The Perfect Drone for Education: The DJI Phantom 3 Drone

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I have been fascinated by the idea of having a drone at our school for some time, and as the ease of use increases, and the prices decrease, the possibility for schools to utilize drones has finally arrived. 

I have been researching drones for education for quite some time and plan to write about how they can be used to benefit school districts in future posts. My research has led me to several amazing candidates for the perfect drone for school systems, but one, I believe may very well stand head and shoulders above the competition.  It will be unveiled May 30th, 2015.

The drone I believe may be the solution for schools is The DJI Phantom 3 Drone.

WEP 0011: Dare Mighty Things: An Interview with Kaci Heins

IMG_2543This interview with Kaci Heins is a lot of fun and very inspiring. I love her motto, “Dare Mighty Things” and I believe after listening to this episode you will be inspired to do just that in your classroom and life. Wired Educator interviews Kaci Heins about her accomplishments and recognition by NASA as a 6th grade educator and how she and her students sent a balloon and a GoPro Camera to the edge of space, and more!

Five Features Edmodo Needs


I am a seventh grade English teacher and I love using Edmodo with my students.  I really cannot recommend it highly enough to other teachers.  Edmodo is a great platform to have discussions, share work, collect and grade assignments, offer quizzes, post digital work that isn’t always easily sent home, and so much more.  I love that there is an iPad app too.  I do, however, like to see regular upgrades to all the applications I am using.

Here are five features I hope Edmodo adds very soon:

1) Seating Chart: I like creating new seating charts for my students on a regular basis. New seats liven class up. I wish I didn’t have to go to other applications for various features. I currently use Apple’s Keynote to create my seating chart, but this would be a great feature in Edmodo since their names and information is already in the program.  Also, with Keynote, I have to mix them up each time. I am sure Edmodo could allow you to rearrange them anyway you’d like.  To be fair, there is a third part app for free that you can install and launch called Class Charts.  It does a seating chart, but its user interface is not as fluid as Edmodo’s site and is a little clumsy in its use. It does not work on an iPad. (update: you can rearrange seeats with in Class Charts as you like.) The Class Charts app does not work within your Edmodo class.  You must go to the App Launcher, select Class Charts, then select the class, and then choose from the menu.  Edmodo could build this feature, and the others I mention, within each class.

A Teachers Intro to Using Tumult’s Hype 3 to Create Widgets for iBooks Projects

imagesThis is a guest post by Anthony DiLaura.  Anthony is a good friend who took the time a couple summers ago to get me started with Hype.  He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and hosts an iBook Hack Event for educators each summer.  I am fortunate and thankful to have Tony test out and review Tumult’s newest HTML 5 widget creator: Hype 3 and Hype Professional.  Thank you Tony! Follow Tony on Twitter here @anthonydilaura

Software: Tumult’s Hype 3 + Hype Professional


What it is: Software specifically for the Mac OS X that creates key-frame animation and interactive content in HTML5. Easily add content, actions, timelines, scenes and interactivity to your layouts for use in web design and iBooks Author widgets. Hype has a clean UI and perhaps can be likened to a compilation of iMovie, Keynote, and iAd Producer. Objects on the canvas function based on a specific timeline that plays when a scene is loaded.

Who: Teacher/Education

Why: eLearning, mobile learning, HTML content, animation, iBooks Author widgets, instructional design

Ease of Use: Intermediate to advanced

Cost: $49.99 Hype 3, $99.00 Full Hype Pro (or $49 upgrade in App purchases), $29.99 Hype 3 Education Pricing

Purchase for education:

Overall: Love it!

Review, examples, and tutorials: 

All cards on the table here, I am not a web designer, I don’t know HTML, CSS, or Java scripting. I am a teacher with a passion for learning and technology. I enjoy creating iBooks using iBooks Author. I have turned to Tumult’s Hype to help create HTML5 widgets for my iBooks. I am convinced that I am only scratching the surface of what Hype is capable of doing. However, for my skill set and what I am looking to do, Hype is a wonderful tool. Click below or here for more.

iBook Hack Event: Learn to Make Amazing iBooks

Do you want to make amazing iBooks? Learn from the best at iBook Hack Event in Zeeland Michigan on June 29 through July 1, 2015. 

Here are the details from the website

The Hackathon’s purpose is to train educators in designing high-quality, media-rich, Screen Shot 2015 05 03 at 9 48 11 PM interactive iBooks for education. This event is put on by experienced teachers for innovative teachers looking to impact their learning environments. 


The Hackathon is set up to differentiate instruction based off your current ability. From beginner to published author, the hackathon will take your knowledge of iBooks Author and instructional design to the next level. 




A time of peer review will provide you with critical feed back on how to improve your content. In the end, you will be amazed by what you can create and how great an impact it can have on your teaching and learning.

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The 2015 Create Conference

WE Create Conference

Looking for an awesome conference to attend this June? Please consider the 2015 Create Conference at Anthony Wayne Schools in Whitehouse, Ohio.

Here are the details from the 2015 Create Conference website

Anthony Wayne Local Schools, an award winning educational technology program, is pleased to invite you to take part in the 2015 CREATE! Conference on June 8, 2015.

CREATE! was conceived to provide educators with an opportunity to explore and discover real-world, standards-based lessons that incorporate creativity, technology and 21st century skills. Lessons containing these characteristics result in engaging, inspiring, student-centered learning. Let our presenters show you how they are leading the evolution of teaching and learning in order to more effectively prepare our students for the 21st century and beyond.

There are 3 session strands at CREATE!

1. Sessions that focus on the integration of creativity and technology into the classroom.

2. Sessions that focus on Information Technology support of classroom integration.

3. Sessions that focus on higher education and its focus on classroom integration through research and education faculty development.

Conference Details

(419) 877-5377
Date: June 8th, 2015 
Time: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Reader Survey: What are you struggling with as an educator?

1112-gmat-struggle-970-630x420I have had the pleasure of talking with and working alongside some amazing educators, and I have a lot more interviews lined up for the Wired Educator Podcast.  Posting blogs about my discoveries and experimentations with technology is a lot of fun too.

This might be my most important post, however, because it requires your involvement. I’d like to ask you, the readers and listeners to leave a comment and let me know what you’d like to see in upcoming and find out what you are interested in learning about.

I know all educators do amazing work, but we all have areas we want to improve on as well. That’s really the beauty of blogging and podcasting; we all share in the learning.

So, I ask you, “What are you struggling with? What do you want to learn more about? Who would you like me to interview? What Products would you like to see reviewed?”

I appreciate your time.  I will read and comment on every single response.

Thank you.

My Thoughts on Becoming a Swivl Pioneer

WE Swivl

The Swivl is a robotic device that allows you to record classroom presentations professionally and easily, and store them on the cloud with analytics and discussions. The Swivl sounds like an incredible device for educators to use in their classroom.

I am honored to have been selected as a Swivl Pioneer and I am extremely excited to begin using the Swivl in my classroom. Since the announcement I have been flooded with ideas on how the Swivl can be used in education, and I know once I receive the device my students and I will find even more solutions.

Flipped Classroom: The popularity and advantages of  implementing a flipped classroom have been shared with me many times. I have not implemented flipped lessons in the past because I have not found a way to capture my energy and movement.  I want my flipped lessons to represent the real me, not a fake version of me sitting in front of a screen talking.  Swivl is a great solution for capturing genuine lectures and can truly capture the energy of the teacher and class.