Multimedia Integration In the Classroom

The following are a collection of videos to help teachers see what technology integration looks like in the classroom and how it is transforming the learning process. Please be aware the Ted Talk videos do not have a stop play button so you will need to exit out of the site when they finished.

What Technology Integration Looks Like In Elementary School

Meet the faculty at Forest Lake Elementary in Columbia, SC. Starting as techno- novices, they now use customizable software, interactive whiteboards, digital cameras, and more to tailor lessons to the individual needs of diverse students. To see more exciting reports from our Schools that Work series, please visit our website:

What Technology Integration Looks Like in High School

The DNA of Learning: Teens Tackle Animal Poaching Through Genetics

Eleventh-grade biotechnology students use DNA barcoding to help save endangered African wildlife.


Twelfth grade students use Google docs to collaborate on a group science paper. They use scholarly research searches, power point, video and sound clips, blogs, and ScyncronEyes to broadcast to other students computer screens.

Technology Integration with Google Drive

Team Teaching: Two Teachers, Three Subjects, One Project

A pair of educators are sanguine about their art, biology, and multimedia program.

Teaching Kids Real Math With Computers

Conrad Wolfram who runs the mathematical lab and research division behind cutting-edge knowledge engine Wolfram Alpha make an argument teaching real world math in school and leaving computation to computers.

What Technology Integration Looks Like In the Abroad

The Child-Driven Education

Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education — the best teachers and schools don’t exist where they’re needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching.

Technology Innovation in Slums

Charles Leadbeater, a researcher with the think tank Demos in London, looks at effective education innovation in slums around the world.

What Could A One-to-One Education Look Like?

Electronic TextBooks
Envision electronic textbooks the way Apple sees them.

Technology Integration from CaseNEX on Vimeo.

The 100-Student Classroom

In the fall of 2011 Peter Norvig taught a class with Sebastian Thrun on artificial intelligence at Stanford attended by 175 students in situ — and over 100,000 via an interactive webcast. He shares what he learned about teaching to a global classroom.

Building Bridges with Parents

A Lake Forest Elementary parent demonstrates how technology is keeping her connected with her child’s learning.

What About Games In Education?
How Games Play into Educaiton

We’re bringing gameplay into more aspects of our lives, spending countless hours — and real money — exploring virtual worlds for imaginary treasures. Why? As Tom Chatfield shows, games are perfectly tuned to dole out rewards that engage the brain and keep us questing for more.

Sasha Barab on New-Media Engagement

A professor of learning sciences at Indiana University explains how new-media literacies are creating new opportunities for student participation.

Lesson Plan

This plan is meant to accompany the Building Bridges with Parents video.



Using Spreadsheets in the Classroom

Using Spreadsheets in the Classroom

Spreadsheets aren’t handy just for classroom management.  In fact, the ability of spreadsheets to organize data makes them a wonderful tool for uses at all levels of education and can be applied to any discipline of study.  The benefits of spreadsheets are that they help students manage working with complex sets of numbers and save time by allowing for quick calculations.  This frees students to ask more “what if” questions and may increase motivation because students can manipulate spreadsheet graphics.  Spreadsheets have four main functions students can explore: data collection, creating graphs, plotting timelines, and recording surveys results.  Here is a brief overview of how each can be used in the classroom.

Data Collection

For students data collection can be used to record homework grades, class assignments, and test scores to keep a tally of the overall class grade.  Spreadsheets can also be used to keep track of a budget for a hypothetical business, club, or personal living expenses, or specific information from a science lab.  In the graph below student count the number of skittles in small and large bags to find the average number of colors in each.


Graphs are an outstanding way to put a visual representation to a numeric concept.  Graphs can be used to show the relationship between numbers in bar, pie, line, area, and x/y plot.  Each graph has a different purpose, for example bar graphs show changes over time (years, months, or days) or compare differences between things (types of occupations students want to be).  Below is an example of three team scores that have been compared for the whole season.


Surveys can be conducted online or in person and are a fantastic way to get students engaged, collaborating, and applying new skills in a real world situation.  Surveys are similar to polling mechanisms and are designed to collect multiple responses to questions that can be true/false, yes/no, multiple-choice, or multiple answer.  Here students conduct a survey to identify mac or PC users and computer use preferences.


Students will benefit from putting important events in order in a timeline or calendar.  The time line can also be used is to record steps to a procedure.  These options allow students to organize what they have learned or plan for future events.  Timelines and calendars can span a short period of time such as events or assignments over the course of a school year, or they can cover decades and centuries.  This timeline below tracks the key life events of Sitting Bull.

Sample Lesson

Topic: Water Usage in Your Home

Goals of lesson:

  • Use a spreadsheet to track the amount of water their family uses and apply concepts and procedures from probability and statistics.
  • Use spreadsheets to solve problems and make informed decisions.
  • Use spreadsheets to process data and report results.
  • Students will use Internet resources to compare the amount of water used by their families to that used by other families.
  • Students will identify ways to decrease family water usage.

Description of the data:

Students will explore how much water is used in their household over the course of one week.  They will answer questions like “How much water does a 5 minute shower typically take?”  or “Which uses less water, hand washing dishes or running the dishwasher?” They will record their findings in spreadsheet and report on their findings.  Extend this activity by allowing students to compare results and work in groups to brainstorm ways to reduce family water usage.

Spreadsheet and student instructions:

Developing Effective Technology Plans

Letter EThink of technology as the water that fills in the shapes of our imaginations. Technology use planning is about shaping a vision and leveraging innovation to make it happen. At worse, these plans are a narrow in overview, outlining types or a number of gadgets that should be acquired by a school or district. At best, it is both a plan and a process (Anderson)–a process that harnesses ideas into a collective consciousness and exemplifies problem solving with innovation.

John See, author of the article “Developing Effective Technology Plans,” argues that technology plans should not cover the scope of more than one year. On one hand, See makes his case by pointing out that in a year from now we don’t know what technologies will exist. On the other hand, Mr. See also says “effective plans focus on application, not technology.” If this is true, then application objectives should drive vision and not the other way around. If a technology plan attempts to tackle some of the more serious weakness in the educational system as outlined in initiatives like Race to the Top, I would argue, planning less than year is hardly adequate time to adopt and evaluate worthwhile innovations.

To illustrate, last year our district implemented the Georgia RESA Assessment of Student Progress, or GRASP testing, intended to progress monitor students in basic reading and math skills k-12. This year, GRASP is no where on the district agenda. For a success of a year-to-year data collection program to be measured or beneficial it must be maintained, analyzed, and evaluated over the course of several years. When the use of such a tool isn’t mandated, and teachers don’t know how to access or use the information, the tool becomes virtually useless.

The downfall in a technology use plans is a plan that focuses on adoption rather than implementation and evaluation. Before implementation we must ask what practice are we trying to improve? How will this technology support that goal? What benchmarks will we use to determine the success of an adoption? And perhaps most importantly, how will the adoption of this technology will improve learning? If I’m using a computer projector in my class in the same way I used an old school light projector, what’s changed? Nothing. If I’m using clickers to speed up grading but not adapting my instruction based on what I’ve learned, again, nothing has changed.

dusty keyboardIn my school we have adopted web programs, typing equipment, computer projectors, Promethean boards, headphones, and camera equipment many of which are infrequently used to maximize learning. Reasons range from lack of training, fear of equipment, fear of equipment breaking, or in some cases, teachers not even knowing they are there. This year’s adoption was Neo keyboards. Currently, four of five grade level sets sit gathering dust. Who ordered them? What was their intended purpose? How do we use them?

New technology trainings focus on the bells and the whistles of the equipment. Yet we tend to miss the essential question. How are we improving the way we teach and the way students learn? If we don’t follow up to find out how teachers and students are answering this question then, I argue, money spent on new equipment is not money spent wisely.

