Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween and thank you for the amazing support! Keep making a difference in the lives of your student each day! #StayConnected
-  The Two Guys

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Two Guys Show #10: Ginger Lewman

Organize Life with Personalized Planners by @ErinCondren and GIVEAWAY

My personalized Lesson Planner by +Erin Condren
It is very clear to everyone to knows me that I love technology! I am a gadget nerd who is constantly researching the latest and greatest. Technology has helped many organize calendars and events but I am not one of those people. In the past I loved having an analog planner to keep track of everything going on in my hectic life! I have always have had a much easier time organizing my thoughts, events, and lesson plans when I write it down. I have not found a planner that does it all...that was until now! The Teacher Planner by Erin Condren Designs is an all in one lesson and life organizer! You get to select from 27 different designs of The Teacher Planner and add your personal touch! I found many of the designs geared toward women until I discovered Erin Condren's Men's Collection. My planner has many great features to help me plan including:
  • Important Dates and Holidays to Remember
  • Absent Log
  • Year at a Glance
    • Great for long term planning
  • Monthly Tabs
  • Large Weekly Lesson Plan Section
  • Checklists
  • Notes Section
  • Various Labeled Stickers for Important Dates
  • Folder
  • Zip lock Pouch with Personalized Labels
  • Personalized Notebook
  • Graph Pages 
    • Great for seating charts, groups, or logging assessments
Personalized notebook attached to the back cover of my planner!

Erin Condren Designs has the best lesson planners available because of it's quality materials, various options, and ability to personalize. This planner will truly make my life easier to organize so make sure to enter our giveaway below so YOU can win a $75 gift card to personalize your own planner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Join the #ARevolution Post #3: Augmented Reality Apps in Education

Welcome back to another post in our series about Augmented Reality!  This week’s post is going to focus on some of the great apps that we have found that can be utilized in your classroom immediately to enhance your student’s learning experience!  And please if we miss any Augmented Reality apps that you love, let us know in the comments!


DAQRI is the world’s leading augmented reality developer, providing custom software and creative solutions to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. ( Daqri is using their 4D technology to create educational experiences that allows students to learn like never before. One example is their free app Anatomy 4D, which allows students to explore how each system in human body works together. 

Another example of Daqri’s 4D technology is shown in their recently funded Kickstarter campaign Elements 4D. Elements 4D lets you interact with elements of the periodic table using beautifully crafted cubes. This application will allow students to view various modes to deepen learning.


Aurasma, is a free open source product that allows users to engage in and create augmented reality experiences of their own.  Educators, and more importantly students, can use this tool to enhance their learning experience and essentially bring their learning to life. Many educators have collaborated to create this list of meaningful ways to use Aurasma in education. 

ColAR Mix

FREE App (upgraded version cost $1.99)

ColAR Mix is one of those apps that we show everywhere we go.  It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s exciting, and more importantly it doesn’t cost a ton of money!!  What ColAr Mix does is allow you to print a coloring page off their website (there are now 12 different pages).  You then color the page, open your ColAR Mix app (on your iOS or Android device) and watch your coloring pages come to life right in front of you!  It’s pretty incredible!  Now we will tell you, you only get 4 coloring pages for free with the free app.  But if you pay the $1.99 upgrade you can have access to ALL of the coloring pages, even coloring pages they’ll be coming out with in the future!  We promise you, after you see one page come to life, you’ll be paying the upgrade fee to watch the others!

AR Flashcards

FREE app

AR Flashcards is a FREE educational app primarily designed for your little ones (Pre-K, Kinder and 1st).  You can download the app free from an App store, then you’ll need to go to the AR Flashcards website and print out the cards. (Word of Advice: The cards must be printed out in color and we advise not to laminate them because the laminating paper causes a glare which sometimes doesn’t allow the cards to work).

