Thursday, June 28, 2018

Takeaways From ISTE 2018

ISTE 2018 in Chicago, Illinois was absolutely phenomenal. Although I had the opportunity to enjoy being a tourist by visiting the Willis Tower, John Hancock Building, and Museum of Science and Industry, I was also able to attend eight sessions, explore a few playgrounds, volunteer in the digital Storytelling playground, peruse the Exhibit Hall, and co-lead my very first poster session with Danielle Abernethy.

A few years ago when I attended ISTE 2016 in Denver, I wrote about my takeaways, so I have decided to do it again. I feel like this reflection will benefit me as I plan for my next group of 5th grade scientists and 6th-8th grade Technology Club members (and even my Brain Bowl team to an extent). I am extremely excited for a few new beginnings; I am ready to take some risks this coming year and am ecstatic to re-emerge in the online educators' realm.

  • #booksnaps from Tara Martin was one of my favorite sessions this year. When Tara explained the scientific relevance, the awesomeness of her hashtag struck me out of nowhere. As a person whose right side of the brain dominates, I was suddenly intrigued by how something so simple and fun to create unites the two hemispheres of the brain. Since her workshops, I have created six of these-- five of which I am about to debut with a bit of a different (original!) hashtag. Of course, I am going to attribute a great deal of credit to her awesomeness
  • I was intrigued by how much I learned about AR and VR in 360. On Tuesday, I attended a workshop hosted by Andy Mann called "Learning in 360". The day before, I attended Jaime Donally and Rachelle Dene Poth's session called "Immerse Students in Learning: Bring AR and VR into the Classroom!" Although I already knew about CoSpaces, I did not realize its full potential. 
  • I had the opportunity to attend the first-ever Questathon, hosted by Classcraft! I almost delved into Classcraft last year, which is a gamification platform where educators can add a storytelling element to their lessons and incorporate elements from games to increase student engagement. The Questathon event focused on adding to their narrative, which invigorated me beyond measure. Although I didn't accomplish much while there besides random sketches, I was still drawn in to their rationale and innovative approaches. I really hope to collaborate with them more. 
  • I was so infatuated with attending the #booksnaps session that I was out there over an hour early. I wound up attending the session beforehand as well, which was led by Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning. This is embarrassing, but I never realized the full power of Google prior to this year's ISTE. However, after listening to her speak about the flexibility of Google Sheets and how other Google tools can transform one's classroom, I feel empowered to delve more into the Google realm this coming year. It also helps for my students that last year's fourth grade ELA teacher delved quite a bit into Google Classroom! 
  • I realized how my loyalty to my absolute favorite tech companies paid off! I was very specific when I visited the Expo Hall this year and learned something new when I visited many of their tables. Chibitronics debuted the ChibiClip (which was also at SparkFun's table), Sketchup is looking better than ever, the littleBits Code Kit is phenomenal, I officially decided I am going to purchase an Oculus, and there are many educational uses for an Ozobot
  • Last, this is not ISTE-related, but I got to see the Science Behind Pixar Exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. It was one of the very best exhibits I have ever seen at any museum. Plus, I got into the museum for FREE and had to pay for just this part! 
If you were at ISTE this year, what were some of your biggest takeaways? Of course I had more experiences and takeaways, but these were the main ones! 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sheep Brain Exploration

Today, you get to explore the website below while having my sheep skull (with brain) in your possession. By looking at the skull and using the website as a reference, how much of the actual skull and brain can you identify?

Visit the website below:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Human Body Websites




Sunday, September 27, 2015

Space Websites for Jasztal's Homeroom: 9/28/15

Learn about space... When you are done with the FAIR assessment, visit these incredulous websites.

