#ARVRinEdu at #ISTE18 for #NOTatISTE Day 4

Welcome to the 4th Day of ARVRinEDU’s recap of ISTE18.  While I have heard many different perspectives coming from this year’s ISTE event, many good, a few bad, and lots between.  All I have noticed (because I truly only have time to focus on this one small aspect) is the incredible Immersion Tech explosion this year.  I will be doing my official video recap tomorrow, but let’s just say, if there was a winner for this ISTE, I think AR/VR/MR is it.

My highlights from ISTE today include more great sessions at the CoSpaces Booth, more incredible guests on the VR Podcast, and what appeared to be an epic ARVRinEDU gathering at the MERGE Booth today.

I am looking forward to the final day of ISTE18. Thank you to everyone who has been sharing with me over the past few days, without your sharing I wouldn’t have been able to share all these incredible things.

Here are all the recordings from the CoSpaces Edu #ISTE18 booth on June 26th:

Sarah Grack: Creating Lessons That Come to Life

@Stephanie Wieczorek: Design & Experience, It’s Elementary

Meet the CoSpaces Edu Team!

⁉️Win a FREE PRO License for CoSpaces Edu: watch the end and guess which hobbie belongs to each team member!⁉️

Amanda Fox: The 4 Cs of CoSpaces Edu

Michael Fricano (EdTechnocation): Storytelling, Visual Learning, and Creativity

The Crew of the Virtual Reality Podcast interviewed the amazing Mark Suter:

Here is the 5 minutes with Mark: https://twitter.com/el_chakka/status/1011622720449253377?s=12

Here is their Livestream with El Chakka! Kevin Chaja https://www.facebook.com/amanda.fox.stem/videos/10211280012386002/?t=22

Kevin also made an amazing app for the ARVRinEDU Get together and shared some great stuff on top of that!



Interesting research here: ADVR

Some images from the VR Podcast and some Meetups of the ARVRinEDU crew!MeetUP1MeetupVRpod


Phil Hintz sharing on Merge Cubes.Panel



#ARVRinEDU at #ISTE18 for #NotatISTE Day 3

Today in #ARVRinedu at #iste18

Today was a huge day in ARVRinEDU at ISTE. From the many great presentations at the CoSpaces booth, to the VR Podcast crew interviewing and sharing great things from the Unity booth, the crowds packed in to see Merge’s booth, to the (I believe) first ever VEN Network Playground themed: Ready Player One, immersive technology was abundant in Chicago on Monday.  Here are some highlights:

Thanks to Michael Fricano the sessions at the CoSpaces booth were broadcast throughout the day. Here are links to the Facebook Live videos: Collecting them all into a post:

Faith Plunkett: Getting Started with CoSpaces Edu


Darcy Grimes: CoSpaces Edu in the Literacy Classroom


Rachelle Berquist Poth: Creativity + Collaboration


Explore the booth!


Impromptu student presentation by Hasten Hebrew Community School


View the slides from this great session by Maria Galanis and Andrea Trudeau: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1XnZVjhxAE4W39YZf_8jIMgVmmq_UTlKtV1FSLVxTUJA/template/preview#slide=id.g1bec4aa07b_0_0

There was also a buzz over at Unity which is expected to continue tomorrow with lots of great guests. The VR Podcast did a series of short interviews:

Azine Davoudzadeh, Rosemary Sirmans, and Millennia Piasecka all share about 5 minutes each with the VR Podcast Group: https://anchor.fm/s/3364e28/podcast/rss

Mark Super shared the amazing things going on his classroom where his students are creating VR experiences using Unity.

Here is his site with the slides: http://grit9.com


The Merge booth also drew in a big crowd.


There are some great things happening with Merge and CoSpaces to bring more adaptive AR Creation. Look for more on those in the recap tomorrow, as well as some insight from DogsHead Simulations and hopefully some more great ARVRinEDU companies in a new section highlighting the new things that are being released up to and around this year’s ISTE.

Finally: The VEN Playground was a hit. Lots of great things shared, but importantly, lots of people being exposed to the power and possibility of immersive technology.

