10-Rep Learning ~ Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Best Hero of the Day ~ Wylie and Abilene ISD High School Robotics

                                                                                                        Students from Abilene, Wylie, and ATEMS High Schools are using their time productively during school closure. They are working collaboratively to build a robot for service at local Abilene hospital, Hendrick Hospital. The robot will help hospital staff to keep a safe distance by rolling in and out of hospital rooms. 

Community and Business partnerships leverage the project. Tiger Manufacturing, a local manufacturing company is providing covers for the robot. “The cover we build allows them to cover [the wiring], and so when they’re sanitizing it going from room to room, that allows them to sanitize it completely, smoothly and less contamination going from one person to the next,” Tiger Manufacturing Service Parts and Sales manager Troy Miller.

According to Wylie High School engineering and science teacher Andy Hope, “We just got them all together and started working, and seeing them work it’s the best feeling you can have as a teacher. Seeing them take the stuff they learn in the classroom and apply into real life.”






UPDATE: March 25: This story featured online at this link



Celebrate More Heroes of the Day


Distance Learning and COVID-19 Resources for Teachers

Literate Word Cloud by A.C.

Literate Word Cloud

In response to the growing number of schools that are moving to distance learning because of the current Covid-19 epidemic, PBS LearningMedia has collected a number of useful online tools and resources for educators.  Also, we will be hosting a free Webinar on Wednesday, March 18 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time to address these issues. 

For more information or to register for the webinar, please visit the PBS Learning Media website.




Additional Resources


Tech Infusion and its Potential to Mediate Online Identities

A recent ice storm caused my retreat from the roadways and outside activities. My indoor inertia was replaced with the indulgence of re-reading my online team process journals. These journals include observations, quotes of team members, ideas for future research, links to current research, and a few doodles. I remain committed to the learning power which emanates from doodles, but time to search for cooraborating research eludes me.

As I turned the paper pages of the journals a quote from an online research team member caught my attention. Our team, led by Dr. Eric Hamilton featured a conversation with Dr. Paulina Sameshima.

Dr. Sameshima’s dialogue during this particular meeting addressed how learners templatize thought for neural efficiency. Dr. Hamilton and Dr. Sameshima catelyzed a discussion on meaning-making.  My research teammate, in response said,

“We bifurcate on default”

My margin notes then echoed my astonishment at the level of understanding engendered from my research teammate. I wondered if the technological affordances of a synchronous meeting held within a communal space simultaneously shared through the online affordance of Fuze amid the separated environments of each of our individual locations coalescenced and liberated insights such as my teammate shared.

“We bifurcate on default”

There is a protection that emerges for online exchanges whether they be confined to formal learning spaces of online courses, webinars, and synchronous team meetings or informal learning spaces of chats, status updates, benchmark updates and the like. 

Both online participants and facilitators for new identities situated within the online community (Brown, et al. 1989; Ito, Kafai, Teague, 2017; Turkle, Wenger and Wenger, 2016). We may become a new version of ourself, embodying attributes of the self that are restricted or confined in the world of our face-to-face interactions. Through the participatory spontaneity of online discourse coupled with the identity safeguards of our physical environments, insights are formed and shared. Growth branches and, as Vygotsky wrote, this development precedes learning. 


Permenant Link: https://tinyurl.com/ParticipatoryOnlineIdentity 

Sameshima, P. (2007). Seeing red: A pedagogy of parallax: An epistolary bildungsroman on artful scholarly inquiry. Cambria Press. Amazon


Background polling supplemental research: As of January 2014: •  90 percent of American adults have a cell phone. •  58 percent of those have a smartphone (the number soars to nearly 80 percent for those between 18 and 49). •  42 percent have a tablet.1 It’s a truly different, more informed and more connected world. SOURCE: 1 – http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/


Teachers Tell All: Ten Tips for Online Course Success


Interactive Online Training Course Design~Versal

Versal is an open publishing platform for anyone to create interactive online courses – no coding required. Versal is an engaging LCMS for building interactive courses just by dragging and dropping widgets and configuring content.

Versal brings interactivity to online learning through customizable exercises called “gadgets.” Drag and drop gadgets – simulations, charts and so much more – right into your course. Teachers can use Versal for homework and classroom exercises, independent study, and content delivery.

Outside the classroom, Versal would integrate well to product tutorials, corporate training, and project management timelining.

Versal is flexible, powerful, and open to everyone.

Did I mention no coding required?


Image Source: Versal



Mobile Learning and Engagement: Are you part of the 15%?

mobile devices

Are you part of the 15%?

First seen in this article: The 21st Century Digital Learner by Marc Prensky




Apps for Language Arts, K-2

What’s New for K-2 Language Arts Apps

Storia This Scholastic e-reader app is designed just for kids. Books are embedded with questions, learning activities, and pop-up dictionary definitions. The app download comes with five free books; additional books can be purchased and added to a student’s bookshelf. iOS and Android. Free.

