Friday, June 29, 2012

Teachers’ Systematic Guide to Integrating Games: Day 4 ISTE 2012

In this session I was unable to find out the presenter’s name, but I do know she was associated with PCaRD, a teaching model that provides guidelines for teachers to integrate games into student-center pedagogies. These games can be used for instruction, student learning, and assessment. 

The PCaRD model consists of four steps: Play, Curricular Activity, Discussion, and Reflection. These steps require inquiry, communication, expression, and construction from the students who experience the game-based learning model. 

The presenter listed the different role a teacher must take for the PCaRD learning model:

  • To create naturalistic game-playing environment

  • To observe students’ game play

  • To develop cases based on students game play experience , big questions of the subject-area

  • to bridge students pedagogical and school knowledge

  • To develop prompts & prompts & questions that allow students to articulate the social, affective, cognitive and motivational nature

  • to facilitate a large-group discussion

To experience this learning model, the audience tried a Web-based game called Spent. This game was provides you with the opportunity to make real-world decisions. The role  you take up for this game is a single parent who is raising a child with very little money. You are required to find a job and make decisions when different events occur in your life. Students are asked to make difficult decisions based on a circumstance that they are in.  

The objective of this game was to see how people live on a small budget, learn statistical facts about people who live in these conditions, and gain empathy for people who struggle daily because of their situation. It was quite nice to see ourselves discovering information and ideas through discussion when we played the game on our own (no teacher giving instruction). After playing the game we came into groups and discussed what parts of the game fits into the three kinds of knowledge: foundational (math/social sciences), humanistic (empathy, charity), and metacognitive (reflecting on the decisions you make). 

We also discussed the different curricular activities we would create if this game was used in our classrooms. Students can create and plan non-profit organization that specializes in educating people to budget their problems, or help low income people in their area. Students can then reflect on what they learned through blogs. 

Business-Oriented Project: Day 4 ISTE 2012

Out of all the student projects, I thought Ottawa Hills High School’s School of Business, Leadership & Entrepreneurship had a project that was unique and had a significant value to the students who performed the task. According to the school’s website, the tenth through twelfth grade students who attend the school work on their leadership, communication, marketing, and business managing skills in an authentic learning environment.

The school appointed two teams to design and market a water product. Students also created advertisements, slogans, and commercials that tried to influence their potential audiences. During the whole project development students were taught entrepreneurial skills, problem-solving and decision-making. This project gave the students to opportunity to be creative, and see what goes on in a business setting. 

I hope to duplicate this project with my 5th graders next year. I hope to have guest speakers teach (via Google Hangouts) my students on the principles of business, and the essential skills a business person needs.

I think it would be great to have students create websites and flyers to advertise their products, and place QR codes that link to Google Forms. The Google Form would ask 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Personal YouTube Video Collection with Google Drive!

I finished the Even More Google Geekiness: ISTE 2012 session with Chris Fitzgerald Walsh 30 minutes. He mentioned how videos can be uploaded into and played with Google Drive. I just tried it and it is amazing! He was right, you have a personal and private YouTube channel for yourself. You can even share the video to others!

Click here to see how I did it. 


Even More Google Geekiness with Chris Walsh: Day 4 ISTE 2012

This session featured Chris Fitzgerald Walsh presenting some new Google features that could be used in education. I have to admit that I went to at least four sessions that I thought were incredibly useless. These sessions presented technology tools and information that have been used by teachers for quite a while now (many people walked out in the middle of these sessions). So it was refreshing to attend a session where the vast majority of the audience learned a couple of new things. 

There was a lot of information he provided, but luckily he created and shared a Google document that contains all of it.

Here is a list of topics you touched on:

  • Document Management 

  • Downloading documents as ZIP files

  • Research Tool in Documents

  • Translate documents into different languages

  • Create nonlinear question/answer assessments with Forms 

  • Google Drive Video (private YouTube video collection)

  • Shorten your Google URL with 

  • Google Docs Template Gallery

  • Google Sites customization, embed work, and template gallery

  • And more!

For Korea International School teachers, please feel free to come to me this year if you need help with any of these features. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Microsoft Experience Center: Day 3 ISTE 2012

I got a sneak peak of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 at the Microsoft Experience Center. The center provided phones, tablets, and desktop computers that had the operating system, which is believed to be released at the end of the year. The video preview I watched before made the OS look very complicated, but after using it is quite intuitive. 