How Big Is Space? Interactive:

Solar System Scope: Headphones needed:

Explore Mars Now:

100,000 Stars: Headphones needed:

Hubble Telescope: Black Holes: Headphones needed:


NASA's First 50 Years: An Interactive Journey: Headphones needed:

Tech Club: 9/28, 9/29, 9/30


What you have: 
(10) sets of LilyTiny kits with components (LilyTiny, LEDs, coin cell battery holders, coin cell batteries, conductive thread, needles)

What you can use as resources: Sew Electric by Leah Buechley, websites below, and websites you find while searching the Internet

Get started by looking at how the Bookmark Book Light was sewn. Be informed before you delve into the sewing component:

Inspiration: LilyTiny Plush Monster:

Design a Bracelet:

I would love to know by the end of the meeting: Is there anything specific you want to make this year that is a wearable? How do you think you will go about in preparing and conducting this project? Do you need anything beyond this kit? Something more advanced? Or a special kind of LED that goes along with this kit? Or is this sufficient? Let me know. 

Bare Conductive Board: 
Almost any material/surface can be turned into a sensor using the Bare Conductive board. This board is phenomenal for a plethora of interactive projects! Using conductive paint, you can paint a design and have people interact with it. 
MaKey MaKey:

You may have seen the MaKey MaKey before, but it is capable of doing so much more than just controlling a piano with Play-Doh buttons or making piano stairs with aluminum foil.

There are many materials out there that are conductive: graphite in pencils, aluminum foil, Play-Doh, numerous fruits and vegetables, water, conductive tape, conductive paint, silverware, and anything made of metal. This list introduces you to even more materials.

You can write programs in Scratch that interact with your MaKey MaKey. You can incorporate numerous sounds when one pushes the up, down, left, and right buttons as well as the space bar. Movement can be incorporated as well as so much more. An example from a user that is really incredible is the Dance Dance Revolution sketch.

The neat thing about the Scratch website is how you can view the programming for any of the sketches on there, and that is what has helped me to learn how to incorporate numerous phenomenal components.

People have even taken the MaKey MaKey so far to set up a conductive room. They have also made assistive technology interfaces for art as well as so much more.

What I have available today is not too far out of the ordinary. A few of my conductive materials are Reynolds Wrap and copper tape. However, there are numerous sites you can visit in conjunction with the MaKey MaKey, and it's completely compatible with Scratch coding, too. 

Gaming and instrument websites for MaKey MaKey: 

Download to enhance your MaKey MaKey experience: 

Sandbox Games/Creating Video Games: 
You get 7 courses for free when you sign up: 

Added bonus: No downloads required: Classic Mario Level Editor:

3D Printing: 

Cubify tutorials: Please watch and see what you can learn about our printer as well as Cubify Invent and Cubify Sculpt, two programs we have access to. 

TUTORIALS: Meet the Cube/How It Works: 

Awesomeness for the future: The more you vow to learn, the sooner these can come! 
A little more about what files stand for (converting files, etc.): 

* We have some small files today, too, that can be printed.


Booklets at the station, though has even more.

Digital Booklets:

C++ Basics: 

I have an excellent book that teaches the basics, but this is an online tutorial:

Tools -> Serial Ports (If you must, please check the serial ports. Drivers may have to be installed.) 

These are the steps you need to follow in order to be up and running:
- Get an Arduino board
- Download the Arduino environment
- Install the USB drivers

Direct quote from's How To Guide that I want you to see: "If you are using a USB Arduino, you will need to install the drivers for the FTDI chip on the board. These can be found in the drivers directory of the Arduino distribution. On Windows, you will need to unzip FTDI USB Then, when you plug in the Arduino board, point the Windows Add Hardware wizard to the FTDI USB Drivers directory."

Important: and

- Connect the board
- Upload a program

If there are errors with the regular Arduino program download, try this: 
*You will just need to paste in the codes. 

Getting Started with Esplora: 

Here is a tutorial, with codes, for Arduino Esplora: 

Digital Sandbox Experiment Guide (uses a program called Ardublock, which is downloaded to my personal computers): 


Websites for animation: 
- Animatron: Can work immediately:
- Masher: Online video mash-up software:
- Mixamo: Requires sign-up: *Can download Fuse Basic Preview, Face Plus Preview Demo
- EdgeAnimate—Must be downloaded 
- Google WebDesigner—Must be downloaded:
- NodeFire: Free 30-day trial; sign up with Google
- Excellent Resource:

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 22, 2015

Flocabulary: Hyperbole:

Figurative Language in Disney Songs:

2:18-4:44: Geico Commercials Demonstrate Figurative Language: