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.

Distance Education Trends

Alpers, Jessica

IL-Information Literacy and 21st Century Skills

Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance education, 27(2), 139-153.

Summary: The beginning of this article discusses technologies that are used in distance education, such a blogs and podcasts. Seven principles are given to describe how technology should be used in distance education. It should “encourage contact between students and faculty, develop reciprocity and cooperation among students, use active learning techniques, give prompt feedback, emphasize time on task, communicate high expectations, [and] respect diverse talents and ways of learning.” After discussing these seven principles, the article discusses how distance learning is changing.

Evaluation: I found this article very appropriate as we are all distance learners. We are very involved in technology as part of this class. The article was interesting to read to evaluate how this class and others use technology. For those who may run online classes as educators, this article would be a very valuable resource.

Modeling information literacy for classrooms of the future

DiZazzo, Cynthia

McNicol, S. (2014). Modeling information literacy for classrooms of the future. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 47, 303-313. doi: 10.1177/0961000614526612
McNicol (2015) discusses the importance of students as creators of knowledge, a key standard for modern literacy which has often been overlooked in information literacy (IL) models. McNicol maintains that in many IL models, “the focus is on the learner as a consumer, evaluator and organiser of information which has previously been produced, rather than as a creator and originator of knowledge” (2015, p. 305). In her research, she determined that students were motivated through their participation in the design phase of an activity, creativity was enhanced and links to real world skills were reinforced.
This article is helpful in directing teacher librarians and classroom teachers to capitalize upon students’ strengths, interests and ingenuity when designing collaborative projects to address modern literacy skills. In addition to promoting collaboration among students and teachers, McNicol’s findings encourage educators to allow and value flexibility in content, structure, and sequence when using information literacy models with students. The information presented also inspires teachers and teacher librarians to acknowledge students as content creators, rather than just consumers of information.

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.

The SAMR Model In-depth

Romrell, D., Kidder, L. C., & Wood, E. (2014). The SAMR Model as a Framework for Evaluating mLearning. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks18(2), 79–93. 

I appreciated how this article went into some depth about each level of the SAMR model for technology integration in the classroom with emphasis on the use of mobile devices. In addition to explaining what each level was, it also presented example scenarios for what each level would look like in a classroom setting. It also explored some of the downsides of devices, such as providing distractions from instruction, or problems that arise from everyone not having the same kind. This article is a great resource for anyone looking for a comprehensive introduction to the SAMR model or planning to make use of mobile devices with their students 

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.  

Articles on Teaching (by M.Motley)

INFO 250 Articles on Teaching

This is my list of articles on teaching. Most of them are for novices, and most of these are about communication between teachers and librarians, but there’s also some about technology that’s useful in the classroom. Most of them are worth reading, though some I gave poor reviews for not being especially valuable or noteworthy, merely supporting the subject or offering background information.

Jacobson, L. (2016). When librarians teach teachers. School Library Journal. Retrieved from

This article mentions several early-learning programs which librarians teach to teachers, particularly those associated with teaching children to read so they are ready for school. It will be most useful for K-3 Youth and School librarians or librarians interested in teaching these skills to the early-education teachers.

 Krebs, P. (2014). Why you should talk to the librarians. Retrieved from

This article is more interesting to K-12 and academic librarians, as it reminds teachers to contact librarians before publishing their syllabus and get additional resources that the librarian knows about. Librarians can offer even more help if you give them a heads-up about what your assignments are going to be.

They can pull relevant texts from the stacks and hold them on reserve for your course. They can come to your classroom and talk about which sources are available and how to judge their quality. They can suggest assignments and let you know about resources you may not have seen yet. And they can be a great help if you have to miss a class–they can work with your students in the library that day or in your classroom to keep them on track with whatever assignment you’ve given while you’re away at that conference.

I thought this was a particularly useful quote.

 LaGarde, J. (2012). 5 more TED talks that all school librarians should watch. (blog). Retrieved from

This list of TED Talks videos includes several interesting topics, each of which is worthy of review as individual articles/videos appropriate to our topic on librarianship and teaching in schools.

LaGarde, J. (2011). 6 TED Talks all school librarians should watch (and why!). (blog). Retrieved from
The original posted list of TED talks about librarianship. These video lectures are meant to inspire viewers and provide ideas and motivation to do things.

 Leeder, K. (2011). Collaborating with faculty part 2: What our partnerships look like. Retrieved from

This article, second in a series, is about how to talk to teachers and collaborate with them using library resources. The first in the series is general. These are specific examples. Key points are faculty training and technology assistance (another kind of training or infrastructure help with websites or hardware).

Deringer, S. (2013). Inspire collaboration: A quick and easy guide for super busy school librarians. Retrieved from

Simple advice on collaborating, starting with offering to help and respecting teacher’s time and schedules. This also lists a number of resources on collaboration.

 Ivey, R. (2003). Information literacy: How do librarians and academics work in partnership to deliver effective learning programs? Australian Academic and Research Libraries. Retrieved from

Good ideas despite being somewhat out of date.

Strang, T. (2015). Improving collaboration among faculty and librarians. Cengage Learning (blog). Retrieved from

This is a list with additional links to websites with further refined advice.

 Editor. (2016). The best apps for teaching and learning 2016. Retrieved from 

This list assembled by librarians at American Library Association contains a lot of educational software published in the last year. There’s also utilities to help teachers stay organized, which works between their smartphone, laptop, tablet, and PC.

Editor. (2016). Best websites for teaching & learning 2016. Retrieved from

Like the list of Apps, this is a list of useful websites which both teachers and librarians would find useful in education. A big part of a librarian’s job is to find stuff, but also to remember stuff we find so that when someone says “I wish I could do X” you can actually say “Yes, you can at link Y, and it’s free. I’ll show you.”