When I started teaching four years ago, what stood out to me was how dated information management systems were compared to every other field I’d worked in. Even at the auto repair shop, I could look up the history of a vehicle to see every oil change, every diagnosis, quote, test-drives notes, and replaced part by brand and model with the click of a few buttons. But the information on my kids was more elusive. What did an 86% in math tell me about someones needs? I wanted concrete information on what my students knew and needed. Who were they as learners? What strategies maximize their learning in the past and which ones didn’t?

Wiki Product ImageI also wondered how we could leverage resources. How could new teachers tap into the collective intelligence of the greatest teachers from the past? How would a seasoned professional solve the challenges that I faced as a novice? And still further, I wanted to know how I could personalize learning for students. How could I tap into their knowledge base and inspire them to build on what they already knew? These are still fundamental questions that guide my interest as an educator. My vision for personalized learning in fact, has hardly waivered since my own days as begrudging passive student.

My idea of a technology use plan involves finding solutions to these issues that are still of utmost importance. The Department of Educational Technology acknowledged my concerns in the 2010 National Educational Technology Plan. The plan discusses a shift from promotion based on seat time to promotion based on competency. This would mean a shift in grading methodology and would lead to maintenance of more accurate information on individual student needs.

Personalized LearningThe document also distinguished the difference between individualized learning, which refers to students learning common information at their own pace, differentiated learning, which addresses different modalities, and the ability to personalize learning which takes into account students prior experience, language, culture, as well as pacing and modality. The success of customized consumer experiences has been demonstrated by companies like Amazon, Pandora, Netflix, and Stitcher radio.

The plan goes on to discusses how teachers across the country will share Common Core Standards. This will hopefully lead to a digital warehousing of best practices and expert presenters in core discipline. Not all concepts mentioned in the report were easy a matter of effectively management of information systems however. There also was mention of developing 2.0 assessment, which would include problem solving, critical thinking, and concepts of global participation into student evaluation. The subjective nature of assessing these kinds of skills has always been a challenge, which is why virtually all state tests are fill in the bubble, multiple choice tests. In the past, when faced with the choices of the most effective way or the fastest way to assess students, we’ve opted for speed and efficiency. This leaves me to wonder, when we look back on the transformation of 20th century education system, we will attribute changes to technology use plans and visions of educators, or will simply see disruptive technologies as the butterfly wing that shifted the status quo?

Butterfly-Create ChangeREFERENCES

Anderson, S Larry, The Guidebook for Developing an Effective Instructional Technology Plan Version 2.0 prepared by students at students at Mississippi State University, 1996

See, John, The Computing Teacher, Vol.19 Number 8, May 1992.

______. National Education Technology Plan 2010 | U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology.

Acceptable Use Policies

Acceptable Use Policies

Acceptable Use Policies, or AUP, can be likened to the “Terms of Service” agreements people sign off on when they access online software. The intention of the AUP is provide a framework for specific information security standards. AUP’s should be succinct, yet also cover how users are and aren’t able to use the IT system. With the rapid pace of technological advancements, the trick for many organizations is to find the balance between excessively restrictive policies and those that fall short of their legal obligations.

The purpose of AUPs is two fold. The first is to protect people in a learning environment from malicious material. The second purpose is to open doors for students to learn and teachers to teach. Keeping AUPs aligned with web 2.0 tools requires constant attention. Some districts update AUPs when the Technology Plan is drafted. Others update yearly, and still others update multiple times in a single year. Some districts use generic language to allow their policies encompass new products.

Tips for Covering the bases with AUPs

  • Consistent enforcement among all staff and faculty
  • Clearly define if tools will be used as learning tools or personal tools
  • Specifically define how certain tools should be used such as a common class Google accounts or material recorded on cameras.
  • Compel all parents and teachers to know, teach, and enforce the districts AUPs.
  • Compose a copy of computer use rules at age appropriate levels in all computer labs.
  • Use computer lab rules that answer “how,” “who” and “when” to adapt to the changing technological landscape.

Here are some examples of AUPs that tackle mobile learning in different ways:

Speers Point Public School Mobile Phone Policy

Mercer County Mobile Device Acceptable Use Policy

Broward County School and District Technology Use

Chatham County Acceptable Policy Use


Consortium for School Networking. (Sept. 2011). Acceptable use policies in the web 2.0 and mobile era. Learning, Leadership & Policy A CoSn Leadership Initiative. Retrieved from

Scrogan, L. (Jul. 2007) AUPs in a web 2.0 world. EDTECH Focus on K12. Retrieved from

Nagel, D. (Jan. 2011). A better approach to AUP’s for mobile devices: 5 questions with Anthony luscre. The Journal. Retrieved from

Instructional Design–Job Description

Course 503: Instructional Design

January 2012


E3 is a nonprofit with the mission of making exceptional learning opportunities available to K-12 students across the globe. We are looking for individuals with a blend of pedagogical wisdom and knowledge of development technologies that to bring online content to life.  The ideal candidate is experienced with k-12 curriculum, best practices, technology in school environments, design principles, and has a creative vision toward the future of e-learning.  This instructional designer will set innovative standards for a blended approach to delivery, including classroom learning, on-line learning, podcasts, interactive video, just-in-time learning and assessment tools.


What you’ll do:

  • Work with our team to develop age appropriate learning materials sequenced to build on learners’ prior skills.
  • Story-board new courses and review key design components including lesson designs, scripts, and final builds.
  • Design the documentation that service as the knowledge structures for lessons level design document for
  • Instructional writers, and specifications and core pieces of teacher supported materials
  • Serve as a member of a product/project core team, providing leadership and support to the team to ensure instructional integrity and to meet business needs

What you’ll need:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Instructional Design or closely related field (Advanced degree highly preferred)
  • Three to five years of experience in the field of instructional design
  • Portfolio link demonstrating engaging e-learning courses
  • Excellent communication skills with strong presentation skills
  • Experience in K-12 market
  • Knowledge of and experience with educational technology in the school environment
  • Experience with technology tools that aid design such as Articulate, Camtasia, Adobe Creative Suite, Captivate, Microsoft Office Suite and others

To be successful you should:

  • Be enthusiastic to learn.
  • Understand how people learn.
  • Know how to make an emotional connection with an audience.
  • Brainstorm innovative instructional strategies.
  • Plan and communicate ideas about user interface, interactions, graphics and finished product.
  • Write effective copy, instructional text, audio scripts and video scripts.
  • Collaborate with subject matter experts and team members.
  • Know the capabilities of e-Learning development tools and software.
  • Understand related fields—usability and experience design, information design, communications and new technologies.
  • Have a “Can Do” attitude.

Links for inspiration

  1. Sr. Instructional Designer (T-Mobile)
  2. Instructional Designer (Arizona State University)
  3. Instructional Design (Relay Graduate School of Education)

Teaching With Instructional Software

Teachers face a myriad of challenges in when it comes to certain topics—students can’t relate, they’re bored, they don’t have the prerequisite skills, or they can’t visualize abstract concepts.  More and more support for these situations can be found in instructional software.  Before incorporating any technology in classroom, teachers must weigh the relative advantage meaning the time, effort, and expense, against the benefits of any particular software.   To determine the relative advantage point to implementation the following questions from Technology Integration Planning Model for Teachers (Roblyer, Doering, 2010, p.51) should be asked.

Six Questions to Implementation

  1. What is my technological content knowledge?
  2. Why should I use a technology-based method?
  3. How will I know students have learned?
  4. What teaching strategies and activities will work best?
  5. Are essential conditions in place to support technology integration?
  6. What worked well? What could be improved?

This chart below will help educators answers questions in phase 1-4.  First questions one and two is addressed by exploring the five types of instructional software:

  • drill and practice
  • tutorials
  • simulations
  • educational games
  • applications