Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Weekend Ed. Quote – August 17

“Order emerges at the edge of chaos.” Roger Lewin and Birute Regine, The Soul at Work


… a busy, innovative, thriving classroom (or online discussion board, or boardroom) sometimes is chaotic. 




Back to School: Gear Up with Gratitude Mini-Lessons

The busy timetables of the school year can leave little time for extensive new units of study. As teachers, instructional designers, administrators realize the compacted time demands of each day, other options are possible.

Consider mini-lessons of 10-15 minutes to reinforce essentials concepts to enhance the invitational component of your classroom or online course.


  1. All Ages: Invite students to give voice to their gratitude. Youngest learners may draw and younger learners through adult learners can write or type for 10- 15 minutes on this prompt: How do you feel when you hear the words “Thank you”? Students can also text their answers to this prompt or use the Penzu online journal.
    Research Reinforcement: James Pennebaker, professor at the University of Texas conducted research that points to benefits of writing/journaling on well-being. Read more at this Link
  2. For Grades PK-2: This video from PBS Learning media describes how important it is for youngest learners to show appreciation to the parents and caregivers in their lives that help them!  Watch Video
  3. For Grades 5-12: Braincraft has the science behind why expressing gratitude feels so good. Watch Video
  4. Have a little more time? Feeling and expressing gratitude can help students better appreciate the kindness of others and the importance of their relationships with everyone in their lives. Dive into this lesson plan from PBS Learning Media that will spark a discussion around the meaning of gratitude. Explore Lesson Plans


Weekend Ed. Quote ~ August 10

“Surprise is the currency of adaptable change.” Roger Lewin and Birute Regine, The Soul at Work





Back to School with Instructions for VoiceThread – 9 Short & Sweet Steps

VoiceThread is a collaborative caldron combining text, video, personalized comments, audio, and images. Participating in a VoiceThread conversation is free, with registration. Used in a classroom near you, here are 9 short and sweet steps to create your next voice thread.

Instructions for Uploading Your VoiceThread

  1. Create and save a file presentation: (.ppt), .docx, or .jpg
  2. Go to VoiceThread.com and sign-in
  3. Select “Create” in the upper left of the screen
  4. Upload your PowerPoint presentation by clicking on “Add Media”>”My Computer”>”Navigate” to find you file.
  5. Allow the presentations to upload to VoiceThread
  6. Return to VoiceThread “Home” screen and click on presentation.
  7. When presentation opens, click on the “+” in the bottom center of the screen.
  8. Choose the microphone icon to record your audio.
  9. Make your audio presentation of your resource. Use the arrows on the left to advance your slides.

Learn More: 

Getting Started with VoiceThread in the Classroom

24 Interesting Ways to use VoiceThread in the Classroom 


Nerd Research Minute – August 6 – Reducing Distance Online

Repost from Education Dive: 

Reducing ‘distance’ is key to online learner success at this link: https://www.educationdive.com/news/reducing-distance-is-key-to-online-learner-success/521166/

Responsiveness and individualized feedback addressing learners by name are just two of many practices that build a bridge that erases distances in distance learning.  Methods to close the “transactional distance,” or the space felt between a faculty member and a student in the learning process, include opportunities for in-class dialog, peer-to-peer video, text exchange, and/or exposure to campus culture.



Carter, J. (April, 2018). Reducing ‘distance’ is key to online learner success. Education Dive blog, retrieved from: https://www.educationdive.com/news/reducing-distance-is-key-to-online-learner-success/521166/


Weekend Ed. Quote ~ August 3

“Isolation is the enemy of improvement.” ~Tony Wagner, author of The Global Achievement Gap


This quote is a good add for your bulletin board, letter to parents, and/or course syllabi. It encourages and hints at the necessary collaborative focus of the learning that will occur in your classroom.




Nerd Research Minute – July 30, 2018 – Personalizing Video

Personalizing Video: Is it necessary? Should I add my voice or relay on a robot?

Studies have indicated that the use of a conversational tone and/or including a personalized learning agent enhances learning. Also, using conversational tone and/or a personalized learning tool induces students to listen to content (Mandernach, B. 2009).

Consider the combination of evaluation and personalized video. Use your mobile phone app or laptop-resident video software to provide a quick, personalized evaluation for your students’ work. Too many students in huge classes? Consider sending a personalized message to groups of students who share a distinguishing feature (high assignment scores, by classification, etc…).


Mandernach, B. (2009). Effect of Instructor-Personalized Multimedia in the Online Classroom. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10:3 (1- 19).

Found in Southard, Sheryne M. and Young, Karen (2018) “An Exploration of Online Students’ Impressions of Contextualization, Segmentation, and Incorporation of Light Board Lectures in Multimedia Instructional Content,” The Journal of Public and Professional Sociology: Vol. 10 : Iss. 1 , Article 7. Available at: https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/jpps/vol10/iss1/7




More Nerd Research Minutes


Weekend Ed. Quote ~ July 27, 2018

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

~Winston Churchill


As we prepare for the start of the school year, perhaps this quote would be good to include.




InstructureCarn 2018 in Keystone, Colorado

This is the week for InstructureCarn in Keystone, Colorado. Our team from PBS TeacherLine submitted our proposal back in February.  … And it was accepted!!

We are excited about our session called, “We’ve Moodled on Over to Canvas: PBS TeacherLine Online Facilitators Share What Works.”  Our session is Wednesday, June 25th at 3:25pm.


InstructureCarn Session


Not going to InstructureCarn? Check back to this blog for the online handouts of the session!



Weekend Ed. Quote ~ July 20

This week’s weekend Ed. Quote was supplied by Cynthia who is one of the dedicated teachers in the PBS TeacherLine online learning course that I facilitate. The course is  “Teaching with Primary Sources from the Library of Congress


“Curriculums must become more thought-filled in the sense of enlarging students’ capacities to think deeply and creatively.”–Costa (2008) 
Thank you Cynthia!
Costa, A.L. (2008, February). The thought-filled curriculum. Educational Leadership, 65(5), 44-46.
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