Of course there was SO much more happening at ISTE today, but this is at least a little flair.

Tomorrow there are tons more great things happening. Meet up with Azine at the Unity booth, or Michael Fricano shares his presentation at the CoSpaces booth.

There are more great CoSpaces sessions the horizon.  There will also be great sessions happening all over.  The most exciting, and the scope I will be on the look out for tomorrow is the ARVRinEDU meet up at the Merge booth!

For some of the previous schedules check the 1st Blog or the 2nd Blog.

There is so much going on in our community at ISTE this year that I cannot keep up.  I am looking forward to the greatness that comes out tomorrow!

#ARVRinEDU at #ISTE18 for #NOTatISTE Day 2

Today in #ARVRinedu at #iste18

ISTE2018 is officially underway. Today was the first official day of the conference and with it a number of exciting things have been happening.  Today saw it’s share of great things, and the program for Monday is incredibly jam packed with ARVRinEDU goodness!

The major highlights of the day were the joint session by Jaime Donally and Rachelle Dene Poth where they shared ARVR tools including Figment App (one of my favorites for it’s versatile VR Portals within an AR environment.)

See the periscope here: https://www.pscp.tv/JaimeDonally/1DXGyYkARbeGM

Another highlight was the Ignite given about AR/VR/MR today: https://www.pscp.tv/w/bgAzfzM1NTA1OXwxbFBKcWtRTmJXbUtixxUDXNnbG-MfLbIpkyF37giYWYhFkIgfzPZnyoPy71o=?t=13s

The VR Podcast Crew met all together face to face for the first time!

They also started giving out the tons of VR Podcast swag, with LOTS more exciting events and give aways from the gang: Amanda, James, Steven, and Alex.

Facebook Chicago hosted some educators today and shared some of the exciting things happening with Oculus (specifically with Oculus Go!)


One of the most exciting things so far, CoSpaces has dropped their AR version in a small demonstration at their social event today.

CoSpaces (as I have discussed in several formats) is one of my absolute favorite tech tools, period. Their AR tool is something I have been waiting to see for quite some time, and it looks as amazing as it did on the first day I saw the preview!


Now: MONDAY will bring an incredible amount of interesting things.

The Vendor Area at ISTE opens up tomorrow. Visit the booths for CoSpaces, Unity, and Merge to find your favorite ARVRinEDU educators sharing their passions!

Here are some opportunities to learn more about ARVR with CoSpaces. cospaces

Also from 8-1130AM the Virtual Environments Network Playground will be open! READY PLAYER ONE!

Here is where you can find some of your ARVRinEDU friends tomorrow:

Jaime Donally: Hyatt Regency Grant A: 11-1230 Global Maker Day

Michael Fricano:            Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 12.15.20 AM.png

VR Podcast Team: Check the Unity Booth in the afternoon, the YEN Social at night, and the Virtual Environment Network Playground in the morning!

Also, catch James McCrary in the Hyatt Regency Burnham for “Crash Course VR” from 3-430!


Keep your eyes open for more amazing ARVRinEDU tomorrow!



#ARVRinEDU at #ISTE18 for #NOTatISTE Day 1

Today in #ARVRinedu at #iste18

Welcome to my first of four days of review, preview, and excitement about everything ARVRinEDU at ISTE for both the crew at ISTE and those of us NOTatISTE who have an interest and passion in emerging technologies. With the pre-ISTE festivities in full swing today, ARVRinEDU’s own Jaime Donally (@jaimedonally on twitter) hosted an ARVR Scavenger hunt with lots of excitement.

Here is a Periscope from Rachelle Dene Poth of the event!

So… What’s up next for great ARVRinEDU experiences at ISTE on Sunday?

See Rachelle and Jaime: DgbWQsEUYAAP7JA

Also on Sunday, see Jaime: sunday

Be ready for a very, very busy day on Monday in the ARVRinEDU community.  Also, look for my video recap of tomorrow’s sessions (plus any I didn’t catch in this preview) along with some info about great booths to visit when the vendor hall opens!

