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Overload 101

Nings, AR, blogs, oh my! Make no mistake about it, I am totally in over my head. Like, gurgling in the deep end with no signs of SOS..... and loving it! The ridiculously awesomeness about this is that it is summer vacation, so it is ok to be on overload. Expectation is low, no lesson plans or grades to submit, and nothing is really scheduled except regular summer things.

So far, today I have learned that AR does not strictly mean Accelerated Reader (don't tell my dear friend Mrs. Reynolds. She would be devastated. Seriously.)... For those living in the tech world, it means Augmented Reality. The first video I ever saw for AR was from a teacher showcasing her second graders using the PC program and app, Aurasma (www.aurasma.com). To an unknowing viewer, it looked like a bunch of little people using iPads to take pictures of things... and although I didn't have an understanding of all that was taking place, one thing was sure- ALL students were focused and learning in a 100% student-centered class. (I will remind you at this point that these were second graders.) This, in and of itself, had me very intrigued. After checking out the website and app, I am starting to learn more about it. Also, a recent blog I discovered- Two Guys and Some iPads (www.twoguysandsomeipads.com)- featured more about Aurasma and its uses in the classroom. (Check out "Aurasma for visual thinking routines" on their blog! What a great idea!) Once you download the app, go to the Aurasma website and check out the "Oreos with One Direction" campaign. My daughter thought it was the coolest ever!

Next, in a few weeks I will be attending my first ever ISTE Convention. I am super excited and also very overwhelmed. At the time I registered, I didn't realize this was a convention bringing in over 18,000 attendants from literally all over the world. That being said, "fish out of water" doesn't even begin to describe me in my current state of technology understanding compared to the majority of those I will be attending with. To learn more about what to expect when I go, I have joined the ISTE 2013 Ning, signed up to join a Google Hangout session tonight, and also downloaded a webinar from a few days ago for new ISTE members and ISTE Convention newbies. Three days ago I couldn't have really told you what a Ning is and "hanging out" in a Google hang-out session was only one of those "I-really-want-to-try-that" ideas. 

So, while I by no means have it figured out, I am muddling my way through new technologies... flopping around.... gasping for air... and (for the most part) looking forward to how this new learning will change how I teach and use technology in the classroom.  

Check out these cool websites and blogs:
  

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