Saturday, December 26, 2015

Google Expedition Charged My Learning!

Our school was selected to participate in Google Expeditions.  How awesome for a small East Texas school to be visited by a tech giant and chosen to participate.  Let's be honest, if you google "Google Expeditions" you will see that they have been all over letting schools test out their new app, but they are all schools in big cities.  We were so lucky to have such an amazing district STEM coordinator that is always looking out for exciting STEM opportunities for our students.  During the expeditions, my students used View Master Virtual Reality viewers with cell phone devices.


I was excited, my kids wanted to do everything even though we only had a 20 minute window per class.  I knew I needed to check into this more.

December:  I had visited the View Master website and of course checked out how I could get one of these off of Amazon.  And then I just let it drop back into the back of my brain as teachers tend to do when testing comes up, grades, and content area takes over... did I mention I have kids of my own and a life outside of school?  December 22nd I'm shopping in a Kohl's department store of all places, and what do I spy on the shelf... My very own view master!  Of course I bought it.  Of course I played with it.  Of course it was the hit of every Christmas party we went to, and I needed to learn more.  So when I'm not googling questions, I'm on Pinterest doing it... LOVE me some Pinterest.  So as I'm digging, I see the term augmented reality again and then everything went crazy.

Now:  I reached out to some amazing educators and leaders in the technology development community.  Check out their twitters ;)  (@karenogen @dacia92 and website )  I am in the process of learning everything I can to rush for some exciting classroom developments when we head back to school in January.

Goal:  I would like to use an app called Aurasma to turn my stationary word wall into an Augmented Reality education station for my students.  Could you imagine definitions coming to life and seeing the math problems worked so students can see these definitions as real life instead of just words and theories?  As smart as I think I am, I know my students will blow away anything I could think of doing, can you imagine what they could create with this?  That of course is only goal number 1.

I am a big believer in evolving the way we teach and reach our students.  YES the fundamentals are very important, but so is immersing them in a world that they will graduate from our school into.  So, if you are on the same journey, or even passed where I am now, please share your experiences. I would love to hear!