Saturday, November 30, 2013

8 Tech Tools We're Thankful For!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving we decided we would share a short list of tech tools we are thankful for. Most who have met us know we like to discuss only a few apps or tools that we know make a difference.

ThreeRing is a tech tool we use daily to communicate with our parents and make them feel like they are in our classroom without actually being there. ThreeRing give you the ability to securely share pictures, audio recordings, video, and notes. It also creates a digital portfolio for each student which is easily search able using tags. Once you share the artifact with the parents or student, they can then comment back and forth with the teacher which increases communication. 

Remind 101 is one the easiest to use, yet most productive tools available! The ability to safely text my students or parents for quick reminders or important information is priceless. We also love the ability to schedule future texts for upcoming events or deadlines. 

Download iOS App
Download Google Play App

Zite is an intelligent newspaper that allows you to personalize the content or topics you're interested in. This has allowed me to discover many great articles and blog posts to increase my knowledge on a subject. I often check Zite hourly for new articles I might be interested in and save them to my "reading list" on my Mac. 

Download for Google Play

AppsGoneFree has allowed me to discover many educational apps that usually cost money but go free for a day. Each day around noon EST, I get a push notification telling me what apps are free that day. 

Download iOS App

Anything Augmented Reality
Augmented reality(AR) has been a passion of our since we stumbled upon it earlier this year. Since then we have been determined to explore as many augmented reality programs as possible. We have seen how AR can expand and deepen learning as well as bring a magical experience to a lesson. 

Write About This is an engaging and creative writing application. It allows the user to use text and voice prompts, publish stories, create prompts, and much more. This app can create an exciting atmosphere during each writing lesson.

Download iOS App

Cargo-Bot is the first game created using an iPad app called Codea. It challenges students will various leveled puzzles while teaching them the basics of coding. The tutorials to start are a great way for students to dip their toes in the water before completely jumping it. We have see this app challenge all students no matter what learning style.


Download iPad App

Twitter has completely changed our lives! It has allowed us to become connected with like minded people, inspirational leaders, game changing educators, engaging podcasts, and edtech start ups. It has also allowed us to create and discover friendships that will last a lifetime. Becoming connected is the #1 thing we are thankful for and Twitter has allowed us to do this. 

We have listed a few of our favorite tech tools we are thankful for because they help students create a love for learning as well as help us as educators grow as learners. We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Augmented Reality: How It’s Used And What’s Next Infographic

I was lucky to recently receive an email from web designer Elli Parker from CenturyLink Deals. She is a fan of augmented reality and her team designed this augmented reality infographic. What do you think? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section or tweet us @TechMinock and @techbradwaid

Augmented Reality

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The #2GuysShow #14: Wes Fryer

We are very excited to welcome the great Wes Fryer as our guest tonight for our 14th episode on The Two Guys Show! We first met Wes last summer at ESSDACK's education revolution Podstock in Wichita, Kansas. It was great talk and learn from him throughout the conference, and then later participate in the K12 Online Conference which Wes helps organize. 

Worldwide digital learning consultant Dr. Wes Fryer

Dr. Wesley Fryer is a digital learning consultant, author, digital storyteller, educator and change agent. With respect to school change, he describes himself as a “catalyst for creative engagement and collaborative learning.” Wesley is the executive director of the nonprofit Story Chasers Inc., the lead partner in the Celebrate Oklahoma Voices, Celebrate Kansas Voices, and Celebrate Texas Voices digital storytelling projects.  His blog, “Moving at the Speed of Creativity” ( was selected as the 2006 “Best Learning Theory Blog” by eSchoolnews and Discovery Education, and is utilized regularly by thousands of educators worldwide. (Bio from

Follow Wes on Twitter @WFryer 
Visit his website HERE

Check out his blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity

We Say Thank You! Our EduBlog Award Nominations

We have to start by thanking everyone who has pushed our thinking, given us advice, and helped share our voice! The past 8 months have changed our lives forever and we owe it those in our PLN and those who have become great friends! 

