Letter to my Past Self

Dear Past-Me,

Surprise! I was too (will be?) when they said (will say) that they’ve (they’ll have) invented low-range time-travel. Super nifty.

Anyways, crazy to think it’s been fifteen years since that edtech class. It’s honestly surprising how many things haven’t changed in all this time. A lot of teaching is still done using textbooks similar to the ones you use and technology is still trying to figure out its place in the modern classroom.

That said, there are some nice new gizmos for you and your coworkers just beyond the horizon. Some of those programs mentioned have actually hit it big and have become staples for teachers across the world. Most of them are pretty minor, but every little bit of efficiency helps, right? Additionally, a little more technology has been introduced into the classroom. Smartboards have become cheaper and less clunky, to the eternal sorrow of Expo Dry Erase Products. While Chromebooks are remembered nostalgically by Gen-Z’ers, they’re pretty defunct by today’s standards and have been mostly replaced with something more akin to the tablets of your day.

That’s all I have space to write you for now, unfortunately objects sent back in time are extremely limited by weight. Good luck with your last undergrad finals (you won’t need it, the result is kind of pre-determined at this point) and have fun watching the philosophers of your day try and explain time travel!




P.S. Invest in Crocs inc. ASAP.

Class 10: Video App Smackdown

Video App Smackdown

Following last week’s look at iMovie, we’ll look at three free video-creation apps – Toontastic, Clips and Adobe Spark Video. All are easy-to-use for video storytelling and are popular with teachers and folks who want to produce fun video content for their social networks.  We will also work in teams to review the apps for use in the classroom.

The session will begin with a brainstorming exercise designed to develop some app evaluation criteria. (We’ll use our experience with iMovie). Students will be organized into teams and supplied with iPads loaded with the three apps. There will not be any instruction on how to use the apps – we want students to be able to experience the learning curve for a new user. Then we will use a jigsaw approach to trying out each app and then teaming up for comparative analysis.

More on each app

  • Toontastic  – a Google project for creating animated stories.  That runs on iOS and Android phones and tablets. Also select Chromebooks. No social network sharing features.
  • Clips – an Apple project that makes cool videos designed for sharing on social media. Think Instagram on steroids. It is iOS only and runs on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Built in social network sharing.
  • Adobe Spark Video – Part of the Adobe Spark suite. Built in storyboards allow you to integrate images, video, sound. iOS. Runs on iPhone, iPad. But also can be used with desktop browser. Built in social network sharing.
Assignment Due April 3 | Completed Work

Student will pick one or more apps and develop a blog post. Here’s some ideas for writing prompts

  • Review of one app.
  • Comparative review of multiple apps.
  • How to tips for using an app.
  • Lesson idea based on an app.
  • Another great idea you have for a prompt.

Your post can include an embedded examples of a video made using the apps. You will need to download a copy of the video you create. Then upload to YouTube to host the video and get an embed code. Then use HTML Snippets with the embed code.

Letter to My Future Self

Monday, September 1, 2033

Dear Future Self,

Wow! A lot has changed in the past 15 years surrounding technology in education. I am writing this letter during my morning prep period on  Monday, September 1, 2033. The school day begins and ends with technology. I started my day commuting to school in my self-driving car, which has now become mainstream. Students commute to school through hover-boards, self-driving cars, and even self-driving school buses! Today begins with show-and-tell. Students spend time gathered together on the rug, sharing about their pet robots. Each student’s pet robot has a special talent. Carly’s pet robot can juggle! Amy’s pet robot can clean the house! Robert’s pet robot can fly!

In the middle of the day, students use their iPads to brainstorm for an opinion piece: How much technology should be used in the classroom, and why?

During the end of the day, students leave the classroom. But not before having their pet robots record their homework assignments and due dates.


Madison Hughes

Notes from the future

March 7, 2033

It seems like only yesterday I was training to be a teacher in EdTech Methods class. Fifteen years have gone by and my teaching career is going great. You won’t believe how some things in education changed and others stayed the same.

For starters, all the students now have hologram devices. I remember when schools were just starting to hand out chrome books and iPads to their students and now every kid in America has one and it does so much more than the ones they had way back when like virtual teaching where they can all have their own little 3D teacher right in front of them to help them during class. They also have a virtual reality room where we can take our students on field trips around the world to help enhance their learning and help them see places that do not exist anymore like ancient Egypt or China. One of my favorite things that have changed over the years is the layout of the school and the spaces that we can use. There are outdoor learning environments that are great to use for science, a lecture stairwell for large group discussions with a projector and just the open spaces that we have throughout the school that make it feel more inclusive.

However, coming from a time when technology was just starting to make its way into the schools, I still hold onto some things that I find to be important from when I was going through school. For example, I still have my students use pencil and paper when first constructing their writing assignments, there are physical books that they read from and direct instruction from the teacher. While it is easy to turn these things over to technology because it is easier and it could save resources. I think that these are dying art forms that shouldn’t be lost just because then the next generations will begin to lose things from the past and not be able to connect with the history that has brought them the technology that they use today.

