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Augmented Reality that’s “Real” and Focused on Learning

cross posted with permission from Dr. Silvana Meneghini,’s On The Edge Blog.

Silvana, the High School Technology Coordinator at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, shared a How-To post to connect augmented reality to student reflection by adding a layer of learning (not technology for technology sake). I highly recommend adding her blog to your RSS reader and following her on Twitter to connect with her learning and teaching journey.

Enjoy Silvana’s post below:

Augmented Reality allows you to expand the experience of the real world with information, video, sound, GPS data, and so on. If well utilized, it can be much more than just another cool tech thing… You will see below an example of how Augmented Reality was used to expand the experience of visitors to our school’s Art Exhibit. As students had to reflect on and verbalize their artistic choices, an augmented reality layer was created for viewers of the exhibit. In the process, students were excited about sharing with an authentic audience and had to really recall and reflect. It created a hyperlinked reality that enabled amplification of the viewers’ learning experience that was much more engaging than text.

aurasma1

By pointing a tablet or smartphone at a painting, through the viewing lens of Aurasma App, visitors could learn about the artist that influenced the work and techniques that were applied. Through Aurasma, an “overlay” video appears to be coming directly out of the painting and the student starts talking to you.

But wait… this engaging effect of merging the video with the real object does not happen automatically in Aurasma Studio. It was consciously created to provide the “real” augmented reality experience, through the use of green screen effects. In order to do that, the overlay video had to be superimposed on the image of the real object, which is easily done with the GreenScreen by Do Ink App on iPad . So we first took a picture of the painting that was then inserted as a background at the Green Screen App. As we hold the iPad to record the student, we would already see the painting image on the background, allowing the correct positioning of the iPad camera to give the desired illusion. This is a very easy and quick process if you have a green screen already setup in your school and the students were able to do the recording by themselves.

aurasma2

Below you can watch the overlay video for the Horsehead painting created with Green Screen by Do Ink, and check the type of content on artistic choices and technique. Aurasma was used only to create an “Aura”, which is a combination of the “trigger” image (picture of the real object, in this case the painting) and the “overlay”.
aurasma3

How to:

Step 1: Take a picture of the real object for your Trigger Image

    • Tip:
      • If the trigger image is not detailed enough it will generate an error.
      • Crop the image on its more detailed parts.
      • The resulting Aura will be focused around the cropped part, but at least it will show.

Step 2: Use a Green Screen App to create an Overlay Video

  • Install Green Screen by Do Ink from Apple Store on iPad or Cell Phone (Tutorial)
  • Add the Camera to record over green screen
  • Add the Trigger Image (the same as the real object – will show on the background)
  • Place camera so actor appears in the right position over background image
  • Record

Step 3: Use Aurasma Studio to create an Aura

  • Prefer the online Aurasma Studio to the App
  • Add a Channel
  • Add your Trigger image
  • Add your Overlay video
  • Create / Add an Aura:
    • Select Trigger image
    • Select Overlay
    • Choose Channel

Aurasma4

Step 4: Provide instructions for Viewers

    • Install the Aurasma App
    • Search for your Channel
    • Follow the Channel
    • Then point to the real object and see the Aura come to life!

Upgrading Our Recipes for Learning: Digital Learning Strategies

In an attempt to bring  new additions to your Blog reader, I am starting to feature  guest posts on Langwitches. Be assured that these guest posts are from educational bloggers, I highly value and their voices contribute significantly to my own learning.

Today I am sharing a blog post and a newly published book by my friend, colleague and co-author Mike Fisher. Follow him on Twitter and add his blog to your RSS reader.

By Mike Fisher

Originally blogged on MiddleWeb.com on December 8, 2013

Back in the early 90’s, my grandmother taught me how to bake biscotti in a traditional way. She was a baker by trade and taught me about the precision of measuring ingredients to get a perfect dough consistency, how to lay out the initial loaf, cut on the diagonal and re-bake until the cookies reached their optimum crunch.

Over the years, I’ve experimented with the basic recipe, adding additional ingredients, replacing others, trying different thicknesses of the cookie, dipping the cookies in chocolate, etc. My ultimate goal is to get to the cookie, even though my path to get there changes every year.

Around this time of year, I start thinking about the biscotti (and Grandma!), and what I will modify, replace, upgrade, or delete for this year’s batch. Sometimes that decision is based on new ingredients, sometimes on the audience for whom I’m baking the cookies, or the event(s) where the cookies will be shared. There is always a modification to the previous year’s process though the goal is always to get to the cookie.