It was a challenge picking nominations for the 10th Annual EduBlog Awards  but after much thought here they are:

Best Teacher Blog

Kleinspiration- Erin Klein is one of the brightest and most passionate educators I have ever met. Her innovative teaching environment and engaging style is shown in her many informational blog posts. She also shares her knowledge as a Top Teacher blogger for Scholastic. Her blog gives ideas to create deeper learning in all curricular areas so thank you Erin for sharing your knowledge and creativity! 

Best Podcast 

Edu All-Stars: This great podcast from Todd Nesloney, Chris Kessler, and Stacey Huffine, shares the stories from difference makers in all areas of education. They have had inspiring guests like Angela Maiers, Jack Andraka, Jimmy Casas, and Kevin Honeycutt. They have also had Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, EduClipper founder Adam Bellow, Teach Like a Pirate author Dave Burgess, and more! Get inspired by this game changing podcast! Thank You Edu All-Stars! 

Best Edtech Blog

Innovation in the Classroom: Don Wettrick is an energetic high school broadcasting and innovation teacher from Indianapolis, IN. Don is also a FCTV Advisor, host of the Franklin Film Festival, an International Speaker/Presenter, and Google Glass Explorer. Don has his own podcast on the BAM Network and a YouTube Channel call The Focus Show Online that focuses on connecting educators. Don uses educational technology to guide his students to become creative and innovative. With the help of educational technology, Don and his students are positively changing their community and beyond! Thank you Don for sharing your innovative ideas! 

Best Mobile App

Aurasma: Aurasma was the app that changed everything for us! It is a free app that allows students and educators to create augmented reality and bring learning to life like never before! Share your learning with the world using Aurasma! Thank You Aurasma!

Best Free Web Tool

Remind 101: Remind 101 is a game changing app that has made communication with parents free and easy! In a smart device world, people read their texts more than they read books so it is the perfect and safe way to communicate with parents and students! Thank You Remind 101!

Best New Blog

Engage Their Minds: Terri Eichholz is a gifted and talented teacher in San Antonio, Texas. Terri continues to push the envelope with her students as well as her blog posts. Each post gives me new and innovative ways to engage students in learning like never before! I wish I could be a student in Terri's class! Thank You Terri for always sharing your mind blowing ideas!

Best Librarian Blog

Van Meter Library Voice: Shannon McClintock Miller uses technology to create a learning environment of creativity and fun! She often has her students skyping with authors of their favorite books, or learning from other classrooms from around the world! Shannon shares her engaging and exciting ideas form her library at Van Meter Elementary in her blog! Thank you Shannon for sharing your passion and energy! 

Thank you everyone who shares their innovation, knowledge, creativity, and passion for educating our future! 

Teaching Sign Language with Augmented Reality

Image from

Our school, Eastover Elementary, is the host school for several DHH (Deaf and Hard of Hearing) students from neighboring cities around our county.  My classroom, as well as Mr. Waid's classroom, is located in the DHH wing of our school. Many of the students are main streamed into general education classes with a DHH teacher who attends general education classes and specials with the students to help communicate. One of our amazing DHH teachers, Heather Hoisington, has really picked up on augmented reality and started using it in exciting ways with her students. Not long ago she sent me an email with a link to Baby Sign and Learn. This website is dedicated to teaching babies some basic sign language. It was their Magic Camera App that really caught my eye because it uses our favorite tool, augmented reality. 

Magic Camera uses augmented reality with special colorful flashcards featuring cartoon babies. Download the free app and hold it up to the cards on the poster below to see them come to life! 

The great thing about these flashcards is the ability to teach people of all ages basic sign language. These basic signs are great for our students to learn to communicate with our DHH students in the hallway or in class. 
We are very lucky to have an amazing group of DHH educators, as well as a great group of students here at Eastover Elementary! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The White House Got It Right

I am currently sitting in Cleveland International Airport still trying to comprehend the events that took place the past 36 hours: 

  • White House Tour 
  • Surprise Guest Speaker President Obama 
  • 10 Game Changing Educators celebrated at the White House ConnectED Champions of Change Ceremony
  • JFK Ceremony at Arlington Cemetery
  • Memories with friends that will last a lifetime! 
I have an excited and inspired feeling knowing the White House got it right! They recognized 10 educators across the country who are changing the lives of their students in innovative ways. This feeling is very different from the disappointed and frustrating feeling I had flying home from Washington D.C. two months ago. 