You have the option to switch from the desktop to the famous tile interface. Simply move your cursor to the bottom left corner to go the tile interface, and move your cursor to the top left to select the desktop. If you move the cursor to the left, you can transition to different applications. 

What I did not like about the Windows 8 Preview was the Microsoft App Store. The selection of apps for education were few. Even for popular categories, such as entertainment, games, and social media, were insignificant as well. However, I was told by a representative that more apps will be announced during the release of Windows 8.

I think the tablet version of Windows 8 was the most enjoyable to use. Transitioning from apps was attractive and simple.  

The phone Windows 8 version is incredibly attractive as well, which organizes each topic of into nice “living” tiles. There is a People Hub that integrates Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, mobile versions of Office, and features that allows you to transition from texts and chats, emails and calendars. 

Now for the educational portion of the experience center: Cloud-Based Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft believes that the use of the cloud-based Office 365 will make teaching easier because teachers can access documents anywhere, teach online, and create classroom websites. Like Google Docs, students can collaborate with one another, create documents and presentations to showcase their knowledge, and learn skills that are important at their future workplace. Similar to Google Hangouts, Microsoft Lync Online is integrated into Microsoft Office 365. This tool allows users to collaborate using instant messaging and video conferencing. 

I think the best benefit for using this product is the ability to create work, edit them at any time, store your work, and share them with others. 

A Google a Day: Day 3 ISTE 2012

Here is a picture of the Google booth in the exhibit hall that provided visitors short tutorials on how Google Apps and Chromebooks can be used to help teachers effectively deliver instruction, organize student work, and have students use them to express their knowledge and skills. 

The Google booth also were giving out free A Google a Day books. A Google a Day is a search-engine trivia game where Google asks questions that you need to answer through Google Search, which will lead you to the ultimate answer. According to the book, this 50 minute activity helps develop student online research skills. 

The picture about shows a question on the right with a hint if the students are having trouble with the question. The next page provides an answer, and background information that could lead to classroom discussion. If you are interested in lesson plans or live-training videos on online searching, please visit

For Korea International School teachers, a Google booth representative filled my bag with these books so please contact me for one (14 total). 

Applying Apps for Creativity with EdTechInnovators: Day 3 ISTE 2012

Ben Smith and Jared Mader created the EdTechInnovators website to provide teachers a resource for integrating technology effectively into classrooms. This session did not mention many apps, but presented two models that can be used to implement apps into activities and curriculum. 

This Designing Creative Activities graphic organizer guides teachers in developing activities that integrate technology tools that promotes creativity of their learners. Teachers can first present directions for the activity through multiple canvases. Then teachers can provide one or numerous tools that students can use to create their products. The EdTechInnovators believe that the instruction of the creative process needs to be indefinite, allowing learners to be more innovate and imaginative. I think this concept would be great for middle and high school students, but I have found that elementary students need more structure when they utilize technology tools in my computer lab. 

The Integrating Technology Curriculum Map graphic organizer also guides teachers in integrating technology into their curriculum. Teachers would first identify the curriculum’s goals, then list the 21st century skills that would be involved. The third step involves teachers identifying the integrated technologies and the students’ background knowledge of the content and the technology tool. The last step is the identification of the taxonomy levels that are involved when using the technologies. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

iPad Apps for Elementary Students with Alice Christie: Day 2 ISTE 2012

In this session, Alice Christie listed numerous apps that can be used by elementary students; surprisingly majority of them are currently in our Korea International School (KIS) elementary iPads. Instead of listing all of these apps (there were over a 50), I will be mentioning Christie’s new app that provides an organized database of educational apps, Apps4iSchool. 

Click here for KIS’s elementary iPad app list.

Alice Christie, iSchool Initiative, and Mobicip collaborated together to develop Apps4iSchool. This app organizes educational apps and can allows them to be searched by platform, subject, price, grade level, and genre. This app will be available in the iTunes store in a few weeks. The interface was very simple and the searching process can be very specific. 

I will definitely be downloading this app in the weeks to come.  

Google Treks with Alice Christie: Day 2 ISTE 2012

Alice Christie, PhD in Educational Technology, is a Google Certified Teacher, Arizona State University President’s Professor Emeritus, and has been teaching for over 40 years. Her website helped me immensly during my time in the credential program. Her website provided resources that helped me to practice integrating technology into my lessons to increase engagement and understanding.  

Her sessions touched on two topics: Google Treks in education and iPad apps in elementary schools. 

Google Treks is a concept of teaching and learning that uses Google Maps or Google Earth to take students to different locations around the world. Each location can consist of text, pictures, audio, and video to provide students with valuable information. 

