Author - TOSAs Talking Tech

AV/VR in the Classroom, on a Budget

Augmented and virtual reality is beginning to make its way into movies, gaming and many genres within education.  Educators have been finding ways to enhance lessons with virtual solar systems that allow students to explore the entire Milky Way within their hands to reimage spaces using #DesignThinking without the need to alter that space.

Major technology companies have also been investing in AR/VR recently including @googlearvr that allows students to immersive themselves into amazing new worlds of their own creations.  Students can now immerse themselves in locations we as educators could only offer in a 2-dimensional video format.  To see some of these examples, head over to #GoogleExpeditions and see what others or doing in their classrooms.

So with limited technology budgets and space in the classroom down to a premium, what is today’s innovative educator to do?  Jamie Donally recently wrote an article for eSchool News titled 5 Easy, Low-cost Ways to do AR & VR in your Classroom.

Starting with the “Who” to Reach Tech Resistant Educators

We have all had a colleague or staff member that is hesitant to any type of technology in their classroom.  Creating technology equity among our classrooms can be a daunting task. Not just technology for technology sake but the true benefits of enhancing lessons to reach the limitless possibilities of the 4 Cs (collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication) that technology can bring.  So how do we as technology or site leaders ensure that all members of a school can thrive and enjoy integrating technology with their students?

Katherine Goyette and Adam Juarez address this very issue in the current edition of ACSA, Association of California School Administrators.  In their article, “Break Down the Walls: Connecting With Tech Resistant Teachers” they explain how in some cases starting with the why is just not enough if these educators do not share the same vision of enhancing lessons with technology.  Sometimes you must connect with the educator first, the who, to find commonality to your vision.

Celebrating with a Cheer and Year in Review

On the latest podcast, we discuss Bassett Unified’s “Cheers to 2017-18” event, where we were able to spotlight 5 different district programs we implemented this year: coding, a makerspace, 3D Modeling and design, Green-screening, and podcasting! We also got two school board members to come on the show for Manic Minute!

Also, we do a bit of reflecting on the year, highlighting programs, successes, and some hopes for next year! This will be our last weekly podcast for the 2017/2018 school year, and we will go to bimonthly releases for the duration of the summer. Thanks for making this an awesome year, and we look forward to serving you again next year.

Makerspaces in Education

The Makerspace movement has been sweeping through the education world over the last few years.  Many images of these Makerspaces have been populating Pinterest and making appearances at conferences, but does everyone fully understand their purpose?

Recently, Jennifer Gonzalez from The Cult of Pedagogy, shared a blog post and podcast called “What is the Point of a Makerspace?” In the post, Jennifer describes a lack of initial clarity with these spaces and their general purpose within education.

Jennifer brings in a good friend and expert in Makerspaces, John Spencer, a former classroom teacher turned author and now online instructor of Project Based Learning, Design Thinking and Makerspaces.  John gives a detailed explanation of the purpose of Makerspaces and the benefits these spaces have on student learning.  How does a Makerspace look and function in different disciplines within education, what goes into a space and the management of the Makerspace.  Most importantly, John takes a deep dive into how to start a Makerspace within your own classroom and beyond.  To find out more details on their discussion and what are Makerspaces, head over to the article and podcast on The Cult of Pedagogy.

Feedback with Ben Cogswell and Part 4 on Starting a Podcast

Feedback on the work you are doing is vital for not only your own professional growth but as well as that of your audience.  We all need to know that the work we are doing is helping others and what areas of improvement may be needed.  Likewise, your audience needs to know that their opinion matters and that they are part of their own educational journey.

TOSAsTalkingTech recently had an opportunity to interview Ben Cogswell, an Education Technology Instructional Coach for Alisal Union School District in Salinas, California and ask him why feedback is so important as a teacher, coach and/or presenter.  We also try-out a rare dual podcast interview on his own Coach’s Corner podcast available on the Anchor App.

Finally, we have the last in our four part series on “How to Start a Podcast”.  What it takes to publish, post and promote a podcast.  Hope you enjoy…

Student Produced Podcast reaches community!


We love all things podcast. From awesome tech related podcasts like Check This Out and My Tech Toolbelt, to geeky listens like Dear Mr. Potter and Stanford Innovation Lab, we listen to it all. Recently, TOSAs Talking Tech was a guest on a student-produced Tech podcast out of Covina, Ca. called Tech Tips with Tech Squad. These students are answering the tough tech questions that come from their fellow students, teacher and event he edtech community. They recently completed episode 14, and those episodes cover topics from chromebook do’s and don’ts, interviews with Covina High Principal and staff, and even interviews with some edtech podcasters like us! They recently presented during the student showcase at Spring CUE 2018. They are pushing the boundaries of the classroom and reaching out to others to help with tech issues, discuss classroom practices, and bring help to their listeners and fans. Led by their teacher, David Platt, they are a podcasting dynamo and we think you should go and give these students a listen! You can find hem on iTunes, Podomatic, as well as other Podcast players. When you listen, don’t forget to give them some awesome feedback.

Interview with BOLD Director Lindsey Blass, Podcast Pt. 3

Brand new episode of TOSAs Talking Tech, covering part three in the series “How to Start a Podcast.”  Tom and Mike

talk about the setting up and recording of a podcast, what to use to record, where do you record to, and how do you talk to yourself and make it sound good.  For more information on starting your podcast, you can hear part one in Episode 75.

Tom and Mike also went to #CUEBOLD Symposium 2018 and just can’t stop talking about the mind-blowing and perspective changing experience they had.  Here to sort it all out and talk about the behind the scenes magic is #CUEBOLD Director, Lindsey Blass!  Take a peek behind the curtain and maybe some insight as to what comes next!  “Thanks for joining us Lindsey!”

They also go over some upcoming affiliate events, like SGVCUE Innovation Celebration, CAPCUE Tech Fest, Gold Coast CUE Techtober, and Nevada CUE Silver State Tech Conference.  Check out the show notes for links to present and get more information.

How to Start a Podcast pt. 2, TOSAs Talking Tech

Part two in a series

Brand new episode of TOSAs Talking Tech, covering part two in the series “How to Start a Podcast.” we talk about episode length and how to schedule your episodes, as well as common podcast formats. For more information on starting your podcast, you can hear part one in Episode 75.

We also go over some upcoming affiliate events, like SGVCUE Innovation Celebration, CAPCUE Tech Fest, Gold Coast CUE Techtober, and Nevada CUE Silver State Tech Conference. Check out the show notes for links to present and get more information.


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