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Below you can find the following presentation artifacts:

  1. The conference and professional development handouts on virtual reality (VR). Feel free to download and share.
  2. Following the handout is copy of the conference presentation.
  3. Link to a student-made virtual reality museum.
  4. Professional renderings from
  5. a 6th grade student-created tutorial for my free workflow.
  6. A Minecraft inspired scene created by another 6th grade student.



Below is the presentation for session. This will be a brief ten minutes covering research and strategies for implementing the virtual-reality into the classroom.

The following site is our student-made virtual reality museum.


A professional “mystery contest” project uploaded by a user to

Another professional project on

How to export and import into SketchFab as told by a 6th grader.


A Minecraft inspired scene created by a 6th grader. Load the scene on your phone and then view in a Google Cardboard or VR viewer.

So you made it this far…and the world is coming to an end! To complete this stop you will make an image or video using a zombie or robot augmented reality app and then tweet it to #EDTE4200. Yes you can include a friend on this mission and make it count for both of you!

If you are on an Android based phone download the following fake news app from the Google Play Store:

If you are on an iPhone, download the following augmented reality app from iTunes:


Real World Example

    The video clip above was created using NewsBooth in the Apple Store.  Green screen technology is all the rage but the easiest way to put kids in front of the camera without having any technology ability is this app which superimposes the title headers onto video.  

   Throughout the year one of our enrichment activities was the creation of hoax news stories. The stories were either done as a creative exercise or were aligned to historical prompts. For example when writing on Mesopotamia students were asked to create a short story based on a student who created a time machine for the science fair and went back to ancient Iraq. Another popular prompt included students writing about finding a specific ancient artifact in the school yard and then infusing their tale with the history. In the video above students were asked to create a video for a school-wide anti-bullying campaign.


  1. The process is cheap because you only need one recording device for the class.

  2. Every part of the project is created by the students.

  3. It is easy to align the videos to specific standards if you use a prompt.


  1. You will have to train students to work cooperatively because without it your extrovert students will dominate the technology.

Rolling out the Technology (Beginners)

The best way to have students work on a project like this is through cooperative learning. It is important to have the script done before you begin creating the video. By giving students a voice or platform for different talents you can create cooperative learning groups based on skills.

   In one position it was not possible to immediately jump into cooperative learning; that was okay because it meant I needed buy-in from a majority of the classroom.  My way to engage my class was by hand-selecting students who showed an interest and then helping direct them as everyone else was finishing up regular “busy work.” By the time we were finished with the end product the interest of the rest of the class had peaked. In the end it was easier for me to introduce the value of cooperative learning and roles. Using an old beat-up iphone I was able to have students create their videos during recess and outside of precious instructional time.

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Real World Example

The example above was created by an English language learner and uses the paid subscription website GoAnimate. The website includes the ability to create a classroom where students can create videos online within a closed environment. With GoAnimate teachers reserve the right to publish to websites such as YouTube.         

   It is possible to use animation as a vehicle for instruction in the core areas. For example if students are learning about theme they can create an animation based around key concepts and vocabulary. If you work in groups, animation has the potential to be a “station” where students rotate creating short clips incorporating a writing skill. Animation software has the ability to authentically engage students if they are familiar enough with the website to use it creatively.

   I have seen language learners gain more respect based on the videos they created either because of their creativity or because the video demonstrated their intelligence. Keep in mind that just like in regular lessons you will need to include scaffolds, one-on-one, and small-group instruction in order for all learners to reach their potential.


  1. The technology does not require drawing skills.
  2.  Voice to text is exciting technology that tends to engage all learners.
  3.  Students can use Google Translate to help them make videos.
  4. You can use animation across all subject areas.
  5. Typically it is easy to share the videos to YouTube or to a blog.


  1. Language learners will still require scaffolds, small-group instruction, and one-on-one support.
  2. Initially it can be overwhelming for some students because the software is foreign to them.

1. Animation can give a voice to students who are not vocal in your class. Animation gives insight into introvert students and creative storytellers. If you have multiple languages in your classroom it is possible to create videos in these languages.

2. Most animating software is text to speech and already gives you the artwork to manipulate. In this sense you are only animating and not illustrating. The most important component is the dialogue, so I advise you spend a lot of time working on this before you begin animating.

3. You can incorporate animation into any core area. Animation can be centered around themes, vocabulary, or concepts.

Rolling out the Technology (Beginners)

    I have found that one of the best ways to engage language learners with animation is to pair them up with another student who speaks English and have them make an English and foreign language version of the same concept.  In this way the student is still getting practice in English, while providing comfort with the home language, and producing unique 21st Century work.  Depending on the level of English acquisition a student can also gain added support from Google Translate.

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Real World Example

The video above is the introduction for our school film festival on the theme of motion. Every video in the festival was aligned to 8th grade California physical science standards. All the videos were created with the web-based subscription service Powtoons.

   I have been the lead on a successful film festival and a mediocre film festival. Both film festivals happened in the same year with the same students. The problem is in one festival we had the entire school in the cafeteria, invited guests, and presented a top 10 of videos where my charismatic principal took the lead as an MC. In the other festival we rolled the films during lunch time and each grade level could watch them as they played.  On this project I was the lead and was nowhere near as engaging or energetic as my principal had been in the previous film festival.

 The first festival was transformative and students talked about it for a long time while the second festival was a failure because the students weren’t engaged. What I got out of that lesson was that if you make it a BIG deal, it is a BIG deal. If you are going to make a film festival then go all-out; add a red carpet, pack the cafeteria, use the best projector and sound system you have, fire up the popcorn machine, create fliers and posters, and have students privately vote for film categories.

   Please, please, please, I beg you do not just tell students “here is this animation program, let’s see who can make a video for our film festival!” There will be students who will learn the program automatically and will not want any help, but for you to make a difference with all learners you will definitely need to adjust your teaching practices for different students.


  1. A well-implemented film festival can change the culture of your school.
  2.  You can make the film festival a community event by inviting parents or the entire school site.
  3.  Through a film festival you will see new talent that was underrepresented at a school.


  1. You will need a site license for a program like GoAnimate or Powtoons.
  2. Someone at your school site will need to administer the online management system.
  3. You will need to have a plan in place for students to learn the technology (more on that below).

Rolling out the Technology (Beginners)

I have been part of two different roll-outs of GoAnimate and Powtoons. In one instance I taught my class how to use the software and then other teachers would send small groups of students to learn 1-on-1 from my students.

   In a separate roll-out we had 1 student teach a small group of 5 from a different classroom and then those 5 students taught another small group within their classroom. When the entire classroom had learned how to use the software they went and taught more classrooms 1-on-1. The classroom we taught from a different school site even went on to create their own “animation day” once a week after school for students to dive deeper into the software.

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