Firestone, M. (2014). What is collaborative learning: Benefits theory definition. (Video). Retrieved from

This video provides an explanation into collaborative learning and what it really means.

Levine, M. (2016). Collaborative learning in libraries. Retrieved from

This article describes the co-learning classes in first web design and coding and later in Arduino (Maker) projects taught at the Chattanooga (TN) public library system. This is pretty short and may lack sufficient depth to recommend to others.

Kruse, C. (2016). Creating collaborative learning spaces in a college library. (blog). Retrieved from

This blog post provides pictures and descriptions of Maker spaces in a college library and how those were funded. The article is a bit short though the pictures are useful.

 House, K. (2014). Multnomah County Library turns to ‘collaborative learning’ to lure teens in, keep them engaged. (Video). Retrieved from
This has a video and an article following it with supporting pictures and a brief quote from the instructor in charge.

Clifford, M. (2016). 20 Collaborative learning tips and strategies for teachers. Retrieved from

A list of techniques recommended to help students learn in a small group environment created through “collaborative learning”. These look useful and can be tested in the real world.

Editor. (2016). Empowering parents with technology. Retrieved from

This article is a post at Oak Park Public Library explaining their program to help parents keep better track of what their kids are learning in school. This is an example of an ongoing program which allows collaboration between librarians, teachers, students, and parents rather than merely another theoretical test using spent grant money. It is pretty interesting.

Nelson, K. (2016). 10 game-changing ways to use an interactive classroom projector. from

This is an interesting one, because it uses modern digital projectors to create active learning for students. The example provided would be excellent for history, geography, and probably geology too.

Annoyed_Librarian. (2014). Closer to real censorship. [Blog] Library Journal. Retrieved from

Anthony, C. (2016). Libraries are bridging the digital divide in cities. Library
Retrieved from

Barefoot, R. (2016). Week 3: Managing the roles of organizational change. SJSU SLIS 282-10
lesson. Retrieved from

Benjamin, K. (2013). 11 book burning stories that will break your heart. Mental Floss. Retrieved

Hernon, P. and Altman, E. (2010). Assessing service quality: Satisfying the expectations of library customers, 2nd ed. [Document]. American Library Retrieved from  

Mies, G. (2016). How to make technology training fun for your library staff. Retrieved from

Rabina, D. (2013). The dark side of Dewey. from 

Tennant, R. (2002). MARC must die. Library Journal,127(17), 26.

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.

Connection + Collaboration = Successful integration of technology in a large high school

Bradshaw, Trina


Lankau, L. 2015. Connection + Collaboration = Successful integration of technology in a large high school. Knowledge Quest, 44(2), p. 66-73. Retrieved from:

Lankau starts her article by setting the scene; the reader is a high functioning librarian in a optimal library setting, but he or she does not feel as though all teachers are being reached.  She then gives a formula that has worked at her school of 2,500 students and 170 teachers that involves making a connection with school leaders, who in turn can assist in connecting to new teachers. The suggested leaders include administrators, instructional coaches, department chairs, and returning teachers who have already experience the value of collaborating with a librarian. She suggests that the librarian set up meetings and ask these leaders to observe some of the collaborative lessons that are already going on in the Learning Commons. Have them preview a presentation illustrating the value of the library and collaboration between teachers and the librarian. The next step is the follow up with leaders and bring your presentation out to the wider audience of teachers through staff meetings or department meetings. Get feedback during these meetings so that follow up will be easy. Make sure that a follow up resource addressing teacher needs is accessible so that teachers can begin to utilize what the librarian has to offer. Before you move to another department, reflect on what went well and what teachers liked, revise and begin creating something for the next department and keep repeating the process. She ends by giving 10 lessons that she has learned for successful collaboration and integration of technology that she has learned during her 35 years of experience:  

1. Show rather than talk about how to integrate technology.
2. In the beginning, plan to do the lion’s share of the work while prepping for collaborative lessons.
3. Remember that “new” teachers on your staff are not always teachers new to the profession. Be patient and positive.
4. Don’t always expect teachers to come to you in the library. Travel to their classrooms or school computer labs. Make yourself accessible.
5. Study benchmarks and course content. Remember that we are not expected to be a content expert in every area but should know how to locate state- and district-required benchmarks.
6. Be on the lookout for new technology tools so that you can continually present new ideas at meetings.
7. Get to know your students! They are a great source of information about what is going on in the classroom.
8. Don’t assume that all teachers understand the value of subscription databases or that students understand the importance of evaluating websites.
9. Make the library the printing capital of your school. This service is not only a source of revenue for the library, but it can provide you with an ongoing bird’s eye view of the curriculum.
10. Recognize teachers who use the library: shout-outs at faculty meetings, pictures in newsletters, fun awards given for whatever you can think of: most check-outs, most library time, most-creative projects, etc.

This article presents an extremely practical approach for librarians hoping to collaborate with teachers with a goal of infusing more technology into the curriculum. Though the process of creating and presenting seems immense and somewhat daunting, the steps that she gives are definitely doable in small chunks. In addition, the resources that are mentioned are ones that have been mentioned in several of my MLIS classes, so most certified librarians will be comfortable (or at least familiar enough) to ease any fears about presenting on how to use them. I think that it is a good idea to start with the department chair so that there is an ally when approaching the rest of the teachers. If the leader is well respected, then the teachers will take their recommendation to work with the librarian seriously.    
It is important to note that this process comes after having already established a relationship with some of the teachers and having a well functioning library with adequate technology and other resources. In many places, libraries are still recovering after years of budget and staffing cuts. So, there is much work to do in organizing the collection, acquiring  materials and updated technology, and reinvesting the community before any collaboration can take place.