Be Teacher Geeks Who Tech

Blog Tech Rhonda.jpg

Did you know that Johnny Carson grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska? I didn’t until I recently visited Norfolk for a Summer Technology Institute (STI). I learned a little bit of history along with a lot of technology. Time well spent! 🙂

My colleague had invited me to attend this conference with her because she knows what a geek I am when it comes to Dave Burgess Consulting books. I couldn’t say no to this opportunity to meet one of the DBC authors.

Wow…so many ideas shared during our time there. I’m eager to get my classes started this fall so I can implement some of these tech ideas.

Want to know some of these digital ideas 🙂 Please let me share a few…

Matt Miller, author of Ditch that Textbook  (a Dave Burgess Consulting book) kicked off the conference with his keynote. He presented several breakout sessions as well. If you get the opportunity to hear him speak, take it. He has so much passion and enthusiasm to share about technology. And, he will autograph your book for you too! 🙂

Blog tech

My favorite of all the breakouts was Matt’s session called “The Lightning Round: 60 Great Digital Tools in 60 Minutes.”

One of the tools Matt shared was Piktochart.  Here is how I have used this tech tool in my courses: My students are required to watch a TED talk then summarize it by creating an infograph that is colorful and chock full of information.

Another tool that Matt shared was Aurasma. Here is how I have used this tech tool in class. Last year, when Poke’ Mon Go was all a craze, Aurasma became the go-to Augmented Reality tool. I created Stanger-mon Go using this tool with the help of others in my PLN on Twitter.  Students went on a treasure hunt and had several Stanger-mon Go stops to make. Students reported back to me that they enjoyed this activity and thanked me for introducing them to Aurasma.

Blog Tech Aurasma1

There were several digital tools in this 60 x 60 presentation that I had not heard of, and I look forward to playing with them over the summer. Check them out for yourself. I’m sure you’ll find ONE that looks interesting to you. Click on the title link above for all 60 tools.

The session that ranks as my 2nd favorite was titled, “The Digital Pirate: TECH Like A PIRATE” also presented by Matt Miller. This was technology plus Dave Burgess’ hooks from his book Teach Like A PIRATE which equaled really good stuff!

One example of this was The Safari Hook. Use the camera app on the iPad and have students go explore and take photos of things that represent their vocabulary words. I have had my Social Studies Methods students take photos using their phones to represent their family history or the history of their communities.

Blog Tech Safari Hook

A second example was The Costume Hook. Use Voki to create dressed up characters. I have used this in my Children’s Literature class by having students create an avatar that represents who they are and then use the recording options to introduce themselves to the class (yes, that cowgirl is me 🙂 ). Great to use for an icebreaker on my online courses. I’ve also had students create a book character using Voki.

Thinking about the costume hook…I’m sure Snapchat could be incorporated into lessons as a Costume Hook. Please share in the comments if you’ve used this idea in your classroom somehow. I’ll be working on ideas for this one during the summer.

If you want more of Matt’s great ideas, check out all his stuff by going to No, for real. Go there. You’ll uncover hidden treasure!

Embrace technology, folks. As Matt Miller told us…be maverick teachers. Be teaching geeks who tech not tech geeks who teach.

Listen to this voice of an active learner. Then go learn a few new digital tools yourself. 🙂

Stay Calm & Tech On!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.

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