VSTE Conference Information

Here are some helpful tools to add to your toolbox!

Whatever Happened to Joy in Education?: Dean Shareski at TEDxWestVancouverED

Keynote Speaker at the VSTE Conference

Dean Shareski was the Keynote speaker at the conference. He was wonderful and totally helped Brandy and myself feel re-energized to enter the classroom. I already emailed you his TED talk that he did on the topic of Joy in the classroom, but in case you didn't get a chance to watch it, then here it is again. You can follow him on Twitter with the label @shareski

Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Minecraft .....It is worth checking out!

Virtual reality is a big thing coming up into the education world. Kids nowadays love video games. If work feels like a game to students, then sometimes it is a lot easier to swallow for them. I went to a session ran by some teachers in VA beach that use minecraft in their classroom. In minecraft you can make your own world or use the prefabricated worlds that other people have already created......I think there is a cost to using it but I am unsure. I am new to minecraftedu. If there is a cost, then I think we might be able to get a discount.

Teachers in the minecraft world can fly over the world that the students are in. They can teleport students to where ever they are and they can freeze students from moving, both of these will help to get the attention of the students when need be.

Using Minecraft as an Educational Tool

Google Cardboard

Google has created a way to make virtual field trips more "real." There is an app for smartphones called "Google Cardboard." I thought this was fantastic, because for my unit 9 on Ecology, then I can send the students on a virtual field trip to the Galapagos Islands. When the smart phone is moved up then the student looks up in the virtual world and when the student turns 180 degrees, then he/she goes 180 degrees in the virtual world.


Class craft is like a version of class dojo but for older students. It is a way to "gamify" your class.
"The Hour of Code" is not the only opportunity that you have to code with your students. There are online lessons for coding at https://code.org/.
The Hour of Code is here

Formative Assessment Tools

Lauren Shovlin has already used nearpod in her classroom and she said it was a lot of fun! :)


Print off cards for your students to hold up and that you scan with your smart phone.


Virtual Poster Makers


This newsletter that you are reading right now was created with smore.com. I think it would be really neat to have students use smore.com to create a virtual newsletter on topics in a unit.


Tackk is great because the students don't need to create a new username and password for it. The students can just log in with google.


Padlet.com is a cool place to go to have students and yourself all contribute at the same time to a poster. You could use this in your classroom to have students all think up questions on a topic together, generate ideas, have a class discussion, etc. I believe the website is free, if you just go to the webpage and click "create a padlet," but there is a version that you can pay for that is $5/mo and gives you unlimited student accounts.

Word Clouds

Make "clouds" of words with clickable links to more information etc or have the students make them....Here are three links to some websites that make word clouds.

Let students demonstrate their knowledge on topics through comics!

Google Slides

Use google slides to make a comic strip by having each slide be a square in the comic and then print the squares of the comic strip out in print preview with 9 slides per page. If the comics are made in google, then the work is automatically saved when they are working.
Pixton has a free trial available and then teachers have to pay to use it with their students. For individual teachers, Pixton cost $8.99/month and if a district wants to use it, then it is $1.75/student per year.