ThingLink on Tour with VR Bootcamps

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This fall I’m excited to travel to locations across the US to launch ThingLink VR Bootcamps!  Like any plan I’ve ever developed, this plan has layers. It’s a complex plan that was built to benefit educators on many levels! 



About ThingLink VR Bootcamp

Our VR Bootcamp was built from the ground up to be useful for all educators. Guided by an understanding of the stages of tech integration and universal design for learning, and powered by pedagogy, this Bootcamp is built for success.

Level I – Working with all Bootcamp Participants

At the most basic level, I am excited to connect with educators and spend 6 hours learning and creating together! I’m eager to experience the excitement that occurs when teachers and coaches realize how seamlessly they can move to the modification and transformation levels of tech integration through the use of an amazing feature called Remix. This feature gives teachers and their students the ability to modify lessons in a couple of clicks and acquire a powerful skill. We’ve been doing our homework and we can’t wait to watch the transformation at the Bootcamps, right in front of our eyes!

Level II – Training-the-Trainers

At each Bootcamp I will be connecting with ThingLink Certified Educators in person to spend an entire day teaching and learning together at the facilitator level. This train-the-trainer model will empower local experts to offer their own ThingLink VR Bootcamps in the area, and it will accelerate the development of local leaders to inspire others to explore the powerful potential and educational value of interactive VR in the classroom. The development of local experts will be great for adoptors of VR at the basic level, and it will open up leadership opportunities, as educators increasingly adopt interactive VR into schools and districts.



Level III – Creating a Published Curriculum of Incredible Content

During our Bootcamps, educators will create content that allows learners to explore the most interesting places on the planet. We’ll learn to target instructional goals, collect data, and provide differentiated options within one engaging lesson. We’ll address digital citizenship with an emphasis on Creative-Commons licensing and reuse of 360 images for educational purposes. We’ll teach participants how to take 360 images with a Ricoh Theta camera and we’ll show you how to contribute them to a portal for students and teachers created by Kathy Schrock, called 360 Images for Schools.


Once we’ve created all of that incredible content, we will share it with each other, and participants can bring it back it to your own teams at your schools for modification and reuse. Schools can begin to design and customize their own VR rich curriculums.


At the end of the Bootcamp, educators will learn about opportunities to fine-tune the lessons based on our criteria and to explore further opportunities to design lessons for us as part of our collection of exemplary lessons that will soon be organized and available on our website.


Find a Bootcamp in Your Backyard

Explore this interactive Professional Development calendar to keep up with Bootcamps as they are scheduled. We are talking with enthusiastic coaches, teachers and administrators every day about scheduling more Bootcamps and we expect to be able to announce additional sessions soon. Be sure to follow us through the social media icons on the calendar!


//www.thinglink.com/channelcard/842080973221789697

Bring a Bootcamp to Your Backyard

Please email susan@thinglink.com to offer a training space and Bring a Bootcamp to Your Backyard! We provide our host schools with 5 ThingLink Premium Teacher accounts and complimentary training in appreciation for use of your space.




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On Tour with VR Bootcamps!

//www.thinglink.com/channelcard/844202061204553729

This fall I’m excited to travel to locations across the US to launch ThingLink VR Bootcamps!  Like any plan I’ve ever developed, this plan has layers. It’s a complex plan that was built to benefit educators on many levels! 



About ThingLink VR Bootcamp

Our VR Bootcamp was built from the ground up to be useful for all educators. Guided by an understanding of the stages of tech integration and universal design for learning, and powered by pedagogy, this Bootcamp is built for success.

Level I – Working with all Bootcamp Participants

At the most basic level, I am excited to connect with educators and spend 6 hours learning and creating together! I’m eager to experience the excitement that occurs when teachers and coaches realize how seamlessly they can move to the modification and transformation levels of tech integration through the use of an amazing feature called Remix. This feature gives teachers and their students the ability to modify lessons in a couple of clicks and acquire a powerful skill. We’ve been doing our homework and we can’t wait to watch the transformation at the Bootcamps, right in front of our eyes!

