Activities in ECI

ECI 201 at NC State is a class full of learning the technology used in the classroom. By taking this class, I have improved on my communication skills, along with understanding the levels of technology that teachers can integrate into their classroom for engaging lessons. Below are two of my favorite activities; Designing a digital citizenship poster to make my target audience aware of online safety. The other is a video describing my routine via virtual learning after the pandemic hit. More information on both of these items can be found under the blogs tab.


Digital Citizenship Poster

In ECI 201 we focused a lot on digital citizenship and the do’s and do not’s of online safety. One of my favorite activities was designed a poster, targeted to teenagers about how they can remain safe online. Click the button below to view my poster, and check out the blogs section to read all about incorporating digital citizenship into your classroom!

Digital Citizenship Poster


Video: Zoom University

Everyone was impacted by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, it changed schedules and ultimately changed lives. The University made plans to continue with remote learning through Zoom and NC State’s personal learning applicator, Moodle. Both staff and students edited their plans and schedules to make it flexible for everyone. Check out the video below for my morning routine at ‘NCSU Zoom University’.

‘NCSU Zoom University’

Click on the blogs tab to learn about my “Changing Times with COVID-19”

All About Me

Hey! I am Kate O’Neill and I am majoring in Elementary Education with a dual license in Special Education. The purpose of this site is to give you an insight to all the things I have learned in my ECI 201 class at NC State. This class has taught me all things technology and how to incorporate it into the classroom. I hope the blogs and helpful links provide encouragement to incorporate some tips and tricks into your classroom too!

November | 2017 | Page 3 | College of Education | NC State University

Social Media Accounts

Professional Twitter: @koneill_ncsu


Helpful Links

The following are helpful links that I have found most helpful through my ECI class and I hope to bring into my future classroom someday.


  1. Flipgrid– Flipgrid comes in website and app form that allows for video communication. I recommend Flipgrid to all teachers because it allows the teacher to send mass videos to students regrading lessons and activities. It also gives students the opportunity to give reviews via videos, and they can reply to one another. Flipgrid is also enhanced with emojis and other fun filters to spice up video communication!
  2. Playposit– Playposit is a very interactive site that keeps tabs on students for teachers. Students watch videos, answer questions, and learn new material while their teachers track their progress. I recommend this site to teachers because it’s a good way to keep students engaged in learning because of the questions they have to answer along the way of completing the lesson. PlayPosit
  3. Kahoot– Kahoot is a super fun educational based game to incorporate into the classroom. Teachers can create or use already created lesson based questions and students can answer via computer or smartphone. I recommend Kahoot to teachers because it’s a great day to test the knowledge of students, and they love the challenge and competition Kahoot has to offer. Five Things Parents Should Know from the Kahoot! Survey: "Data ...
  4. Padlet– Padlet is a site that allows students to connect with each other and their teacher via virtual bulletin boards. I recommend Padlet because it helps to get conversations going and posts can remain anonymous. Padlet was used a lot in my ECI 201 class and really put into perspective for me how helpful it would to use in my own classroom someday. Padlet » Arlington ISD


What is Gamification?

“Gamification of education is a developing approach for increasing learners’ motivation and engagement by incorporating game design elements in educational environments” (Gamifying education). Gamification is the process used to solve problems using game based elements, this differs from game-based learning which is games with specific educational purposes. The main difference between the two is gamification is a more complex process of designing and fitting in the elements, rather than creating an educational game. Gamification takes the educational game and designs it for further and more engaging use.


The article 'The Neuroscience of Gamification in Online Learning' provides ten statements that dig into 
the foundation of gamification and why it's so useful.

1. Gamification forges an emotional connection: Gaming can create connections between the virtual world to the real one.

2. The hippocampus controls recall: Gaming helps with the users ability to recall and remember information.

3. Dopamine creates positive associations with learning: Gamification provides the feedback needed when releasing dopamine, the feel good hormone.

4. The brain processes stories better than facts: Storylines of games is easier for the brain to depict rather than unconnected facts.

5. Badges and rewards can trigger serotonin release: Serotonin release allows for a rush of accomplishment when receiving badges and rewards.

6. Playing games releases endorphins: Endorphins are the body's natural painkillers that help to reduce stress and anxiety.

7. Playing games keeps the brain fit: Playing games allow the user to expand their memory and attention abilities.

8. Gameplay reduces stress: A study preformed at Texas A&M University showed that gaming helps to reduce depression through mood management.

