Posted in 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 522 Online Teaching for Adult Learners

Web Conferencing

Reflection Post Web Conferencing

I enjoy taking the opportunity to use new 2.0 tools to reflect on and expand my learning environment and experiences. I find the challenge of synthesizing new information using a new tool brings my learning experience to a whole new level. It makes me think about not only new information, but also question the best tool to help me digest and share what I’ve learned.

For this assignment, there was no question conducting a web conference would be the way to share what I learned. This is something I’m hoping to introduce as a professional development option for teachers this coming year. Though I’ve used Google Hangouts before, I was hoping to get familiar with some other tools. Unfortunately this week is my first week as a distance-learning student with extremely limited Internet connection. In my summer travels, I’ve been reduced to one hour of Internet per week. This experience has been humbling for someone who spends 95% of computer time online. Some of the challenges I’ve run into are waiting for classmates presentations to load, finding photos to use in my presentation, accessing additional research, exploring web-based web conferencing tools, copying and pasting assignment instructions, and limited awareness of peers progress.

As we get ready to introduce Chromebooks in our district next year, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I would have completed these assignments if I had taken the ever so light Chromebook on my European vacation. Anyway I think it’s been a good experience to remember what it was like to operate offline and should I have some precautions I’ll be putting in place to make next week go a little smoother.

Web Conferencing


Posted in 1. Instructional Systems Design, 1.2 Message Design, 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 1.4 Learner Characteristics, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 512 Online Course Design, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT

Web Based Instruction–Story Board and Prototype

Streamline Story Board with Sample Screen Shots

Posted in 1. Instructional Systems Design, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 512 Online Course Design, All

Project Analysis


When you ask teachers what they want more of, emphatically they answer TIME! Time to collaborate, plan, reflect, analyze data, and give feedback. These are fundamental to sound instructional processes.  Yet their time is often spent working in isolation, improvising, and using their bare hands to grade 100’s of assignments weekly. Public k-12 education has been one of the slowest industries to adopt time saving technologies and teachers are paying the price. Consider that even the auto mechanic leverages his time more effectively. Technology can automatically diagnose a car’s problem, identify needed parts, locate them, and place automatic orders. Repair shops use databased of information to preemptively market to their clients based on miles and make a BEFORE the repair is every needed.  Can you imagine such sophisticated and proactive data to educate our children?

While the similarities between cars and students are slim, what doesn’t change from the mechanic to the teacher is  one field the need to work smarter. Teachers will be the first to admit their attention and time is divided in 100 directions and rarely is the right amount spent on the design behind of the instruction. In conversations with teacher, they’ve said they need more time to:

  1. grade & give feedback
  2. get to know their students
  3. plan
  4. figure out how to engage students


Digital tools have the ability eliminate  or reduce some of symptoms I see daily working with teachers as an Instructional Technology Coach. These symptoms include

  • High stress levels
  • Sense of isolation
  • Bitterness toward professional development and other things that are not “A priorities.”
  • Make it up as you go instruction
  • Reinventing the wheel
  • Lack of communication with students & parents
  • Lack of engaged students


The root cause of this problem, is that the responsibilities of teachers huge and the number of hours in the day outside of instruction are limited. Time management is a popular training topic in corporations across the county, yet after 10 years in the education field, and after completing three education programs spanning 6 years, time management has never been addressed. Another cause is that teachers are challenged to manage their multiple daily responsibilities along with finding time to grow professionally. Taking their planning time for professional development is like robbing Paul to pay Mary.

In a recent professional development survey of 30 high school teacher 83% of staff said that an opportunity to exchange ideas with other teachers was very important.

PD ideas Exchange 2013-02-13 at 1.21.14 PM
Likewise, 87% said it was very important to be able to express concerns on school, classroom, or curriculum issues.

Express Concerns 2013-02-13 at 1.21.28 PM

When asked how important it was to have time to learn to play with new technologies, only 67% said this was very important

Learn New Tools 2013-02-13 at 1.21.40 PM

My conclusion from this is that there ins’t a strong connection between time invested to learn new tools and the long term pay off of daily efficiency.