Level II – Training-the-Trainers

At each Bootcamp I will be connecting with ThingLink Certified Educators in person to spend an entire day teaching and learning together at the facilitator level. This train-the-trainer model will empower local experts to offer their own ThingLink VR Bootcamps in the area, and it will accelerate the development of local leaders to inspire others to explore the powerful potential and educational value of interactive VR in the classroom. The development of local experts will be great for adoptors of VR at the basic level, and it will open up leadership opportunities, as educators increasingly adopt interactive VR into schools and districts.



Level III – Creating a Published Curriculum of Incredible Content

During our Bootcamps, educators will create content that allows learners to explore the most interesting places on the planet. We’ll learn to target instructional goals, collect data, and provide differentiated options within one engaging lesson. We’ll address digital citizenship with an emphasis on Creative-Commons licensing and reuse of 360 images for educational purposes. We’ll teach participants how to take 360 images with a Ricoh Theta camera and we’ll show you how to contribute them to a portal for students and teachers created by Kathy Schrock, called 360 Images for Schools.


Once we’ve created all of that incredible content, we will share it with each other, and participants can bring it back it to your own teams at your schools for modification and reuse. Schools can begin to design and customize their own VR rich curriculums.


At the end of the Bootcamp, educators will learn about opportunities to fine-tune the lessons based on our criteria and to explore further opportunities to design lessons for us as part of our collection of exemplary lessons that will soon be organized and available on our website.


Find a Bootcamp in Your Backyard

Explore this interactive Professional Development calendar to keep up with Bootcamps as they are scheduled. We are talking with enthusiastic coaches, teachers and administrators every day about scheduling more Bootcamps and we expect to be able to announce additional sessions soon. Be sure to follow us through the social media icons on the calendar!


//www.thinglink.com/channelcard/842080973221789697

Bring a Bootcamp to Your Backyard

Please email susan@thinglink.com to offer a training space and Bring a Bootcamp to Your Backyard! We provide our host schools with 5 ThingLink Premium Teacher accounts and complimentary training in appreciation for use of your space.


//cdn.thinglink.me/jse/embed.js

ThingLink Bootcamp is Here!

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An increasing number of educators are interested in including ThingLink and the new 360 photo editor for VR in their toolkits. At ThingLink, we recognize the value and importance of providing busy educators with professional development to effectively incorporate new tools and teaching practices into instruction, and we are pleased to launch ThingLink 360/VR Bootcamp for Educators!

Our Bootcamp promises to be bursting with enthusiasm and packed with pedagogy to help educators learn, share, and create 360/VR Lessons. Our goal is to help educators s feel confident and prepared to seamlessly integrate ThingLink 360/VR into the classroom.

About ThingLink VR Bootcamp

This Bootcamp focuses on the powerful possibilities for teaching and learning with virtual reality across all content areas and grade levels. Participants will learn how to design and personalize interactive 360 experiences in the classroom using ThingLink’s 360 photo editor. 

https://www.thinglink.com/mediacard/809464126702092288
Explore this example in full-screen mode for the best experience.

Schedule

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Overview – What is interactive 360/VR?
  • The benefits of interactive 360/VR in the classroom, a pedagogical approach
  • Hands-on: Try it! Add tags to a 360 image
  • Lunch
  • Tools and resources to capture content: 360 cameras and more
  • Hands-on Guided Learning: Create your own virtual lesson with support using ThingLink’s 360 editor
  • Share out

In the morning, participants learn to design lessons that combine the power of ThingLink’s 360 photo editor with Google Apps and other popular 3rd party tools. We will take a look at ways to redesign classroom instructional time to embrace standards with the 360/VR experiences.

The focus of the afternoon will be on creating and publishing a curriculum-aligned activity for use with students. We’ll take a look at tools and resources for content capture, including 360 cameras and apps. With plenty of time dedicated to applying the learning, participants will walk away with a 360/VR lesson to use in the classroom the next day.