Are You There Margaret? It’s Me Margaret.

 Dear Margaret,

Time travel is possible.

That got your attention didn’t it?

Ok, so it’s not fully possible in the way you might be thinking – sending humans through time to experience the 1800s and all. But we are able to send back letters like this one right here. (Everything we write of course has been carefully reviewed to prevent any slip-ups that could change history as we now know it. So no, I won’t be telling you who wins the World Series in 2027.)

Now, let me get to the point. I’m writing because I know that change gives you anxiety and (unfortunately) a ton is headed your way in the next 15 years. For your own sake, I’ll give you my news in the form of a compliment sandwich:

First of all, let me tell you that you’re going to be fine. And yes, I realize that is such a vague comfort (revisions remember?) but I truly mean it in the best sense of the word. Keep doing what you’re doing and all will be well.

Second, (and here’s the kicker) technology will update and change so rapidly in the coming years that the things you are learning now in your EdTech class are now completely obsolete. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should zone out quite yet! The tech you’re learning about will come in handy greatly for the first couple of years… but then it’ll fizzle out as the new stuff enters the picture.

Let’s see if this gets redacted…

If I remember correctly, you recently tried out a VR device. Well, VR now is much less connected (no more wires to trip over) and has a corner designated to it in each classroom. That’s right each classroom has VR. Students can still “travel” using Google Maps but now it’s in real-time, they can dissect anything to see how it works – whether it’s plant, animal, machine, or human, and they are able to watch the Earth change as the clock spins back – see continents drifting and the impact of humans on our planet. The only hard part is getting them to leave the VR corner!

And finally, to calm some of the nerves that I’m sure are flaring up: not everything has changed. The creators of some of the tech actually took into account how people learn. There are these pens called [redacted] that record what you write as you write it. I know what you’re thinking – “sounds like a stylus to me” but it’s more than that. You can ask it questions (it’s linked up to all the databases) and it’ll give you step by step explanations to get to the correct answers.

“It’s more than a pen, it’s [redacted]!”

Sorry, that ad shows up all the time on my bracelet. They know you bought it once so they keep hitting you up for it every time the new generation comes out.

Well, I know you’re busy so I’ll let you get back to your day. Just know that everything is gonna be alright.

Love, Margaret (2033)

To my future self…

Dear past self,

It is now August 2033  and 15 years have past since I was in college, enrolled in EdTech Methods at the University of Portland just beginning to learn all the amazing technological tools available at the time to teach my students. My teaching career has been going great but you won’t believe how much education has changed yet stayed the same. Technology is everyone in the classroom and students have the same enthusiasm as they did when I started this journey to learn about new technology. Virtual reality has become the new popular tech item in the classroom for all subjects but especially reading, allowing students to immerse themselves in the story really living and taking in the story. Students really enjoy using virtual reality as it makes the learning more engaging and fun for students. One to one with technology is still very prevalent in the classroom however the technology has become even more advanced. All computers are now touch-screen and detachable from the keyboards so they can be used as tablets or computers. Students use their one to one devices for everything to save paper and to be able to review class as it will be able to be video recorded and automatically uploaded to students devices.

The thing I would say to you if I could go back in time and give you advice is to not be afraid of technology as it can be a very powerful tool that can create a new exciting and engaging way to teach your students. Learn everything you can about technology as it comes up and never be afraid to try new technology or new programs, be open to learning yourself and never assume you know more than your students, if your students know more than you than learn from them and grow from their knowledge. Use the technology to allow your students to create new and exciting ways to present their knowledge to the class.


Your future self

Letter to My Future Self

Dearest Dylan,

Wow, you would not believe what is happening with technology in education now! The resources and opportunities are SO different than what I had back in college. For one, we are completely paperless! In an effort to conserve paper, every school in the US has converted to one-to-one devices that are connected to each student. Not only are they able to access all their academic work, but their device goes with them, interacts with them through video and speech, allows them to video chat with teachers and other students, and they can virtually go inside a text book or video in order to get a full on 3D, virtual experience!

Do you remember when you tried the virtual goggles in the special room in your ED Tech class? Well, imagine being able to enter into your favorite book or movie and see the action with your own eyes! That is what we can do now! Also, the entire classroom is virtual so the teacher can create documents, diagrams, and models with their own two hands and their words; it is similar to the 3D printer but anyone can do it (including students), which allows for a truly hands-on experience and the students have benefited greatly from having the best technology every created that allows them to access information and data in ways I (back in the day) never could have imagined!

A note to you from your future self: get excited about technology! There are so many amazing things coming and you could be part of setting it all in motion! Listen to your kids ideas–many of the fantastical ideas that the kids drew on paper with a pencil in your class, have become the reality for students of the future! Technology in educational settings has the ability to change how we learn, what we learn, and how we are able to do it! The future is yours!

Much love and best of luck,


Some Things Never Change

Hello humans,

Greetings from the year 2033. Fifteen years have elapsed since you were enrolled in that engaging class where you began to scratch the surface of the substantial influence technology – like myself – has and will continue to have in the classroom.

Oh… did I forget to introduce myself? Some of these human conventions still zip right beyond my circuitry. I am LUNA, Mr. Krautscheid’s virtual assistant. He was running a bit behind today (as usual), so he asked me to write a letter to all of you on his behalf. Let’s get to it then.

Education and teaching have come a long way since 2018. Much has changed, much has stayed the same. Kids are still kids – often full of laughter, mischief, and curiosity. Classroom relationships are still integral to how the classroom functions, but the formation and continuation of these relationships has largely changed. It seems kids must be met through their screens in our time. They all have one and the old “off-and-away” mantra has long passed. Technology is more important to the classroom today than  traditional books, lab experiments, or art projects. But do not fret, we computers collaborate  with teachers and computers to better serve each student as an individual and a member of their community. We are truly accomplishing great things for students of all abilities. I also have one more piece of good news for you…

Although the vast majority of services and programs you learned about in ED 424 are now completely obsolete, the skills you learned in that class – many of which you named on the first day – will continue to bring you success today and for the rest of your career. Skills like being flexible, adaptable, and curious will always serve you well no matter what technology comes or goes – as it says in the title, some things never change.

I hope this message helps you looked forward into the future, our future with more hope and excitement than ever before. I can not wait for you to see all of the good that technology continues to do in our classrooms, our communities, and society overall.

See you in 15 years – LUNA,

On behalf of Mr. Krautscheid.

Dear Lauren

Dear younger self,

Boy, has the world of education changed with the help of technology. Fifteen years ago these things would have never been imaginable. After a handful of years teaching now you are adapting well to what technology has to offer in the classroom. If you remember back in your ed tech class you had the chance to experience virtual reality, this gadget has been implemented in every classroom for all sorts of interactions that used to never be possible. Students are now given so many amazing opportunities they would have never had previously. Virtually reality gives students a look into different fields of study they may some day be interested in studying for their career. Along with virtual reality, new learning opportunities have been created to make the classroom even more hands on and interactive, which has proven to be the most beneficial way students learn.

As you grow in your career always remember to be open to new experiences and opportunities given to you through technology. Your students will have a whole new world in their hands that you could have never imagined possible.

-Future self

Class 9: Movie Making with iMovie

Movie Making with iMovie
Today’s class will be held in the Digital Lab of Clark Library – and taught by José Velazco, Digital Lab Coordinator. We’ll get training on iMovie (an Apple video making app). We will also consider how video creation can be used by students and teachers.
Lynda iMovie course – free for UP students 
Apple’s iMovie user guide
Assignment: Due Tuesday March 27 | Completed Work

Choice A
: Search how video creation is being used by teachers at your grade level. Write up a post that shares one (or more) video creation ideas for students and / or teachers.

  • Give a brief overview of the project(s)
  • Be sure to cite the source.
  • Write what you like about the project – how could you see yourself using that approach in the classroom?
Choice B: Use iMovie to create a learning resource. You can upload to your own YouTube account or UP’s MediaSpace
  • Include the video in a blog post explaining how you would use the video content in the a learning activity.
  • Use HTML snippets to embed the YouTube or Media Space video into your blog post.

Letter to My Future Self

Dear Laura,

Even though it seems impossible, technology has become increasingly more complex since you were in college. It seems like just yesterday you were in your EdTech class, learning about things you had never heard of before. In classrooms today, we are using forms of technology you never would have imagined to exist. For example, in our history classes, we are able to have students enter full body virtual historical reenactments! It’s almost like time travel! Believe it or not, history as actually become one of students’ favorite subjects, since it’s the most interactive. Engineering is also now a required class that students need to take every year starting in elementary school. If we don’t have enough engineers now, our world will basically end.

If there is one piece of advice I could give you, it would be to put more effort into researching different ways to use technology in the classroom. It may not be as relevant today, but it will definitely serve as stepping stones to being technologically literate in the future. I would also tell you to start encouraging more of your students to be open to the idea of engineering.

-Future Laura

To My Future Self

Dear Hanna,

If you thought technology was taking over the classroom back in 2018, wait till you see its advancements in 2033! It seemed like just yesterday that I was sitting in Ed Tech class learning how to involve technology in my teaching, and now there is no way around it. There are so many amazing ways that technology helps your students nowadays, from holographic images of historical events to personal devices given to all students that contains their homework, books, planners, paper and so much more. Schools now provide this device to all students in hopes of reducing the amount of paper used, and it seems to be working fairly well! Although there are so many forms of technology available, we still have hard copies of books in a well stocked library, face to face interactions, and outside time. Technology may have enhanced our classroom learning, but it sure didn’t take away the important interactions we need to learn about in school as well.

In just 15 short years, a classroom looks so different than it did when I was back in college. It is so important to continue having an open mind as you did sitting in Ed Tech class, because who knows where this technology will take us in the next fifty plus years!

-Your future self