Christie first explained that she used Google Earth for Google Treks lessons, but she found out that the program takes up a lot of bandwidth (In a past ISTE, her Google Trek session accidentally brought down the server). So she recommends schools use Google Maps since the tool is done all online. 

Here are the steps of creating Google Treks with Google Maps:

  1. Enter Google Maps website, and then click on My Maps.

  2. Click on Create new map, name your Google Map tour, and provide a brief description about your tour.

  3. After you save your tour, you will type in the address or keyword that will take you to your first location. 

  4. You will then click on the Pushpin of the correct location, add a title, and description of the location. 

  5. You can provide links, images, videos, and audio files in these descriptions. 

Click here to go to Dr. Christie’s Google Trek rubric. If you visit her website, you can find different tours based on subject matter and age groups

Mark Page-Botelho, my former EdTech colleague in KIS, used Google Treks in Michelle Clare’s 4th grade social studies unit last year. Michelle wanted her students to truly understand the suffering and hardship the immigrants experienced during their lengthy migration to America in the early 1900s. Mark helped students download the application into their laptops, and instructed them on how to create tours that depicted their immigrant’s journey to America. 

(Creating Immigration Passport with Google Documents)

Lego Education: Day 2 ISTE 2012

LEGO Education provided a hands-on experience center that allowed its visitors to use a WeDo Robotics Construction Set. This box set will cost schools $129.95 each which is cheaper than the popular MINDSTORM box set that costs $1,457.95.

LEGO Education boasts that their products can be an essential component to STEM education in any school. The utilization of these box sets require students to problem-solve, critical think, and collaborate to create different robots. These products are the center of student-led, hands-on learning activities that develop science, technology, programming, and mathematics knowledge of every student. LEGO Education robotics consists of the building sets, programming software, and curriculum. 

Our objective during the hands-on session was to create a goalie robot. The software program provided step-by-step instructions in creating the robot. When the robot was created, we plugged in our robot into our computer through a USB cord. Our next step was to program our goalie to move so that it can block shots. The ebook’s screen in the picture above shows how the robot-developer programmed the goalie’s behavior. The developer linked blocks into a specific order to describe the action of the goalie. If you click on the play button of the connected links, the behavior is performed by the LEGO robot. 

Here are some of the different types of robots you can create with the box set. I think this box set is more practical for schools because of the price compared to the MINDSTORM products. However, I have looked online and found cheaper alternatives to LEGO robotics. Here are some links:

Game Design: Day 2 of ISTE 2012

Day 2 of ISTE 2012 was much more eventful than the first. 

I first started the day with the Teaching Your Students Game Design in One Week session presented by Alexander Repenning. Alexander Repenning has developed an educational program called AgentSheets that can be used to create Web-based simulation games. This program is very similar to Scratch and Alice, which teaches students programming through game design. 

Prior to the session, we were instructed in an email to download a trial version of AgentSheets. There is a Mac OSX and Windows version of the program. 

Alexander Repenning’s goal of creating AgentSheet was to help public schools effectively teach computational thinking. The approach in teaching computational thinking must start  by motivating students to take IT courses, especially in middle school. Many middle school students currently take mind-numbing keyboarding or PowerPoint courses. Instead, schools should be providing stimulating courses that provide STEM simulations or sophisticated games.

Repenning feels that the idea of “Programming is hard and boring” will continue to linger if students are not provided with intriguing programming activities that they are able to conduct. For female students, there is less motivation when direct instruction is provided. Guided inquiry based learning actually motivates students the most. Thus, the perfect amount of motivation and scaffolding will increase participation in programming courses. Repenning hopes that AgentSheets is the program that can motivate students in getting interested in programming.

Here is what AgentSheets looks like. Repenning wanted us to recreate the classic game Frogger

First we created the different agents (objects) of the game: Truck, Frog, and Road. For each agent, we needed to make a depiction by clicking on New Depiction. Here is the depiction I created for the frog in the short period of time we had.

 We then placed the agents into the Worksheet window, which mine was called Level 1. 

Each agent was then given specific behaviors. Below is the window where you can place conditions and actions. For my frog, I indicated that if the frog “sees” a car then the scream sound would occur and my frog’s depiction would change into a dead frog. 

I am really excited to try this software in my computer classroom. Hopefully I could have some of the teachers integrate this software into their curriculum to have their students improve their critical thinking, collaborating, and problem-solving skills. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Day 1 of ISTE 2012

Finally arrived at sunny San Diego! The convention center is in Downtown San Diego, close to Gaslamp Quarter and PETCO Park. I wish ISTE conferences were always held here!

