Thursday, November 20, 2014

Positive Thinking and Tech, Oh My!

Just in case you didn't get the reference, my title uses the rhythm of the line from The Wizard of Oz, "Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!" Sometimes I need a small amount of humor to get me through a day of work, especially when that day involves me feeling very sick with a cold.

In any case, my title refers to the fact that I'm linking up with not one, but TWO blog linky parties today for post #19 for National Blog Post Month (#NaBloPoMo), so here goes!

My first link-up is my usual Positive Thinking Thursday, with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings.

My positive thought for the day is that I really LOVE how incredibly supportive my school community can be and it is great when we can all band together. I saw this in two ways this week:

  1. In December, we will start a series of monthly, school-wide Twitter contests! I sent out the announcement yesterday, and got an overwhelming amount of responses from coworkers who were excited to try out their new Twitter accounts (see my blog post on that here- #HFBTweets)! Some people are very competitive, and I am excited to see our conversation blowing up all over Twitter!
  2. My blog post yesterday was about the Michael and Son Jingle Sing-Off Contest, for which my 5th grade students made a video entry. This morning I sent an e-mail to my coworkers asking them to vote for our Hoffman Boston students to win, and SO many of them have already done it- and it's not even noon yet! I am excited to see the results- please share the link on Twitter or in your blog if you so choose- get the word out! VOTE HERE!
Now here's my second link-up, Teaching Trio's Tech Thursday!

I'd write about Twitter again, but that's probably getting old. ;) I thought I'd write about Aurasma, which I FINALLY figured out (mostly) yesterday! I am really excited to use it with my upcoming Peter and the Wolf Unit in 2nd grade! I want the kids to be able to scan my instrument posters and get to see some awesome videos that give them examples of each one!

Aurasma is used kind of like QR codes, except that the video appears right away on your screen, instead of linking to and opening another website.

In order to use Aurasma, you have to have the app on your device and also create an account on Aurasma Studio online. This was the part that I did not understand at first, but you have to do this in order to upload your videos from YouTube via KeepVid. Here is the home page:

First, You'll want to click on Create New Aura in the top right hand corner:
Next, you'll take a picture (I usually take it with my phone or iPad, upload it to dropbox, and put it on my computer that way) and upload it as your "trigger," or what kids will hover over with their own iPads to find the videos. For violin, my trigger picture is simply a violin off of a classroom poster:

Next, you'll upload an "overlay," this is the video that you would like to appear when students capture the trigger image. I use to get my YouTube videos, since I can't link directly to YouTube due to Aurasma's inner working and also the fact that my county blocks YouTube from the kids' view.

As you can see, I've chosen for my video to appear in the lower left hand corner of the picture. The video is the History of the Violin by The Instrumentals. The group plays through a number of famous, and some not so famous, violin pieces and references who wrote them or where they came from. It's a great video, check it out below:

The group also has a number of other videos, including History of The Bass, Saxophone, etc.

Last, give your aura a name and add hashtags to it if you would like:

Now here's where it gets cool. Go to your iPad or iPhone (whichever device you have decided to put Aurasma on) and find the "Explore" tab. Refresh this tab and you should see your "aura" pop up with your "trigger" image displayed. Now go to the capture tab (with the Aurasma A) and hover over the original image, wherever it may appear in your room (in this case, the violin). If you've done it right, a video (The History of The Violin) will appear in the lower left hand corner!

Now I definitely am not a "pro" at this yet, but I am SO excited to become one. Peter and the Wolf will be my first try with it- I'll let you know how it goes! Happy creating!!

~Ms. Patrician


  1. Hi Molly, I have had Aurasma on my iPad for ages and haven't got around to trying it yet. You make me want to take a closer look now ;)
    I love Peter & The Wolf! I teach French and the story is a great way to incorporate Music into a language lesson.

    Thank you so much for sharing :)
    Mme Gauthier's French Class

  2. Naïma, I'm glad I've inspired you! As I said, I am still very much a novice, but I'm excited to use it more and more as the occasion arises. I still need practice though! Don't get frustrated- it does work!

  3. This app sounds very interesting. My brain is already spinning on how this could be used in the classroom! Thanks for sharing and linking up with us this week!

    Funky in Fourth
    Teaching Trio

    1. It's awesome! I just have to really work on making my auras now! Love your link-ups, this is my second one this week! :)