9. Gamification helps deal with cognitive overload: Cognitive overload keeps the user from grasping certain small amounts of information, gamification helps to slow down the overload by chunking together the smaller bits of information.

10. Games teach work skills: Skills developed in the gaming world can boost external skills like resource management and prioritization.

I believe these ten statements provide clarity for all the positive goals gamification provides. Gamification is more than just a time waster on a video board, it’s a defining applicator that helps to reduce negative applicators and produce positive ones. This mentality can be brought forth into the classroom to bring the fundamentals of gaming into any lesson!

Gamification in the classroom

Gamification is becoming more up and coming in today’s classroom with the help of technology. Teacher’s are expanding their lessons to incorporate gaming fundamentals to help engage and teach students. Teachers say they like using gamification in the classroom because of the four C’s; challenge, chance, competition, and cooperation. These elements work together in the classroom along with the Gamify System, to produce satisfied learning objectives. The applicators listed below are both in and out of classroom apps that demonstrate gamification learning:


  1. DuoLingo– Language learning platform that allows users to achieve badges through language enhancing games.
  2. Brainscape– Game designed to make flashcards for students to help improve learning.
  3. Knowre– Designed to help grades K-12 in math, making it more fun and less frustrating.
  4. Ribbon Hero– Allows users to grasp how to use Microsoft applicators in game form; Requires windows download.
  5. Medieval Swansea– Game intended for older users, solve a mystery using historical contexts.

After doing research, I would recommend any of these apps to teachers depending on the age level of students. These games plus many others, deliver the challenge for them and then offer the reward. I think it is very important that students are able to feel accomplished and have a sense of value when they reach the next level or complete the game.


Check out the TED Talks below about the effects gamification has on our mental state and the world around us!
Gaming Can Make a Better World 7 Ways Games Reward the Brain


Gamify System

Points- Points are used to calculate the user’s achievements in relation to other users. Points bring value to games, and can typically revert to rewards.

Badges- Badges symbolize the goal the user achieved in a visual form.

Levels- Levels create intensity for games and encourage users to reach the next level to gain a higher reward.

Leaderboard- Leaderboards organize the point system by rank, and encourage users to reach leaderboard status.

Each of these elements offer the opportunity to make any educational process and turn it into a game. Teachers define the objective of the game and students put it upon themselves to reach various goals. This system does not have to be the objective of every game, but it will help students believe learning is fun. Students can enjoy learning while solving puzzles, concurring quests, earning badges, and seeing their name at the top of the leaderboard!

This blog post defines gamification, clarifies the impact it has on our mental, emotional and physical state, and looks at gamification in the classroom. Gamification is not just a fun time occupier, it has positive effects that can be linked to any study or occupation. In terms of education, I think more teachers should incorporate gamification inside the classroom because it’s more adapted to the desires of the students and gives them an uplifting change of pace when learning. Gamification can be used in any K-12 classroom and even higher education. The resources in gamification leave the opportunity to stress educational lessons while providing an engaging game piece for students.

After learning all about gamification in my ECI 201 class, I want to incorporate it into my future elementary classroom for engagement purposes. Students are more likely to listen to lessons and stories when they can relate to it. Games follow a story line that also provide the challenges that can end with feelings of accomplishments. I want my students to be able to engage in learning games, be able to comprehend what they learned, and apply it to the real world. Never let your students stop learning, it’s going to follow them wherever they go!

All About VR & AR

What exactly is VR?

Virtual Reality (VR), in education is the enhanced communication between teachers and students using virtual technology. VR can take the form of providing a 3D stimulation via game or learning applicator using special goggles or a headset. Experiences can be planning and creating lessons, delivering mass productions, and giving students the opportunity to learn independently.

What exactly is AR?

Augmented Reality (AR), in education is the enhanced communication between teachers and students using fixed virtual technology. AR in education is still developing in ways that it gets students to visualize and understand the complex concepts that would otherwise be harder to grasp. AR takes the comprehension of textbook learning and transforms it to be compatible with the learning and engagement students need.


VR in the Classroom

There has been more of a push for virtual reality in the classroom. Teachers are now finding more ways they can incorporate VR into their lessons to give students the full effect. There are many online lessons that give teachers access to VR in the classroom.  ClassVR in particular, has the developed software to make the connections between teachers and students for VR learning. The following points of interest come from ClassVR and what they offer for VR.

