How AR and VR Can Make Students Laugh and Cry Out Loud – and Embed Them in Their Learning

Michelle Furtado


McMahon, W. (2018). How AR and VR Can Make Students Laugh and Cry Out Loud-and Embed Them in Their Learning. EdSurge, 28.

This article discusses a teacher’s experience using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) hardware and software to teach English lessons in a College class. The teacher purchased forty AR headsets and used them to create lessons in which students could experience literature in innovative ways. As an example, for a study of poetry and lyrics he had them visit a U2 site which demonstrated interaction with a worldwide community in song creation and performance. Students were then asked to share their experiences and reflect on them. Students reported a higher level of emotional engagement in their learning than they had without the technology. After the lessons, the students were challenged to create products that would be useful using the software and hardware. They had to write up their proposals and present them to a panel of venture capitalists.

The article is a useful one, given the movement toward AR and VR technology. Students are already interacting with the world through technology with such games as Minecraft and Fortnite. This article discusses the value of incorporating immersive technology into teaching. The problematic portion is, of course, the current cost of such technology. While this may not be a viable option today in most k-12 public schools, the cost will probably come down in the years to come. AR and VR will no doubt allow more lessons to achieve the Redefinition level of SAMR technology integration.

Dangers of Technology in Education

Sasaki, Lori


Ravitch, D. (2017, December 29). 5 Risks Posed by the Increasing Misuse of Technology in Schools. EdSurge. Retrieved from

In this article, Ravitch addresses potential impacts of misuse of technology in schools. She acknowledges the creativity and inspiration that teachers can have using technology, but places the blame on the tech industry for not doing enough to counter the fears of an increasingly tech-centric, impersonal, cost-driven education.

This article was a good reminder about the powers ($) and hidden agenda behind the proliferation of technology. With the rapid rise in the ubiquitous nature of technology, it is easy to forget dangers such as eroding student privacy and an increasing reliance on computerized assessments. There are definitely companies profiting greatly off of the incorporation of technology into every facet of education, and this article is an important caution flag to consider technology in the context of all that we value in an education.

What is the LIIITE Model? How does the range of contributions to a learning experience coincide with the various ideas?

Loertscher, D. V. (2016). The flexible “curriculum” of the library learning commons Retrieved from

Dr. Loertscher’s article is a wonderful explanation of the LIIITE Model. He eloquently states, “The LIIITE Model concentrates on the value-added piece of formal learning in the LLC. The title at the top of the model explains its purpose: “The LIIITE Model of Teacher Librarians: What Today’s Teacher Librarians Add to Cotaught Learning Experiences.” The caption at the bottom of the model hints at its use: “Six Reasons a Classroom Teacher Would ‘Hire’ a Teacher Librarian to Partner with as the Library Learning Commons Program Pushes Toward Cutting-Edge Practices.” In the center of the model, we see six major strategies the teacher librarian might embed in a learning experience to enhance the objectives of the learning experience as designed by the classroom teacher.” (Loertscher, 2016)

This article is easy to follow and is a great way to understand the LIIITE Model and is many applications.

Alan November’s Observation Suggestions for Administrators

Gould, Molly




November, A. (N.D.) Observation suggestions for administrators. November Learning.

Retrieved from:



Alan November, a thinker on the vanguard of technology in education, created this document for administrators implementing technology in schools and classrooms. A fairly straightforward checklist for evaluating the efficacy of technology in schools and classrooms, this document from the November Learning website is also useful for educators as they navigate the selection of technology for learning.



A wonderful synthesis of constructivist thought, this document reminds us that tech tools shouldn’t just become, in November’s words, the “$1000 pencil,” expensive without boosting learning; technology should also enhance learning, student voice, collaboration within the classroom and out into the larger world, and this list provides a very useful framework for assessing if we are using tech to its fullest potential.



If You’re Serious About Designing Edtech Solutions, Start With the Learners

Iansito, Karah
Sussman, M.  (2017, February 25).  If you’re serious about designing edtech solutions, start
With the learners.  EdSurge.  Retrieved from
Sussman speaks about her own experience designing and implementing edtech, humanizing what can be a dehumanized, disconnected, and antisocial experience.
Such an eye opener!  Again, I was lucky enough to have a sort of epiphany as I was reading this article, originally shared with class from Dr. L.   In thinking about the setup of a learning commons at my own school, Sussman’s article really hit home.  From my essay for Module 1 on the topic of Educational Theory and Practice:
Among the many articles I have accumulated on the subject, one in particular stands out for the way in which it frames the whole endeavor of the school librarian as creator and caretaker of the learning commons.  Over the past ten or fifteen years, and certainly of late in my own building, there has sprung up an atmosphere that could be described as sort of “us versus them,” with the tech experts and adopters on one side and the rest of the school community on the other.  It is unfortunate at best and toxic at worst, and can seem insurmountable, erecting a wall between colleagues that hurts everyone involved, not least of all the students.  This article, written by San Francisco Bay area native turned “techie,” Maya Sussman (2017), not only defines the problem I’ve witnessed at work but been unable to identify until now, but she cuts right through the chaff and gets to a reasonable way forward.  Her comments have to do with designing edtech, but I believe apply well to the school librarian as designer of the learning commons:
The good news is that the skills required to be a thoughtful and successful designer are also skills that make us better friends, co-workers, and citizens. A little more empathy, collaboration, and optimism can go a long way in designing more effective learning tools, and in bridging the divides between designers and learners, researchers and educators, and yes, Bay Area natives and techies. (Sussman, 2017)