Also, be on the lookout for The VR Podcast! They will be sharing great ARVR knowledge, great swag, and some opportunities for great prizes!







Back to the Start

When I first started using twitter I felt like I was learning a lot of great things. Within a few months I had decided to start a chat.   Some of you that have been on the twitter for a while may remember #tleadchat as a place for me to indulge my inquisitive nature, and then a place where I pushed to help other people learn to ask questions for themselves as well.  It was a great chat, until I started feeling like I had run out of questions.  I had nothing more to ask…

That is, of course, absurd. I had plenty more to learn, and I have always had questions. I just stopped asking them on twitter because people didn’t always want to answer the hard questions in that space. I have decided however, after a recent question I posed to the edutwitter community, that I want to begin asking more questions again.  Rather than start a new chat, I am simply going to post them to #theteachersjourney  as a slow chat style throughout the summer.  Not everything will come from the book, in fact, much if it might now.  I am going to just go back to asking whatever questions aresd in my mind.

I would love for many of you to join me this summer for a Teacher’s Journey SlowChat! Starting soon, check the # for #theteachersjourney and find the available question for the day.

I Learned on Twitter

Copy of You Are A Hero-2

All the time people talk about the incredible learning on twitter.  Allow me to share yet another unpopular opinion: I don’t really learn much of anything on twitter anymore.  I haven’t in a really long time.  Not really anyway.  That isn’t to say I don’t learn from people I have met on twitter, or that they don’t help me in many ways.  Most of the time however, the conversation, the actual discussions that further thinking and provide growth rarely occur on actual, public twitter anymore.

I asked a question yesterday morning. You can follow the thread and all of the replies here:

More honesty, I posted these with many expectations about what would be said.  What I didn’t expect, was the level of honesty with which people shared.  I also did not expect to find answers I hadn’t thought of before.  Congratulations EduTwitter, for the first time in a long time, you have surprised me.  I heard some people speak there truths about reasons why authenticity or positivity were more important to them.  I learned something important. Something that maybe I knew, but in reality a reminder didn’t hurt.  We ought to accept one another’s differences.  We can disagree, ask questions, push each other, but not attack one another.  We can stay positive, we can be okay being not okay, we can even rant if need be. There isn’t a right or wrong way, only what you need to work best for yourself.  As with many things, this conversation is filled with gray areas. I found perspectives I hadn’t thought of before, and most importantly, It seems that through all of the responses, questioning, prodding, and pushing, there was a fairly respectful discourse where people shared honestly. I wish it happened more in public spaces like twitter. Perhaps I will get back to asking questions…

Whose Hero Are You?

Teaching is hard.  Teaching is important.  Teaching rarely gets the genuine appreciation and respect as a profession. Maybe that is why we are prone to buy into extremes. I saw a YouTube video today by a friend, Doug Timm.  In this mix of spoken word poetry and education commentary, he hit a nerve.  Doug talks about how kids, even in some of the worst situations, will pick family over their teacher. How, no matter how much we care and how much it may seem a family member might not, we are almost never the only ones.

It got me thinking, why do we accept the bumper sticker statements?  I know most of them have some basis in truth. Most of them come from a place of wanting to help inspire and improve educators. But what happens when we really accept these statements at face value?

Teachers are super heroes.  No, we are not. Buying into this myth diminishes the work we do every day.  Being a teacher involves hard work, a passion for learning, caring for others, and so much more. None of the things teachers need to do to be successful are beyond any of us.  Believing that teaching is some sort of superpower belittles the hard work we really do.

Teachers are the only people who care about kids. Well this is just a ridiculous statement.   Lots of people care about kids. Health care professionals, child advocacy lawyers, and any number of others.  More importantly, parents care about their kids.  Yes, sometimes it can seem like they don’t. Sometimes it seems like parents are undermining their children’s ability to grow and learn.  But that is the attitude we develop when we start buying into the fact that only we care.  I am all for advocating that teachers care about kids. I don’t however, want teachers to presume anything about who does and doesn’t care for a child.

