Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 6.00.24 PM.pngNearpod is the tool that I have been waiting for to create visually exciting learning presentations for the classroom for groups and self-paced differentiated learning.  You can add just about any content that you can imagine, including google forms/polls, videos and links to websites.  What I love is that you can embed good pedagogical practices like “Turn and Talk”, “Quickwrites” and assessment right into the lesson!  It is compatible with any device, including iPads.  You can create your own lesson or edit any of the amazing lessons from their ever-growing library.

Here’s one of the Nearpod lessons: Great Wall of China

Here are some lessons that I created:

Creating and Viewing Virtual School/Classroom Tours

What is Virtual Reality?

I will be creating lessons over the summer and would love to hear what you think about this resource!


Film Festival Student Commercials

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 6.02.42 PM.pngAs part of the Black Bear Film Festival’s educational initiative, students in the Milford, Pennsylvania were asked to create short commercials.  I created a packet with submission guidelines that the film festival organizers distributed to the educational liaisons at each school.  These teachers worked with the students to create the commercials.  Here are three student commercials that were created as part of that process:

“Create a Commercial for the Black Bear Film Festival!”






VR School Tour

I have spent a lot of time over the past few days shooting and editing the footage for the VR school tour.  Here’s what I have so far!VR School Tour

I am working on a white paper to explain the pedagogy behind VR in the classroom!



Panoramas on Round.Me

It’s been a very exciting few days learning all about panoramic photos!  Here is my Pinterest board of resources!  One of the most awesome developments is that I  learned that Thinglink is offering a free summer course called “VR Summer Challenge.”  Just the “360/VR Interactive Image Slam” alone taught me so much- Susan Oxnevad and Kathy Schrock rock!

One of Kathy Schrock’s great tips, besides learning how to work a Theta camera, was to a panorama hosting site called Round.Me – here’s my  first attempt. If you are on a laptop, use your arrows to navigate around the 360 degree view!

How is your VR/Panorama journey going?  My next project is creating a virtual tour of my school- stay tuned!

Let’s Make 360 Panorama Photos!

It all started with a NY Times Virtual Reality viewer that came with my newspaper!  It blew my mind how when I strapped my phone into the cardboard viewer and viewed some of the VR videos!  So interactive! I was so excited and ready to adapt this new technology for the classroom but as I did a little research, there is a question if the viewers are safe for children under age 13.  I think, for now, I will pass on the cardboard vr viewers until further notice.  Instead,I am ready to explore 360 degree panorama pictures for education!

Let’s start with taking a 360 degree photo! You can download the “Street View” Google app but I found the picture taking process a little cumbersome compared to the   “360 Panorama Occipital app.  Just load the app, find a 360 degree worthy vista, hold up your iPhone, press the button and start to turn around slowly.  After you finish your first rotation, circle around for the sky/ceiling and then a third time to capture the ground/floor. Download and share using the 360 email option, which generates a link.

The Bronx Botanical Garden Conservatory 360!

What do you think?  I would love to see yours!  Future posts will explore how and why we should use these 360 degree panoramas in the classroom!

BBG Rockefeller Rose Gardens

We Are All Makers!

gardenboyreadingWe make our world every day.  The term, “Maker Movement” feels new but the idea of creation is timeless.  Many creation stories have a higher power that does something spectacular: create a world.  In reality, our worlds are not created by the gods, they are created by us.  Every decision we make creates the landscape of our world.  Even when things happen that are beyond our control, as they always do, we can choose to respond rather than react.  It is in our thoughtful response rather than our reaction that we craft the world that seems most right to us.

In the Literacy Studio,  I wanted to respond to the tyranny of time by creating something where I would use my love of teaching, learning and collaboration to make a difference.  I thought I might start by creating a blog with literacy-based invitations for your classroom, home and/or community.  I hope this will be helpful.  I invite you to go on this journey alongside me and share your own creative journeys inspiring literacy in your classroom and community.  Wishing all of us a bon voyage as we embark on new learning adventures!