10-Rep Learning ~ Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Weekend Ed. Quote ~ July 12~Harper Lee

“I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries.”
~Harper Lee, Author of To Kill A Mockingbird, celebrating 54 years in publication



More Weekend Ed. Quotes


To Kill A Mockingbird Turns 54 today

Happy Birthday #54 to the Pulitzer prize winning novel,  To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee published on this day in 1960.

To Kill A Mockingbird Book Cover


Garrison Keillor assessed the impact of To Kill A Mockingbird, “The novel has sold more than 30 million copies since it was published, and has been translated into 40 languages. In 1999, librarians named it their favorite 20th-century novel. It was also one of the most frequently challenged or banned books of the 20th century.”

To Kill A Mockingbird is finally available in eBook form.
After years of holding out, author Harper Lee agreed to the book’s digital publication back in April. The e-book and a new audio book narrated by Sissy Spacek (can you say, “perfect choice”?) Amazon is selling the title for $3.99 in the Kindle Store. Barnes & Noble has it for $8.99 in the Nook Store. Apple has the iBook available for $4.99. Source: GalleyCat



Top 10 Most Read Stories on TechLearning.com

Check out the Top 10 Most Read Stories on TechLearning.com

1. Tech & Learning Announces Winners of its ISTE 2014 Best of Show Awards
2. Smart Ways Schools Can Save
3. ISTE 2014 A Great Success
4. The Importance of Ed Tech Leadership
5. FrontRow Releases Juno Connect
6. From the Principal’s Office: Sunrise Calendar App
7. App of the Day: ArtStudio Offers Wide Range of Creative Choices
8. Product Review: Sphero
9. Telling a Story with Data
10. Table of Formulas for Geometry


Summer Resources from PBS Learning Media

PBS LearningMedia is a FREE digital media resource designed to support curriculum-based teaching and learning from PreK through 12th grade. The service offers video clips, audio recordings, photographs, interactive games, primary source documents, and more. For full access to the PBS LearningMedia. Use these featured resources from PBS TeacherLine to introduce students to the buzzing, slithering, burrowing world of backyard critters and reinforce key concepts in the sciences and language arts.

Grades 3-6 | Plants & Insects | Video + Teaching Tips

Explore six types of arachnids including the black widow, brown recluse, wolf, and crab spider and discuss the role these insects play within the garden’s ecosystem.

Snake Jaws
Grades 5-8 | Adaptation | Blended Lesson

What kinds of backyard animals rely on special adaptations for their survival? Ask your middle school students to investigate this question using this interactive lesson.

Start a Nature Collection
Grades PreK-1 | Hands-on Science | Video + Lesson Plan

Help young learners develop an appreciation for the natural world by showing them how to organize their very own nature collection.


Differentiated Education Quotes from Carol Ann Tomlinson


Our PBS Course Calendar

Our PBS Course Calendar:

Week 1 July 9 – July 15
Week 2 July 16 – July 22
Week 3 July 23 – July 29
Week 4 July 30 – August   5
Week 5 August 6 – August   12
Week 6 August 13 – August 19


Weekend Ed. Quote~July 5

Learn­ing is phys­i­cal. Learn­ing means the mod­i­fi­ca­tion, growth, and prun­ing of our neu­rons, connections–called synapses– and neu­ronal net­works, through expe­ri­ence. Enriching the practice of teaching can be done by exploring the biology of learning.”~James Zull, Pro­fes­sor of Biol­ogy and Bio­chem­istry at Case West­ern Uni­ver­sity, Direc­tor of UCITE (The Uni­ver­sity Cen­ter for Inno­va­tion in Teach­ing and Edu­ca­tion)


We are shifting from teaching content to teaching learning. Read more here

See more here:

An animated, illustrated model of how the brain learns based on descriptions and illustrations in “Key Aspects of How the Brain Learns” by James Zull (2006).

Zull, J. (2002). The Art of the Changing Brain. Stylus Publishing.