Logistics

  • Tickets: $175, includes a full year of the Thinglink EDU Premium with 360/VR editor and lunch
  • Facilitators: Susan Oxnevad, Director of ThingLink Education, and the ThingLink Certified Educator Team.
  • Locations have not yet been announced, so sign up below to learn about upcoming events in your region, or, schedule a VR Bootcamp for your district.

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Maximize Your Instruction with Google Docs

Join me and Simple K-12  on Thursday, August 25, 2016 @ 3:00 PM EDT for a webinar designed to help educators Maximize Instruction with Google Docs.  During this 30 minutes session, we will take a look at great ways to use a Google Form to inform instruction.

Thursday, August 25, 2016 @ 3:00 PM EDT

Learn to use a Google Form to

  • collect and organize assignments
  • assess student learning
  • personalize learning
  • monitor progress
  • and so much more!
At the end of the session, we will spend a few minutes exploring Add-ons to automate tricky tasks to maximize teacher planning time as well!
Sign up today to reserve your spot and learn to  put the power of Google Docs to work for you!

Learn to Create Interactive Graphics for Teaching & Learning

Please join me and Simple K-12 on Thursday, August 18th at 4:00 pm EDT for a webinar designed to help teachers learn to Create Interactive Multimedia Graphics for Teaching & Learning.

We will take a look at some student-centered learning projects that are designed to engage all learners through the use of rich media. We’ll explore ways to take advantage of integrated 3rd party tools, like Google Apps, to drive the learning and assess student learning. Learn more and sign up on Simple K-12.


Get Resources

Become a ThingLink Certified Educator

An increasing number of schools are interested in including ThingLink and the new 360 photo editor for VR in their toolkits. This is an exciting time for us and we recognize the need to build a very strong and talented team of experts who can help us grow. We are excited to announce the new ThingLink Certified Educators Program. If you love ThingLink and would like to be part of this team, we invite you to complete the 3 step process.

ThingLink certified educator is an official status that gives educators

  • Recognition as a certified expert within the education community and a badge to display.
  • Access to ongoing resources and support to stay up to date with the latest news and releases as ThingLink features are added.
  • Opportunities to promote your work on our blog and through webinars.
  • Support for your training sessions and plenty of bling.
  • Permission to consult educational organizations about using ThingLink interactive images in the classroom.
  • Opportunities to include ThingLink teacher or school licenses in training packages at a discounted rate. For each teacher or school activation, the expert educator receives a commission that is paid quarterly.
  • Top consideration for special projects, including content creation, as these opportunities arise.

Become a ThingLink Certified Educator in 3 Steps

  1. Complete the application.
  2. Submit a 360/VR Lesson that meets our criteria for publication through our app and on ThingLink.com as an example of your work as a ThingLink Certified Educator.
  3. Attend a virtual meeting with other ThingLink Certified Educator candidates on August 23rd at 7:00 PM EDT or at an alternate time if you have a prior commitment. We know you are very busy! After completing the first two steps, you will receive an invitation to the meeting via email.

We know there are many dedicated and loyal ThingLink users who are waiting for the opportunities offered through our ThingLink Certified Educators Program. Applications will be reviewed daily between now and August 15th, so please grab this chance to get certified. We would like to help our first round of certified educators get certified before school starts.

Question? Please email susan@thinglink.com.


Create a 360/VR Travel Guide or Tour

The next activity in the ThingLink Summer VR Challenge is to create a travel guide as a model for a project that encourages students to construct knowledge as they create. Explore the image above for a simple example, created using a CC licensed image found in the equirectangular group of Flicker.

Get Started

The first step is to locate an interesting image of a location you would like to learn about. Here are some places to find a properly licensed image for modification and reuse.

Please Contribute Your Ideas to This Padlet

All contributions and ideas are welcome. We are all learning together!

https://padlet.com/embed/ga8s4moy4ykj

Working With Your 360 Image

To upload an equirectangular 360 image to ThingLink, it must have an aspect ratio of 2:1. This means your image must be twice as wide in width as it is in height. Many images you find will have the correct aspect ratio, but you can all resize an image on your Mac or PC.

