Creating Personalized Learning Spaces and Activities with The Brain in Mind

I'm excited to be collaborating with my dear friend Naomi Harm and the talented team at Innovative Educator's Consulting for a wonderful Professional Development experience in Lake Geneva, WI on July 26-27, 2016. This action packed event promises to be filled with innovative ideas and practical pedagogy, as well as opportunities to connect, collaborate and get inspired by educators trying to make a positive impact on teaching and learning. 

About This Event

This two-day “MAKE My Day" workshop focuses on preparing teachers and administrators on how personalized learning and makerspaces can empower all learners in the new mobile teaching and learning environment. A variety of meaningful and purposeful student-centric learning centers supported with the brain in mind, and creative instructional approaches will be infused and modeled throughout these two days of facilitated instruction. The amazing IEC team and featured speakers or Travis Lape and Susan Oxnevad will also provide a stimulating learning environment by empowering networking opportunities between attendees, sharing of collaborative ideas through small and large group interactions, and implementing effective group work strategies through dynamic duo's and transformative trios, to maximize the learning potential for each and every attendee.

Explore this interactive image to learn more

Click here to reserve your spot today!

Join Kathy Schrock in Creating a Collection of 360 Images for Schools

Kathy Schrock is excited about creating ThingLink Interactive 360/VR images for teaching and learning, and we're excited that she's bringing her knowledge, skills and expertise to our journey. To help educators embrace 360/VR in the classroom Kathy has started a Flickr group to create a collection of Creative Commons licensed 360 photos for teachers and students to download and use in the classroom! This is all made possible through Kathy’s Flickr Group, 360 Images for Schools.

3 Reasons to Take the ThingLink Summer VR Challenge

The ThingLink Summer VR Challenge for coaches, teachers and students will provide opportunities for participants at all levels to work together to explore and create interactive 360/VR activities for teaching and learning. This challenge is free, self-paced and designed to help teachers successfully embrace the powerful possibilities of the 360/VR Editor. We invite educators from across the globe to participate! 

Here are 3 reasons to take the ThingLink Summer VR Challenge.

Dive Into ThingLink VR This Summer!

Scroll around this 360 image to learn more about our upcoming ThingLink VR Webinar 

The ThingLink Summer VR Challenge for coaches, teachers and students will provide opportunities for participants at all levels to work together to explore and create interactive 360/VR activities for teaching and learning. This challenge is free, self-paced and designed to help teachers successfully embrace the powerful possibilities of using 360/VR images in education. We invite educators from across the globe to participate! Sign up for more information about the ThingLink Summer VR Challenge.

Watch our Webinar to Learn More

Join us for a free webinar as we explore the powerful possibilities of creating and using ThingLink VR and 360 image lessons for teaching and learning. We’ll take a look at the new 360/VR Editor and VR Lessons app as we demonstrate great ways to use ThingLink VR in the classroom. We will also provide you with a sneak peek at the ThingLink Summer VR Challenge. This free, self-paced professional development opportunity is designed to help educators create VR Lessons. All educators interested in creating interactive 360 image and VR lessons are invited to participate and add your own content to our gorgeous 360 images. We’ll leave plenty of time for exchanging ideas and Q&A along the way.

Webinar at a Glance

  1. Explore VR Lessons.
  2. Demonstrate how to use the ThingLink VR Editing Tool to create your own lessons.
  3. Discuss exciting ideas for lessons and use in the classroom.
  4. Learn about ways to bring ThingLink VR to your school or District


Sign Up for our Free Webinar

Join us live Thursday, May 12th @ 8:00 PM EDT or watch On Demand.


Sign Up for the ThingLink Summer VR Challenge

Get ready for the official kickoff during the week of June 26th at #ISTE2017 and stay tuned to the ThingLink Blog for Education for more details.


Share the News on Social Media

Use the hashtag #TLVR16 and follow @ThingLink_EDU and @soxnevad for the latest news.

ThingLink launches Virtual Reality Lessons App For Education

We are excited to launch VR Lessons, our first virtual reality content app. The app is designed for elementary school students, their teachers and parents.

A SK12 Free Google Day of Learning!

Simple K12 is hosting a free online Google Event on Saturday April 23rd starting at 10:00 am EDT. This day of webinars promises to be filled with great ideas for using Google for teaching and learning. It will be a great day packed with amazing educators eager to learn and share, some in their PJ's! 