For the first day, ISTE 2012 welcomed their attendees with their Conference Kick Off and Member Celebration, and opening keynote. 

Before I attended the two presentations, I registered myself and received a bag that included a L&L Magazine, Sunday’s issue of ISTE Daily Leader, and resources from tiered conference sponsors and media partners (and a pen!). 

The opening keynote consisted of mostly discussion among a panel of people in the educational technology field. The discussion was moderated by Sir Kim Robinson, the author of the best-selling book, The Element. The panel consisted of Peggy Johnson, Marc Prensky, and Mayim Bialik.

I didn’t really enjoy the opening keynote because the moderator and the panel constantly  plugged their newly published books or their companies they work for. For example, Peggy Johnson kept bringing up her company, Qualcomm, bragging how the company played a great role in advancing mobile device technology. Marc Prensky and Sir Ken Robinson plugged their new books that just came out. But the worst would be Mayim Bialik, the actress from Blossom and CBS’s sitcom Big Bang Theory, who also has a PhD in neuroscience! She mentioned Texas Instruments, the company that paid her to come to the conference, several times throughout the keynote. 

However, I still did learn a few things from the keynote. Here is what I found out: 

  • Peggy Johnson stated that students have many opportunities to access mobile devices daily, but is surprised how schools do not provide the same opportunity to access mobile devices for learning. She also stated the number of mobile devices on earth will be greater than the world population this year. 

  • Mark Prensky believes teachers need to expand their students’ horizon helping them find and follow their passion.  Passion will ultimately lead to achievement. To expand their students’ horizon, teachers need to listen and respect their students. 

  • Mayim Bialik explained how one teacher in her past led her to the path of neuroscience, which she did not imagine herself doing because she was a young female. She stressed the importance of teachers who strive to improve female student engagement in STEM.

I am happy to find out that Microsoft is at the conference, showcasing their cloud-based products as well as a sneak preview of Windows 8! Their Microsoft Experience Center will present their educational programs, software, and tools that can enhance any learning environment.

Lego Education is also here and will be providing hands-on MINDSTORMS Robotics workshops that instructs teachers to enhance their elementary classroom through robotics. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

ISTE 2012 Blog!

ISTE 2012 Blog 

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is an association that advocates for the enhancement of PK-12 learning and teaching through the effective use of new technologies. This Sunday, June 24, the ISTE 2012 conference will kick off in San Diego Convention Center where hundreds of sessions and workshops will be provided, as well as over 500 EdTech related companies exhibiting their products. 

I will be heading to San Diego for the conference this Sunday. Please follow my blog throughout the four-day conference, as I post entries about new products and services in the EdTech and new information I gain from the specialized sessions I attend. Here is my itinerary:

June 24th: 

  • Conference Kick-Off and Member Welcome

  • Networking and Connection Activities

  • Opening Keynote Panel Moderated by Sir Ken Robinson

  • Happy Hour Reception

June 25th:

  • Exhibit Hall

  • Session: Teach Your Students Game Design in One Week

June 26th:

    • Exhibit Hall

    • Session: No Boundaries: Using iPads to Reach English Language Learners

June 27th:

  • Exhibit Hall

  • Session: Links to Learning-Free Internet Tools To Enhance Instruction

I am very excited to be your source for ISTE’s 2012 conference!

If you are actually planning to go to the conference, here are some great links that provides tips that will make your experience rewarding:


ISTE 2012 Conference in San Diego Trailer!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


A Google a Day is a trivia game that measures each players Google searching skills. Each day Google creates questions that should lead you to one answer. I can see how this daily trivia game could be a great addition to any online researching unit. 

Customize your Gmail, Google Search, and Chrome themes

Why? Because everyone wants a personalized-looking web browsing and emailing experience.

GMAIL Theme 

1. Go to the Settings button and then click on Themes.

2. Click on the Change your background image link and upload your own picture from your computer. 


1. Go down towards the bottom of the web page and click on Change background image.

2. Choose an image from a public gallery or from your own Picasa Web photos.


1. Go to your Chrome Apps page (New Tab) and click on Chrome Web Store, the first app. 

2. Search for My Chrome Theme and add the app to Chrome.

3. Open the app and start making your custom theme in three easy steps: (1) Import your image, (2) Add some color to the browser, background, and tabs, and (3) Intall/Share.