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Posts from the ‘Technology and Integration’ Category


Digital Natives and the Concept of Nature or Nurture

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When Marc Prensky ( wrote about Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants in his 2001 work, he provided people with a nomenclature to categorize users of technology by both perspective and adoption willingness in a socially acceptable way.  Some might say that he actually provided us with language that describes/d the generation gap that has become increasingly evident with the speed in which technology and the world changes.

In a video entitled, “Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner” by the MacArthur Foundation (2010), Nichole Pinkard, who was then a visiting associate professor at DePaul University, said, “I don’t think any kid is born digitally native.  I think kids are born consuming media, but I don’t think kids are born producing media.”  Producing media would be one of the characteristics, though certainly not the only, of a digital native.  Pinkard brings up an interesting point in which schools need to consider carefully.  Just because the students we teach are part of a generation that is considered Digital Native, we must be careful to assume:

(1) that every student is a Digital Native

(2) that every student has experienced the same exposure and practice of Digital Native skills

Because the nomenclature provides us an easy classification in which to group people (either Digital Native or Digital Immigrant), it is easy for us to assume the those we classify one way or the other, have very similar skills.  On the contrary, a student may be an avid consumer of digital media, yet this does not mean that they are strong producers of digital media.

It is important for us to remember that our students, even in the area of technology, come to us with a wide spectrum of skills development.  Though we may hear from a variety of sources that children today are born with a technology skills, it is not actually true.  These skills are developed, over time, through a variety of experiences.

Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner (2010): MacArthur Foundation.

Marc, P. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6. doi: 10.1108/10748120110424816


Technology & Innovation “Look-Fors”

Walk-throughs, sometimes referred to as Learning Walks, are a common practice in schools used for building collegiality and providing feedback for teachers on instructional practice and classroom management.  A walk-through can be a short 5-minute observation or a longer 30 or 45 minute time period and is not meant to be an evaluation of an individual teacher, but instead a means to provide on-going data collection of “look fors”, monitoring of specific program or professional development training practice, or build a common understanding among teachers in a school of instructional practice.


Walk-throughs are often conducted by principals, but also can be conducted by headsof department, grade level leaders, other teachers in the school, or by a group of teachers.  There is often a protocol used that has a list of “look fors” that the observer makes comments, sometimes in the form of questions, that can be given to the teacher being observed.  Some schools organize their walk-through look-fors to include Marzano’s Instructional Strategies (Marzano, 2001).  Another option is to organize the look-fors around Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction (Gagne, 1965)  or Hunter’s Elements of Lesson Design (Hunter, 1984) as a framework.  There are many formats and protocols for walk-throughs to consider.

To what extent should technology integration and innovation be included in walk-through look-fors?

One element that is starting to show-up in walk-throughs is educational technology use.  The way in which the category is developed on the walk-through and the feedback given can be a critical component in helping build a common understanding of instructional practice and expectations within a learning community.  Certainly, the lone use of an educational technology component on a walk-through will not provide the change in practice without additional supports, but it may be helpful when used in addition to other educational technology professional development and training within a school.

Questions that come to mind regarding including the educational technology integration component on a walk-through:

1. Should the look-fors focus on use of technology alone or the integration of technology into the instruction in the class?  How would these look different on the walk-through form?

2. How should integration be included in the look-fors?  Could an integration model, such as SAMR, be translated into look-fors for a walk-through?

3. To what extent should innovation be a look-for in a walk-through?  If innovation in learning, transformed classroom learning, is the one of the goals in educational technology use, how could we provide feedback to teachers on a walk-through form?

“The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction [Paperback].” The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction: Robert J. Marzano: 9781416605713: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Sept. 2013.

“Conditions of Learning (Robert Gagne).” Conditions of Learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Sept. 2013.

Marzano, Robert J., Debra Pickering, and Jane E. Pollock. Classroom Instruction That Works: Research-based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001. Print.

“University of Tasmania, Australia.” Mary Ann Hunter. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Sept. 2013.