Digital writing with Google Docs has been one of my favorite teaching strategies for a long time,  so I am excited to be hosting a session to help educators Improve Writing Skills with Google DocsLearn more about this webinar and sign up on Simple

ThingLink Brings Interactive Virtual Reality to Schools

Virtual Reality is about to find it’s way into schools and classrooms with a new layer of interactivity from ThingLink! ThingLink VR will allow educators to create an affordable interactive learning environment to immerse students in learning experiences like never before. ThingLink is evolving from image and video annotation to 360 content, which gives educators a larger canvas to create virtual learning experiences.
"We want to make mobile VR an engaging platform for storytelling and learning." -Ulla Engestrom, founder and CEO of ThingLink

About ThingLink Virtual Stories

Students wear VR headsets and an iOS or Android phone to explore a ThingLink virtual story. They navigate through an interactive learning experience by turning their head and aligning a pointer to a ThingLink tag to explore details more closely. Pointing to a tag allows users to watch a video, view a photo, or read more about a location within the 360 content. In addition, tags collect data to measure student engagement within the learning experience

An Affordable and Accessible Option

It has been predicted that 2016 will be the year when Virtual Reality goes mainstream in Education, largely due to affordability. The only equipment needed to immerse students in a ThingLink VR learning experience is an Apple or Android mobile device and an affordable headset. Playback is supported without the need for a special app. Use of affordable equipment is a factor that can help level the playing field for many students.

ThingLink Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Since Higher order skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking are best learned at the human level, educators can redesign face-to-face instructional time to embrace the VR experience. 

One implementation strategy is to utilize a flipped-classroom approach, allowing students to explore virtual lessons online using their mobile devices outside of the classroom. When they return to the brick and mortar learning environment they can bring common experiences with them so they are prepared to collaborate, solve real world problems, and create. This type of engaging homework might just put an end to those worksheets, as the restructured learning environment sets the tone to maximize classroom instructional time.
Those who are hesitant or unable to extend this type of learning beyond the classroom walls might choose to implement interactive VR learning experiences through stations built into the differentiated classroom. It's fair to say that students immersed in interactive VR learning experiences are likely to stay on task and become stakeholders in their own learning while the teacher works directly with other students through small group or 1-1 instruction.
Think about the possibilities for educators across all grade levels for using VR technology to engage students in topics by offering a deeply immersive sense of location and time. This technology allows users to experience a situation like they were really there by making connections with the brain.

Imagine the Powerful Possibilities

There are many powerful possibilities for using interactive VR content in the classroom. The tool will allow students of all ages to jump into action, as well as engage in real-world learning experiences. One of our first projects at ThingLink will be to create virtual tours about sustainable urban systems that can be shared among city officials around the world.

Learn More & Sign Up

To get a glimpse of ThingLink’s VR editor and sign up for the Beta version, to be released in March 2016, please visit the ThingLink VR demo page.

Great Ways to Use Google Drive Slides

It's always a pleasure to host webinars with the Simple K12 team, and this was especially true on January 30th during the highly-attended free Google Day of Learning! Here are the Slides I shared to demonstrate Great Ways to use Google Drive for Student-Driven Learning Projects. Find additional Google resources on the Google tab at the top of this blog.

EdTechTeacher Innovation Summit Resources

I had a fabulous time presenting at the EdTechTeacher Innovation Summit in sunny San Diego yesterday. 

It was inspiring to be around passionate educators with exciting ideas. It was refreshing to be surrounded by crisp air, bays and palm trees.

The innovation summit combined an iPad Summit with a Google Summit. This made the conference highly appealing to me since Google Apps is most highly used tools in my toolkit.

Of course, my favorite way to use a Google Doc is to embed it into a ThingLink. Combining these tools allows educators to design powerful student driven learning experiences that include assessment and differentiation. Use of interactive images can help promote visual literacy and encourage writing skills that require students to write clear and concise summaries of information. Best of all, to create a ThingLink, users construct knowledge as they create. Anyone who has ever created a ThingLink will tell you they certainly learned a lot by creating one. Simply, creating a ThingLink makes you smarter!

Explore the Powerful Possibilities of ThingLink + Google Apps

Explore this interactive slideshow channel to access the resources shared at the EdTechTeacher Innovation Summit. Tap the icons and use the arrows to navigate and explore the powerful possibilities of combining ThingLink with Google Apps!

EdTechTeacher Innovation Summit is Here!

I'm looking forward to presenting at the EdTechTeacher Innovation Summit in San Diego on Tuesday of this week. The conference promises to bring together talented educators who are trailblazers. This sounds amazing to me and I eagerly await the opportunity to learn, grow and connect with educators at this EdTech event! 

Explore a Powerful ESL Project

This week when I met with a talented colleague, Deanna Otten, to collaborate and design a lesson for her ESL students, we hit the jackpot! 

Deanna shared a video project she was working on in which students created iMovies on an iPad to narrate stories and share experiences they had over winter break. As you will see, each of the students did a fantastic job of writing, illustrating and narrating their short stories, and Deanna put the work together to create a delightful iMovie. We both agreed that the next step would be publishing.

3 Ways to Embrace ThingLink EDU in the New Year

Happy New Year to All!
ThingLink EDU has continued to grow in 2015 to include more than 1,000,000 edu users. Along the way we’ve developed some pretty great ways to use our amazing tool to transform teaching and learning. Please explore 3 Ways to Embrace ThingLink EDU in the New Year. We hope you will get inspired to try one of these ideas in the classroom this year!  Read more on the ThingLink Blog for Education.