Biscotti and cookies

I’m using Grandma’s cookie procedure as a metaphor for instructional actions. The end result is always extremely important. The task, the assessment, the demonstration of learning, the product–all of these are the goals of instruction. In this day and age, though, with our new digital landscapes, we have opportunities for replacing pieces of the instructional sequence, invigorating the learning, and producing a better product—a better cookie.

The things we need to do with students, the tasks that we challenge them with, are the important factors here. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know Wordle or Socrative or Wikis or Storybird. It doesn’t matter that Padlet or Today’s Meet or Notepad is part of your everyday practice. It matters that you understand and design instruction around the outcome. The path to that outcome is what we will replace, not necessarily the outcome itself.

Digital Learning Perspectives

In workshops with teachers, I often try to paint a mental picture of the modern student. I talk about the differences between the world this kid lives in outside of school and the one he or she inhabits in school. There should not be such a wide chasm in decades between the two. I realize that there is at least one, maybe two generations separating students from their teachers, but everyone in the classroom is in the present time. Right?

I discuss how students are used to working and interacting digitally. Sometimes school is a potential impediment to learning when traditional instructional methods are primarily favored. These modern students don’t separate technology from other activities — they don’t think about it because it’s always been there for them, always been available. Except, many times, in school.

These students can find all kinds of information but don’t necessarily know what information is important, why or how they should prioritize it, or how to make connections or creations from it. They are not discerners; they are gatherers. These modern students are not interested, necessarily, in current school constructs for separating Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic. They are looking for integrated and authentic opportunities.

I do realize that in the wake of new standards, new devices, and new ways to interact, teachers are becoming increasingly overwhelmed. So much newness is bogging them down and actually decreasing the professional actions they might ultimately take to improve their practice and work within a modern educational mindset.

That modern mindset is really about willingness, not digital knowledge. It’s about trying new things and exploring new tools and avenues for instruction. It’s about exploring WITH the students rather than FOR the students. The end result is still a cookie, but over time, that cookie gets better and better.

Let’s Take a Bite

1 plaid cookies

When teachers decide to start replacing instructional actions with digital tools, they should do so with the task in mind, not the tool. Let’s take the analysis of text, for example. What does this look like in your class right now? (Aligned to CCSS Reading Standards 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3)

In a 7th grade ELA classroom, a teacher I work with in Lockport, New York wanted her students to consider how Stanley Yelnats and the other characters in Louis Sachar’sHoles deal with justice as a thematic element in the book.

She talked with them about fairness and her ultimate goal: to get them to be able to use textual evidence to write about justice as it relates to the arc of the multiple storylines in the novel. She was really excited about using a collaborative note-taking tool, Padlet, in her classroom, and we had a discussion about HOW she might go about using it.

Initially, she wanted to spend a couple of days teaching the students how to use Padlet and hold the students accountable for the depth of information they shared. She was very concerned that students might share non-instructive comments like, “That was cool,” or “OMG. LOL.” She wanted to use a rubric I had shared with her called Notice, Think, and Wonder (which I recently blogged about HERE) to enable students to think critically about the comments they were making.

I asked her what this activity had looked like in the past. She said that students, individually, would locate moments in the book where they saw incidents of justice in any form: Stanley’s day in court, Kissin’ Kate’s reputation and actions, the Warden’s losses at the end of the novel, and (spoiler alert!) the fact that Stanley is cleared of his crimes in the end.

1 a padlet

I reminded her of her ultimate objective, the writing about justice and the connections between the types of justice described in the book. I reminded her that she can’t favor the tool over the task. The kids still had to write about justice and its interconnections and/or its relationship to advancing the plot of the novel.

She decided that short mini-lessons on using Padlet and the rubric for Notice, Think, and Wonder, were better than spending days on either of those things. Students could still collaborate using the online tools, and she would shift her expectations for their writing to include the collective thinking of all of the students and what they assembled on the Padlet Wall as a component of their end product.

In sum, she re-focused on the end-result but replaced some of the instructional sequence with a digital tool that moved what was once an individual exploration or small group discussion to a “group think” model where everyone participates in the collection of textual evidence. This, in turn, gives the students opportunities to understand what their peers believe to be important and offers them the chance to collaborate and communicate around deeper text analysis and negotiate deeper interactions than what she’s done before. She amped up the level of engagement while still holding students accountable for evidence of why they were thinking what they were thinking.