Planning and Creating Lessons: ClassVR lets you select their resources or upload your own plans for VR. This site allows you to “search from over 500 resources by subject, topic, or keyword.”

Delivering: ClassVR can transmit the preplanned lessons to the headsets participating in the stimulation. The headsets can be locked to help retain focus, and are equipped to specialize in the interest of students to grab their attention.

Independent Learning: Put control into the lives of the students when using VR. With ClassVR, they can use printed worksheet for self guided learning with the headsets. Make centers more engaging when they are able to navigate around the lessons themselves.

Click the button below to see Virtual Reality in the classroom!

VR in the Classroom


AR in the Classroom

Augmented Reality in the classroom takes the form of educational apps for learning and fun in any classroom! The following are apps recommended to be used in any K-12 classroom to help bring the learning to life!

AR in the Classroom


Consider the image below that explains the growing use of AR/VR in K-12 Education (2016)


The above image depicts the growing use of VR and AR in the education system. As more technology becomes available, programming is being developed to teach teachers how to use VR/AR. In the upcoming years these percentages are expected to rise as educators become more comfortable using such technology and it becomes more affordable.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Both VR and AR come with similar benefits and drawbacks when it comes to the connection related between teachers and students. Below are a list of advantages and disadvantages VR and AR have to offer.


1. Virtual Field Trips- Take children all across the world without leaving the classroom.

2. Learning a New Language- Stimulations can allow the brain to think you are in another destination, improving the reaction time when it comes to learning a different language

3. Development of Simple Skills- Learning anything takes practice, and real world stimulations provide the practice needed to succeed

4. Special Education- Comforting stimulations can create wonderful worlds of imagination for special education students

5. Collaboration- VR/AR has improved the collaboration and social skills between how students interact and complete missions together

6. Gamification- Many educational games have developed the stimulations to keep students engaged and learning in any lesson

7. Pure Enjoyment- With the right stimulations and programing VR/AR makes learning fun!

8. Engagement- Students hold better focus and attention when lessons are delivered in ways that have an end goal

9. Compatible in most Subjects- Virtual lessons are available online in subjects ranging from math, science, language, design, geography and many more

10. Long Term Cost Effective- VR/AR units can be cost effective in long term measures because they are saving money on the printed paper or the extra field trips that schools take


1. Not all Teachers are Comfortable using VR/AR- Veteran teachers may not be ready to explore all aspects of technology, sometimes all you need is pencil and paper to succeed

2. Short Term Cost Ineffective- VR/AR units can be very expensive, it's up to the school what units can be purchased

3. Overstimulating- Stimulations do not benefit all students, whether the 3D view or headsets causes them to feel uneasy

4. Distracting- Students can be at awe of the effects and completely miss the purpose of VR in a lesson

5. Takes Opportunities Away- VR/AR can take the place of field trips that students should otherwise get the opportunity to go on

Check out the Following articles for more about Benefits and Drawbacks of VR and AR: ‘10 Ways Virtual Reality is Already Being Used in Education‘ & ‘How to Effectively Use Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Transform the Industry of Education

Virtual and Augmented Reality is the next big thing in today’s world, especially in the education system. Educators are researching and learning the software that is required for Virtual Reality and turning it into lessons for their students. Technology has changed tremendously just over the past fifty years, and plays a part in just about all occupations. Educators are taking matters into their own hands and preparing students for their future by incorporating technology into the classroom on a daily basis. Virtual and Augmented Reality provide the perfect stimulations for students to prepare them for their future.

I want to incorporate Virtual and Augmented Reality into my future elementary classroom. I believe that by given the right directions, I can publish lessons that are going to benefit my students into learning bigger through virtual reality. When reading through the history books, I want to be able to take my students to “destination unknown”, or on math scavenger hunts, and learning languages of a different country. The possibilities are endless when using VR and AR, and I want to make that known throughout my classroom. Students will be able to stay engaged and pick up on items that a textbook can’t teach them, instead they are getting the experience. I also believe that getting to experience VR is a privilege, and should be treated as such. As previously stated, this technology hasn’t been around long, students still should be able to read and analyze from pencil and paper. Virtual and Augmented Reality will then come into play to transform into the wonderful experiences learning has to offer from other dimensions and point of views.