Teachers have the hardest job in the world. Not to take anything away from us. Our job is incredibly challenging, and at times it can be beyond difficult., but we aren’t the only people with difficult jobs. At the end of the day we get to spend our lives hanging out with a bunch of awesome kids.  Yes they can be challenging, yes they can come to us with many problems to work through, but if you are going to talk about how much you care about kids, can’t we keep this in perspective?

The list goes on and on.  I have myself at times been guilty of rehashing some of them. Going forward I am trying to focus solely on being my own hero and allowing everyone else to be their own hero as well.  I am not here to save anyone, merely find any way I can to make their journey more successful. I firmly believe that in education when we are all successful we all benefit, so I ought to help others along their path.  I don’t need to be their hero, certainly not their savior, just a character in their story with a part to play. For my part, I am choosing to try and be a light in the darkness, helping others to succeed.  I won’t try to bring others down.  I am simply challenging you to reframe your thinking in an effort to make a positive difference on the overall culture and potential for good in education. As a character in the journeys of others, choose to be the light. - Brian C

Right Now

Last week I had the chance to be a part of something special.  It may have seemed like something small, insignificant to the outside observer, but to me it was the epitome of why I teach.  So often I talk to teachers and kids about the importance of actual relevance.  When you work with kids who are under 20 years old, the concept of 10 years down the line is meaningless.  The “someday you will need this in the future” is hard to grasp when the future is literally over a lifetime away for many of these kids.  What can we do then?  Why does it matter right now? I have asked kids what they can do now to make their world a better place.  How can you use what you are learning to actually make your world a better place?

In the fall many of my students went on boat trips organized by their science teacher.  He has been doing this for years and the classes take water samples, take bio diversity surveys, and clean a small patch of a protected beach.  It is a great project that kids have enjoyed over the years.  When they get back, my role was to help them input the data into spreadsheets and provide the Greater Egg Harbor River Council with the data they had collected.  Except this year I was focussed on challenging my kids to do something. This year I asked them to analyze the data and create an action plan.  What does this trip make you want to do?

Back to the small, seemingly insignificant thing…

We went to the beach with 36 7th graders.  We walked a stretch of local beach for nearly four hours. In that time, we collected enough trash to fill the flatbed of a pickup truck.  Why is this beach cleanup in a small corner of southern New Jersey important? It was important because it was planned and organized by six kids.  Those six kids not only put the work in to make sure they had accomplished something, but they organized their peers and made a difference in our local community.

They used many of the things they have learned over the years. They needed basic math skills to plan the number of students, organize the route, plan for the bus, and identify times (not to mention the great data they gathered earlier in the year). They used social studies skills to obtain the permits and build upon community partnerships with the ACUA and Greater Egg Harbor River Council to learn about and acquire materials for their clean up.  They also applied for a city permit to perform a cleanup on the beach.  Their action plan, proposal to the principal, and emails to necessary parties involved language arts skills.  And, of course, their environmental studies in science propelled this forward.  These young people used things they have learned in every major subject to make a change in the world.

So often I hear all the things at are wrong with this generation of young people.  Their faults are on display for all to judge seemingly all the time.  But on this day, and in this school year, these young people (they hate being called kids) provided me with hope.  They created in me a sense of optimism and a reminder of why I love teaching.  As this school year comes to a close, these kids made a difference.  They stood up, did something meaningful, and used things they had learned to change (however small a portion of it) the world.  I am proud to have been a part of it, and I hope that in some way this inspires them to continue building toward creating positive change in their world both in the future, and right now.


Mentor, Friend, Unicorn, and Collector of Good People


Nearly four years ago I can remember seeing his face pop up next to tweets. He was challenging, funny, thoughtful, and at times frustrating.  I couldn’t figure him out, but my people liked him, and I thought I liked him too. Over the summer of 2014, I got to know the man whose Twitter profile described him as a parent and career military man.  Instead, I found a friend whom I have now shared stories, laughs, struggles, meals, hopes, dreams, and ideas with over the years. He is one of the people who helped frame The Teacher’s Journey and allowed me to develop deeper understandings of mentoring, balance, and value.  