The “us versus them” feeling has been pervasive, and I’ve wondered at how to bridge that divide.  I think I can be a great asset to my principal in this capacity as a veteran educator in the school.  The simplicity with which Sussman addresses the issue was inspiring to read, and I will keep it close by as I begin to think about designing my very first learning commons.  

Digital Citizenship: A Holistic Primer

Coulterpark, Rebecca


TeachThought Staff.  (2016, October 28).  Digital citizenship: A holistic primer.  Retrieved from


This white paper discusses digital citizenship, its definition, its current role in schools, and how it should be employed in the future in schools. The team from Teach Thought discusses the history of digital citizenship, and how this new form of citizenship has developed as internet use has become more prevalent, especially as online resources have become more pertinent to education. They introduce the core themes involved with digital citizenship, proposing that they are 1) respect yourself and others; 2) educate yourself and others; 3) protect yourself and others. The paper continues by discussing the necessity of digital citizenship at all levels of education, and how to employ it and teach students about how to be good digital citizens. They conclude the paper by discussing how digital citizenship might evolve in the future and answering potential questions about digital citizenship with continuing technologies, and how to teach digital citizenship.

The Teach Thought Staff take an in depth look at digital citizenship, and discuss how it should be employed not only at the K-12 level, but also in higher education. This article does a good job of looking at, and explaining, different components of digital citizenship and what types of responsibilities we have as digital citizens and the important pieces to teach to students who are new to the digital world.
The breakdown of the sections makes it easy to navigate, and takes an easy to read approach to the topic of digital citizenship.

Will Your Students Be Ready For College?

Jeselyn Templin


Cahoy, E. S. (2002). Will your students be ready for college? Connecting K-12 and college standards for information literacy. Knowledge Quest, 30(4), 12-15.

Summary: This article talks about the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) standards and the teacher librarian’s role in helping to implement them in all levels of education. The subject is presented with the intention of encouraging the reader to evaluate the educational standards in their immediate vicinity in order to make sure their students are getting what they need in the long run, not just to pass standardized tests.

Evaluation: This article has two downsides. First, it was published in 2002 which makes it the oldest source I explored for this class. Second, it is very specific about the ACRL standards and a few other sets of standards, all of which are rather old and not widely used anymore. However, the spirit of the article is relevant to teacher librarians of any generation. Teacher librarians are an important part of the educational system, and can take the initiative to make sure their students are getting what they need from the educational system.

IL-Teens and Tech Article

St Clair, Deb
Zickuhr, K. (2014). Teens and tech: What the research says. Young Adult Library
    Services, 12(2), 33-37.

Summary:  This article covers how teens are using technology, including how they conduct research.  It then goes into the need for teaching online skills.  

This article is very informative and provides insight on a relevant topic.  The author uses a report for Pew Research Center, an independent, nonpartisan research group that conducts extensive research on a variety of topics.  

Digital Projectors for Interactive Teaching

I finally found an article interesting enough to post here on the classroom blog.

Kids around a table using an interactive projector.

Nelson, K. (2016). 10 game-changing ways to use an interactive classroom projector. Retrieved from
This article describes modern technologies, like digital projectors, used for interactive teaching, turning any surface into a whiteboard which then detects fingers or a special pen so it moves like the touchscreen on a tablet or smartphone. Think of the possibilities in that. Maps, history, geography, all able to be interacted with and change how classrooms work.
Teaching Social Studies with Video Games
Maguth, B. M., List, J. S., Wunderle, M. (2015). Teaching social studies with video games. The Social Studies, 106(1), 32-36. doi: 10.1080/00377996.2014.961996
This article highlights the use of interactive video games as instructional tools in the classroom.  Students used the game Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings to build up a civilization.  This game was chosen because it could be aligned with state standards, had an easy to use interface, and good enough graphics to keep students engaged.  The teacher assessed student learning by having students write reflections related to academic content standards such as geography, trade, economics, etc.  Students were required to make connections between class discussions and the video game.  Teacher and student found the game to be a success in allowing students to practice academic content in “real world” scenario that was engaging.  The article even attributes this teaching strategy as an example of learning through play—a theory of Vygotsky and Piaget.

This article highlights the importance of information and technology literacy in our classrooms.  While this article did not highlight the role of a teacher librarian, I can only imagine how much more beneficial the outcome would have been if teacher and teacher librarian had co-taught this assignment.