Resize an Image

  • On a Mac, open the image in Preview and in the Tools menu select Adjust Size to alter.
  • On a PC, open the image in MS Paint and use the Resize button to adjust the size in pixels.
The maximum resolution ThingLink accepts is 5376 x 2688. If an image goes beyond that it will need to be downsized a bit.

Upload a 360 Image

  1. Select Create from the upper right corner of the screen
  2. Click on the bottom blue button to start the upload process.
  3. After the upload is completed, the 360 image will open in editing mode.

Note: If your image does not fit the size requirements, you will receive a message with size requirements. At this point you need to resize the image, see directions above.

Pedagogy

Once you have successfully uploaed an image to ThingLink, it’s time to think about the possibilities that exist for engaging students in constructing knowledge as they create. A travel guide is a traditional classroom project that can be maximized through the use of 360/VR because students can explore the image to prompt research and annotate it to demonstrate learning. The best way to understand this is for teacher challenge participants to try it themselves.

Engage in Research Based on the Image

  1. View your 360 image in full screen to explore it. Look around to generate questions about the location. Here are some starters in case you are stuck.
    1. Where can this location be found on the map?
    2. What types of animals live here?
    3. What types of plants live there?
    4. What are the highlights of visiting this location?
    5. Is there a water source?
    6. What sounds
    7. Encourage thinking about questions
  2. Generate questions and find answers.
  3. Allow students to search by text or by images. Did you know that nonreaders can take a snapshot of the image and upload it through Google image search?
  4. Add the information to tags with text, media, images, audio or include any 3rd party tool with an embed code.

Polish Up Your Lesson

Please remember to

  1. Add tags to display the CC license.
  2. Include the name of the photographer with a link back to the image source.
  3. Add a tag to credit yourself as the source of the modifications.
  4. Add hashtags to help others find your lesson. #travelguide #Grade7 #socialstudies #at #ell #sped
  5. Consider adding tags to list standards addressed.
  6. Add a title and please consider adding background audio to your lesson. To do this, click the Settings button below the image when in editing mode. You will see where to add a title and upload audio.
  7. Remember to turn in your finished VR Lesson via the Teacher Challenge In Box

Turn it In

All Teacher Challenge activities are collected through an In Box. This inbox is embedded below and also available in the sidebar of this blog.

Resources

360 Images for Schools, a Flickr group by Kathy Schrock

If you have a camera or app capable of taking 360 images, please join Kathy’s group to contribute your properly licensed photos for reuse for education. You may also use any of the images submitted by educators, but we hope you will explore ways to create your own images and contribute them to the group as well. Kathy has a treasure trove of expertise and advice and the group is clearly organized to help educators embrace 360 photography so please spend some time on Kathy’s site.

Equirectangular Flicker Group

This group has 17.9 equirectangular images that have been resized with the correct ration of 2:1. This means these images are sized correctly and ready for uploading. Please explore this page when searching for images.

Quick Links to ThingLink Summer VR Challenge Posts

360/VR Vocabulary Across All Languagues

https://www.thinglink.com/mediacard/805802070127935490

Our ThingLink Summer VR Challenge is in full-swing and we are extremely excited about introducing our participants and sharing the vocabulary lessons that have been created!

We hope you will explore the map at the top of this post to meet the Digital Selves of the talented participants leading the way through this self-paced challenge. The map will be updated again to include more participants as they make it through the activity.

Our collection of engaging vocabulary activities is growing as participants complete the lesson, Vocabulary Across All Languages for the Summer VR Challenge. Please explore this poster, highlighting the most recent lessons submitted to the challenge.

Explore Our Channel of Vocabulary Lessons

As participants submit lessons, they are added to a poster. The posters are assembled into a slideshow channel of resources. This resource will continue to grow as the Summer Challenge progresses. We hope you will keep an eye on this channel and watch it grow!

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