Great video:  The Today Show hosts talking about the Internet in 1994.


Lisa Lund is doing this session as well.


Putting the T into STEAM coming up.


Make Beliefs Comix is a free iOS and web-based comic site.  Comic sites/apps are usually not free.


Going through the various stages of SAMR. Talking about different apps at each level.  So far nothing that’s not on the wheel.


Value of Twitter, Tweetdeck


SAMR Padwheel – we use this already


4 C’s, P21


S Starbucks
A Ice coffee
M Latte
R Pumpkin spice latte


SAMR in 120 seconds video on Lund’s site and YouTube.


Lisa Lund, Tech Director at Basehor


Link to SAMR presentation.


Next session: SAMR


Gail is a member of TCEA and gets updates on free apps in the App Store.  It’s /year.  I just follow apps for free using Appshopper.


“Nearpodize” iMovies.  What??!!  Exporting an iMovie into Nearpod?  Wow!


Embracing 1:1 because “IT” works presentation link.


Learning from the 1:1 Trenches presentation link.


Free Tellagami allows 30 seconds of record time.  Paid Tellagami has 90 seconds.


TPS 501′s Google site has all of their iPad training.


Puppet Pals HD

Puppet Pals 2


Skitch has been out for a few years.  It was one of the first apps we used after getting the MS grant.  Love this app.


Going through a demo of the process.  Currently taking a screenshot off her iPad of Washington DC map.  Importing into Skitch and annotating.


Here is a link to 501′s tech training Google site that Gail is using for her presentation.


Example #2:
Explain Everything
Take video
DoInk Green Screen


Example of app smashing activity:
Take pic with iPad.
Open in Skitch and annotate.
Open Tellagami and create a Gami.
Open Puppet Pals and create a story.
Open Explain Everything and bring in Skitch image, Tellagami, and Puppet Pals videos.  Add more content.  Export to Photos.
Open iMovie, bring in all content, add additional, upload to YouTube or Vimeo.


App Smashing presenter Gail is from 501.


Here is the presentation from the GH session.




Coming up: App Smashing with Gail Ramirez.


Lunch is over.  First afternoon session starts at 12:30.



Q: What about students who don’t want to participate? A: Haven’t had that issue.  More often students not sure what to do.


#geniushour on Twitter. @JoyKirr @mrsdkrebs @iamkesler all on Twitter – GH leaders.
Don Wettrick,
podcast from Joy Kirr,
GH live binder,
GH wiki,


To get started: pre-conf w/students, lots of brainstorming, connect with other GH teachers


Hurdles to GH: Time, cost, control, clean-up, admin support


GH = Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences


GH is not meant to be homework.  Many kids will still do their projects at home because they enjoy it so much.


4th grade classroom… specific examples not applicable to us, but the general idea is there.  My question that I have continued to struggle with: What does GH look like in a HS classroom?


Showing examples of GH from his classroom.


Tim’s rules for GH:

1) Pick a topic you are passionate about or curious about.

2) Research the topic and create something.

3) You must present to the class when you have completed the project.

4) I will be sharing your project with the world, so…  BLOW MY MIND!


Confidence, perseverance, engagement – GH leads to soft skills development.


“Ended burnout for me.”


6 principles of GH: 80/20 rule, socialization, creating, inquiry, design, and sense of purpose.


3M and Google are two corps. that use GH.


Defining GH.


Tim Vesco @mrvesco on Twitter is from Frontenac.


Next session:  Genius Hour.  I have HIGH expectations for this!


Link to Darren’s presentation and resources.


Daqri 4D also makes quite a few other apps, including Anatomy 4D.



And here’s an example of oxygen and hydrogen “bumped” together – the app then creates H2O.



Here’s the info it shows on aluminum.



Here is an image of Aluminum.  It shows some aluminum in the box and provides info about the element.



Daqri 4D uses printed out and glued “paper cubes” as the static images.


Link to the free iOS app and link to the developer’s site.


Daqri 4D next.  Haven’t heard of this one.


Layar integrates Sound Cloud.


Layar is ad supported.


Some content/features are premium only. Similar to Nearpod, it seems.  Free to do some, paid for all features.


Web-based creator for Layar is pretty robust.  Drag-and-drop feature makes creating easy.  Must create an account.


Layar App for iOS is a reader only.  All content is made in a browser here.


Layar App next.


He finally said “it would be great if the kids could make these too.”  Yes!


Aurasma Studio is used to create an account and “channel” to host all of the Auras you create.


He uses these fake ticket images as the static AR images then overlays different things on them.


Jumping away from AR momentarily, he just showed faketicketgenerator.com that he uses for an exit ticket.  The site creates an image of an event ticket with whatever info you put in.


Darren is showing cool examples – but so far, they are all “pre-made” types of things.  The difficulty comes in creating your own “cool” layers.


Use Aurasma now. I think this is probably the main AR app people use.


AR Flashcards up next.


But Darren is going to show quite a few diff apps, so there may be something here that may better demonstrate the future power of AR.


As I said before, I believe AR is still too new to generate a lot of different high level uses, but the tech has great potential as developers begin to take more advantage of it.


Impressive video showing ColAR Mix in action.  (Found on developer’s site or on YouTube.)


ColAR in action.



ColAR Mix’s website is here.


AR App #1: ColAR Mix


Example: student creates artwork, and using AR, adds video or audio of student throughout the creation process or after it’s done explaining what they did.


AR allows users to add layers to a static image – video, audio, more.


Session is focused on AR.


Fellow KATM Board member Lisa Lajoie-Smith presented a K-5 math session with lots of apps.


This room is packed. Seats/tables for 18.  50+ in here.


Second session beginning soon: Apps that Bring Learning to Life – Darren Couch, Wichita Independent


Biggest takeaway from first session: creating a public site for teachers to post how we are using tech in our building. Need to explore this further.


Twitter hashtag for today’s conference is #gbtech14.


Link to the the first session’s presentation.


Question (and answer) of the day:  Wonderopolis.


Out of time.  DOGO News.  For current events.


I have used AR with my own kids for presentations.  Cool tech, but it’s still in its infancy.


Now talking about AR (Augmented Reality).


The SHHS staff split up, but there are more of us than applicable sessions.  So we have a few of us in here.  So far, nothing is really going to push those of us in the room.


On to Socrative and Nearpod.


Can pull video from YouTube.


Flowboard allows users to add text, image, video, and more.


Flowboard - web-based presentation tool.  Also has iOS app.


Talking Notability – “well worth the money.”  We agree!


Showing USD 361′s Google+ site:



But anyone outside of the district can also post ways to use tech in ed.


Teachers in USD 361 (Anthony-Harper) use the district’s Google+ site to post what they are doing with technology.


Google Apps – Drive, +, and GoDocs 4 Google (video upload)


Using QR codes, 1st graders completing scavenger hunt created by 8th graders.


Talking about QR codes.


Tuanua Swart, presenter, from USD 361


iPad app for ThingLink


Showing two QR codes with links to Thinglink sites.  But I can’t get the code to scan.


Interactive images and videos… https://www.thinglink.com/


First session: Mobile Learning in the Classroom

The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Same Old ChangeI spend a lot of my time traveling through this intersection.  In fact, instead of calling me an instructional coach, you can refer to me as an agent of change.  A primary function of my job is to either a) help staff complete change of some kind, b) recommend change when  change may be needed, or c) first do b then do a.

Like everything in life, you can use a bell curve to describe how well people deal with new.  The vast majority need some amount of guidance, but are accepting when they understand the purpose and feel supported, a few will jump at any chance to change it up, and a few resist any movement whatsoever.  Complicating movement is the level of change being sought.  Schools operate within a number of systems big and small – the bigger the system affected by change, the harder it can be to implement.

I love thinking about systematic change.  I enjoy understanding how all of the various smaller systems operate both separately and together and how they each connect to each other and the parent system.  A school district is a prime example.  Want to change a procedure to hand in papers in your classroom?  Nothing is really affected in the district system.  Want to change elementary school boundaries?  You quickly learn how such a enormous systematic change can become a log jam of discussion and indecision, at least on the surface.

Usually a problem arises causing someone somewhere to reflect on potential change.  Perhaps you are losing too much time to transition while students turn in papers.  After considering your current procedure, collecting ideas from perhaps yourself alone, your peers, or a quick search with our friend Google, you may determine a better system will correct the issue and the consequences of change are only positive.  So change happens quickly and effortlessly.  New instructions for the students and voila! Presto change-o!

For something as big as a proposal for district elementary attendance center boundaries, the problem may be overcrowding.  Someone eventually notices this and wonders aloud to someone else about possible solutions.  And the ball gets rolling.  We all know change is hard and sometimes even negatively impacts some.  And a systematic change like boundaries can be especially difficult because of the emotions involved.  Feelings always add an additional layer to the issue, but those in leadership must work hard to maintain a big picture view.  In a case of new boundaries, we might look at our bell curve once again to help us understand that there are always going to be some who are resistant if change affects them.  And sometimes, their voices can be loud and moreover, they may be the only voices you hear since the rest of the bell curve is willing to accept a proposed change.

Time for ChangeConsidering our classroom procedure example, a student or two may object to a new method to hand in papers, but is that a good reason to not implement your procedural change?  For the good of the entire class, disappointing a couple of students and then helping them deal with the change afterwards is obviously the best way to go.  But how about for the boundaries example?  Remember, at least one of the buildings is vastly overcrowded and the learning environments in those buildings are suffering because there are too many students.  Like the classroom then, this bigger change is also necessary, and a school board would then have to make the decision in the best interest of the whole district.  Change will be hard for the families affected, but it would be made and support would be provided for those affected.