The evidence for creating a blended learning solution is slightly less conclusive because participants could select multiple options on this survey question. However, it does show that 37% prefer an online option, and 33% said a blended solution would be preferable.

PD Time 2013-02-13 at 1.19.53 PM


That said, the rationale for creating a web-based course is two fold. The first is to differentiate professional development and to meet the needs of already overtaxed teachers at the high schools I work with. The second rationale is so the course can be offered virtually over the summer to teachers across the district to support them as they plan for the 2013-2014 school year. This solution will allow us to accommodate more users by offering more options.


Grading and feedback is widely still done by hand. Teachers are often the only ones giving feedback on student work. Class wide rapid assessment tools and data is inconstantly gathered and used to inform instructional decisions. Rapid assessment tools are regularly implemented and used to drive instructional decisions. Students take a more active role in assessing each others work before it is submitted for teachers feedback.
High school teacher have reported it’s a difficult to get to know 120+ students. Differentiated instruction cannot be implemented without prior knowledge about the students. Teachers will implement tools that allow them to hear from and learn about their students regularly.
Teacher often plan in isolation and reinvent the wheel year after year. No Virtual collaboration space is in place. Many teachers are unaware of the benefits of cloud-based storage solutions. Teachers collaborate regularly with those in and outside of their school and use a cloud based solutions to keep track of lesson plans and teaching resources.
Instructional time is not always maximized. GAPS analysis reported a lack of closings in lessons. Teacher report they often run out of time for closings. Lessons may not be fully thought out and therefore specific goals may not be met. Time indicators are rarely utilized to keep lessons on track. Daily instructions are clearly printed so students have direction and flexibility to move at their own pace. Teachers utilize tools like digital timers to ensure openings, work sessions, and closings stay within targeted timeframes.


At the end of instruction, teachers will be able to identify how technology tools can be used to streamline their duties in gathering assessment data,learning about their students, planning, maximizing instructional time, and creating authentic engagement  They will also be able to evaluate if these tools can be applied in their classroom. Further, they will have the skills needed to apply these tools if their learning environment permits.


As an Instructional Technology Coach and former teacher in the district, the course designer has personal experience with the learners. This course will also be offered as a blended solution before it is offered online. The blended version is a pilot to be revised based on evaluations and complete rates before the online version goes live. The image below outlines what is known about the learners. Below is a link to a survey that will need to be conducted to answer the unknown, namely discovering disabilities and learner technical skills. Click the image to enlarge.

Learner Anyalitics

See the Prerequisite Survey.

Posted in 1. Instructional Systems Design, 1.2 Message Design, 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 1.4 Learner Characteristics, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 512 Online Course Design, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT

EDTECH 512: Online Course Design

Time Management Tools for Teachers Designed by Gillian Riley


Web Based Instructional Design 


Final Products


541 Final Reflection

Part One: Course Reflection.
What you have learned?

There were several projects in Integrating Technology into the Curriculum that expanded my knowledge base about educational technology.  The first was researching how to create a school-wide wireless network.  The second was the use of databases and spread sheets, which I’ve always had an interest in using but didn’t know how to use.  The third was exploring the role of social media in the classroom.  Each of these subjects were areas I knew very little about but now feel comfortable I have the base knowledge necessary to talk informatively about.

How you have grown professionally?

At the start of this course I began interviewing for an Instructional Technology Coach position in my district.  Professionally, the summer is a time I reflect on successes from the prior year and plan ways to build on those successes.   When I applied for the new position, I used the assignments and blogs entries as a tool to re-frame my thinking from classroom teacher to teacher support person.  I really focused on the logistical challenges I faced using technology to teach and worked all of my projects with those in mind.  I also spent time exploring both elementary and high school standards as my new position may require me to work in both settings.  I’m pleased that I was able to explore my new role within the structure of this course.