The tool, Padlet, was a new vehicle for better connections and interactions and thinking, but her lesson wasn’t a “Padlet Lesson.” It was still focused on justice as a theme in the novel. The students, in general, provided a more in-depth analysis because they were allowed to see their peers’ thinking in a way they had never seen it before. This led to deeper discussions, deeper connections, and better writing. This teacher changed the recipe and got a better cookie.

biscotti-cup-200

The big takeaway here is that the task, the objective, the demonstration of learning remain the priority and focal point of instruction. The strategy, however, can be variable while the end point remains fixed. Vary the recipe but still work toward the cookie!

Teachers need a treasure trove of strategies, a virtual toolbox of opportunities, to meet today’s student where they need to be met. These digital learning strategies don’t require the teacher to be an expert in their function; they only require a willingness to let the students try some new ways of doing things. This is an opportunity to utilize digital tools for the sake of differentiated instruction and divergent thinking, where students construct their own versions of learning and critique the work of their peers.

By the way, you can read my grandmother’s basic biscotti recipe HERE (and download here). I encourage you to try out your own recipe replacements, deviations, and subversions, in the classroom and in the kitchen. This year, as a sneak peek to the reader, I can share that I’m considering some new ingredients including lime juice, cream cheese, and a blueberry/pecan trail mix that I enjoy.

If you’re interested in learning more about Digital Learning Strategies and instructional replacement ideas, my new book will be available from ASCD on December 13th. It will be available in both print and digital editions and is part of ASCD’s new short form texts called ARIAS, meaning that the book is meant to be read in one sitting, perhaps while you’re waiting on that first batch of biscotti to come out of the oven.

digital-learning-stragegies

Digital tools bring an entirely new menu of tasks into the classroom. Students can now demonstrate their learning by using apps and online resources to conduct research, solicit feedback, and collaborate with others more effectively than ever before. Digital tools also provide teachers with effective ways to assess student work. Michael Fisher outfits you for this new world by opening your thinking to new possibilities for teaching and engaging 21st century students. Along the way, he provides

  • Six steps for evaluating when it’s appropriate to assign digital work.

  • Ten examples of how digital tools can improve instructional practice.

  • The primary factors to consider for the assessment of digital work.

Is Technology shoving Pedagogy to the center stage? TPACK Reviewed

Guest post by Silvana Meneghini, Academic Technology Coordinator, Graded- American School of São Paulo. Originally posted on her blog On the Edge.

Pedagogical ideas like student centered learning, collaboration, and critical thinking have been around for a long time and are slowly making the way into the classroom. When technology came into play in schools, there was a big focus on technology tools and acquiring tech skills. Nowadays, there is a perception that technology has to be seamless and the main focus is on pedagogy.  I couldn’t agree more. But is that happening because technology is actually shoving pedagogy to the center stage? If yes, what are the implications for teacher professional development in the age of fast technological changes?

tpack reviewed

Image: Road by Rick Harrison. 2005. Creative Commons Attribution on Flickr. http://bit.ly/1iPTw2E

So let’s have a quick look at TPACK.  If you haven’t seen TPACK yet, it is a model created by Mishara & Koehler to describe the types of knowledge a teacher needs to have in order to integrate technology in their teaching. So this model states that content, pedagogical and technological knowledge are all equally necessary.

TPACK-new

Image reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by tpack.org.

But as I was reading a blog post by Krista Moroder on “Why I Don’t Use TPACK or SAMR with my Teachers” I also realized that the representation of each component of the TPACK model has indeed changed. Krista argues that pedagogical knowledge is the most important element in TPACK  , while the need for content knowledge is being reduced and the role of technological knowledge is to support pedagogy.

I will take one step further to say that technology is no longer the focus because pedagogy and technology are actually merging… More and more we see how fast changing technology is part of the world and how that impacts the ways people learn.  My perception is that the supporting role of technology in learning will only grow and tend to becomes seamless. But in order for technology to be seamless, teachers need to understand the impact of technology in learning.  This is what Silvia Tolisano calls learning how to learn in this 21st century world.  But teachers will only reach that level of “learning how to learn”  by immersing in technologies that foster sharing, collaboration, innovation. That says something about the ubiquitous role of technology if you think about learning …

TPACK Review

At the same time, pedagogy is growing in importance because of technology. Not only because technology has shoved student centered learning to the core of teaching, but also because pedagogical theories that were initially called upon to interpret the use of technology for learning are now being pushed by new boundaries created through technology itself.  I believe that with global learning possibilities, big data, manufacturing & design crowd sourcing (see 3D printers), Google glass and augmented reality,  just to mention a few, pedagogical theories of how we learn will have to be revised.

TPCK

All that has to impact teacher training. Teachers need to be immersed and  fluent in different digital tools, to be able to use those seamlessly in a flow while also assessing the impact of new technological developments that do not stop coming.  At the same time, pedagogy has to be the central focus of training, as opposed to content knowledge. That is particularly true for Brazilian “licenciatura”, where a graduate from a specialist subject area needs to take only a few extra credits to become a school teacher. Only a minority will take a full “Pedagogy” undergraduate course. So content has traditionally been the focus of teacher training. But now, content is indeed extremely accessible because of technology, and the learning how to learn has become imperative.  The push of technology has forced all of us to look closer to pedagogy and make it a priority. But as pedagogical ideas may change as well, we can no longer afford to imagine learning theories without considering an immersion in the digital world.

Credits:

Thank you to Silvia Tolisano @langwitches for being a great thinking partner and helping review this post.

Image: Road by Rick Harrison. 2005. Creative Commons Attribution on Flickr. http://bit.ly/1iPTw2E

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Guest Posts

Augmented Reality that’s “Real” and Focused on Learning

aurasma1

cross posted with permission from Dr. Silvana Meneghini,’s On The Edge Blog. Silvana, the High School Technology Coordinator at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, shared a How-To post to connect augmented reality to student reflection by adding a layer of learning (not technology for technology sake). I highly …

(2 Comments)

Upgrading Our Recipes for Learning: Digital Learning Strategies

digital-learning-stragegies

In an attempt to bring  new additions to your Blog reader, I am starting to feature  guest posts on Langwitches. Be assured that these guest posts are from educational bloggers, I highly value and their voices contribute significantly to my own learning. Today I am sharing a blog post and …

(No Comments)

Is Technology shoving Pedagogy to the center stage? TPACK Reviewed

TPCK

Guest post by Silvana Meneghini, Academic Technology Coordinator, Graded- American School of São Paulo. Originally posted on her blog On the Edge. Pedagogical ideas like student centered learning, collaboration, and critical thinking have been around for a long time and are slowly making the way into the classroom. When technology …

(3 Comments)

Professional Development

How to Create a Backchannel Exit Ticket for Class, Presentation or Workshop?

Creating_a_BackChannel_or_Exit_Ticket_on_Google_Docs_on_Vimeo

This screencast below will show you how to use Google Docs as a backchannel or exit ticket during a presentation, lesson or workshop. Creating a BackChannel or Exit Ticket on Google Docs from langwitches on Vimeo.

(1 Comment)

Redefining My Learning

story

Silvana Meneghini and I  work as Academic Technology Coordinators at Graded, the American School of São Paulo. ” A flashlight in the fog of technology integration“, initially the title of a conference workshop proposal, quickly developed into the desire of creating a framework to guide and coach teachers based on …

(1 Comment)

SAMR Exercise Google Hangout: Mark Your Calendars

SAMR-exercise

Silvana Meneghini and I  have created a template for technology, learning and literacy coaches. In an effort to create a depository of examples and scenarios for lessons and activities and how an upgrade movement through the stages of the SAMR model actually looks like in the classroom, we are shared …

(6 Comments)

Download

21st Century Learning

Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

fail

The conversation about visible thinking in Math started with one of our teachers at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, Adam Hancock, wanting to know how he could incorporate having students’ use their blogfolios in Math class. It seemed natural to have students write for Humanities (Language Arts and …

(2 Comments)

Redefining My Learning

story

Silvana Meneghini and I  work as Academic Technology Coordinators at Graded, the American School of São Paulo. ” A flashlight in the fog of technology integration“, initially the title of a conference workshop proposal, quickly developed into the desire of creating a framework to guide and coach teachers based on …

(1 Comment)

Reflection in the Learning Process, Not As An Add On

Reflection

Is it personality? Are some people born with it? Can it be learned? I am talking about REFLECTION. At the beginning of the week, I had the opportunity to be part of a workshop during our pre-service ( we just returned from our summer break here in the Southern Hemisphere) …

(6 Comments)

The Digital Learning Farm in Action

Student Tutorials- MineCraft, How to Ride a Horse, iMovie and more

minecraft-tutorial

It is no secret, that I am a big fan of Alan November‘s Digital Learning Farm concept. I especially believe in Teaching is the Highest Form of Understanding and the power of motivation and demonstration of evidence of student learning via the Tutorial Designer role. See a myriad of blog …

(3 Comments)

3 Need-Scenarios to Engage Students with Authentic Tasks

core-value-icons-tibet

Alan November’s concept of the Digital Learning Farm, asks schools and teachers to empower students by giving them relevant responsibilities that allow them to contribute in  meaningful ways to their learning community (class/school/etc.). How can we give students the opportunity to CONTRIBUTE versus completing projects that end up in the …

(4 Comments)

Blogging as the Official Scribe of the Classroom

official-scribe-poster

Alan November elevated the “Official Scribe” as one of the roles that empower student learners. I see the role of the scribe as follows: The official scribe plays an important role in the classroom community. Their work is essential for students who were absent from class or need a review …

(10 Comments)

Global Education

NASA’s Global Selfie Crowdsourced on Earth Day

GlobalSelfieLogo_verticalstack

Today, April 22, 2014, NASA is crowdsourcing Global Selfies. NASA astronauts brought home the first ever images of the whole planet from space. Now NASA satellites capture new images of Earth every second. For Earth Day we are trying to create an image of Earth from the ground up while …

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Selfies Around the World

selfies

  On the heels of The Cultural Phenomena of Selfies and  iPhoneography: Photo Challenges, Ideas & Literacy, students from the American School of São Paulo, Brazil want to know more about Selfies around the world. If you and your students would like to CONTRIBUTE with actual images for an in- school and online exhibition …

(2 Comments)

Julie Lindsay: Designing Engaging Curriculum for Global Collaboration in the Classroom

Following the post:  Note- Taking Learnflow of a Conference Workshop, here is the second story of my curated tweets from a session with Julie Lindsay. My favorite take away from her well run workshop was her quote “Flat learning is a pedagogy”. Amplifying our classroom, allowing students to reach out …

(No Comments)

Blogging With your Classroom

There is More to Blogging with Your Students

blogging-with-students_jpg

There is more to blogging with your students than simply creating a blog and starting to copy and paste work, that traditionally was done on a paper journal or worksheet in the classroom, into that digital space. Blogging is about quality and authentic writing in digital spaces with a global …

(No Comments)

You Have 1 Second to Hook a Potential Reader

hook

If you are blogging with your students, you have been exposed to them. You have been exposed to hundreds of unimaginative, cloned, generic and uninspiring BLOG TITLES. When opening your RSS reader that contains the latest blog posts of your students,  you are confronted with a list, similar to the …

(1 Comment)

Student Led Conferences: Sick and Tired of Blogs & Reflection?

SLC

Our students just finished a second round of Student Led Conferences (SLC) this school year (one in Semester 1 and another in Semester 2). SLCs are a formal opportunity for students to present to their parents about the state of their learning. The students’ advisor (a teacher responsible for a …

(1 Comment)

iPads

Evaluating iPad Apps

ipad-components-content

I wanted to take a closer look at the iPad Evaluation I previously blogged about in Evaluating Apps with Transformative Use in Mind. The section of Content and Components deserved a closer look and explanation. You can  download the PDF file of the iPad App Evaluation for the Classroom with …

(No Comments)

Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

fail

The conversation about visible thinking in Math started with one of our teachers at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, Adam Hancock, wanting to know how he could incorporate having students’ use their blogfolios in Math class. It seemed natural to have students write for Humanities (Language Arts and …

(2 Comments)

Self- Directed Course: iPads in the Classroom

image2-lens-of-pedagogy

Professional Learning Board just released a Self-study  iPads in the Classroom course I wrote. It is a  self-directed course to take in your own time and at your own speed. “You have an iPad in your classroom, now what?” The iPad helps us prepare today’s student for today’s world in …

(10 Comments)

Digital Storytelling

Poetry on Record

Slide1

Inspired by Poetry, Performance & Taylor Mali and Beyond…, 8th grade Humanities teacher Shannon Hancock coached her students to create their own original “Mali Poem”and record a visual and vocal performance. I joined the class to give a brief overview of presentation design. I used selected slides from my slidedeck below to …

(No Comments)

Workflow & Learnflow of an Animation Story

pedro

After teaching a 1:1 Toolkit class for incoming Middle Schoolers tothe 1:1 laptop environment this past quarter, I am currently teaching a Media Basics course for sixth graders. I am using a school blog to document the class (among others), showcase student work, share resources and give written step-by-step directions …

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My StoryTelling App Folder(s)

storytelling-app

Matt Gomez shared a post today with a screenshot of his storytelling iPad app folder. I wanted to reciprocate and share mine. Storytelling I Folder StoryBuddy StoryBuilder StoryPagesHD Toontastic Tappy Memories StoryBoards Premium StoryMaker HD StoryPatch In a World … Drama Build a Story PhotoPuppets HD Epic Citadel Sock Puppets …

(24 Comments)