Quiver EDU Ambassador: Mike McGowan


AR for Education Ambassador Spotlight

Name: Mike McGowan

Twitter ID: @MikesTechCloset

Class/School Website: www.SD171.org

Bio: I am a Technology Director Sunnybrook School District 171 in Lansing, Illinois just south of Chicago.  The District is Pre-K through 8th grades.  I have been a classroom teacher teaching Computers and Business classes in multiple districts in grades Pre-K through 12th grade.  I also teach Technology Integration classes for existing and future teachers.  I have been working in education for over 12 years.  And also serve on the Executive Board of the Illinois Computing Educators (ICE), the Illinois ISTE affiliate.   I have also had the honor of speaking at conferences across the country and overseas.

Favorite Quiver Resource: It is hard to name just one.  Anytime you can make a lesson fun and more engaging is a favorite tool of mine.  Taking resources like the flags is valuable as it teaches students about other countries but also lets them build their own flag representing them which crosses many areas of curriculum.  Also take resources like the cells helps make a topic more interesting and adds the interactivity to it that gets students excited.  So it is just too hard to name just one.

Your Motto: My motto is simple and only one word, try.  I just ask my teachers and also push myself to just try.  I don’t require anyone to do anything.  I do ask that they try.  When you give people flexibility with trying they will push themselves that much further.

What is your Favorite Teaching Moment? Anytime I can engage a student at any grade level, age, or subject matter is my favorite.  I love the light bulb moments where someone sees how what I am teaching connects to the real world.  That is the whole reason I love teaching and working in education.  I love to see those moments and the excitement when someone just gets it.

Why do you use Augmented Reality in your classroom? AR is a fun and engaging tool that gets students excited. The idea of taking  a simple 2D object and give it new life is amazing.  Every time I bring AR into a lesson I get everyone attention and they just want to experience it for themselves.

Why did you want to become a Quiver Ambassador? I want to be able to share my experiences and my love for Quiver with other educators.  I love sharing what I know about education and how I use different tools to engage students.  I see this as a way I can do this and help spread the word.

How do you share Quiver’s Resources with other educators? Mainly I share resources through working with my teachers and presenting at conferences around the world.

Where have you presented? I have presented Quiver resources at several conferences including but not limited to the two big Ed Tech conferences in Illinois, ICE and IETC.  I have also shared these resources at the Global SEE summit in Calgary and in Europe.  I have also presented on the topic at smaller conferences in IL, IN, IA, and VA.

Ambassador Spotlight Lesson:  The Country of You

Grade Level: 5th Grade

Subject or Topic: World Culture

Duration of Lesson/Activity: 2 – 45 minute class periods

Object of Lesson/Activity: Students think about what they can contribute to the world.

Standards that the Lesson/Activity Meets: ISTE NETs 1B, 2C

Materials Needed for Lesson/Activity:


The students think about what skills, talents, and more they can provide to the world, or would like to.  This is after looking at what cultural influences different countries of the world provide and contribute.  Then have students color and design a flag that would represent their country incorporating what they will contribute into the flag.  Then the students present their flags to the classroom.  Another student would use a device to activate the flag while connected to a projector so students can see the flag during the presentation.

Key Vocabulary:

  • Global awareness
  • Cultural influence
  • Social Studies
  • World Studies

Assessment: Student presentation

Notes, Suggestions, Tips, etc…

If you have a large class then you might want to pair students up.  Also using one device that is hooked to a projector to display the flag is a time saver.  First time doing this we passed the flags around and it took way too long.