Super Why! Jessica Millberg, school library media specialist at Central Early Childhood Center in Deptford, New Jersey, loves to use Super Why! with kindergartners and first graders. “It’s easy to navigate for little hands and it addresses rhyming words, letter identification, spelling, word building, and sentence completion,” she says. iOS and Android. $2.99.

Read more by clicking here


There’s an App for that~A Christmas Carol

CCarolappThis mobile device app. offers a new way to read the classic tale A Christmas Carol

click here to learn more  http://ow.ly/gajr5



RudolphappFor younger learners, here is an app for Rudolph the Reindeer Christmas Games
In the game, kids act as the red-nose reindeer, deliver presents by directing lights on top of the houses; in the meantime, they have to lead the sleigh flying through the sky dodging airborne obstacles. Kids can collect power-ups and upgrade Rudolph’s abilities.
click here to learn more http://ow.ly/g9lEp

Both of these resources arrive from the iGameMom blog…Thanks, Beth Cheng!

Picture Source: Ebenezer
Picture Source:  Rudolph


November Resources from PBS Learning Media

November is brimming with teachable moments! Use PBS LearningMedia as a springboard for classroom discussions around historically significant moments like Election Day, (Nov. 6), Veterans Day, (Nov. 11), and the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, (Nov. 19) – as well as themes that tie to Native American Heritage Week and Bullying Awareness Week. To search for additional resources designed to support your social studies, language arts, science, and math curriculum, register on PBS LearningMedia – it’s free!

Examining the Presidential Campaign Map Grades 9-12 | November 6 is Election Day! Use this opportunity to explore the role of battleground states with your students and help them to better-understand the significance of these states in the presidential election.

Historical Perspectives: Coming Home From War Grades 6-13+ | Lesson Plan + Video Veteran’s Day is November 11. Invite your students to compare and contrast soldiers’ homecomings from World War II and the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

A City Unites to End Bullying Grades 6-13+ | Video Observe “Bullying Awareness Week,” November 12-17, with your class by examining how students in a California town came together to address bullying in their schools.

Living With the Land Grades 5-12 | Video + Support Materials For Native American Heritage Month, invite your students to follow the trail of North America’s indigenous peoples and learn how Native American tribes embraced the land.

The Gettysburg Address Grades 4-12 | Video + Support Materials Provide your class with context around Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, first delivered on November 19, 1963. Listen to former President Bill Clinton and Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discusses this historic speech.

Harry Talks Turkey Grades 3-5 | Video Thanksgiving Day presents multiple occasions to talk about math. Watch this video, and then have students estimate their own Thanksgiving menu quantities.


Curriculum Chunks Optimize Learning

Chunking content guides learning through content scaffolds organized in logical progression.  Our brains process information best through progressive and logical sequencing. Which is why in a play, Act I always preceds Acts 2, 3 and so on.

Karla Gutierrez at Shift’s eLearning Blog posted three ideas to consider when “chunking” eLearning content:

Consideration #1: Rank and prioritize content

Begin with your curriculum standards or Common Core standards. Then, Gutierrez writes, “organize information in a logical and progressive way by defining modules, then sections and finally topics. Start by separating conceptually related content in large pieces and use them as modules. Divide modules into smaller pieces, these will become your sections. Continue this process until the content divided into themes or topics.”

Consideration #2: Organize the content on each screen appropriately

Transition from one content point to the next. I think it is important to embed “back” and “next’ arrows for easier flow. I recently reviewed a course without these simple-to-add tools and the cumbersome navigation was distracting.  Gutierrez explains, “The truth is learners tend to scan content…they don’t ready 100% of what is on the screen. By chunking information you can get them to learn what it’s really important. So remember: start with basic and broad concepts and build upon them. If a screen seems to have a lot of text, strategically cut it into 2 different slides.”

Gutierrez provides 9 tips for organizing information at screen level:

  1. Organize content on the screen clearly, and in a logical flow.
  2. Place suitable amount of information (Short paragraphs of no more than 3 to 4 sentences is recommended)
  3. Use white space appropriately to increase the screen’s visual appeal.
  4. Preferably each paragraph should communicate a single thought or idea.
  5. Avoiding long and complex sentences is a must.
  6. The transition from one ‘chunk’ to another should be smooth.
  7. Use bullets and numbering to convey the main points.
  8. Break content into steps if possible.
  9. Rewrite, reorganize and synthesize your content when moving classroom based content online.

Consideration #3: Think in terms of the students working memory

Gutierrez cautions, “Remember that learners DO NOT want courses loaded with text-heavy, time-consuming content. Therefore, don’t include all content that is in front of you. Ask yourself first if you really need to include all the information.”

Once you determine what is the most relevant, add links to the remaining or extension content or create an infographic to convey information. Also, query students as the course progresses to ascertain their level of comfort and mastery of the information provided. This will greatly add to the effectiveness and longetivity of the inevitable re-writes “tweaks” of your course content.

3 Considerations when Chunking eLearning Content

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