Jaime Donally: Immerse Technology in Education
All right welcome to the show today, today we're going to be talking about how to Immerse Technology in Education we have with us Ms. Jaime Donally, she's a former math teacher turned technology into integration consultant, she also uh runs a weekly Twitter chat about AR and VR in education, she is the author of Learning Transported in the Immersive Classroom uh let's give it up to our new friend and educator Ms. a former educator Ms. Jaime to the show. Thank you so much I mean you can never stop being an educator right I was going to say that you know you can never stop educating and you was a Teacher in math for what pre-k in eighth grade, is that correct? Okay, all elementary school really and middle school um most of my time was spent at the middle school level um but yeah it had had a chance to kind of be part of that formation for students at different times and math was one of those things for me that was really more about um getting the inspiring our students to really see that they can do something, because probably for me I can't say I really fit into the GT area where I can help support the kids that just get it.
I feel very passionate about the students that have failed and feel defeated in math so working with those students and helping them recognize their potential is really the part that I really enjoyed. And you know math was the avenue but it was the relationships with the students and having an opportunity to connect with people and now predominantly connecting with adults it just really boils back down to that relational aspect of it. You know for me math was a very tough subject in school I was not a fan of math like most students are not a fan of math um but the funny thing about it is that I eventually went on and uh and got a degree in finance, which is really really weird right because I didn't like math so I didn't like the problem solving if you will I like more of the equation like economics kind of the approach of mathematics if you will. So I'm pretty sure you had a lot of
students like that that's really just didn't get it or maybe they was just bored with not wanting to do math was that something that always always kind of played a part in your classroom. Yeah I'm very different I was not the kind of student that got it either I really spent my time in education just getting by um not you know just getting enough done to do the things that I wanted to do and in high school, I love playing sports so as long as I can get my work done to get a C or A, C minus or whatever it is um that's the approach I took do bare minimal actually I'm growing up in California schools this is a sad fact but I never read a book from front to end until I was a senior in high school and so the the reality is there's I I learned ways to kind of get by and um get whatever was necessary for what I wanted but I was never inspired to really pursue or feel like I could do more it really wasn't until I was in college later on after I got married that I really started seeing more potential and opportunities and not, not accepting less but there was a bigger driving factor on success and that was mainly wanting to grow and learn as opposed to in high school you know there there wasn't that passion to really excel it was just you know doing the things that I love doing which at that time was sports but I would say with math that is my passion is working with people like you that really hated math and felt defeated by it and had been told that they weren't good at it but my approach has always been the way that I approach most things and that's very you know hands-on and engaging and fun so I would do a fraction carnival kids hated fractions but if I combined it with something that they loved so I dressed up as a clown and they all made they all individually made their own games that other kids had to come by and play so they had to know their stuff in order to allow them to play so it was and I had you know tickets and they got to come by and get redeem their tickets and win stuff with it um it was just one of those ways of getting them excited and every year it was one of those things that students just really looked forward to, but that really even would apply for adults I mean I think as adults the way that we learn and the way we engage with any content um if it's not something that that brings out that passion and enthusiasm for us I think we're going to find a lot more people are going to say no that's not for me you know even me I would say finances not for me you know that's just not my thing um even though I did love math but at the end of the day um it's the way that it's presented to us often and that's what I love about immersive technology is because it is presented in a way that really captures our students and adults but it's also giving us opportunity to explore in a way that's impossible without the technology so it opens up the door for enthusiasm and then provides the opportunity to dig in deeper. That's that's that's really good I like the way you you explain it like how you present the actual subject to either kids or adults for the you know to kind of understand the skill of how one learns is very important because everyone doesn't learn the same and getting people engaged into learning is kind of hard already as it is especially if it's a subject that you really don't like uh and math it seemed like one of those ones that always get dragged out but now we have these new programs like STEM which I think are very important to kids especially moving on to the next 20 30 years these are going to be the absolute things that we're going to need um to advance our kids um so how did you transition from math into this whole new world of technology uh integration um and at become becoming a consultant in that field.