After printing out the cards you can scan them with the app and watch them jump to life!  You’ll get the entire alphabet (as well as a few dinosaurs) and when the kids scan the card, the animal pops up on the screen, and if the child taps the animal the animal will speak it’s name and letter it represents.  A totally fun and inventive way to get kids to learn their letter and sounds.

AR Flashcards: Space

AR Flashcards Space is designed by the same company who designed AR Flashcards.  The entire premise behind AR Space is pretty self-explanatory, but you can scan cards that you print out from their website and scan them and watch the planets come to life.  When children tap on the planets they’ll hear the name of that planet along with a few interesting facts.

NASA 3D Spacecraft

NASA 3D Spacecraft is an interactive augmented reality app that allows for students to use 1 trigger image or marker to explore an abundance of spacecrafts! The benefit to have only 1 trigger image is multiple students can interact with a different spacecraft at the same time. This app give students an amazing opportunity to explore how NASA learns about the Solar System. 

TRACLabs Atlas AR by FuelFX

TRACLabs Atlas by FuelFX  brings a robot to life giving students the ability to “program” its arms and legs in a series of steps, then playing the steps in quick succession. Here is the iOS link and Android. Terri Eichholz has an amazing post about using this app in her classroom.
Fetch! Lunch Rush! by PBS Kids

This fun app uses augmented reality to engage students in solving addition and subtraction problems. Each math problem is timed challenging the students to increase their quick recall of addition and subtraction facts. This is an iPhone app but still works well on the iPad. Our students loved this game and can be used from 1 student - 4 students. 

Planets! (Coming Very Soon!)

Planets! will allow students a learning experience like never before. It creates a new and engaging way to explore our Solar System. This mind blowing app brings a new depth to learning with cut away views of each planet including detailed information of each layer. 

Now you may be reading some of these and thinking “wow those are some pretty amazing tools, but how can I actually use these in my classroom in meaningful ways?”  Well that’s what we’re writing about next week!  Our post next week will be all about using Augmented Reality in Education!  Stay tuned, and in the meantime go out and play with some of the tools above, and don’t be alarmed if you start to feel like a giddy little kid again! 

**This post was co-written with Todd Nesloney. Follow him on Twitter @TechNinjaTodd and visit his site at

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Two Guys Show #9: Game Changing Apps


Welcome to episode #9 of  The Two Guys Show! This episode will focus on "Game Changing Apps" for student engagement, teacher productivity, and augmented reality. We will show and discuss  how we are using these apps to change the culture and engagement in our classroom and our school. This episode will benefit all grade levels and administrators. This is happening now! Come see how you can change the game!  Learn. Teach. Lead. Changing the Game!

Use technology to increase parent involvement and interaction.
Create engaging activities with the use of augmented reality.
Provide engaging activities for students to learn how to code.
Help teachers create digital portfolios for themselves and the students in their class.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Join the #ARevolution Post #2: Why use Augmented Reality?

Planets! Coming Very Soon!

Augmented reality(AR) is a tool we believe is very powerful and a game changer, but we often field the question: 
Why use augmented reality?

During this post we hope to answer this important question, as well as inspire you to start using augmented reality in your classroom, school, community, and more! 

Elements 4D from Daqri

Augmented reality promotes an active environment for students to engage in a magical learning experience. It use to be unthinkable to interact with elements like Mercury, explore the solar system, or control a NASA spacecraft without ever leaving the four walls of your classroom. Augmented reality brings this unthinkable idea to reality!

NASA 3D Spacecraft
“I think that it allows for connections and understandings that cannot otherwise be made.  This is a type of communication that can bring students and their parents closer together, as well as teachers, students, and their families.  When in a setting that does not allow for an actual experience, it can offer the next best thing - such as exploring space or meeting animals and people who live on the other side of the world.  It enhances learning and relationships.” says Terri Eichholz, an elementary gifted and talented teacher and educational blogger.

Mike Willard, a Kindergarten teacher at Highlander Charter School says, 

“As a beginner in AR, the hook is amazing. My students are super engaged whenever we use AR apps or try a new AR project. 