More Weekend Ed. Quote


Photo tip for Independence Day

A Digital photo tech trick tip from Leslie Fisher for everyone taking pictures of fireworks. Here is the tip. Back up and frame the picture with your family watching them. They will probably be silhouetted and their back facing you as they watch, but, framing something in the picture of the firework looks really cool. Watching them from a great view. Frame it with the view!



PBS Course Emails Archived on the Tech Treks Blog

This term, I’ll archive course emails here for easier retrieval. Great when you are away from email but need to remember an important course component. Feel free to comment here with questions.

Our Course: INST342.34 – Teaching with Primary Sources from the Library of Congress

Course Calendar:

Orientation: July 7 – July 9

Week 1: July 9 – July 15

Week 2: July 16 – July 22

Week 3: July 23 – July 29

Week 4: July 30 – August 5

Week 5: August 6 – August 12

Week 6: August 13- August 19


Important Links:
PBS Teacherline: http://www.pbs.org/teacherline/

Library of Congress Exhibitions

Main Library of Congress website

Assignment Checklist




Nanocrafter Game Review An Opportunity for Exploratory Play

Academic Game Review: Nanocrafter

An Opportunity for Exploratory Play

Helen Teague

EDLT 728: Game, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds for Learning

Dr. Mark Chen

Summer 2014

Abstract Research verifies the important role of exploratory play in the development of cognitive ability, creativity, and concept management (O’Rourke, et al). Nanocrafter is the newest game to leverage exploratory play, offered in Beta from the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington (CGS). Announced at the Games for Change conference in April, 2014, Nanocrafter offers progressing levels of skill building for solo or team player as they visualize and build nanoscale representations of synthetic protein bonds. Synthetic protein bonds do not exist naturally and must be combined by scientists through synthetic biology. Synthetic biology and DNA protein bonds can be the medical solution to real-world challenges, such as disease treatment and debilitating medical conditions. Nanocrafter leverages the cognitive precepts of Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design (UbD), Strategic Design, and socio-affective attributes such as peer-review and collaborative groups. It also offers an engaging way to encourage high-school students to strengthen STEM core competencies. Keywords: games, simulations, protein bonds, synthetic biology

Powered by emaze Science is an inquiry-based subject requiring deductive and inductive reasoning, process thinking, and patience with trial and error. (Exploration-Driven Online Science Education). Nanocrafter follows The Center for Game Design’s distribution of Foldit. Following the success of Foldit which was originally created to facilitate innovative brainstorming among the scientific community (Chen, et al._____), Nanocrafter promotes situated learning through trial and error and the multiple iterations required for theory testing to prompt thinking in synthetic bonding.



Chen, M., Kolko, B.E., Cuddihy, E., & Medina, E. (2011). Modeling but NOT Measuring Engagement in Computer Games. In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Games + Learning + Society (p. 55-63).

Chen, Mark, Horstman, Theresa, and Bell, Philip. (In review). Playing science with Foldit.

Finnish Innovation Fund (2014). Helsinki Design Lab. Retrieved from: www.helsinkidesignlab.org.

Fullerton, T. (2008). Chapter 9: Playtesting. Game design workshop: A playcentric approach (pp. 248-276).

Minoff, A. (2014). Can we game our way to better health? Science Friday podcast, April 24, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/04/25/2014/can-we-game-our-way-to-better-health.html

O’Rourke, R., Butler, E., Liu, Y., Ballweber, C. and Popovic Z. (2013). The Effects of Age on Player Behavior in Educational Games. Foundations of Digital Games. Center for Game Science Department of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington. Retrieved from http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~eorourke/papers/age_behavior_fdg.pdf.

Science Standards Retrieved from: http://static.educurious.org/docs/EducuriousBIOUnitSumGenetics.pdf

Suri, J. F., & IDEO (Firm). (2005). Thoughtless acts?: Observations on intuitive design. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

The Center for Game Science at the University of Washington. Retrieved from http://centerforgamescience.org/.

Wiggins, G., McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Pearson.

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