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Vista Zoo

What it is:  Vista Zoo is a website where students can create incredible virtual tours of the world by combining pictures, video, audio, and objects in 3-D.  The tours are uploaded and placed on a map.  Tours can then be embeded into any website.  Students can also sign up for their own Vista Zoo portal that they can customize and save their projects.  Vista Zoo is also available on the iPhone and iPod touch (if you are so lucky to have a lab of them!)   How to integrate Vista Zoo into the classroom:  Vista Zoo would be a neat way for students to display geography learning.  Students could collect images in history or current images to embed in their maps to learn about a subject.  Teachers can also create virtual tours for students to take individually or as a class with a projector or interactive whiteboard.  This is a great way to teach geography and history, your visual students will love it!   The ability to add audio and video makes these virtual field trips around the world pretty amazing.  If your class has a pen pal class in another country, it would be fun for each group of students to create a virtual tour of their town for the pen pals to view.   Tips:  Use Creative Commons images from Flickr or open stock images from a site like stock.xchng for images to embed.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Vista Zoo in your classroom.

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Free worldwide conference: Reform Symposium (#RSCON)

Posted by admin | Posted in Classroom Management, collaboration, education reform, Grade Level, inspiration, professional development, Reform Symposium Conference, Teacher Resources | Posted on 23-09-2013

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Reform Symposium Free Worldwide Conference

In conjunction with Connected Educator Month, I’m excited to share with you all the 4th (!!!) annual Reform Symposium Conference (RSCON).  In case you aren’t familiar with this OUTSTANDING conference, it is a FREE online three-day event that brings together educators, students and innovators from all over the world.  Mark your calendar right now for October 11th to 13th (2013). 

Full disclosure: I’m one of the organizers for the Reform Symposium Conference.  You might call me the very worst organizer. 🙂  I have been seriously falling down on the job this time around!  I seem to have overly lofty goals for my weeks.  It looks manageable on the calendar and then kids, parents, school must-solve-problems crowd in.

The Reform Symposium Conference is so dear to me and such a big part of my story in starting my own school.  The conference started the year before I left the classroom and has stretched into me starting my own school.  As a result of this conference, I grew in ways I couldn’t imagine.  I made strong connections in my personal learning network and connected with educators around the world.  What better way to celebrate Connected Educator Month?!

The Reform Symposium Conference is a global community initiative to transform teaching and learning.  This is a highly inclusive and engaging online event that will encourage you toward transformative approaches toward teaching and learning.  To attend this year’s conference and keep up with the latest conference news and updates, please join this network.

Exciting news for this year’s conference: 

  • Sugata Mitra is the opening plenary you guys!!  Sugata is the 2013 TED prize winner and instigator of the Hole-in-the-Wall experiment.  You will not want to miss it!
  • Internationally renowned electric violinist Steve Bingham will conduct a live performance.
  • There will be 10+ international keynotes.
  • 4 Panel discussions that feature distinguished experts in education.
  • More than 100 presentations by educators around the world (something for everyone to learn and grow in their practice!)

If you would like to help out with this awesome event, you can volunteer here.


I’m honored to have been a part of this incredible conference since year 1.  I hope that you will join us for an incredible weekend of connection, learning, laughing, inspiration and growth!  Sign up now!

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