Activity 12.2 – Trying AR Tools

I found this great resource when trying to decide which AR/VR tool to try out:

There are a lot of really cool AR/VR tools out there that I can see being used in classrooms in a tonne of different ways.  I chose to try out MeasureKit.  The app is free however it only includes the Ruler tool, to get the rest of the tools you have to upgrade to Pro for $6.99 (it does give you free access to a different pro tool every week to try, this week for me it was angles).

1) Ruler — measure straight lines on any surface, such as a desk or wall.
2) Magnetometer — measure magnetic field force around your device.
3) Trajectory — measure by “drawing” (moving your device) in the real world.
4) Face Mesh — check different attributes and export a 3D model of your face (available on iPhone X).
5) Marker Pin — measure distance from device camera to fixed points in space.
6) Angles — measure corners.
7) Person Height — measure how tall someone is.
8) Cube — visualize how big something is.
9) Level — check if something is horizontal or vertical

Here are a couple of measurements I did using the app:

The app will definitely take a little getting used to in order to get it to line up properly, but overall it was pretty easy to use. In the classroom, I can see students using this from K-12.  Whether it be comparing the size of objects in K-2, using standard units of measurement in 3-4, calculating perimeter and area in 5-6, and then moving on to surface area and volume as they get older.  The angle piece would also be fantastic when teaching trigonometry as students could use real-world dimensions to calculate SOHCAHTOA.  Definitely an AR tool that would add value to any numeracy environment.




“The NEW Periodic Table of IOS Apps for AR and VR.” ICTEvangelist, 13 June 2018,

Activity 12.1 – Augmented and Virtual Realities

My use of AR/VR in the past has been limited to QR codes.  An example of this are the following posters which I would put up in my grade 9 math classroom where students could learn more about a particular concept.

The idea was that if students needed to review a concept they would scan the QR code and it took them to a website that had further instruction and/or practice.

Matt Dunleavy’s (2014) statement that AR and VR can create  “immersive and context sensitive learning experiences within the physical environment, providing instructional designers with a novel and potentially transformative tool for teaching and learning” (p. 29)  led me to a lot online investigation on what was possible with AR/VR and I came across a lot of fun things.  Kathy Schrock’s website was helpful as always.  I really liked the possibilities of the Merge Cube, so much so, that I got on Amazon and ordered one for my daughter for Christmas.  I plan on trying it out myself to incorporate into shape and space units surrounding the concepts of volume and surface area.   Further exploration then took me to Todd Nesloney’s article on Edutopia; Augmented Reality Brings New Dimensions to Learning.  Two ideas that I passed on to my colleague for her use as a literacy coordinator were the following:

  • Book Reviews: Students record themselves giving a brief review of a novel that they just finished, and then attach that “aura” (assigned digital information) to a book. Afterward, anyone can scan the cover of the book and instantly access the review.
  • Word Walls: Students can record themselves providing the definitions to different vocabulary words on a word wall. Afterward, anyone can use the Aurasma app to make a peer pop up on screen, telling them the definition and using the word in a sentence.

Overall, I think the use of AR/VR in the classroom is only limited by a teacher/student’s imagination and time availability for investigation, planning, and development.  I like that some of the tools I discovered, for example, AugThat, have lessons already created for teachers that align with common curriculums.  For other AR resources like SkyMap, teachers can easily integrate into their existing lessons to enrich student learning and engagement.  Lastly, the fact that there are AR projects such as Learning Alive, that although costly, do the prep and resource building for you.  Either way you choose to go about it, AR/VR is definitely a tool to engage students and promote collaboration.  It’s exciting to explore all of the possibilities.


Dunleavy, M. (2014). Design Principles for Augmented Reality Learning. Techtrends: Linking Research And Practice To Improve Learning58(1), 28-34.

“Augmented and Virtual Reality.” Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything,

Nesloney, Todd. “Augmented Reality Brings New Dimensions to Learning.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation,

Activity 11.1 – Technological Determinism

Reflecting on the Readings
As I read through the back and forth “discussion” between Adams and Valance & Towndrow my first thought was that the ICT world educators live in today is very different then the one they were living in in 2006/2007.  I remember when PowerPoint was the “it” ICT tool for techy teachers and how it reinvented how lessons were delivered and shared with students.  Sure, I can see Adams (2006) point that “an unassisted novice, a new teacher, or a busy lecturer may be more inclined to accept as given the PowerPoint defaults in forming their presentations, and subsequently the ideas about how they will present their material”(p. 393). That being said, I would argue that the early users of PowerPoint in the elementary/secondary environment were often fairly tech savvy and apt to go beyond the given templates/layouts in PowerPoint quite quickly after their introduction to the tool.  That’s where Valance & Towndrow’s argument about the informed use of PowerPoint comes into play.  Just like with any other tool or strategy being deployed into an educational environment, ICT tools such as PowerPoint require a fair amount of training and guidance in order for them to be used in a manner that adds value to instruction and learning.  It is often those original “tech savvy” teachers who take what they have learned outside of the traditional template or layout of a tool such as PowerPoint and facilitate opportunities for their more technologically novice colleagues to experience the tool in a pedagogically sound manner.

In today’s day and age, with the wide variety of ICT tools available to educators and students, technological determinism has an even larger impact on the classroom.  In many ways, we are actually at a point where technology is driving pedagogy.  This leads back to the importance of informed use.  Educators need to be trained not only on how to use tech tools in their classroom but also on how to evaluate whether these tools are adding to or limiting their instructional practice.  This takes time, however, as new technologies arise, technological leaders or champions also arise.  These individuals can then work with tech novices to ensure best practice.

Examples of Technological Determinism vs Informed Use
Projectors and interactive whiteboards are an excellent example of how teachers can get bogged down by their perceived limitations of an ICT tool.  When computer projectors first made their way into classrooms, really all they were were a glorified overhead/film projectors.  However, as teachers became more familiar with them a variety of “teacher hacks” began to appear.  For example, projecting onto the whiteboard so you could use your whiteboard marker to annotate over the projection, or hooking up a tablet using an HDMI or VGA cable so that the whole class could benefit from apps not available on the computer.  Then a couple of years later interactive whiteboards started making an appearance in classrooms.  For a while, they were pretty much giant mousepads that allowed teachers to control their computer from the front of the class.  But innovators stepped up and you began seeing teachers not only controlling their computer from afar or annotating over their lessons, but they were also creating opportunities for students to become instructional leaders through the creation of interactive lessons that students could not only be engaged in but even lead.

It is also important in today’s technological age that we’re not just using tech tools for the sake of using them and that we don’t always need to replace existing effective and engaging tools with the new shinier version.  For example, Google Classroom versus a website.  Does one replace the other, or do they both have a place in today’s classroom?  I would argue that Google Classroom is a delivery platform.  It’s where new instruction and assessment can be shared with students and a collaborative environment can be created.  A website, on the other hand, can be used as a reference platform.  Students can review or find extra practice in regards to previous instruction, access reference materials, and have access to classroom resources.  The key is to ensure that as educators we do not have a one tool fits all mentality.  It is necessary to use a variety of tools to meet the overall needs of our students and our instructional practice.

In the ever-changing world of technology, we are no longer quite as limited by templates/layouts found in early ICT tools such as PowerPoint.  Instead, we live in an age where developers are constantly creating add-ons and extensions that allow existing tools to evolve so that we are not constrained by original programming.  As educators, it is imperative that we continue to expand our knowledge of what is possible and how it will impact our students and share it with our colleagues.  It is also imperative that we ensure that technology does not determine how we teach but instead acts as a tool we use to ensure best practice in regards to delivery, collaboration, engagement, and assessment.

Adams, C. (2006). PowerPoint, habits of mind, and classroom culture. Journal of Curriculum Studies38(4), 389–411.

Vallance, M., & Towndrow, P. A. (2007). Towards the ‘informed use’ of information and communication technology in education: a response to Adams’ ‘PowerPoint, habits of mind, and classroom culture.’ Journal of Curriculum Studies39(2), 219–227.

Adams, C. (2007). On the ‘informed use’ of PowerPoint: rejoining Vallance and Towndrow. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 39(2), 229–233.

Assignment 3 — Web-based Activity

A colleague and I were talking about how we both had put together portfolios when we were first entering the teaching profession to bring with us on interviews.  We both agreed, that if we were entering the profession today we would instead create a digital portfolio.  I thought this would be a great activity to use in a health or CALM class to give students a leg up when preparing to enter the workforce, apply for scholarships, and/or apply for post-secondary education.  Since I was familiar with the Health 9 curriculum, I chose to create this activity for grade 9 students, but it could be used at a variety of grade levels.  I chose to use Google Sites as a template as it is an easy platform for students to work with and personalize.  Since creating this activity, I have passed it on to my former partner teacher and she plans on using it with her class later this year.