That man is Art LaFlamme.  During the past four years, I have witnessed Art transition out of the military and into the world of higher education with grace through the use of many of the practices he has shared and been incorporated into my own life and writing.  Like me, Art asks difficult questions and expects quality answers from others. It is probably what I found frustrating about him at first, but also what I liked best. What kind of person is Art? The kind who drives four hours both ways on a Saturday to meet his new education friends at an EdCamp.  He is the kind of person who spends an hour sitting on the sidewalk with a homeless vet while his own family eats ice cream so he can help him find and get the services he needs. Art is the kind of person who gives his time talk mentor others, who dreams big and then delivers, and who knows the value of keeping good people in your life.


I have learned many things from Art over the years, and he has inspired and pushed my thinking in countless ways. If I only took one lesson from Art, it is to find great people in your life, do what you can to keep them around you, and anything you can to help them along the way.  The Teacher’s Journey started as a joint project between Art and myself. At the time we were focussed on how we improve teaching from start to finish. With Art’s transition into the world of higher education, he quickly realized that he had to devote more time there and gave me his blessing to begin writing on my own.  I am grateful to have Art LaFlamme in my life and to acknowledge the inspiration he has provided me.

Uncle Joe, Symbolism, and The Logo



As The Teacher’s Journey started to take shape, the cover design was something I took an interest in planning.  I had some ideas in my head and I had also heard other authors with other publishers say they didn’t feel great aboutor even didn’t like, their cover design.


This post is about how the Teacher’s Journey logo was created and the symbolism that goes into the design.

The following is a short Excerpt from The Teacher’s Journey


‘“When I look back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.” (Simon, 1973). This Paul Simon song may ring true for many of us, but one of the most vivid memories it conjures for me is Mr. Mathis’s Humanities class.  It was the first time I really felt challenged, not by content, but by ideas and passion. From a deep dive into Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, a four-day epic tale told in German opera, to the quirks and creations of R. Buckminster Fuller my classmates and I were challenged to think.  One experience that stands out above the rest was reading and watching Joseph Campbell, or “Uncle Joe,” as Mr. Mathis called him. As we learned about Campbell, the monomyth, and the Hero’s Journey, my classmates and I observed and discussed how these themes were pervasive in both modern and ancient storytelling (Campbell, 2003).’


We read pieces of Uncle Joe’s work, but the most powerful memories I have from learning about the Hero’s Journey came from his armchair conversation miniseries with Bill Moyers: The Power of Myth.

uncle joe

This is the inspiration for the two silhouettes sitting facing each other in chairs, casually holding a conversation.  The image pays tribute to the amazing conversations between Moyers and Campbell that inspired my interest in the Hero’s Journey.  

The Teacher’s Journey, like the Hero’s Journey, is a cycle.  The circular nature made me want to include a circular image.  I also wanted it to include people. At each stage of the journey, there are people we encounter, mentors, allies, villains, and more.  Each of the people in the circle represents people in the journey. It also represents as a secondary meaning, people listening to teachers telling their story.


The colors were chosen intentionally as well.  If you look at the book, the gradient of the gold color follows the circular concepts in the Hero’s/Teacher’s Journey.  As you follow the circle, you leave the light, comfortable place where you begin. Continuing you descend into a different world where the darkness represents challenges that you will face.  As you continue along the circular path, you return to the light, emerging through struggle with hope and a stronger understanding of who you are.


Why go through the trouble of sharing the thoughts involved? Simple, I ended up designing the cover myself.  Just like the book, the cover is a reflection of my understanding of the Teacher’s Journey, things that I have learned, and symbolism that fits together in a way I hope catches attention.  


You can get your copy, cover and all here: https://www.amazon.com/Teachers-Journey-Brian-Costello/dp/1732248702/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1525096691&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Teacher%27s+Journey&dpID=51qpQ5iXrcL&preST=_SX218_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch


Campbell, J. (1993). The Hero With a Thousand Faces. London: Fontana Press.

Simon, Paul. (May 1973). Kodachrome. On There Goes Rhymin’ Simon [7’ Vinyl].Columbia.