teaching with technology


Google for Education Certification

I first started using Google apps back in 2005 when I switched from telstra.com webmail to Gmail. Once I started teaching ICT at primary school in Hong Kong I was hooked on Google, I attended an educational technology (edtech) workshop with David Warlick and this was the birth of my passion for all things related to edtech.

Over the years I promoted Google apps in my school to both students and teachers, as time progressed more and more people started adopting these amazing tools. I then joined various Google Education summits in Hong Kong and meant to get certification some years ago, but procrastinating got the better of me! But better late than never they say! Finally, I completed the Google Educator Level 1 Certification!



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Amazing week of Edtech

What an amazing week we had at school using technology! I am so excited bringing these creative ideas to the classroom and I want to give a big Shout Out to all the amazing teachers that have shared their ideas via Google Plus, Twitter and the blogosphere.

The first exciting lesson we did this week was Connected Classrooms. We had a Virtual Field Trip (VFT) with the pilots of the Solar Impulse. Connected classrooms are a way that technology can bring just about anything into the classroom! My goal is to one day have the children speak with the astronauts on the International Space Station!


Connected classrooms was a new idea I came across this term and I started out doing what is called ‘Mystery Hangouts’, some what similar to twenty questions where the students need to guess what part of the world another classroom is from. So far I have been using pre recorded messages via youtube due to time differences and we are in the process of connecting with similar time zone countries. We have visited Canada and Zimbabwe. You can join a Google Plus community to find your own!

The next fun thing we did was a Lip dub! A lip dub is a type of video that combines lip synching and audio dubbing to make a music video. It is made by filming individuals or a group of people lip synching while listening to a song or any recorded audio then dubbing over it in post editing with the original audio of the song. We did ours with the song  ‘Every Move I Make‘  by Hillsong Kids. It was lots of fun for both teachers and students and it was great for the school spirit and teamwork!

 lip dub




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Are you looking for a quick way to explain and share how to do anything from your computer? I love Screencastify to make quick YouTube clips for my students or fellow educators! It is a simple video screen capture software for Chrome. The great thing about this Chrome extension is that you can record voice and video at the same time!

Here is a quick tutorial I made to supplement a short professional development I did my fellow educators.

I can see this will become a wonderful tool for all those that teach or want to explain just about anything! And what’s even better is this great Chrome extension is totally free!

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After dropping the idea of mirroring our school iPads to an interactive whiteboard (our classroom computers did not have WiFi) I finally came up with a cost effective solution called ‘Reflector’ and a USB WiFi dongle.

Reflector allows educators and students to wirelessly display iPads on a projector or smart board. Students can wirelessly present homework, and teachers can share iPads during presentations, untethering from the desk or podium. Reflector supports multiple device mirroring, so students can compare work, show their work without interrupting the presentation or complete work side-by-side in real time.

Now I am so excited as I can start showing the students and teachers many great edtech ideas like Augmented Reality and Aurasma . I have a PD for our teachers on Monday I hope I can blow their minds with the cool things you can do in your lesson!

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Connected Classrooms on Google +

Google + is a great way to bring the world into your classroom, there are many “virtual field trips” (VFT) planned and some really cool events like “Dogsledding Through Glass With The Wilderness Classroom”

Using Google + you are able to arrange a ‘HangOut ‘ with other classrooms allowing your students to ask questions and connect from anywhere in the world! Looking for a class in Hong Kong to say hello? Send me message to +StephenHesketh

You can visit the Connected Classrooms website at http://connectedclassrooms.withgoogle.com/#

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Augmented Reality

This week has been a world of edtech discovery! I was listening to the educast show about all things Google and there was a Shout Out (new word I also just learnt) for the Two Guys Show. They talked about the game changing apps of which Augmented Reality (AR) came up. I tried AR Flashcards with my K1 class and my son Samuel they loved it! Now I want to explore more AR apps like Colar Mix.

iPhone Screenshot 1        iPhone Screenshot 2   

It would seem there are some amazing opportunities to use these AR apps in the classroom and they are a great way to utilize those iPads! You can make your own using Arasma!  With the help of the Two Guys Show I opened up a studio account with Arasma, after playing around with the site I made my first aura and channel which you can follow via a mobile device at Stephen Hesketh’s channel. But better still visit Brad and Drew’s amazing blog the Two Guys Show for some great ideas!!

iPhone Screenshot 1  aurasma channel

The Anatomy 4D app is another great AR app for teaching human biology which augments a image of the human body that allows each mystery to be viewed apart or as a whole. This app would be great for both secondary school and med school!

iPhone Screenshot 2

Game changing apps on the Two Guys Show!


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Amazing teachers conference in Hong Kong “21st Century Learning”

Having being interested in educational technology (edtech) for some years I have attended many workshops and seminars on edtech. This year was the first time to attend 21CLHK and it was just fantastic. I want to thank Cecilia from Apple Hong Kong for providing me with the ticket as without that I am not sure I could of attended. But I must say it was well worth the $400 US and I can say it has changed my outlook on teaching and gave me a new passion for how I teach and what we can do to improve our teaching!

There where so many great workshops and keynotes, and they all where excellent! Dan Meyer spoke about bring perplexity into the lesson and gave some great examples of how to do this using multi-media like youtube. He did a Ted talk in 2010.

Another great keynote was that of Dr. Larry Rosen, he is a research psychologist with specialties in generational differences, parenting, child and adolescent development, business psychology and is an expert the “Psychology of Technology.” He spoke of how technology has changed the way we communicate and that this generation uses many different media to communicate and learn. He sees social media as playing a large role in reaching and teaching this generation.

And for practical teaching tools there was a workshop on Edmodo which was run by William Stewart and we saw how to integrate iBook Author with Comic Life and Keynote to make amazing multi-media Marval style comic books run by Patrick McMahon. Also he shared with us an interesting and useful app that mirrors any Apple device connected to the same wifi network called Reflector