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Learning Lessons Through the Mishaps

I just finished a district training about communication and collaboration with a room full of teachers. We were using the Movenote app as a means of getting kids to communicate their learning using their mobile device. I’ve never experienced any problems with movenote but today was jam packed with them. In addition, we experienced a few other random hiccups. Here’s the laundry list along with the fix! Teachers couldn’t log in to their google accounts (I did a reset password from my admin screen) The movenote app wouldn’t allow direct login from the device. (We created the account online first …

I Started a Love Affair with Discovery Education’s Science Techbook

Yesterday, I fell in love. I attended Discovery Education’s Techbook Connect Texas, an interactive experiential look inside of their science digital textbook. I was able to experience science from the perspective of a student and I felt something that I have never felt before…LOVE for Science! Unlike other digital textbooks, Discovery Ed’s techbook is equipped with media, interactive learning environments and other features that make personalized learning a more engaging experience.  Yesterday, I was able to connect on a more deeper pedagogical level as to how to best integrate media into a classroom…an area that is often ignored. In one …

Today I Worked With Teachers and I Get It

“It’s weird that no matter what you do with technology, you blink and you’re a dinosaur overnight” – J. Feldstein, math teacher There is a reason that the field of educational technology exist. There is a reason that school districts have invested in people to bring new ideas to their staff. There is a reason that some classroom teachers are hesitant regarding implementing new ideas into their classrooms, specifically regarding technology. There is a reason, that even with the investment in manpower,  this is STILL an issue. I haven’t been away from the classroom long enough to forget about the …

What’s the Message Again?

I can recall sitting in meetings and trainings where the first norm stated was to put away all technology. This was happening in an environment  where we were trying to get teachers to open themselves to the idea of utilizing student devices in class. As annoyed as I was, I found it laughable that we would set expectations for one outcome while communicating another. Needless to say, most classrooms ended up with signage similar to the one pictured. Why would teachers do any different when in our learning environments, we are held to a lower standard? In a perfect world, …

Viewing PD from the Outside In

I don’t think that it really sunk in how technically far I am from the classroom until my reflection time after work. My department is housed at a professional development facility for our district, which is located across from a mall…not near a school crosswalk. Every aspect of the building screams PD, from the racks of poster paper to the pre-filled containers of markers, index cards and pencils. When the time comes that I need to teach a session, everything that teachers could possibly need is right there and ready to go. This entire idea is so far from normal …

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5 Ideas to Inspire Sharing on Your Campus

As school quietly approaches, teachers everywhere are thinking of ways to do everything from inspiring creativity in their classrooms to integrating more technology. As a technology integration specialist, I’m thinking beyond tools to share and sessions to teach. I’ve been brainstorming ways to inspire a climate of sharing amongst schools. The best thing that we can do for teachers is to give them a platform in which to share with each other. The expertise should not just lie with campus specialist, but with us all. The following are a few ideas.   1. Poster paper is still in. Put up …

Unlocking the Gate to Connectivity in Your School

Before beginning, I need to give a disclaimer that we all need to accept without question. You will NOT get every single teacher in your building truly connected. You may have 100% sign up for a service, but you will not have 100% actively engaging in conversations, however you’ll get most of them and that is a win. A few days ago, I wrote a post about not being offended on twitter. Then Rodney Hetherton wrote a post, which referenced mine, about Powerful Conversations on Twitter in which he referenced the idea of those conversations taking place at school and what …

5 Training Tips for New and Veteran Edtech Trainers

Yesterday I was a part of a training to help teachers understand interactivity. It was interesting to be in that position after writing a post about supporting reluctant teachers. I am always looking for ways to be better so I took notes to reflect and also to share with others. The list that follows is a result of that.     1. Gauge the room Know about where each teacher feels that they stand. Also, learn what their burning questions are. This can be done easily using a tool such as Padlet. I like the idea that responses can be …

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The Reality of EdTech with No Support

In my daughter’s HS are SMARTboards in every classroom, computer labs so accessible that online testing presented limited problems, enough ipads for classes to check out and a BYOD policy that enabled teachers to utilize student devices. In addition, the wifi connectivity is amazing. On the surface, void of a schoolwide 1:1, this is a decent tech setup. However, what was missing was how to best navigate the waters of a flood of tools. My daughter graduated at the top of her HS class with an extremely limited tech vocabulary. At most, she utilized Microsoft Word and ppt, what her …

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My 5 Secrets for Supporting Reluctant Teachers in Tech Integration

I read a post this morning about supporting teachers skeptical in technology. As someone who does support teachers, I found that this article left a bit on the table. Below are my 5 secrets to supporting reluctant teachers. I follow these steps religiously and have been successful at doing so. With all things, please note that your school and situation can vary. I do welcome your feedback. 1. Don’t overwhelm teachers with a “list of 100 apps”. It should be no surprise that I am not a “20 apps in 20 minutes” or “100 apps in 60 minutes” kind of …