Monday, March 24, 2014

AR Detroit LIVE: Creating Augmented Reality

Here is a slide show of the event!

Amazing Stories and Amazing people #20toWatch Washington DC

By: Brad Waid

Tuesday night I boarded a plane for Washington DC.  I was flying out for the National School Board Association's 20 to Watch ceremony.  After landing in DC and getting a little rest, I was ready for the whirlwind of scheduled events that were to begin the next day.

First up, was the "Round Table Discussion" in the Northwest room at the Washington Hilton.  This is where the 20 of us, the organizers and the sponsors gathered to discuss what each of us were doing with technology and share our stories.  Upon arriving at the room, a few of us early birds, quickly struck it up and started making ourselves comfortable.  Matt Meyers a fellow teacher and CEO of a edtech company started taking pictures of everyone with their name card as they walked in......he did this while I wrestled with my broken chair.
Once everyone had arrived and the organizers said their welcome, TechSmith showed us the latest updates on their screen casting product. It was incredible.  Next, were the stories.  Everyone went around the room and shared their stories and it seemed like every other person called was "Brad".  It must be a good year for Brad's in Educational Technology as there were 3 of us named Brad there.  I can't share all the stories, but I did do a play-by-play on twitter  using #20towatch.  There were some amazing stories and some amazing things that are being done all around the country like; Performance Based Education, Redesigning Student Workspaces, Innovative Professional Development, PBL, Flipped, Maker Movement and more!  I was in a room with such amazing, incredible and innovative people.

Me and BH School Supt. Rob Glass
Next up was the "Recognition Ceremony" being held in the Lincoln East Room.  After our round table discussion we went downstairs to another reception room for the recognition ceremony. After everyone was settled in, the representatives from the NSBA spoke about their vision and the 20 to Watch program.  Then NSBA's own Ann Flynn started the recognition process.  One by one she called our names, read a bio about what each of us were doing and we proceed to the front to get our award and have our pictures taken.
After everyone had received their award, they did the closing and we all went up to take pictures together.
Group Photo

Now during the two days, each of us were required to schedule a time slot for our individual interview with Tom Lapping from JDL Horizons who directing interviews for the National School Board Association.  Mine was right after the Recognition Ceremony, so I was off to another room.

Me and Brian
Upon arriving at the interview room, I met Tom, who was directing the interviews and Brian Sterling who was shooting the interviews.  Tom is a great guy who is great at getting you to share your story, in a way, that will have the biggest impact on the viewer.  Brian is from England and he formerly worked for the BBC.  He and I quickly hit it off talking about Manchester United and English Football.  After sitting for the interview and coming away feeling like a celebrity it was back to the room for a few minutes and then off to dinner.

The 20 of us and our guest walked about 3 blocks from the hotel to La Tomate where we went upstairs to the loft area for our group to have dinner.  This dinner was another chance for us to chat with our fellow 20toWatchers and this is where the "Selfie" out break happened!  Ok, it may have just been me! We as a group took an "Ellen-style" selfie and I took one with most everyone there. This is the collage of "20toWatch selfies".  After a good meal, good conversation and great pics.  It was time to retire and start again in the morning.

The next morning it was time for our breakfast with The Center for Digital Education at the District Line Restaurant at the Hilton.  When I got into the room, I saw Tanya Rascorla a reporter for the Center who did a story on Drew and I at ISTE in San Antonio last year.  The Center spoke about their mission and what they were looking at for the 2014 calendar.  While we were enjoying great food, all of us spoke again about what we were doing with students and educational technology and sharing our stories with The CDE.  After breakfast, some of us were off to the airport, some were off to the CoSN conference so we all said our good byes and exchanged contact information.

After a whirlwind two days, the 20 of us were now a group that would be forever linked together....and I am truly grateful to be a part of such an amazing group of people doing amazing things.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Two Guys Show #26: Leslie Fisher


Welcome to the 26th episode of the The Two Guys Show! Tonight we welcome the amazing Leslie Fisher! Leslie is Chief Geek of Fisher Technologies Incorporated which specializes in K-12 presenting and training, Digital Photography education, capture, workflow, editing and a touch of web development. Leslie is always on the cutting edge of educational technology and is an inspiring presenter! We are very excited to have Leslie join us for this episode to discuss this week's MACUL Conference and her Augmented Reality workshop tomorrow! 

Leslie Fisher

Follow Leslie on Twitter @LeslieFisher or @lesliegolf

AR Explosion - A day using a Workshop Model with Augmented Reality

"Augmented Reality Explosion" - Using a Workshop Model and AR

Brad Waid
The other day I was talking with my class and I asked them "What Augmented Reality do we currently use in the classroom?"  In a matter of seconds my students were shouting out a ton of AR apps and the many ways we have "integrated" them into our classroom.  "We use ColAR for creative writing!" "We use Aurasma to augment our Writer's Workshop Composition Book!", "We've done book reviews with Aurasma", "We use "Fetch! Lunch Rush for Math"...and on and on.  I was amazed by my students knowledge of Augmented Reality and the ownership they had on our learning.

A day in our room
Well, I was going through my stuff and I realized I had so much more Augmented Reality things I had not even exposed my kids too and I wanted their feedback on it all.  So, I had an idea.  I was going to use a workshop model to expose my students to a lot of new AR in short amount of time and get their feedback.

Here is what I did.  I set up 4 AR "stations" that each had a new Augmented Reality interaction for them to experience.  I brought them all to the carpet and told them what I was asking from them and what our mini- lesson was for the day.  They were to have the AR experience and think about how they could "integrate" it into our curriculum in the classroom.

I have a 2:1 iPad ratio in my room, but you could modify the management based on how many devices you have in your room.  Two students share an iPad and this is how they managed it.  One student was at an AR center and was having the "experience" and when they were finished they would go back to work on their analog reflection piece and trade places.  They were given about 4-5 minutes at each station.
Robot Programming/Coding AR

Each student was given a paper that asked them to share and reflect on their experience and talk about what they liked the best and how they could integrate it into the classroom.   After the students had been to each station and recorded their feedback, we returned to the carpet where they shared their experience with a partner.  We then had a class discussion about their ideas and what they came up with.

The responses from the students were incredible.  They helped me get a clear idea on how to create the lessons and how I was going to integrate them into our curriculum.  I know had the power of AR and the desire from my students to learn and take ownership in not only their learning but in the development of the instruction as well.

This design has become somewhat common in our room and the students are very responsible for the integration, of not only AR in the room, but how we use technology in our room.  We have a small section of my dry-erase board (needs to be bigger now..haha) that we add notes too when we come up with technology or AR ideas to use in the classroom.

AR Flashcards 

Here are what we had at each station

- Space & Solar System AR App
- Robot Programming and Coding AR App
- Nasa 3D Spacecraft
- AR Flashcards

Stay tuned for more "AR integration" ideas and student driven learning

Monday, March 10, 2014

Deepen Comprehension with Fun Brain Breaks from GoNoodle!

GoNoodle is a FREE web tool that provides engaging physical activities to help students stay focused, engaged, and motivated! I introduced a few of GoNoodle's activities to my students last week and they have been begging for more ever since!  Once signing up for your FREE account, you are able to choose an entertaining and comical classroom Champ! You and your students can help your Champ grow by completing brain breaks.   
Our classroom Champ

To The Maximo
According to, stretching can help you improve your focus and mental clarity. To The Maximo does exactly this! This activity uses Maximo, an enthusiastic character, to lead the students in variety of stretches. Once Maximo has finished leading your students through several stretches, they are able to work together to solve the hidden picture. 
My students stretching with Maximo. 
Run With Us
Run With Us uses real Olympians to teach the students specific skills of various track and field events. Once the students have mastered the skills, they can complete in different competitions. This physical activity get the students moving and gets them energized! 

Airtime is a physical activity that calms the students using  different breathing exercises. As the students navigate through the exercises, a balloon travels around the United States teaching the students interesting facts about different states. An all new beautiful bubble animation to keep Airtime fresh!

GoNoodle is an amazing resource for educators worldwide! Research shows that short bursts of physical activities called "brain breaks", increases a persons ability to comprehend. According to The Zeigarnik effect, students who suspend their study, during which they do unrelated activities (such as studying unrelated subjects or playing games), will remember material better than students who complete study sessions without a break (Zeigarnik, 1927; McKinney 1935).(….html)

Take a break and click HERE to sign up for a FREE GoNoodle account to inspire your students to be healthy while strengthening the ability to comprehend! 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Two Guys Show #25: Authors' Panel

Welcome to the 25th episode of The Two Guys Show on the EdReach Network! We are very excited to welcome special guest authors Jena Ball, and Starr Sackstein
image of Jen from
Jena Ball is a writer, illustrator and educator who believes that fostering emotional intelligence in children is as important as teaching reading, writing and math. She began her career in Japan where she penned everything from technical papers, marketing collateral and ESL textbooks to speeches for SONY's Akio Morita. During her 30+ years as a freelancer, she has focused on the role animals play in keeping ecosystems and human beings healthy. In particular, she is fascinated by the way pets teach empathy, compassion and respect. This led to the development of the CritterKin series of children's books, which uses the stories of 8 goofy, mixed breed dogs to teach kids that animals (critters) are family (kin). Together with her business partner, Marty Keltz, the Emmy award winning producer of such celebrated children programs as "The Magic School Bus," "Goosebumps," and "Charles in Charge," she is translating the CritterKin stories into project based learning opportunities for teachers and students. The goal is to make learning entertaining, informative and practical, giving students a chance to experience and practice the skills they need to become compassionate, responsible adults. You can learn more about Jena at her website or at
Image of Starr from
Starr is the Author of Teaching Mythology Exposed, a lover of the written word, student press rights advocate,and motivator of the college bound, but most importantly she is a Mom! You can learn more about Starr at her website

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