You will need a Google account to access the Google Site I created and to see it the same way students would.  Since I am aware that some may not have a Google account I created the following slide deck with screenshots of what students would see.

To access a published version of the site template go to the following link:

Activity: Online Digital Portfolio
Subject: Grade 9 Health
Objectives: Students will use resources effectively to manage and explore life roles and career opportunities and challenges.
Specific Learner Expectations:

  • L-9.2 relate the value of lifelong learning to personal success and satisfaction
  • L-9.4 refine personal goals and priorities relevant to learning and career paths; e.g., investigate education programs including senior high school programs and those related to potential careers
  • L-9.5 extend and improve a personal portfolio; e.g., include sample application form, personal résumé, answers to typical interview questions
  • L-9.6 develop strategies to deal with transitional experiences; e.g., create a learning plan for transition to senior high school, keeping future career plans in mind
  • L-9.7 analyze the potential impact of volunteerism on career opportunities


  • Students open the following webpage:
  • Students make their own copy of the webpage by: 
  • Following the instructions on the webpage, students complete an individualized digital portfolio.
  • Once students have completed their site they publish their site to make it live.  Students can choose the following publishing settings under the share tab:

Assessment:  Digital Portfolio Rubric –

Activity 9.1 — Create a Wireframe

I created my wireframe in Google Slides using the Slides add-on Balsamiq Wireframes for Slides (HERE)

The Balsamiq Wireframes add-on made building the wireframe for the website I plan on creating for Assignment 3 very easy.  It was so user-friendly that I chose to create the wireframe for all of the sub-pages I plan on having within my website.  I plan on using a new version of Google Sites for assignment 3 and I’m hoping it will go well as I have only used the old version of Google Sites in the past.

Activity 8.1 — HTML Practice

HTML Practice
The code I created is available at the following link:

What is HTML?

html picAccording to Wikipedia, “HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a markup language for creating a webpage. Webpages are usually viewed in a web browser. They can include writing, links, pictures, and even sound and video. HTML is used to mark and describe each of these kinds of content so the web browser can display them correctly.” 1

What is my experience with HTML?

I have used HTML in the past when working on websites and blogs, however, I am definitely a novice. I usually resort to using HTML when I am looking to manipulate an existing blog or website template in order to get the desired text formatting or overall appearance. In order to manipulate existing HTML code, I usually resort to YouTube tutorials or google forums for help.

HTML Resources Used

  1. Code Academy
  2. w3schools
  3. Hour of Code
  4. Scratch

Some Commonly Used HTML

<h1> – <h6> Headings
<p> Paragraph
<i> Italics
<b> Bold
<a> Anchor
<hr> Horizontal Rule
<ul> & <li> Unordered List and List Item

Take Away

Most of the coding required for the lesson today I found pretty straightforward, although, creating the table was difficult and after an hour fiddling with it, I still don’t have it looking the exact way I would like. Overall, I’m glad that for the majority of my purposes I am able to use website and blog templates and just fiddle with small snippets of the HTML code rather than create from scratch.

“HTML.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Oct. 2018,

7.3 Make a Mind Map of Your Learning Network

Below is the mind map I created using MindMeister:

In my own teaching, I used mind maps a lot when I taught in the elementary classroom.  I found them a great tool to use in writing, science, and social studies.  I also used them in math as a way for students to demonstrate concepts with pictures, numbers, and words.  Now that I am no longer in the classroom, I see myself using mind maps as I work with teachers to plan for the future.  Specifically, with Alberta putting out new curriculum my colleagues and I are using mind maps as one tool to help teachers plan for implementation.

7.1 Emerging Technologies and You

Although the 2017 Horizon Report focuses on higher education most of their findings are also relevant when discussing technology in both the secondary and elementary environment.  Though, I would argue that elementary and secondary classrooms are even a little ahead of post-secondary when discussing technology in the classroom.  Blended learning environments, which are becoming more and more popular in post-secondary, have been showing in up in both elementary and secondary classrooms a lot over the years.  Students are increasingly able to use technology to not only personalize their learning but also to meet their different learning styles and abilities.  I see this particularly in the numeracy and the literacy environment.  Online tools such as Raz-Kids, Mathletics, Dreambox Learning, and Reading Eggs are tools I see employed in many an elementary classroom that allows teachers to provide resources at each student’s required level and also give students choice in regards to preferred learning style.  At the secondary level, many a classroom teacher is using online tools such as Khan Academy, IXL, and Newsela to do the same thing.  I have also seen a couple of teachers who have created videos of all of their lessons and ask students to watch them prior to class so class time is spent having engaging discussion and critical practice.