As I mentioned before, I think there is use as a formative assessment tool. If enough auras and/or projects are created, the growth seen throughout the year will be pretty incredible to witness. ”

As Mike stated, students are engaged in their learning, creating a deeper understanding of the content being explored. Research has also shown that when you have an emotional experience, you are much more likely to recall information rather than just the typical rote memorization.  

Aurasma, is one example of an open source augmented reality app, that allows students to create personalized AR content and share it with the world. 

Rocio Watkins, a middle school ESL and religion teacher at Western Christian Schools, thinks that creation is the most important reason to use AR saying, “Creativity, something which is almost a dying discipline nowadays, is the most important value of AR.  Autonomy comes second, as the child has the freedom to create anything that pertains to the objective of the lesson.  The novelty of it leads to intrinsic motivation, as the students desire to complete the assignment out of enjoyment.  And lastly, it is fun (and I personally love it).” 

As teachers we are often looking for ways to entice our students and build a love of learning and seeking knowledge.  With AR, it is much easier to create an experience that is unique and special.  Augmented Reality really does open up a world of possibilities and ways to build excitement within your classroom.  

In the next two posts we plan on covering some of the different tools that are available for you to use NOW to start experiencing and creating your own Augmented Reality adventures, as well as ideas on how you can really utilize AR effectively in your classroom.

Want your quote to be featured? Fill out the AR Survey

**This post was co-written with Todd Nesloney. You can follow him on Twitter @TechNinjaTodd and view his website here.**

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Two Guys Show #8: Adam Bellow UPDATED!

We had the pleasure of talking with Adam Bellow during the Two Guys Show the other night for episode #8.  This episode is filled with laughs and great information about how Adam is out to change the world. 

During the show, Adam gave us a great history and overview of eduClipper and how educators can use it in their classroom. EduClipper can be a great tool to build digital clipboards and create presentations. Adam also gave the world premier of the eduClipper iPad app that will be out late November, early December. We were very excited and honored to have Adam on the Two Guys Show, and show a sneak peek of the eduClipper App.

Hear us three talk about gadgets, the upcoming Apple event, and the latest in technology! We also discuss our thoughts on the common core standards.

Have a laugh with us as we talk with Adam about how the three of us met for the first time last year at the MACUL Conference in Detroit, Michigan. Adam also recounts discusses our time together at ISTE in San Antonio last summer.

Enjoy the show and be sure to check out eduClipper and follow Adam Bellow on Twitter @adambellow.

Next week our show will be on "Game Changing Apps!" so dont miss us next Tuesday at 9pm EST! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Join the #ARevolution Post #1: What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality is something that has really taken off in the educational world as of late.  There have been many who have tried to define exactly what Augmented Reality (AR) is.  Is it just a fancy QR code?  Can it really transform your student’s learning?  What in the heck is AR?  Our hope with this week’s article is to really give you a clear view of what exactly the term Augmented Reality means. 
PBS Kids: Fetch! Lunch Rush app
Augmented Reality is defined in the dictionary as: “an enhanced image or environment as viewed on a screen or other display, produced by overlaying computer-generated images, sounds, or other data on a real-world environment.” (

There are two ways I like to describe the magical experience of augmented reality to someone new. Picture yourself walking through the halls of Hogwarts. The pictures hanging on the walls of Hogwarts are not your normal, static pictures but are alive and interactive with the students. Another example to think about it The Night at the Museum. During the day the exhibits are your normal exhibits, but at night they come to life. This is the power augmented reality brings to education. It brings the learning experience to life! 

