Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Disconnect to Connect

So important to remember in todays digital world....

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A conversation about Vision...

I had a conversation with some other educational professionals a couple days ago about what the goals, direction and vision of what a tech department should be like. I feel like I didn't give a good explanation of what I thought at the time so here goes for a better explanation...

What do I envision for a Tech Department? In looking at the ISTE Standards, a tech department should probably model elements of those standards. Listing some key descriptive words would help clarify my thoughts on this topic. Some are clich├ęs and catch-phrases that may be overused, but they do capture the spirit of the type of department I want to be involved in.

  • Dynamic:  Creative and Innovative. Something is always happening. New ideas are being shared, projects are being worked on, in order to improve the integration strategies, school systems and knowledge of the school. 
  • Goal-Driven: Goals are clear and defined. Steps are defined to solve problems. These are based on the schools Mission and Philosophy, and what the overall goals/objectives are for the school (usually from an accreditation report). 
  • Collaborative:  Communication is key. There is a culture of working with others and not in isolation. Ideas are being shared amongst the members of the department and with the rest of the school. We are team players and we reflect and share to become better.
  • Engaged: Actively model good practices and work with other departments and students to assist and help integrate. 
  • Appropriate: Tech is not integrated for techs-sake. It is integrated where appropriate. Sometimes the best technology is a pencil...
  • Research based and Data-Driven: We are critical thinkers that base decisions and best practices on research. Decisions and new programs are not just adopted willy-nilly. Time is spent to research effectiveness
  • Helpful: No one will want assistance if we are not helpful
  • Responsible and Ethical: We model appropriate use of technology
This is all I have for now...


I have read about TPACK in the past, but not SAMR, as approaches to tech integration. I came across an article in which mentioned SAMR and it piqued my interest to follow up. SAMR was developed by Mr. Rueben R Puentadura, an educational technology specialist, and he has some great information and explanation of these two approaches on his blog at: 

TPACK: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) attempts to identify the nature of knowledge required by teachers for technology integration in their teaching, while addressing the complex, multifaceted and situated nature of teacher knowledge. At the heart of the TPACK framework, is the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK). See Figure below. As must be clear, the TPACK framework builds on Shulman’s idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge.

SAMR is: a model designed to help educators integrate technology into teaching and learning , was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura.  The model aims to enable teachers to design, develop, and integrate digital learning experiences that utilize technology to transform learning experiences to lead to high levels of  achievement for students.

Reading about TPACK and SAMR was a good reminder and refresher of how to approach tech integration from a pedagogical standpoint. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020

An interesting article by Shelley Blake-Plock. I agree with many of these predictions. Hopefully the mac-n-cheese one as well :-) Click here to read the article...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tech Integration Coaches

I had an interesting system of coordinating tech integration at a school, presented to me today. I had been thinking that having one tech integrator/coordinator at each division would be ideal. But maybe a better method is to give a stipend or release time to a person in each subject department area, and make them a Tech Coach. Then have one main tech integrator (maybe one main one in elementary, and one for MS/HS), who would then regularly meet with these "coaches" to help with their individual integration efforts. This would give more ownership to the staff to ensure tech integration is occurring, and someone would always be at the team/department meetings to make sure that tech integration is being talked about. These people would also have their fingers on the pulse of the other staff on other items, and could be a Tech Advisory Council (TAC) on issues such as 1-1, software/hardware purchases, and the school tech plan. If they were given release time, then they could be helping other teachers as well. It would look great on their resume...Hmmm....