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.

Disney ‘Connected Learning’ Aims To Infuse Games with Learning

Posted by Darren Ng


Corcoran, B. (2013). Disney ‘Connected Learning’ aims to infuse games with learning.

Disney has been developing games with learning in mind. A marriage of entertainment and education. Game designers and educators are collaborating to produce games that can hopefully be both “fun” and support “learning”.

Unfortunately there is not any research provided in this article as to whether or not the efforts of Disney to “infuse games with learning” has been successful. As of the writing of this article it is still too soon to know if their efforts have had the impact that they intend. There are too few games at the moment designed with these teaching goals in mind, and the games that do exist have not incorporated all of the concepts that the game designers and educators hope to teach. This is a great idea and one that has gained a lot of STEAM.

World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements

Anna Taylor

ET-Inquiry and Problem-based Learning
IL-Critical Thinking

What if you showed kids failure because life has failure? They learn from it.

John Hunter has shown his students how to learn from failure through his teaching method: playing a game called “The World Peace Game”. Take a look at this short clip below to get the idea.

John’s students are typically 4th graders and use resources like “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu to help learn how to create peace through war and chaos. This game is able to explore creative thinking, empathy, compassion, sacrifice, critical thinking and collaboration. John gives the students the floor to make things happen and serves as a guide and supporter, or as he says “clock watcher”. Pretty amazing. Take a look at the great TED video to find out more and check out his book for even more inspiration!

Rethinking Reading Promotion

Jennifer Brickey
ET—Educational Theory
Chance, R. & Lesesne, T. (2012). Rethinking reading promotion old school meets technology. Teacher Librarian, 39(5), 26-28. Retrieved from
Chance and Lesesne notice that promoting books in middle and high schools pose a large challenge for teacher librarians. They suggest that strong reading and book promotion can change a school’s culture. In order to accomplish this, they suggest reverting to an oldie, but goodie—booktalks. Booktalks offer a brief description of the book that allows students to have an initial reaction of interest in a book. However, Chance and Lesesne advise teacher librarians to give traditional booktalks a modern twist they call “Book Trailers.” Similar to booktalks, Book Trailers offer students a taste of what books have to offer, yet, Book Trailers allow traditional booktalks to be “easily morph(ed) into other forms that will be used by everyone in the learning community” (p.27). Chance and Lesesne provide multiple examples of sites that do just that—promote books amongst learning communities. This offers yet another tool for students to interact with books in a 21st Century model. To assist teacher librarians in their efforts, Chance and Lesesne offer ways to create book trailers and methods of extending the concept to classroom teachers.
Links provided in the article:
1)    Book Trailers for All, run by Teresa Schauer, a teacher librarian in Texas
2)    Guys Read

Building Skills in the Interactive Schoolhouse

Vaile Fujikawa
Thibodeaux, B. (2013, March 14). Building Skills in the Interactive Schoolhouse. Education Week. Retrieved from:

Summary: Very inspiring video about a new take on learning at a school in Texas. Lots of hands on, see how things work, do it yourself type learning in environments that differ from traditional learning spaces. Instead of a teacher telling a child how something works the student gets to look it up or build a model of it herself.
Evaluation: What a great place to go to school. I wish these kinds of opportunities were available for all kids everywhere. It seems like it’s kind of the trifecta of learning: you get to hear it, you get to do it, and you get to see it.

The Object Formerly Known as the Textbook

Vaile Fujikawa
Young, J.R. (2013, January 27). The object formally know as the textbook. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Summary: What is the future of textbooks? Some publishers are creating an entire course worth of content with video, text and homework included in e-versions of their textbooks. How do these ebooks (or personalized learning experiences as some would call them) play into the future of education, especially MOOCs? Will MOOCs become the new textbook? How do these changes effect the publishing industry?

Evaluation: Reading this article really helped me see the value in these kind of interactive textbooks. The stuff that Young reports on in the article is a lot like what we have been doing in 250 and SLIS as a whole. I have a lot of questions about where we go from here and how these kinds of programs can be developed to help students who don’t learn as well on their own. The move toward all “E” everything is slightly disconcerting to me, because I feel very strongly about the value of presenting materials in several ways to students. I just don’t think that an ebook, even with a bunch of interactive software is going to appeal to all students. I guess that on some level it doesn’t matter how far we’ve come, some students are still going have to learn in ways that are uncomfortable for them.