some of my thoughts about 2011…

I’ve decided to choose a word for the year.  I’ve read about the “one little word” idea many times over the last few years, but this is the first time that I’ve embraced the idea for myself.

My word for 2011 is nurture.

to grow, to develop, to provide with nourishment

The idea isn’t to live and breathe the word in all I do, but instead allow it to be a companion on my journey for the next twelve months.  A little reminder of the desire I have to nourish all aspects of my life: my faith, my family, my relationships, my work, myself.

Do you have one little word for 2011?  If so, I would love for you to share with me!

I spent some of my time off helping move my mother from her home of the past 13 years into our home.  Maybe it’s the process of cleaning out and moving that has me in an organizational frame of mind.  Maybe it’s the fact that a new year invites new beginnings and fresh starts.  It’s likely a combination of the two.

Yesterday, I found myself searching for and printing many home organizational tools.  Everything from to-do lists to calendars to budget spreadsheets.  I even compared various phone apps to make grocery store visits more efficient.  (For my husband, of course.  He loves to grocery shop and cook.  I’m a lucky girl.)

Are you wanting to be more organized (at home and/or at work)?  Do you want to be more productive in 2011?

Here are a few resources and tools that you might find useful:

  • “Remember everything!” Evernote allows you to capture ideas, things you see/hear, and more! Access it from your computer or your phone, and search easily.
  • Manage your tasks using Remember the Milk
  • Set goals and share your progress with others on 43 Things
  • Google- There are so many free apps that google offers that can help you be more efficient and productive.  Here are a few of my favorites:
    • Get the latest results for a particular google search – via email! – by using Google alerts
    • Google Calendar:  My husband and I use this calendar for our family.  We can both access it through our personal gmail accounts since it is a shared calendar.
    • Google Reader– check out my blog post about google reader here
    • Google Docs:  create, upload to create a library, and share docs, spreadsheets, and presentations

Here’s to a new year!

May it be amazing.

Effective presentations: (Introduction and Part 1: Fail)

You sit in the audience.  The presenter is introduced, and the PowerPoint slideshow advances past the initial slide.

And immediately you realize that this presentation doesn’t require a presenter at all.  You have all of the information you need to know right there on the screen, on that slide filled with text.  You know the slides that follow will also be an article (a book, even!), divided up among the slides, waiting to be read aloud by the presenter.

Been there?  Done that?

Whether you’ve been part of the audience or the presenter (with good information and grand intentions, mind you), I hope you’ll find this series of posts on “effective presentations” helpful.

Have you ever heard of “death by PowerPoint?”  It’s time to use PowerPoint for effective, engaging, and purposeful presentations.

Let’s get started!

Part 1:  Fail.

Have you seen sites like FailBlog?  You’ll find pictures and videos of people (or things) that fail at what they are supposed to do.

For example:

epic fail photos - Deal FAIL

Before we start talking about what makes an effective presentation, let’s share some PowerPoint FAILS

Are you inspired by these?  Do you find these engaging?

Think about what makes these slides ineffective…
Check back soon- there’s more to come!


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