How did the course work demonstrate mastery of the AECT standards.

Integrating Technology into the Curriculum projects covered a broad scope of the AECT standards including design, development, management, and evaluation.  The column on the right lists the AECT standards and the activities I have completed that match the standard.  Many of the activities met more than one standard.  Course projects met the following standards:


1.3 instructional strategies  Instructional Software Lesson

1.4 learner characteristics Adaptive/Assistive Technology Presentation


2.3 Computer Based Technologies  Using the Internet for Instruction Project

2.4 Integrated Technologies  Content Area Presentations


3.1 Media Utilization Community Building & Social Networking Project

3.4 Policy and Regulation  Internet Safety


4.2 Resource Management Relative Advantage Chart

4.3 Delivery System Management: Network Project

How your own teaching practice or thoughts about teaching have been impacted by what you have learned or accomplished in this course?

Over the summer I’ve been in discussion with my new department about alternatives to face-to-face professional development.  I used the following assignments to explore different options:

Video Blog – Advantages of Hypermedia

Voicethread on Social Networking
Community Building & Social Networking Project
Using the Internet for Instruction Project

I also took another deep look at how I was organizing my learning blog and restructured how I was using it for my own learning.  I’ve started tagging post, categorizing by standard, and thinking about how I will use my work created at Boise in other professional settings.

How has theory guided development of the projects and assignments you created?

Each assignment allowed me to reflect on my own learning style and think about what made certain assignments more enjoyable than others.  This course has inspired me to think specifically about clarity of directions, the use of peer feedback as a performance review, and the role of Bloom’s taxonomy in building courses and designing activities.

Part Two: Assess Your Performance


Rich in content, full of thought, insight and synthesis with clear connections to previous or current content and/or to real life situations made with depth and detail. 70/70

Readings and Resources

Readings (from course text) and other resource materials are used to support blog comments. APA style is used to cite references. 18/20


All required postings are made early in the module to give others time to comment. 18/20

Responses to Other Students

Two or more substantial posts with at least one detailed response made to address another students’ post. 27/30

Posted in 1.4 Learner Characteristics, 2.1 Print Technologies, 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization, All, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION

Adaptive/Assistive Technology

Cognitive Difficulties

The Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, at The University of Colorado defines cognitive disabilities as, “a substantial limitation in one’s capacity to think, including conceptualizing, planning and sequencing thoughts and actions, remembering, and interpreting the meaning of social and emotional cues, and of numbers and symbols.”

Retrieved from: (Published December 14, 2006)

Word prediction software dramatically reduces the number of keystrokes required to type text.  The predictive text helps students with sequencing of letters and offers cues to remember word spellings or suffixes.  Predictions are based on spelling, syntax, and frequent or recent use. This prompts kids who struggle with writing to use proper spelling, grammar, and word choices, with fewer keystrokes.

Keyboards for Dyslexia.  Dyslexia makes it difficult to spell words according to letters alone, therefore students may find using a keyboard to be a very tricky task.  One type of assistive keyboard uses a combination of red, green and blue lights to backlight the keys thus switching the focus from symbols to colors making it easier for the user to identify the key they are looking for.  Other options that may help students recognize letters are keyboards with white lettering on black keys or black lettering on white keys.

Physical Difficulties

The World Health Organization defines physical disabilities as “an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.  An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an acitivity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task of action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individaul in involvement of life situions.  Thus a disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.”

Retrieved from

Voice recognition software turns speech into text without needing to use a keyboard or mouse.  This allows students to dictate to the computer what they would like to say and watch their words turn to text.  Students can use this software to compose documents, letters, emails, and collaborate with others in remote locations.  This technology can help students with limited mobility and also allows them to control computer functions such as opening files and saving documents.

BookShare houses 125,000 digital books (including 6,000 textbooks), teacher recommended readings, periodicals, and assistive technology tools.  These materials are available in several formats, including HTML, text, braille and DAISY (Digital Accessible Information Systems).  This alternative offers accessible options for the blind, low vision, a physical disability like CP or a reading disability like dyslexia.  The ipad app version, Read2Go has built-in audio and visual support, allowing users to listen to text read aloud as it is highlighted on screen.

Sensory Difficulties

The Work Family and Researchers Network published this definition of sensory disability, “A person with a disability that has any of the long-lasting conditions such as blindness, deafness, or a severe vision or hearing impairment (Erickson & Lee, 2008).”

Retrieved from

Magnification Devices enlarge text for students who have visual impairments.  Many students struggle to read because they’ve lost their glasses or a family can’t pay for them.   Magnification devices allow students to scan text and then view them in a larger font.  Some magnification devices also allow students to take and store pictures of text, thereby acting as a tool for note taking.


Magic Touch Screens connect the student with computer screen by making the monitor a touch screen.  This makes the computer interactive via the screen and is good for students who have difficulty with fine motor skills.  Another use is for students who are learning how to use a computer and have trouble controlling the mouse, and for students who need to touch the screen or have a sensory impairment.

At-Risk Students

US Legal defines at-risk students as “students who are not experiencing success in school and are potential dropouts. Usually, they are low academic achievers who exhibit low self-esteem. Generally they are from low socioeconomic status families. At-risk students tend not to participate in school activities and have a minimal identification with the school. They have disciplinary and truancy problems that lead to credit problems. They exhibit impulsive behavior and their peer relationships are problematic. Family problems, drug addictions, pregnancies, and other problems prevent them from participating successfully in school. As they experience failure and fall behind their peers, school becomes a negative environment that reinforces their low self-esteem.”

Retrieved from

Podcasts invite students to hear stories or learn new information independently.   Podcasts can be listened to through mobile devices and allow students to “escape” with headphones.  At risk students have reported that music also offers guidance in their lives and helps control moods.  Students can also use podcasting to document their own unique personal stories.  Podcasting offers a platform for students to express themselves and process the often challenging situations they face.

Photo Story Presentations offer another way for students to express their thoughts and emotion through images.  Photo stories can offer an alternative to essay writing, or verbal presentations but still allow students to demonstrate understanding of particular concepts. Photo stories also allow students to explore ways to communicate a message through images.  Another benefit is that students can visually track their growth as they develop more complex story boards.

Gifted and Talented Students

The US Department of Education defines gifted and talented students as, Children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment.”

Retreived from

Mobile Devices allow gifted and talented students to continue to ask questions about the world around them.  A mobile device also provides students the opportunity to engage in independent learning or dig deeper into subjects of interest.  This can be used for student designed projects or to expand on a topic introduced in class.

Multimedia presentation software allows gifted and talented to practice a multitude of skills simultaneously.  Video, photo, web, and podcasting offer students an opportunity to explore working with different technology presentation formats while demonstrating what they have learned within a specific content area.  The variety of multimedia presentation including video, text, hyperlinks, images, and auto will give students a diverse foundation in using 21st century presentation skills.

Posted in 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 2.2 Audiovisual Technologies, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 3.1 Media Utilization, 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION

Math & Science Learning Activities

Good science methodology involves conducting tests and making observations.  In the screencasts below I explore how simulations, virtual manipulative, and a virtual world can be used as learning activities.

Virtual World–Second Life

I’ve long been interested in virtual worlds, who wouldn’t want to explore without paying for gas, hotels, flights, etc., so I took this opportunity to spend a little more time getting my feet wet in Second Life.  I was impressed with resources and activities found on Genome Island; I found scavenger hunts, interactive experiments like the mixallamas gene game, links to outside resources, and really cool virtual simulations like the 3D cell.

I found Second Life exciting and genuinely had the sense of being an explorer, however I did spend as much time experimenting with my avatar’s moves as I did exploring.  Second Life seems like a neat tool for a teacher who is experienced with the Second Life landscape.  Click on the photos to come on a tour with my avatar or click here.