Well really it was just always using technology I saw how much the students loved it and I loved it I think I never get bored with technology because it's always changing um I typically just find that okay I'm done with that let's move on but with technology it's one of those areas that are constantly evolving and keeping you on your toes so students really enjoy that and and interestingly enough a lot of the students that really struggled in math were incredible at technology I mean they can problem-solve anything when it came to technology which is that skill that they needed in math but because it was never related into something that they loved they never saw themselves as problem solvers so I would empower the students I can't bring everything to the table but they all have different talents and skills that they were able to bring to the table and by bringing their skillset into the classroom we were all able to work together and those students got to build the confidence in an area that really could have been their future careers with immersive technology I feel like with augmented and virtual reality to me it's again going back to the technology of that enthusiasm things constantly changing and growing I see opportunities in that that connect us in a way that we really can't connect even if I said let's go on and watch a video it's not as relatable as actually going there maybe in immersive technology and virtual reality and maybe you know hey come and join me Mr. Williams let's bring our classes together and let's get our kids to collaborate across the world but it sounds like they're sitting right there next to you or I'm seeing the moon actually in the center of my classroom or I'm at home because I'm in remote learning and I'm holding in the palm of my hand you know the solar system so as we're going through and getting these concepts we're asking sometimes our kids to make connections the things that they have no idea what it is if I said hey I want you know you're in Tampa but you know the beach is going to be your norm but up here in East Texas in the Northern part of Texas many of our students have never been to the ocean so to be able to connect that you know hey read about it write about it well they've never been there how in the world do they make that connection but by using these types of technologies we're literally giving them a chance to step into the ocean and see these different species of fish and and maybe explore in a way that again they would never get there but by bringing them through immersive technology we've opened up this new door of learning. That's so amazing um and it brings me to the point back to the technology piece um what can you tell me what are the benefits for integrating technology into education? Well I think it's a skill set for our students that they need to have you know when I talk about immersive technology I rarely stick with the old I'm always thinking about the future what's next to come but how we implement it I think is often tied to big budgets which is not true um the marketing out there so when it comes to actually integrating the technology what they need to consider is what do they currently have available to them right now but as they're doing their refreshes and they're making purchase decisions I really want them to be aware of some of the newer technologies that are going to be their technology of their future um how they're going to be learning and growing you know I stay pretty well connected to a professor at prior professor actually outside of the University of Alaska, Dr Webb he has done some incredible work for training for companies and it's all done in virtual reality you know helping them actually train their employees in things that might be dangerous and things that might be impossible to test like bears and what that might look like in Alaska but not really putting them with a real bear but putting them in that scene and and using that machine learning and circumstances to give them the illusion and the feeling like that bear is really there with them and how would they respond so there's all these different areas that I think more so than just convenience more so than just the cost factor but really giving somebody the training necessary for them to actually put something into practice and I think those types of technologies are going to be more and more involved into our workplace as well as the skill sets that they're going to need you know when Apple releases their glasses they're going to be using some technologies that our students are going to need to make those connections for because they're good going to be the ones creating applications they're going to be the ones using those applications in their workplace so all of those pieces really follow along along the line of being prepared and having access to the resources and the training while they're in school so that when they leave school that they're prepared for the workplace as well. That's man you know technology into I mean integrating technology is so important like I was saying earlier oh my goodness I don't know why all public schools just don't have a piece of education in in their curriculum you know starting from elementary all the way up I think it's I think it should be mandated I think it should be very uh uh and I think it should be instilled into them at a very early age because if we are so far behind like we are currently are and we just we always complain about budgets and things like that but you got to remind you got to be we have to always remind ourselves these are the future leaders of our world you know the future business owners the future Apples of the world we have to start them up early so technology for me is always been important to instill into education so I'm so you're doing it and it's amazing and I love it and so I go to these tools that you use this ARVR tell us why they're so helpful into education? Right so immersive technology is really that umbrella term for augmented virtual reality mixed reality um X reality all of it um so you see kind of these terms being popped up and and often times people don't know what to connect those dots for I try to just train teachers so they know what tools they they need to look for you know I currently have Chromebooks in my classroom so what kind of tools do I need to be looking for um if I have Ipads in my classroom what what opportunities do I have am I looking for a more augmented or virtual reality um if do I want to go get headsets so some of the terminology would be something that I educate just so they know how to go and research what types of tools that they specifically want need in their class and what's currently available to them but um in all of this technology I think that our classrooms are beginning to use it I mean I've been on this journey for several years now I've been an you know a huge advocate of using immersive technology but I'm also very practical I don't think sticking a headset on a kindergartner is a good idea we don't have the research behind it we don't know exactly how that student is going to respond to that most of the time there's legal matters involved with that so you are liable if your student runs into something because they get spooked there's all these other factors that are involved you know how their brain you know if they have a seizure while they're doing that so I am an advocate for this technology but I'm also um caution you know when you use this go into it with a plan know what you want to gain from this and then also how you use it has to be safe for your students so you know pursuing some of this technology you almost see people say no I don't want anything or yes I'm jumping in headfirst without any plan and both are wrong both are going to run into a lot of problems so you really want to come at this in the right way actually educated on how to bring this kind of technology but it's really not a tool for me or for a teacher it's a tool for our students we need to step out of our comfort zone and realize that it's really not about us knowing everything but empowering our students to be the ones that gain that knowledge and us be a you know a factor of just you know facilitating that learning for them and being part of that journey with them and learning from them and with them so um is scary as it may seem an immersive technology at the end of the day um it's a tool that our students one piece of a tool, not every tool not every time right it's one of those resources available to us for learning and how we pursue it is really really goes back to that plan what is my goal was my objective for this and what do I want my students to be successful in by using this. Awesome I mean you talk about technology a lot and I see that there's a great passion there