To make such a large change, the process needs to include some additional steps.  For example, it should be transparent and any district stakeholder should be allowed an opportunity (multiple opportunities, even) to state their support or concerns and offer potential solutions.  These kinds of efforts are not usually necessary for a smaller change in a classroom.  The process of change, then, differs depending on the size of the system being affected.

I can’t understand why people are afraid of new ideas.  I’m afraid of the old ones.  
- John Cage

Where change becomes the most complicated to think about is when a proposal surfaces to change a medium system.  These systems, like a school building, for example, can affect every classroom within its walls as well as the entire district system.  A new expectation proposed by a building leadership team may or may not be implemented after staff is given an opportunity to comment on it.  Whether or not a policy eliminating hats and hoods in the building has no effect, really, on the district as a whole.  Any concerns from students and patrons that arise can certainly and typically be handled at the building level.

But what about a proposal to modify a building’s bell schedule, especially if it includes new start and end times?  This particular proposal affects the entire district system.  Obviously all staff and students in the building in question, but such a change would also affect transportation (buses).  In many districts, that means bus schedules to other buildings would be changed.  Which in turn affects their start and end times as well.  Suddenly, one building’s desire to change the bell schedule runs into the same log jam mentioned earlier.

Why the need for a schedule change?  Like the need for a new turn in procedure or new boundaries, a proposal for change stems from someone somewhere reflecting on a perceived problem.  In this case, let’s say someone has recognized new curriculum and the associated expectations for instruction a greater need for more collaboration/plan time for teachers.  After gathering supporting data, such as the school has the shortest day of all of the high schools in the area (even those outside the district) and the shortest day of any building in the district, as well as giving some teachers a common plan time for a year and determined qualitatively that the collaborative time was very much appreciated and desired, the proposal for changing the building system comes.

Change AgentQuickly, however, the larger systematic barriers surface, and momentum dies.  One not yet mentioned is such a proposal interferes with some negotiated agreements.  Suddenly, a building seeking to venture onto Change Blvd. and improve student achievement is halted by a 10 foot swath of roadblocks keeping it on Same Old St.  

When I run into these kinds of systematic barriers as a change agent, er, instructional coach, I become frustrated.  I tend to look at the reason for proposed change, information offered in support or against the proposal, and begin to take action to move forward with or away from the change.  And this is when I attempt to learn as much as I can about how all of the various smaller systems within a large one work together (and at times, against each other).  In order to facilitate a change like a building schedule, I have to learn how it affects the whole district and how it may negatively (or positively) impact the other existing systems.

But to practice leadership, you need to accept that you are in the business of generating chaos, confusion, and conflict….
- Ronald Heifetz

And so exists my own state of chaos, confusion, and conflict as I sit on the curb at Same Old St. and Change Blvd, torn between improving achievement for students in one building while not yet fully understanding any negative impacts to students elsewhere.  I do not buy “we’ve always done it that way” as a viable counterargument to change.  I remain open, however, to a conversation about the systematic barriers to any change proposal.  After all, I always enjoy a good road trip to a new destination.

Have you ever met a teacher who says they are below average?  No?  Strange.  That would mean half of teachers in classrooms across the U.S. necessarily cannot do an accurate self assessment of themselves.  Follow the math.  No matter what system you create to somehow evaluate teachers, upon assigning us a rating of any kind, the resulting data would give you a median score.  Half of the teachers would perform above that score and half below.  Yet, not a one of us would claim we are below average.

Hattie Influence RankingsInstead of evaluating teachers’ performance directly, John Hattie’s well-known meta-analysis of over 50,000 studies involving over 240 million students, Visible Learning, examines the many influences on student achievement, not all of which are directly related to teacher/classroom practices.  But many are and the results are to be expected – some are bad, some are indifferent, some are good, and some are great.  If we are to believe his research and the resulting list of effect size (click the image on the right to see an enlarged view), can we then go a step farther and examine teacher pedagogy to determine whether or not we employ those strategies with the greatest effect most often and purposefully avoid those with little or even a negative effect?  That is to say, can we claim our above average teachers use the best strategies and our below average teachers do not?

Hattie’s list is very important to me.  In my own transitional understandings of learning, I often consider the conversations I have with teachers in my building and district, as well as many others throughout Kansas in my role with KATM, and I wonder, with Hattie’s research to point to, why do we all not focus on those influences which offer the most positive influence on student achievement?  Even in my own district we implement strategies which, based on this body of research, are not overly efficient and most certainly are not the most effective available.

In fact, Visible Learning shows us the greatest impact on student achievement is asking students to predict their performance, or in other words, assess their own work; however, this is not a strategy we employ at a district or a building level.  It may occur at a classroom level, and I could argue that a teacher who does so should be considered above average (depending, of course, on the other strategies they use as well).

Hattie includes numerous strategies that do not necessarily have an effect on our students, primarily because they belong to a group of strategies not actually utilized in the U.S. or are based on research studies conducted at the higher education level.  Also, his list includes some which only affect sub-groups of students (because the original research studies only explored a particular sub-group of students).  I tend to not spend much time thinking about these influences as I usually prefer to consider ways to best support student achievement for all students, but I do not throw out these ideas, as certainly I can think of instances where they may be valuable as well.

Another of the greatest effects comes from formative assessment.  Larry Ainsworth, James Popham, and Margaret Heritage are only a few of the many leaders out there who drive my thinking about formative assessment.  It’s a complicated topic, but like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it.  The Colorado Coalition of Standards-Based Education recently published The Standards Based Teaching/Learning Cycle and provides a nice chart comparing formative, interim, and summative assessments (p. 59).  Regardless of whose definition of formative assessments you subscribe to, they all have common characteristics:  they are ongoing, informal, should inform/modify instruction and learning, and are used by both teachers and students.

I do not believe we are consistent at conducting formative assessments.  Most often, we will hit some, if not most, of the characteristics I mentioned above; however, where we fall short almost all of the time is including the students in the feedback process.  Students are not given many opportunities to examine their own work, assess themselves, and determine what they could improve as a part of their own transitional understanding, which brings me full circle to the number one influence on student achievement, asking students to self-grade.

Does this mean we are a below average staff?  Absolutely not!  Determining such a thing can in no way be stated by looking at the use/nonuse of one particular strategy.  Rather, we must consider the whole body of work of a teacher’s instructional practice, and at Heights, our staff is dedicated to using research-based strategies proven to positively impact student achievement.  The two caveats?  We are not implementing all of the top effect size strategies (and thus are implementing some which we could consider letting go of) and there’s always a median.  The remaining question to think about:  which 50% are you in?

Visible Learning Infographic

Visit our Links and Files pages for more information on Hattie’s Visible Learning.

Welcome to the newest addition of the Project: Learning family!  Our blog bears the name Transitional Understandings, a term I came across recently on Twitter.  The phrase captures the process of learning from mistakes, a “fail forward” approach to learning.  Failure carries with it a negative connotation, even when purposefully used in a positive way.  Yet Transitional Understanding describes the same process without the negativity.  We are all in transition with our learning all the time.  And I hope to capture my own daily transitions in this blog.  I’m still busy porting things over, blowing the dust out of some corners, and completely rebuilding other sections of this blog.  It will be a few days before it’s ready for the world.

I have tried blogging before.  Mostly for personal reflection, as is the purpose of this attempt as well.  I consider myself reflective.  And I enjoy writing, even if I’m not the greatest at it.  Yet reflecting publicly has been difficult for me to do for long periods of time.  Each previous attempt has lasted no longer than a month, and that’s pushing it.  Speaking of pushing, my principal is the biggest reason I’m going to try this again.  He has also kept numerous blogs about various things, but has been a bit more successful in keeping them active, I suppose until recently.  But he suddenly jumped head first into the world of Twitter and it got his juices flowing again, so he opened his old blog back up and started writing.  After some amount of conversation, I came away with my own pangings and have decided to try this again as well.

JourneyI don’t think I can yet commit  to making this a long-lasting adventure.  But I can commit to giving it another go.  Finding things to write about tends to be the easy part for me.  I have way too many passions to ever run out of ideas.  But those same passions take up my time.  Maintaining this blog will be a matter of me repurposing my time.  Of course, feedback is always appreciated.  The lack of it in my previous attempts may be directly related to my not continuing.

I am an instructional coach at Shawnee Heights High School.  Before taking on this role, I taught math, both at the middle and high school levels.  I love math.  It’s certainly one of my passions.  But I didn’t become a teacher because I love the content.  I became a teacher because of my greatest love – learning.  My learning.  Your learning.  Any learning.  So, much of what I reflect about is how to improve learning and the list of things that improve learning is a long one. It’s these things that I reflect most about, and thus will undoubtedly write about, things like: guided (tiered) instruction, standards based grading, technology, classroom questioning and conversations, brain-based research, meaningful curriculum, oh, and so much more.

Even after I tidy up the blog, I suspect it will remain “messy” for some time.  It will probably take me awhile to get back into the swing of things.  And learning, by its nature, is messy.  Transitions are always messy, too.  So, while I’m not sure where we’re headed exactly, I am excited to see where my own transitional understandings take me.  I hope you’ll join me on the adventure.