As mentioned in the Horizon Report “the pervasiveness of mobile devices is changing the way people interact with content and their surroundings” and this is especially true in the secondary environment (2017, p. 40).  As a secondary teacher, I used the ubiquity of cell phones to my advantage.  On a daily basis, my students were using their mobile devices to access tools such as Quizlet, Remind, QR scanners, and Kahoot.  They were also used to do research, collaborate with their peers, give feedback, and respond to formative assessment.  As personal computers and mobile labs have become more prominent over the last couple of years, students are also expected to become more competent in the use of cloud-based tools.  Students as young as grade 3 are using Google Apps for Education on a regular basis and are also becoming familiar with learning management systems such as Google Classroom.

All of these tools have allowed teachers to take education to further heights.  We are no longer confined to the four walls of our classroom nor the 8-3 timeframe of a school day.  Students are able to easily communicate with their peers and their teachers through a variety of online tools and can easily access information that used to be out of each.  The issue for us as educators is figuring out how to best harness all the technology related tools to create meaningful and pedagogically sound learning experiences for our students.  As mentioned in the Horizon report ” training must go beyond gaining isolated technology skills toward generating a deep understanding of digital environments, enabling intuitive adaptation to new contexts and co-creation of content with others” (2017, p. 2).

The New Media Consortium. (2017). NMC Horizon Report 2017: The Higher Ed Edition. Retrieved from


Assignment 2 — Ethical and Safety Issues

I chose to do Part B of the assignment this week.  I created the following lesson to share with colleagues at a high school in my district.  The lesson plan in is in the gray box below and the presentation is below that.

Lesson: Plagiarism in the 21st Century – A Teacher’s Resource

-Develop and use pedagogically sound strategies and resources to teach students about plagiarism.
-Introduce online tools available to both students and teachers to help prevent and monitor plagiarism in student work.

Essential Questions:
What is Plagiarism?
Why do students plagiarize?
How do students plagiarize?
How do we deal with plagiarism?

ResourcesPlagiarism In the Digital Age Google Slides Presentation

Instructor Notes:
Slide 2  – Discuss essential questions as a group.
Slide 3  – Discuss graphic
Slide 4  – Have group complete the online plagiarism quiz.  Discuss the results.
Slide 5  – Take a look at the hyperlinked student resource guide.
Slides 6-9  – Go through the 4 Teach Them… methods.
Slide 10  – Discuss best practice.  Go to hyperlinked academic honesty policy.
Slide 11  – Show them the post by the Cult of Pedagogy and the lessons provided.
Slides 12-13  – Go through web-based tools teachers can use to check for plagiarism.

6.2 Copyright

I would argue that teachers are some of the highest copyright infringers on the planet.  Every teacher I know has photocopied a book or played an illegally uploaded movie from the internet.  We justify it to ourselves by saying we are doing it to meet the needs of our students.  Whether that is the case or not, the bottom line is we are breaking copyright laws.

In my current role as an adaptive technology coordinator, one of my responsibilities is managing digital texts for students who require accommodations.  In today’s day and age, it’s not as hard finding these resources as it used to be, as most textbook providers include pdf copies of their books when purchased.  The issue becomes ensuring students who require these resources have access to them under fair dealing provisions.  I find the sharing permissions in Google Drive very helpful in this regard.  When students require digital textbooks, I share the document as view only.  I also turn off permissions for downloading, printing, or copying the file under the advanced sharing settings.  This allows students to use tools such as Read&Write to access the accommodations they require in regards to reading text.

As a teacher, I often found it helpful for all students to have access to digital versions of textbooks.  It eliminated the “I forgot my textbook” excuse and also allowed students to access their learning while traveling.  In order to meet fair dealing provisions, I had a couple of different strategies I used to give students access to texts:

  1. If the textbook was available as a licensed resource on LearnAlberta students could access it there using their district sign in information.
  2. I posted links to current chapters on my class website.  The link would take students to a file in my Google Drive that was only shared with current students in my class and had permissions set so that they could not download, print or copy the file.

Overall, I try really hard to model behavior the follows copyright laws for my students.  How can I expect them to follow them if I don’t?  That being said, when I was teaching in a classroom there were still quite a few images in my interactive flipcharts and Google slideshows that were not properly attributed and the occasional movie from YouTube sometimes made an appearance in lessons.  As a district coordinator, however, I strive to do better and as I create new material I work very hard to ensure I follow copyright laws and fair dealing provisions.