The White House selected Bud HuntJennie MagieraMark CoppinHeather CoxS. Dallas DanceMisa GonzalezCarolyn FooteDaphne BradfordBrain Walsh, and our great friend Todd Nesloney as White House ConnectED Champions of Change.  The White House celebrated their story, successes, knowledge, commitment, and passion for changing the lives of each student they encounter. They took the time and focused on the people on the front lines, working hard to make a difference instead of flashing their names quickly across a screen. In place of a bad impersonation of the President mocking people, President Obama was there to speak to the Champions, shake each ones hand, and pose for photos. They allowed the Champions and their guests to tour the White House, instead of hiring a comedian to mock students and parents. 

President Obama speaking during the Champions of Change Ceremony

The 10 ConnectED Champions of Change are educating our future to become lifelong learners, and impactful citizens. It was inspiring to listen to them speak about their students in their classrooms humbly giving them all credit. I applaud the White House for getting it right when others have failed to. 

Congratulations to the educators selected as White House: ConnectED Champions of Change!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Two Guys Show #13: @Mitchlehan Media

Mitchlehan Media are the brains behind 2 engaging and educational augmented reality applications! Their apps are targeted for early elementary education and capture the students attention bringing flashcards to life! Their fun filled FREE app AR Flashcards helps students with letter recognition, and their newest app AR Flashcards: Space is just $0.99 for a 3D look at the solar system with informational audio recordings about each planet!

AR Flashcards

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Two Guys Show #12: @DonWettrick

This week we are excited to welcome Don Wettrick, a high school broadcasting and innovation Teacher from Indianapolis, IN. Don is also a FCTV Advisor, host of the Franklin Film Festival, an International Speaker/Presenter, and Google Glass Explorer. Don has his own podcast on the BAM Network and a YouTube Channel call The Focus Show Online that focuses on connecting educators. 

Check out Don's blog Innovation in the Classroom

Follow Don on Twitter @DonWettrick

Monday, November 11, 2013

AR Detroit Meet Up #3: Augmented Reality in Gaming LIVE!!

Check back around 7:15-7:20pm EST for LIVE video feed of the event!!

Gamification and augmented reality are two of the hottest topics in education lately and tonight we are bringing the two worlds together! We have an all-star line up of live demos from:

• Occipital, demoing their revolutionary 3D-scanning device, Structure Sensor!  This Kickstarter-funded device turns your iPad into a mobile 3D scanner.  Read more about it here:
• Mark Skwarek, demoing Play AR, a Kickstarter-funded AR game creation engine 
• DAQRI's Enchantium(TM) AR games  
Ingress, the world's most popular AR game from Google's Niantic Labs 
7:00-7:15 Browse Demos, Play Leap Motion Games
7:15-7:20 Introductions and Housekeeping

7:20-8:30 Demos from Occipital, DAQRI, Mrrk Skwarek; discussion of Ingress and the impact of AR gaming on industry and society
Follow AR Detroit at @ARDetroit and check us out at

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Two Guys Show #11: Brad Gustafson #2GuysShow

Welcome to episode #11 of  The Two Guys Show with our featured guest Brad Gustafson!  Brad is a principal in Wayzata, MN and is inspiring his staff to do amazing things using augmented reality.  He has recently started the World Book Talk which allows students to us the augmented reality app Aurasma to view book talks from students and adults from all over the world! He has also recently announced a new podcast he will be starting with 2 other principals, John Frizky and Tony Sinanis, called 3 Leaders Making Videos. Their podcast will debut around Thanksgiving time this year. This episode will inspire you and bring you to tears with laughter as Principal Gustafson does an "AR AMBUSH" on our very own Brad Waid. This moment in the show is priceless! Check out this episode and see how Brad is inspiring his teachers and students to reach amazing new heights!

Brad's amazing "2 Guys" Foam Finger! 
Follow Brad Gustafson on Twitter @GustafsonBrad

Principal Brad Gustafson