Hunter, M. (1984). Knowing, teaching and supervising.  In P. Hosford (Ed.), Using what we know about teaching (pp. 169-192). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


ETaP – Where did it originate?

The Evolution of Thought and Practice (ETap), sometimes used by Apple to describe the stages of technology adoption in educational institutions has always resonated with me.  Giving some process or structure to the journey that most teachers take when engaging in educational technology is helpful in order to identify yourself and skill.  I have, however, often wondered where this model originated.  I first learned about it from Kathleen Ferenz and Apple education employees.  Recently I found an article in Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education where a number of different adoption models were compared.  The article, “A Five-Stage Model of Computer Technology Integration Into Teacher Education Curriculum” by Cheri Toledo at Illinois State University attributes the ETaP stages to Marsha Gladhart and states that she “developed a Levels of Adoptio n model by adapting the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) study by Dwyer, Ringstaff, and Sandholtz (1992).”


The next step… contacting Marsha Gladhart and finding out how she came about creating these ETaP stages.

In the mean time, I found it very helpful and interesting to compare the other models listed in Cheri Toledo’s work.  A graphic:




Youtube Teacher’s Channel

I have been watching the Youtube Teacher’s Channel since it launched recently and am thrilled at the content and resources available to teachers.  Whether or not you are in support of students viewing content on Youtube, every teacher can use this new channel as a resource for their own discovery process.

Edudemic has a nice post about it here.


One Transformed Classroom – iPads!


A friend of mine recently posted this video of a classroom of 29 students that use 15 Apple iPads.  This is a very interesting examples what can be done when you mix devices and a very talented teacher.  The video is featured on a ning for ipad educators,


How would you like your education? Laptop, Tablet, Device or Combo?

iStock PhotoIf your school is well resourced and embraces newest practices in teaching and learning, you likely already have implemented a 1:1 laptop program.  Others, however, may be in the process of deciding how to support student learning through technology and what tools are most appropriate.  While it seems that most are currently in agreement that a laptop is still the primary device needed, others are beginning to question if tablets or other devices will soon replace the laptop.  When will a single no longer be sufficient to support student learning in the 21st Century?  My students currently often use their iPod Touch and handphones (many already have smartphones) in the class.  Some are also bringing a Apple iPad or Galaxy Tab with them to class.  Sometimes these tablets are used as complimentary devices along with their laptop and other times (less so) theSo, the questions really should be posed to students, “How would you like your education?”

1:1   One laptop for each student

1:1t   One tablet for each student

1:1d   One device for each student (usually referring to something like an iPod touch)

1:1+   One laptop for each student plus other devices


Tech Teams – Students Changing the School Culture

Two weeks ago our high school student tech team met for the first time this school year. I was surprised that so many students wanted to participate. The group will keep the same president as last year, but will be adding either 2 or 3 additional leadership positions. We will be building on the reasonable momentum that was started last year and there is a lot of potential to utilize technology positively to change our school community.

Last week four students from middle school met to begin planning for the launch of our 2010-2011 middle school student tech team (SWATms). I spent about 20 minutes vision casting to them and then listened to their ideas for the team. This week we will hold our first full meeting and I am expecting around 12 to 15 students.

Our student written mission is to lead and serve a modern GSIS community by integrating technology into our learning and environment inside and outside of the classroom, connecting to each other and the world.

Throughout the short time that the high school SWAT team (Students Working to Advance Technology) has been operating, I can already see its influence on the school culture. I am looking forward to seeing that continue and thrive this year.


Facebook Groups … Improved?

One of my professional goals for this school year is to become aware of who my students are “virtually” and to build a relationship of trust with them online.  The online social media space that I am focusing on is Facebook.  I have created a separate Facebook account and am “friending” students.  Thus far it has been a positive, enlightening experience.

This week I started Facebook Groups to use with students.  I created a group for our high school student tech team and a group for our middle school tech team.  And then today came the “new” Facebook Groups!  So I re-made my student tech team Facebook groups using the new feature.