Recently, we sent out a survey asking other educators to define the term “Augmented Reality” and what exactly it means to them.  Here are a few of the responses we received:

“Augmented Reality gives "life" to student work. It takes ordinary to extraordinary and super to super-sensational as student effort becomes a marvel!” - Diane Peterson (@dpe40317)

“I see AR as adding digital layers to the real world in order to connect information, thoughts and feelings across time.” Stephen Lethbridge (@stephen_tpk)

“Technology that allows you to have experiences that you cannot normally have”  Terri Eichholz (@terrieichholz)

“Augemented reality provides experiential learning that is layAR-ed into-or on top of and when scanned like magic brings the image being scanned to life!”  JoAnn Delaney (@JdelaneyJoAnn)

We see Augmented Reality as a game-changing tool and the future of educational technology.  It takes the world that’s right in front of us and enhances it.  It can be something as simple as scanning a paper and having an instructional video pop up all the way to scanning a photo and completely interacting with the 3D world that has appeared!  

ZooAR app at San Antonio Zoo
We’ve seen augmented reality used in many different settings from the supermarket, zoos, museums, schools and even NASA!  Corporate America is also embracing the idea behind AR and the engaging experience it brings customers.

Some have called AR, just a fancy QR code, but we see it as so much more. We like to call it a QR code on steroids because it is much more powerful! Unlike a QR code, AR does not require a URL to function. You can make it an augmented reality experience engaging with interactive click throughs to make phone calls, text messages, to write an email, add events to calendars, and much more. 

Well where does this leave us with Education?  How can this new and innovative tool be used in the educational world?  Tune in next week as we discuss “Why use AR in Education?”

Want your quote to be featured? Fill out the AR Survey

The Two Guys Show #7: Walter Duncan


We were thrilled to have Walter Duncan join us on the Two Guys Show for episode #7.  Walter is the creator and mastermind behind Quick Key, the short cycle formative assessment app that puts the power of information into teachers hands!  

Walter gave us a live demo and showed how easy Quick Key is to use in the classroom.  After the demo, Walter showed us how the app displays and stores the data.  It is an amazing tool that educators can use in the classroom to quickly get feedback in a meaningful way.  Please check out the Quick Key app at

You can follow Walter on Twitter @4_teachers

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Explain3D: 3D Interactive Simulations

3D simulations available 
Imagine a situation where you are trying to describe how something functions, but are having trouble finding the correct words. For example, how a manual transmission works, “Rotating gears... , shifting gear........and how the car moves forward.” Explain3D is developing a simple and easy solution for this challenge: 3D interactive simulations. 

Explain3D is a system of educational simulations, that help people understand how things work. Explain3D was recently launched at the beginning of September 2013 and there are currently 8 simulations available. The goal of the Explain3D team is to create an interactive educational tool. Explain3D is using principles of game based learning and interactive education in 3D environment.
Functionality The simulations are online at and access to the system is free for all users. The simulations have a variety of functions, like rotation of selected simulation or you can get more information after clicking on objects. Some simulations have advanced functions, and become more interactive like the manual transmission where you can shift gears.

Jet Engine Simulation

Technical requirements There are no special technical requirements. If you have internet connection and web browser, you can start using these educational simulations. The only thing you need to do, is to install Unity web player (currently available for Windows and MAC OS X). Installation is fast and simple, it's similar to flash player when you want to play online videos.
Suggest a simulation Didn't find simulation you needed? No problem! You can simply send a description of simulation you need and send it to Explain3D. Just hit “suggest simulation” from “simulations” menu ( . The creators of explain3D will contact you, when the simulation is ready and online.
Web page: 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Analog Twitter Wall to Build Relationships and Digital Citizenship

My Analog Twitter Wall before the start of school.

We live in a time where just "1 Click" can ruin someones life. Students in my 4th grade class are very aware of various social media websites and some even have accounts. Instead of acting like social media does not exist, lets teach them how to use it properly to keep them safe from others, and most importantly safe from themselves.

It was on May 2nd on this year I decided to create a professional Twitter handle to connect with educators around the world, as well as share stories from my classroom. It did not take long for me to realize how powerful Twitter can be as a way to connect and learn from others. During this past summer, I heard about many educators using Twitter in their classroom. 

I loved the idea but did not know how to start or incorporate it into my classroom. I decided to go against the digital trend and use an analog Twitter wall to encourage students to express their feelings and thoughts. 

On the first day of school, I gave each student a laminated sentence strip. Each sentence strip had a couple of magnets attached to the back to easily attach and remove from our wall. To get started, I went through the "Twitter Basics" to explain the definitions of a tweet, twitter handle, hashtag, and followers. 

Idea from

My students were very excited at the opportunity to tweet. Each student created a personal Twitter handle. I decided to make tweeting a main segment in our daily morning routine. Each morning the students enter the classroom, they follow the same routine:
1. Place homework or notes for me in a blue bucket
2. Tweet
3. Lunch Count/Attendance

After lunch count and attendance is finished, we gather for morning meeting to discuss the days schedule and share tweets.  Each tweet also allows me to learn about my students interest, exciting events outside of school, and daily emotions. This allows me to build a stronger relationship with each student and help them reach their greatest potential. 

During the first week of school we discussed appropriate tweets, comments, building a positive digital profile. I also write an analog tweet each morning to model digital citizenship. 

Creating an analog Twitter wall with my 4th grade class has helped me build positive relationships with each student, address the important topic of digital citizenship, as well as an activity to start each day that makes every student excited about school.  

Our Analog Twitter Wall
Other educators around my school have seen the excitement tweeting brings each student and have decided to join the party. It is great to have students sharing the feelings, and learning to be digital citizens at the same time!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Join the #ARevolution: A Series of Learning Posts


Augmented Reality in Education Series

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that has been around for decades but is just now filtering into the educational world. AR and its uses in education have become an extremely popular topic lately with articles on various respected educational websites.  

Todd Nesloney (@TechNinjaTodd) and I (@TechMinock) believe it is exciting to see many educators getting interested in augmented reality but think there's been a lack of articles that really showcase the power and potential learning experience that Augmented Reality brings. Todd and I will be collaborating on a series of posts to share every angle of augmented reality in education. As teachers who are actively using AR in the classroom, we believe we bring a different and needed point of view to the entire augmented reality conversation. We will seek to not only explain augmented reality, but also show how to use it, and the incredible excitement that AR can bring into your classroom and school! These series of posts will feature the following topics: 

Augmented Reality in Education Series

Timeline: Released on Sundays

Post #1: What is AR? (Oct 13th)
Post #2: Why use AR in education? (Oct 20th)
Post #3: AR apps in education (Oct 27th)
Post #4: Meaningful Ways to use AR in Edu (Nov 3rd)
Post #5: Future of AR (Nov 10th)

We plan to share our experiences with augmented reality in education, as well as experiences from educators worldwide who are using AR to create magical and engaging learning experiences. Have you already been using augmented reality in your classroom?? Fill out our survey and you could be featured in one of our upcoming posts! Join the revolution with us, the #ARevolution!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#2GuysShow #6: #YouMatter Founder Angela Maiers UPDATED

We were extremely honored to have Angela Maiers as our special guest for our  sixth episode of The Two Guys Show! Angela is an award-winning educator, speaker, consultant and professional trainer known for her work in literacy, leadership and global communications. She is the founder and Lead Consultant of Maiers Educational Services. It was inspiring to hear how Angela started the #YouMatter Movement to show the power of  letting people know: "You Matter." This feeling propels individuals to see the world in a different light and achieve amazing things. During our interview Angela also discusses her organization Choose2Matter. Choose2Matter is an organization on the quest to change lives, and change the world. Angela's energetic and passion is inspiring people around the world to make a positive difference! We were also very excited to announce we have submitted a joint proposal for the 2014 ISTE Conference with Angela, and our great friend Todd Nesloney to spread the word and message: YOU MATTER!  We are happy to announce QuickKey founder Walter Duncan will be our  guest next Tuesday night at 9pm EST so don't miss it!

Cast: Drew Minock (@TechMinock), Brad Waid  (@techbradwaid) Angela Maiers (@AngelaMaiers)