Good Morning!

I am sitting in the Lobby of the Orange County Convention Center… Easily the biggest building (horizontally anyways) that I have ever seen. I am attending and presenting at the Future of Education Technology conference in Orlando Florida. My goal today is to write a few reflections as I go through the sessions. We’ll see how that goes but I started off my morning meeting with a few of my online PLN – Tisha Richmond, Steve Isaacs, Mike Washburn, Andrew Arevalo, Stephanie Vizcarra, and Cathy Cheo Isaacs. (Hope I spelled all those correctly!)

Alright… Off to my first breakout session! I will update this post throughout the day!

Update 1

First Session – Kasey Bell – http://www.shakeuplearning.comStranger Google.

Stranger Things lesson 1 – Always open the curiosity door.

Literacy Tools
Talk to Books – ask a question. Scans literature text that might answer that question.

Story Speaker- google home app – interactive stories w/ no coding. Find through Chrome Store. This is a “choose your own adventure” but with audio. Might be interesting for a ‘Dungeon’ style quest…

Emoji Scavenger Hunt – Google Experiments – game to find real world examples of the things emojis represent. Seems fun – Kasey suggests possible literacy applications.

Body Synth – make music by moving your body. Not sure about class applications but my kids are going to love this. Maybe a brain break activity in an elementary ed classroom?

Semi-Conductor – Google Experiments – conduct an orchestra by moving your arms. Not sure of the details but I bet it would liven up the Musical Appreciation class my 11th students say is dull because its all classical music.

Culture Tools
Draw to Art – Google Experiments – match doodles to paintings, sculptures, drawings from museums. I bet Carrie (@HeckAwesome) would find some great uses for this one.

Harry Potter: History of Magic – digitized exhibit from British Library

Google Trends – tells you what people are searching for. Tells about culture. Might be interesting for current events. Could be useful for math and graphing? Can check ‘Hot Trends’ and break down by country.

20 years of search trends – interactive graph showing search trends. Can key word search.

Life Tags – Google Arts and Culture – 20th century Life Magazine Photos have been made searchable. This seems very promising for primary sources. 4 million photos! Seems to be free too. Often magazines and newspapers are hidden behind a paywall.

Seek and Find
Notable Women AR – 100 historic American Women and were they should be on US currency. AR, hold the phone over a bill and it will replace the image with one of the historic woman photos.

For Curious Students
Made with Code program – fun ways for women and girls to learn to program and code. Trying to close the coding Gender Gap. Ready to Go coding projects that would typically interest girls.

Google Connected Classrooms – bring virtual field trips to students.

Doodle 4 Google – annual K-12 competition. Winners on

More Tools
VR Tour Creator – build 360 tours on your computer. Looks like students use their own pictures to create street map style tours of their local areas. Need a 360 photo camera?

Story Spheres – allows audio to 360 tours.

Google Sky, Moon, Mars – like Google Earth but for these extra terrestrial locations. Uses Apollo missions (moon) and Rover (Mars).

Fun Tools
Auto Draw – algorithms use your sketch to anticipate what you are trying to draw and gives suggestions.

Let Me Google That For You (LMGTFY) – a joke thing here. Record a screencast of you Googling something. I see many applications if you are on the Snark Side…

Kasey has some interesting tools to share. There are not a to here that apply to my class but I am excited about the Life Magazine Photos search tool. Lots for early ed and brain breaks though.

Update 2 – How big is the OCCC?

I just walked through the EXPO Hall at FETC. I was at my “wall with a purpose” pace… Bobbing and Weaving… 4 and a half minutes! The trek is so long that the video I recorded of this journey failed to load! There are sessions on both sides of the hall so you almost half to make this journey a few times a day… If you plan on attending in the future bring comfy shoes!

Those rickshaw drivers outside would make more money in that Expo Hall…

Just on a first glance the big Tech Item push this year is the MERGE CUBE. Walmart had these on clearance last year for $6-7. I wonder if it’s the same cube or if it has been updated. Also big this year are giant touch screen tv’s and tech security systems. Surprisingly less 3D printers than in the past. There are still big names all around which I won’t give free ad placement for here…

If they would like to sponsor me though I could probably be convinced ūüėČ

Update 4 – Chance Encounters and Podcasts

In a first for me I had a random run-in with a PLN. I bumped into Andrew and Stephanie on my way to get coffee and stopped to say hi. They were on their way to meet Ivan Kaltman (@wisedad_games) so I tagged along.

Then I headed to How to Podcast.

1) Important Considerations
2) Equipment
– a recorder allows mobile (needs sd cards) Zoom H4M Pro recommended
– external mics (AT-2100 recommended $60)
– boom stands (for mics)
– be sure to compress your audio
3) Software
– Garage Band
– Adobe Audition
– Audacity
– Logic Pro
– Soundtrap (web/cloud – based)
4) Publishing – feed has to live somewhere. There are fees. Around $15 per month.
– buzzsprout
– soundcloud
– podbean
– libsyn
– blubrry
5) Workflow
– plan
– book guest
   Рalways test the audio
   Рno sweetspot for length
– Edit
   РIntro? Outro? Music?
– share and get feedback
Legal Stuff w/ students
– check with Admin and student information officer (FERPA stuff?)
-Get a Co-Teacher
– Soundtrap and GoSynth

I have recorded a few podcasts with Michael Matera on his WellPlayed Pod. I have to say that working with him on this allowed me to anticipate qhere the presenter was heading in most of the outline.

Here are a few of the pods I have been on; most on the WellPlayed pod. Podcast Appearances

Update 5 – Blended Learning –¬†Project¬†Tomorrow

Project Tomorrow – Speak Up Research Project on Digital Learning. Series of online surveys that is a report on locally collected reports.

Research Findings – 406,779 respondents in 2017. Blended Learning is being used everywhere in K-12 environments (though not necessarily schoolwide). Also asking if there are positive academic results – only about 1/4 are responding yes.

(I think I wandered into an Administrator’s Session)

Administrator’s views of benefits

  1. extends learning (66%)
  2. personalization (61%)
  3. engagement increased (53%)
  4. responsibility for their own learning
  5. relevance of curriculum
  6. stronger school/home connection

K-8 Parochial School Study (2019)

  • length (“Maturity”)of Blended Learning implementation matters. Schools that had been doing BL for 3 years did better than those just beginning.
  • BL provided evidence of student proficiency (meaning how long the program has been implemented) as well as growth.

Steps to Implement

  1. Identify your BL Goals (but don’t have too many)
  2. Determine the Value of these Goals. How does it support the larger visions?
  3. Establish the Necessary Proof Cases. What constitutes a proof of success and who are you trying to prove it to? Do the stakeholders understand what the goal is?
  4. Verify the realism of measuring outcomes. Is it realistic and possible to measure the outcomes?
  5. Agree on the Logistics of measurement and reporting.
  6. Determine most appropriate messaging for outcomes.


This session was definitely for schools and nonprofits looking to justify the implementation of Blended Learning. It was mostly discussing ways to develop a program that would then be used to provide data to justify the implementation. Not a bad session and I am sure is very important for the admins that were in the room. Not really what I was looking for.