Interactive Science Simulations

Interactive Science Simulations are interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena from the PhET™ project at the University of Colorado.  These simulations allow students to play with variables in science and then observe different outcomes as those variables change.  These simulations can be used for all grades either as an inquiry-based exploration or as a guided exploration.  For a quick tour and to hear my thoughts on one of these simulations, click the photo, or click here.

National Library of Virtual Manipulative

The National Library of Virtual Manipulative (NLVM) contains around 100 virtual manipulative that address concepts in numbers & operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data & probability.  These manipulative virtually mimic many classroom manipulative like geoblocks, cuisnes rods, beakers, and rules.  A teacher/parent section describes how each tool supports national math standards.  These tools can be used to practice concepts, explore prior learned with new variables.  I recommend that students use of these tools are guided by critical thinking questions.

The NLVM states, “Learning and understanding mathematics, at every level, requires student engagement. Mathematics is not, as has been said, a spectator sport. Too much of current instruction fails to actively involve students. One way to address the problem is through the use of manipulatives, physical objects that help students visualize relationships and applications.”

Click the photo above to take a quick virtual tour, or click here.

Posted in 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION

Relative Advantage of Using Technology to Enhance Content Area Learning

Optimal technology integration can play a huge role in increasing student engagement, support, and parent involvement, differentiating learning, class management, simplifying planning and collaborations, and promoting continual professional development.  While many technologies have been designed specifically to streamline learning management, other technologies enhance learning in specific content area.  This is the focus of this post. TPACK planning strategy is a method to design instruction that takes into account technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge.  In sections below, we’ll look at the relative advantage of incorporating various tools to teach specific skills in Language Arts.


Language skills: vocabulary, decoding/phonics, fluency, comprehension.

The advantage to using technology to teach these skills ranges from increased motivation and scaffolding to individualized instruction and feedback.  Specifically, technology provides additional support that typically isn’t available with unless the teacher is working directly with the student or in small groups Roblyer & Doering (2010).  These tools support students to have successful reading experiences by making reading more engaging, encourage the active use of comprehension strategies, and provide learning opportunities within the context of meaningful texts.

Vocabulary Tools

  • interactive vocabulary lessons
  • online dictionaries, thesauri, and encyclopedias, with speech capabilities
  • online texts with hyperlinks that give students definitions of words
  • websites, discussions, online publishing, web logs, and other technology-increase the amount time students spend reading and writing

Decoding/Phonics Tools

  • matching sounds/letters, spoken/written words, or adding letters to complete a word
  • game contexts, visual presentations, and exciting stories to engage and hold interest
  • software that individualizes learning by tracking progress, providing repetition, altering speed of speech, and giving immediate feedback
  • texts with scaffolds to support phonic skills (click words to hear the individual sounds or whole words)
  • individualize stories that focus on the letter-sound correspondences and words that the student has not yet mastered

Fluency Tools

  • model fluent oral reading
  • automated help in decoding individual words
  • highlighted phrases to guide expressive reading
  • pronunciation and meaning support, allowing beginners to attempt more challenging text on their own
  • speech recognition tools that offer immediate help while reading aloud
  • recording and analysis tools to help assess students’ levels of fluency and inform instructional decisions.

Comprehension Tools

  • hypertext/hypermedia to scaffold comprehension including clarifications, summaries, concept maps, and thinking questions
  • embedded prompts that ask students to answer questions, add to concept maps or other graphic organizers, or summarize information
  • active reading prompting students to read words aloud, provide definitions, explain concepts in texts, and provide visual aids.

Literacy Development:

Technology can be used to increase literacy development by matching students with text that fits their reading interests and level, connecting students with real-life reading opportunities, building broader connections around stories, and offering unique chances for students to reflect and share their thoughts (Sherman et al 2004).  The primary advantage to implementing technology for literacy development is that it creates authentic opportunities for students to use their literacy skills.  Students need to understand technology use in professional or formal settings.

Literacy Development Tools

  • Online reading materials: ebooks, news, discussion boards, how-to, pop-culture, fiction/non-fiction stories
  • interactive story books: talking/electronic books, highlighter/notetaking functions, hypermedia links
  • digital story telling including computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips and/or music.
  • blog chronicling or journal writing
  • video projects that include concepting, script-writing, editing, rewriting, story-boarding, and filming
  • Collaborative literacy projects with writers or other professionals, other schools/grade levels, and people in other cultures
  • Discussion boards, instant messaging, microbloging, emailing, vlogs, wall-posts, crowd sourcing

Writing Process:

If you’ve written anything of any length by hand lately, you probably remember how difficult it is to do any major editing without starting over from scratch.  Today’s digital writing process allows students to easily play with words, revise sentence structures, reorder events, collaborate, and experiment with different publishing options.  Word processing tools developed out of writers’ needs rather than a fun computer tool (Kunde 1986).  By 1977 with the advent of the floppy disk, word processing was separated to from computer hardward and is now “one of the most common general applications for personal computers.” (Blissmer 1985)

Writing Process Tools

  • story generators including setting, characters, plot, solution
  • brainstorming graphic organizers, concept mapping, electronic outliners
  • word processing to edit, spell check, reorder text, and check grammar
  • desktop publishing including newspapers, brochures, books, booklets
  • web publishing including blogs and web sites


Blissmer, Robert H. (1985). An introduction to information systems 1985-1986. Computer Annual.  New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Kunde, B. (2008). A brief history of word processing (through 1986). Redwood City: Fleabonnet Press. Retrieved from

Roblyer, M.D, & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

Sherman, D. & Kleiman, G. & Peterson, K. (2004). Technology and teaching children to read:  what does the research have to say? Education Development Center, Inc. Retrieved from

Posted in 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 3.1 Media Utilization, 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations, 3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization, DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION

Hello from the EdTech Department

Hello from your new instructional technology coach.  I’m looking forward to working with the teachers of Chatham County.  As I see it, my responsibility is to collaborate with you to plan, locate resources, and meet professional and student learning goals.  My favorite technology tools make teaching more organized, engaging, and enjoyable.   To kick things off this year, I’ve prepared a couple of activities for us to get to know each other and explore some of the resources you may want to include in your teaching.

Sometimes the best way to learn how to help people just comes down to asking them.  So to get an idea of what we can do to help you best, please take the Technology Use Survey.  This survey was created using Google Docs (soon to be Google Drive), a powerful free tool that can change the way you run your classroom.  These tools can allow students access their documents on any computer, collaborate, schedule events, create presentations and more.  If you’re not familiar with Google docs, let us know in the  survey.

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, today is your day.  Pinterest is a digital bulletin board where people collect and share ideas from hair styles to history.  To get familiar with Pinterest, explore the resources I’ve gathered for you.  Once you see how Pinterest can be used, you’ll create an account and start your own board.  To wrap up, share the link to your board in the comment section and let me know what you thought of this first adventure together.

If you would like a more in-depth preview on how to use Pinterest, check out this video.

To-Do List

  1. Get to know me on my Nice to Meet You! board.
  2. Scan the article “37 Ways Teachers Should Use Pinterest.”
  3. Create a Pinterest account.
  4. Read Erin Paynter’s blog Pinterest In Education and choose three boards to follow from her recommendations.
  5. Create your own board to help you in the classroom.
  6. Copy the link to your board and paste it in the comment section here.
Posted in 1.2 Message Design, 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 1.4 Learner Characteristics, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 3.2 Diffusion of Innovations, 3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization, 3.4 Policies and Regulations, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION

Educators in the New Digital Age–Getting Started

I’m looking forward to my new job as an instructional technology coach for my school district.  My classroom experience has me thinking about how we, as coaches, will measure our progress and how we will set benchmarks.  I’m working on creating a survey for teachers based on the ISTE National Education Technology Standards for Teachers.  These standards cover how technology is used to enhance collaboration, digital-age learning experiences, digital citizenship, and digital work/learning environments.  While I work on the survey, below is a list of some resources that are helping me synthesize how great tools can translate to great teaching.


Posted in 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 1.4 Learner Characteristics, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 3.1 Media Utilization, 4.2 Resource Management, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT, UTILIZATION

Steps to Social Networking Stardom

Technology is evolving at the speed of light and no matter what your experience levels is it can feel impossible to keep up with all the latest gadgets and tool.  But sometimes, especially when it comes to technology, being the jack-of-all-trades won’t give you or your students the best pay off.  So this semester, lets get off the cyber super highway and zero in on one tool that will make some serious gains in the classroom.  Choose either Learing Adventure one or two and then complete the Final Mission.

Create a Professional Learning Network: Twitter PLN

Regular positive encounters with other educators can make the difference between feeling like an isolated island or that you have an army of support behind you.  So how do you develop you Professional Learning Network, or PLN?  Believe it or not, Twitter has become amazing tools for connecting people quickly.  Today, if you’re not already a member, you get to see what all the hype is about.

Learner’s Adventure #1

  1. Browse the Twitter Resources below
  2. Sign up for a Twitter account & record your login info.
  3. Find me and follow me @ FrankEducator.
  4. Post your first tweet.


Twitter Resources

What’s a PLN?  Sketchy Explaination: Starting a PLN

Edutopia “How to use Twitter to Grow Ur PLN.”

Edudemic “100 Ways to your Twitter in Education”


Claim Your Space in The Cloud: Diigo Social Bookmark

Diigo is a bookmarking tool that allows you to flag items of interest and then later access them from any computer or phone when you log on to your Diigo account.  You can see what other people are bookmarking and have access to all webpages of interest from anywhere.  If you don’t have a Diigo account, today is the day you will join the cloud.

Learner’s Adventure #2

  1. Browse the Diigo Resources below
  2. Sign up for a Diigo account and record your login info.
  3. Start bookmarking your favorite education sites.
  4. Share your bookmark with your teaching team and invite them join.

Diigo Resources

Using Diigo: Adding Bookmarks to Your Library

12 Reasons to use Diigo in the Classroom

Using Diigo in the Classroom


Final Mission-Wall Wisher

Either or the tools you explored today have a lot of components and many options you can use for bringing them into the classroom.  To wrap up the day, we’ll share our ah-ha’s, road blocks, and outstanding questions on Wallwisher.  This site works just like Post-It’s.

  1. Follow this link to our Wallwishers wrapup.
  2. Create and account and record your login info
  3. Post an ah-ha, a roadblock you faced, and a question you still have (they can all be on the same post)
  4. Review the resources below to see if Wallwisher has a place in your classroom.


Wallwisher Resources

Using Wallwisher

What Can You do with Wallwisher?

Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher in the Classroom


Thanks for participating!

Posted in 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 1.4 Learner Characteristics, 2.3 Computer-Based Technologies, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, 3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization, 3.4 Policies and Regulations, All, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, UTILIZATION

Social Media in the Classroom–What’s your opinion?

Log on to this VoiceThread discussion to give your thoughts about Social Media in the classroom.  Feel free to comment on the discussion points that resonate with you.  You’ll need a VoiceThread account to comment, so sign up here if you haven’t already.

Join the conversation here.

Posted in 1. Instructional Systems Design, 1.3 Instructional Strategies, 2.4 Integrated Technologies, DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT

EDTECH’s 50 Must Read K-12 IT Blogs

I don’t think anyone would disagree there’s an overabundance of information to keep up with on the web, especially if your interest is the ever evolving field of EDTECH.  My favorite web tools are those that help us curate and manage content.  If you’re looking for a great place to get started, browse these high quality blogs.  My recommendation would be to pick no more than three and look for authors that cover different topics and those who publish on different dates.

EDTECH’s 50 Must Read K-12 IT Blogs 2012