that's why I think that you wrote this book right that's that that was for me was it today or yesterday? Yeah yesterday the official book launch went out I think they're already out on Amazon so Amazon's out of pocket and they're waiting for more copies but uh my publisher is ISTI which is one of the largest publications for education technology they do a conference every year as well drawn in all really internationally bringing in educators to talk about how to integrate technology so they you know spoke to me initially and said Jaimie you know here's an interest with AR VR what do you think? Actually, they asked me about VR and I said well I think that you need to couple that with AR too those both work hand in hand they're like well do you think there's enough out there for a book and I'm like oh there's enough out there for 10 books like you can't fit it all into one book um what do you want to focus on so we kind of talked about the plan and then they said well what do you think do you want to write the book and I'm like no, I'm a meth I was a math teacher no i do not um but it was you know I ended up saying yes at the end I I can't believe I did it's not my preferred way of approaching by writing a book so it's super easy read um but it is one of those things that I understand everybody like you said learn differently sometimes they need to sit there with you and do it sometimes they need to see your video and do it sometimes they need to hear a podcast sometimes they actually need to read it and write notes and highlight so all of those approaches, I try to take so that it gives those teachers a familiarity and it makes them comfortable to actually pursue this because the technology that I share anybody can do it I mean from a kindergartner picking it up making sense of it through college age whatever that is there's so many different levels but they can all jump right in head first without being tech-savvy um it's it's incredible technology made simple. That's awesome technology made simple is almost like an awesome technology it's not simple it's very complicated but made simple I love it I love it um so in the book um or do you hit on the uh the ways that we can integrate technology into classrooms can you tell us a little bit about that? Absolutely yeah my first book learning transported that was um brought out in 2018 was really geared towards informing people what this is how to bring this into your district how to partner with other um you know other people that should be involved other departments really combining efforts and having a good plan so that you're not running into a million stumbling blocks how to actually put this into your lesson plans I hear a lot of people say wow this is great year after year but then you say well what have you done well I didn't even know where to start so really giving them that foundation of how to pursue this what is this where do you get started what are some first steps and targeting some of the struggles your students are facing first and then letting that technology be determined when you know exactly what you want to target um and then this last book that I just wrote that just came out the immersive classroom it is it's it is the next step it is App smashing its App hacking it's customizing our tools to meet our individual students and really identifying and connecting with our students in a way that empower them and support them and we value them as individuals first and then finding those tools that really um either we customize based upon what we need and what they need instead of being dictated to by the way that the company created that tool us really given an opportunity to customize it and make it our own so there um there's so many factors but what's best about the immersive classroom is it's full of stories so instead of just facts here's what it is it's full of how this technology has transformed people's lives and and the way that this technology is used is so much more powerful than just having fun um every image in the book comes to life it's all um used through augmented or virtual reality so everything's interactive it's not just hey let me tell you about it but you go and experience it firsthand so scan this with this App and bam you're going to see my book cover with the whale pop out of that um screen and and come into your actual space through augmented reality all of those things are available throughout the book so that they're not just hearing it they're seeing it themselves. That's really awesome oh my goodness I'm like I feel like I'm in a classroom like taking notes I'm learning about this but it is so awesome um so I know that you do have a Twitter chat that you do I think we a weekly correct um are there like classroom settings um that you do with your with your Twitter chat chat or what what is that? Yeah I held off from doing the Twitter chat for about a year initially because I knew that it was a big commitment every week being available um it is now going on year four and it has just been about community building and every week that I do it it's almost like getting a little bit of professional development for that 30 minutes every Wednesday evening from 8 to 8:30 Central um I, you know people from around the world join in and if they can't join in at that time they can go back and check out the hashtag which is a-r-v-r-i-n-e-d-u and they can go back in and connect those dots you know even if they can't join us live but the goal is oftentimes people say well I started your chat and then I'm sorry I left because I got so engaged with what we were learning you know and I said that is a win for me it's not about keeping you there for that 30 minutes it's about inspiring you to jump in and see how this can be a tool that really transforms your learning in the classroom so I it's really just a spark it's it's just to one connect people with other people there's no one person that knows it all it really does take the community of saying hey I ran into this anybody else how can we help support one another and then the community is phenomenal everybody jumps in no matter what stage they're at they're willing to help support teachers all over the world it's just it's really about being connected and supporting one another. That's so awesome so tell us how can we find you on Twitter to get involved into these Twitter chats and also where can we pick up the book? Sure yeah so my first book is Learning Transported and then the book that just came out a few days ago yesterday I should say is um the Immersive Classroom and my name is spelled really funny uh first and last spelling so you can find me on most social channels including Twitter at j-a-i-m-e d-o-n-a-l-l-y so Jaimie Donnally and um if you type in my name correctly or you're going to be able to find me and connect with me and right now actually this month I'm doing an event called 31 days of AR VR and edu so every day i'm doing a new blog post about a new tool that's been revised or just released and how you can go back and learn about that and and I show a video I show an image I do step by step every day in the blog so that people can just jump in headfirst and um grow this month. That's awesome man this has been like like I feel like I was back in school today I feel like I've learned so much uh in the space of technology and emerging this into our educational system and how this can actually help teachers as well it's been a pleasure Miss Jaimie, thank you so much I appreciate the opportunity likewise, I appreciate you for joining us today and I want to know what would be the future technology and education may look like so we need to watch this space thank you for joining us next time on IBS.