There is More to Blogging with Your Students

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 …

You Have 1 Second to Hook a Potential Reader

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 …

NASA’s Global Selfie Crowdsourced on Earth Day

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 …

The Story Behind Langwitches

I get asked all the time about the name of my blog: Langwitches. So here is the story… It’s a cultural thing… Some cultures see “witches” as a normal part of human history and playing an ongoing role in literature throughout different time periods. Other cultures don’t have a place …

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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!

Google Glass- Digital Citizenship: What do the Kids Think?

My 7th grade advisory students together with Ms. Arcenas‘ group has been discussing the impact of Google Glass, mainly because I have been bringing my Google Glasses to class and am sharing my experience with the students.

As a grade level, we have been exploring Digital Citizenship and the impact wearable technology has, is and will have on our perception, definition and lives as  Digital Citizens.

Students jotted down their initial feelings about the Pros and Cons of Google Glass technology in a collaborative spreadsheet. Invading people’s privacy (surprisingly!), cheating and becoming distracted or lazy was a major concern to many students.

Pro

Con

Instant access to info and recording.

Distraction for class.

Share our perspective.

Hazard for walking through streets.

Might need it for work, work more efficiently.

You have a less chance of being caught doing something bad.

makes life faster

you can be watched, tracked, and/or stalked.

people can be “glassholes”

Can share special moments with friends

Can be robbed of them easily and cos

Easier to contact people around the world

You could catch a virus in the technology (google glass.).

You can search up anything anywhere

Is more efficient for social life

You can do something wrong while walking.

Somebody could see something about you and like it and want to meet you or offer you something.

Someone could blackmail you with what they have found on the internet that was filmed by someone else, or someone else has filmed of you without your permission.

Easier for learning, can help teachers, and help schools.

Could distract people in class, might not listen to the teachers.

Easier to find way around with Google Maps.

Someone could stalk you.

Easier for politicians to contact other people anywhere.

People are taking the risk of exposing themselves to others. For example, with the google glass, you can not know  if someone is filming you or not.

It is an all in one device. It has video, camera, time, etc.

People might not know if people wearing the Google Glass are disturbing your privacy example: filming, taking pictures, face identity.

So you will be able to talk to your friends and family whenever you want.

People could feel exposed and like their lives are out in the open to people with Google Glass

Could help you with reminders, if you have homework and you have to be reminded: it can help you remind you in the morning or the night before. You could get better homework grades.

It could help you cheat on tests and quizes.

It helps if a person wants to know something immediately.

During class people could be doing other things that they are supposed to without the teacher even knowing.

It can help teachers film their students presentations to measure progress.

People could be on websites or things they’re not supposed to be doing and no one would ever know.

Able to film something important

With google glass, people will lose their privacy.

Maybe something bad about the person is on their identity, and that might be dangerous.

Able to film something instant for example a plane crashes and you could be evidence.

No privacy

new technology

You can film them and embarrass them/ cyber-bully.

You can share things with distant family and friends/ Take picture and videos/ talk to people/ research

People can stalk you, cyberbullying

With google glass, accessing things are easier when using your phone.

People can cheat

Be able to share film and photo instantly anywhere you are. Picture from your eyes perspective

Could be filming someone without them knowing or taking someone’s privacy.

Being able to film something at any time.

Invade people’s privacy through filming without them not knowing.

Makes your life easier. ?????????

Easier to people record your personal life without permission

A person who constantly talks to their Google Glass, ignoring the outside world.

Can access information and do searches faster and more efficiently

people take pics/vids of you when you don’t want to

Our discussion continued:

  • We shared with students the recent Do’s and Don’ts of Google Glass Explorers, Google’s Glassiquette
  • Some Google Glass explorers reported that ”Wearing Glass, I’ve had more people take my photo without my permission than I’ve taken photos of people without their permission. “
  • We talked about the term “Glassholes”and the word’s origin and rapid spread.
  • We compared the saying “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” and how does this apply when thinking about using Google Glass in public.
  • All the possibilities technology makes possible that Google Glass is using, is available in some shape or form on other tech devices.
  • Any new device seems to “make the public” upset until everyone becomes used to it and another new technology appears on the horizon and the “old” technology has become main stream.
  • Since our discussion, Google published a post on their blog, trying to debunk the Top 10 Google Glass Myths

pro-con-discussion.jpg

I recorded a few moments of the students ‘conversation. The irony was that I had to record the video clips with my iPhone, since my Google Glass had run out of battery! To emphasize the point of responsibility and trust, when someone is using recording devices, I showed the students the movie I created from the recorded clips and asked their permission to share it to a larger audience on Langwitches. My policy is to give them the choice to say no, “I don’t want to be included” (No questions asked). Please forgive the interrupted flow of the conversation, since some parts were deleted at the request of the student.

Google Glass Etiquette and Digital Citizenship: What do the Kids Think? from langwitches on Vimeo.

AASSA- Curriculum Upgrade & Amplify Exercise

March 21, 2014 Conferences, Upgrade No Comments

There is a NEED and URGENCY of updating curriculum and instructional repertoire to give the critical literacies of our century justice. Upgrading and amplifying traditionally taught activities, lessons, units or entire classroom learning environments takes time and practice. Just as in any sport, if you want to get better at it, you have to put in the time and practice. The same holds true with upgrading and amplifying. Most educators are “not in shape” and not in the routine of upgrading their curriculum to embed emerging critical literacies and amplifying their own and their students’ work.

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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.

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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 …

(No Comments)

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 …

(No Comments)

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)