A couple of the features that I really like about the new Facebook Groups features are:

  • Group Chat  – s simple, easy-to-use chat feature for the group.  I am not sure exactly why, but it reminds me of Google Wave.
  • Docs – you can  now create a simple document that anyone in the group can edit
  • Email address – your Facebook Group can have an email address and members can post to the group wall by sending an email to the address even when they are not on Facebook

Students are already starting to post to the groups…


Can Technology Make Us Better Listeners?

I am trying to improve my listening skills.  Earlier this year I noticed that during school leadership team meetings (and other meetings), I could hardly wait to get my point across to someone that I would speak over them.  Sometimes it would seem that they had completed their sentence and I would begin, but they hadn’t truly finished what they needed to say.  Anyways, I’ve been working on this and have discovered that it is related to respect.

People listen to the people they respect.  Listening is an indicator of the respect one holds for another person.  Ask students who they ask for advice to find out who they respect.  Show me someone who is well respected and they will likely be someone who is listened to often.

As I was considering this yesterday, I thought of some questions:

– As teachers, do we really listen to our students?  Students are people, too.  Is their mutual respect in the student/teacher relationship?
– Many people believe that technology (computers specifically) causes us to disengage and not interact with others… however, how can/does technology help us become better listeners?

Six Negative Listening Habits:

1. Rebuttal Maker – Listening long enough to formulate a rebuttal
2. Advice Giver – Jumping too quickly to give unsolicited advice
3. Interrupter – More anxious to speak his words than to listen
4. Logical Listener – Rarely asking about feelings/emotions
5. Happy Hooker – Using speaker’s words to shift to own message
6. Faker – Pretends to listen

(Adele B. Lynn / Emotional Intelligence Workbook via Bruna Martinuzzi / Ghandi’s Neurons: Practice of Empathy)


Things I learned at my first Barcamp

A little more than a week ago I attended my first Barcamp.  Prior to the event I was filled with anticipation because I had heard from others how much they learned from and enjoyed the “unconference” venue.  Additionally, the rules of the event require those in attendance to be participants (not just spectators), usually by giving a presentation.  While I am used to giving presentations, I was anxious to present in an environment where I had no context of the type or topic of presentations.  Looking back now, I can say that my experience at BarcampSeou4 was very positive.

A few things that I learned about Barcamps:

  1. The Right People – The people who show up to a particular barcamp ARE the right people.  There really are no “wrong” people at a barcamp.  BarcampSeoul4 was the first international barcamp in Korea.  The people in attendance had very different backgrounds.  Some were from Korea, but many countries were represented.  Some were from a business background, other were from K-12 education and others from higher education.  It was exhilarating to interact and share with people from very diverse backgrounds.
  2. No Expectations – One of the most powerful parts of a barcamp is that you do not arrive with specific expectations because you have no idea of the topics that will be presented until you arrive and set the schedule for the day.
  3. Bring an Inquiring Mind – When you put people from various backgrounds into a room and they begin to present on topics that they are passionate about, you can’t help but have rich discussion.  Be prepared to ask questions, connect the experiences and ideas of other people with your own experiences, and to learn.

A few things that I took away from BarcampSeoul4:

  1. As an educator in a K-12 school, I often think about preparing students for university.  However, I rarely interact with university educators.  At BarcampSeoul4 a large portion of those in attendance were university professors.  Listening to their presentations and interacting with them made me think about how much K-12 schools need to spend time on university campuses and research current trends in higher education.
  2. Virtualization is here to stay.  The physical world is something we are familiar with and comfortable with… however, the cross-over between the physical and the virtual worlds and the ways the virtual world will be governed are very interesting topics.  As much as many educators would like to protect students from the virtual world, it is here to stay and students must be able to navigate it successfully.  This presentation was particularly interesting to me:
  3. Don’t prepare for your presentation at the last minute…  my presentation was put together early on the morning of the Barcamp.  I wish that argument and presentation would have been much more cohesive, but it wasn’t.  On the other hand, I am tremendously glad that I did present.  The discussion was interesting and I’ve had a number of follow-up conversations with faculty at my school since the barcamp.  Here is my presentation: