Friday, December 19, 2014

Photo Editing Aviary

Get the entire collection for free until 1/5/15 (worth $200.00)!

Photo Editor by Aviary is a free photo editing app for both Android and iOS. I recently downloaded the app and saw that you can receive all of their add-ons for FREE until January 5. In order to receive the free add-ons, you need to sign in with your free Adobe ID. If you don't have an Adobe ID you can create one for free in the app.

To unlock Aviary's collection of photo editing tools (a $200.00 value) visit the store from the app.

Google Play Download

Apple Download

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Take Kahoot! to the Next Level

By now, many of you have tried Kahoot!, the free game-based student response system. The teacher creates a free account and then can create quizzes with embedded images and video. Students take the quiz using any device with Internet access - great for formative assessments. 

Kahoot! is lots of fun and really motivates students to participate. But what you may not know about it is the data that you can access once the quiz is over. 
  1. After logging in, the teacher can access data from each quiz 
  2. Click on your name in the upper right corner
  3. choose My Results 
  4. Then click the cloud download icon next to the name of each quiz. 
  5. This will download an Excel spreadsheet that includes a detailed analysis of the student answers, including correct and incorrect answers by each student, along with an overview of how all of the students performed. 

Use the data for formative assessments and see how your students are doing with concepts.



Kara :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Google Docs: Force students to make a copy of a document


One of the best features of Google Drive is the ability to share files with others. Educators use Drive as a way to pass out instructions, homework, graded work, etc. Now, Google has made it even easier to have students make a copy of your doc!

You can force your students (or anyone) to create a copy of the document.


  1. Open the document you would like to force a copy of
  2. In the address bar at the top of the page, place your cursor at the end of the URL (website address)
  3. Delete the word "edit" 
  4. Type the word copy
  5. Press Return
  6. Email or post the link for your students




Friday, December 5, 2014

Free App Friday 12-5-14

The following apps are free for today only. It is up to the developer of the app to determine how long the apps are free for. If you see something you like, be sure to download right away!



Biology - Multiplayer Science Quiz

MolaSync - Collaborative Cloud Notes

The Hobbit Official Visual Companion

TIME Maps for Middle Ages

iTellTales - Create and Share Tales

Ladybug Zee - interactive story

Nick has a funny day - interactive story

Little Pirate - Saving Mirandella - story that allows for your child's name to appear in it

Tydlig Calculator

Padtales Animated Storybooks

Joy Sprouts - preschool

The Wee Adventures of Shabu Shabu Book 1

Magic Dots - preschool

ABC Writing (full)

ABC Animations


Monday, November 10, 2014

Finally View, Create & Edit Microsoft Office Docs on your ipad for FREE,

    Microsoft has finally allowed Office for the iPad to be free for everyone. Before, iPad users could only view documents on the iPad without an Office 365 subscription. Now, everyone can enjoy viewing, creating and editing Office documents by signing up for a free Microsoft account.  This is huge news for iPad users.

To sign up for a free account (13+) visit: https://signup.live.com/signup.aspx?lic=1 or click on the Sign Up in the app.

Download Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel from the AppStore. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Create a Word Cloud in Google Docs


Google has added a lot of interesting Add-On's for Google Docs.  One of the newest that I have come across is Tag Cloud Generator. Using a word cloud in writing is a wonderful idea for students. Students are able to visually see if what words they used the most and make adjustments.

To use Word Cloud Generator:

  1. Open a Google Doc document
  2. Click Add-On from the toolbar
  3. Choose: Get Add-Ons...
  4. In the search box, type Tag Cloud Generator and press enter
  5. Click the blue free box to add it your Docs
  6. Click Add-On
  7. Choose Tag Cloud Generator
  8. Click on Create Tag Cloud
  9. On the right side of the screen, the tag cloud will appear

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Free iOS Apps 9/18

If you see an app that interests you, be sure to download it right away.  If your students have their own Apple ID ask that they download right away as well.  What you see now may not be free later!

3000+ Fractions

1500+ Percentages

3 Animations 1 Word

Match It for PreK

Children's Environmental Ed. Series

US Geography w/Flat Stanley **On Sale $.99

TIME Maps US History Historical Atlas

Rock-A-Bye Baby Book w/Sounds


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Free iOS Apps & Kindle Books for Education 9/16/14

If you are interested in any of the following apps, be sure to download to your iPad right away!  They may not be free later J







FREE Kindle Books - ***Download the free Kindle App on the iPad and enjoy the following books for free!!  You need to have a free amazon login to download the books
Make sure the price still says $0.00 for the Kindle version.








Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Themes in Google Forms!

I love that Google Drive has (finally) added more themes to Google Forms (forms.google.com).  It also allows you to load a theme you have used in the past.  If you are a Google Forms lover like me, be sure to check it out!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

iChoices

Giving students choices is always important.  Especially when it comes to a student showing mastery of a subject area.  iChoices is a term coined with allowing students to choose how they would like to show the teacher what they know.  Most known in the iPad world; it can easily be used with tablets, laptops, paper, etc.

Often, we as teachers, tell our students to complete a worksheet and this will tell us, the teachers, if the students understands the material.  Some students may do better by creating a video, short animation, slideshow, etc.  I know some of you may be thinking, "I don't have time to grade 30 different ways for my students to show mastery."  I challenge you to try it and see how your struggling students do.  Yes, sometimes in education we have to take the longer route; especially if it helps our customers (students).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

iPadPalooza -- Here I come!

I am so excited for tomorrow!  I will be attending and presenting at Minnesota's 1st iPadPalooza in Minneapolis.  I can't wait to learn new ideas to help integrate iPads into the classroom for all of my teachers.  Plus bring back some awesome tips to include in my upcoming workshops.

I will be presenting on the app Book Creator by Red Jumper.  I discovered this app awhile ago and fell in love.  It's probably one of my top 3 favorite apps on my iPad.

Stay tuned to read more about my presentation and everything I learned!

http://ipadpaloozamn.ties.k12.mn.us/

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Do Teachers Need iPad Training?

Do Teachers Need iPad Training?

As a technology integration specialist, I am asked this question frequently.  Do they really need training?  My answer is always YES! The majority of teachers do not have time to sit down and learn how to use an iPad.  If they know how to use an iPad or if they by chance get time to sit down and play; this doesn't mean your staff will know how to TEACH with an iPad.

Using an iPad to play Candy Crush is way different than using the iPad educationally. Teachers need the professional development to understand how to teach with the device and engage students.  Teaching in a digital world can be very different and quite scary for some teachers.

In my opinion, the students also need some training when they receive their iPad.  Not on the basics of how to use the iPad, but they will need training over certain apps and processes they will do over the course year.

If you are looking for workshops for your teachers in MN, please take a look at our workshop website: http://www.swsc.org/workshops  We offer a wide variety of classes for you.  If you would like some tailored to your district and have the workshop in-house, please visit: http://www.swsc.org/techint

If your school has gone 1:1, please leave a comment below stating if your school hosted professional development for your staff.

Have a wonderful 4th of July!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lifecard App Review & AppSmashing


I recently discovered a really fun app called, Lifecards by Vivid Apps.  For a low price of $1.99, you have access to many different themes: Plain, Film, Black, Reflections, Travel, Birthday and party, Children and Animals, Baby, Water and Beach, Flowers, Fruits and Food, Halloween, Christmas, Sports, Patterns, Stationary, Newspaper, Paper, Winter, Frames, Miscellaneous, and Open Background.  Within each of the themes, there are several templates to choose from.

I think this app would be easily integrated in education. Some possible ways to integrate:

  • Field Trips
  • Science Topics
  • Using the newspaper theme, your students could create a headline from a current or past event
  • English - finding pictures of characters and writing a sample biography
  • Math - using a whiteboard app the student could work out the problem, import the picture and then describe how to solve the problem
  • Creating sample invitations to events in classrooms
  • Sending an email postcard to family on holidays 

What I did - AppSmash with Lifecard & ThingLink (free)

I created a Lifecard about my son's science fair project.  Added 3 pictures and then wrote up a little information about how he did.  After the Lifecard was finished, I sent it to the Camera Roll.  Next, I opened ThingLink and created links to information about his science experiment and other information. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

EdTech Ideas

I love technology and integrating it into education.  However, being a technology integration specialist, I know that not every teacher shares my passion.  I also understand that just like my former students, all teachers learn at difference paces also.  Some teachers may catch on and run with an idea while others need a few sessions to "get it" - I'm okay with that.  It's the ones that don't feel technology integration is necessary in their classroom that worry me.  When I was in school, technology integration wasn't there.  We didn't have the Internet, SmartBoards, digital cameras, iPads, etc.  However, just because I went through school without technology doesn't mean that today's students should.  The world has changed.  We, as educators, need to embrace the change.  I know that can be scary at times, but it will be okay.

Every summer I offer Technology Camps in the school districts that I work with.  This is a great time for teachers to learn about several different topics in a day. A great time to reconnect with their colleagues.  I love offering tech camps and I really enjoy it when teachers will present what they are doing in their classrooms.

This year I have decided to implement "The Breakfast Club" in my schools.  During the summer, I will offer 1-hour sessions on various EdTech topics.  The sessions will not be "sit-and-get" my goal is to have the teachers play with the apps/programs and see how they can integrate into their own classroom.  It's a laid back day.  I really hope this idea takes off!

Wondering what other fun ideas technology integration specialists are doing? Comment below!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Friday, May 2, 2014

Office vs Google for iPad

Office 365 for iPad vs. Google Apps for iPad

I have set time aside and played with bot the Office 365 Apps and the (new) Google Apps for the iPad.  I hope this will help you determine some of the differences between the two apps.

Office 365 iPad Apps

Pros
  • Very similar features between the Microsoft Office Application on the computer and the iPad.  
  • Doesn't take a huge learning curve to figure out how to use.
  • Easy to use.
  • Sharing files with others (but they have to have Office 365 I've been told to collaborate)
Cons
  • Cost.  In my opinion, this is very spendy for schools in my area.  We have small, rural schools that can't afford the cost of this app.
Google Docs & Sheets (soon Slides)

Pros
  • Free for everyone
  • Collaboration with others
  • Now we can create and edit Docs on the iPad (Drive App wouldn't allow this)
  • Easy to use.
  • Not a huge learning curve.
Cons
  • Still isn't as easy as Word to create documents and change layouts, etc.
  • Sheets still needs work with being a little more user-friendly
My overall opinion as a Technology Integration Specialist working with schools is that Google Drive and their updated apps are the way to go.  I love Google and enjoy using Drive.  It makes it easy for me access everything from anywhere- for free.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Finally, Office on the iPad

I'll admit, at first I didn't see the huge need for having Office on the iPad.  For years I have been a huge Google Drive fan and user.  However, Google Drive isn't the easiest to work with on an iPad.  The app is clunky and it's almost impossible to edit documents without the other Google App, QuickOffice.

The teachers that I work with are use to using Office and have been begging for it for years.  A couple of weeks ago our dreams came true, somewhat.  Microsoft released Office for the iPad for free.  However, the catch is you can only view documents on your iPad.  To edit or create a new document, you need to have a paid subscription to Office 365 (home use is 99.00 per year).

I didn't have an Office 365 plan, so I did a trial period to see if the plan and Office for the iPad apps were worth it.  I am quite impressed with Office for the iPad.  There are many similar things between the iPad and the computer version.  It's still very easy to use, however, some of the things in PowerPoint aren't quite right.  I don't like the fact that you can't view your speaker notes when in presentation mode.

If you can afford the Office 365 subscription, I think having Office on the iPad is wonderful.  I love the ability to quickly share the file with others.  I also like the fact that I don't have to convert the file so it looks right on my computer.  However, for some people and school district's they may not be able to afford the extra yearly cost.

Hooda Math

Last week I stumbled upon a really great math resource for grades K-12.  Hooda Math can be used to reinforce math on both the computer or iPads.  The website doesn't not use Flash in their games.

The students/teacher does not need a sign up to use this website.  When students go to www.hoodamath.com they choose their grade level and can choose from many different math games to practice their math facts.

Several teachers that I work with have implemented this website into their math curriculum.  If you are struggling for a new way for your students to review facts, check this awesome website out!

In Education,

Kara :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Apps That Every Parent Should Know About

I was asked to present at Marshall's Mom's Expo on Saturday April 5th.  The topic that I chose to speak to parents about is social media and apps every parent should know about.  I understand that not all parents are comfortable with technology, however, in today's world we need to understand what our children are doing online.

Here are my slides


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Students Should Program - 5 Apps to Help


Get your students coding with simple apps. Programming skills are tied with mathematics and logic. It's a great skill for students to have.  Many schools are starting to implement programming in their computer classes beginning in the elementary.

When I taught, programming courses were one of my favorite classes.  I loved seeing the student's eyes light up when they understood their code or could find the error they made.

Take a look at the following apps:
Cargo-Bot - iPad
Hopscotch - iPad
Code Box - Android
Tynker - iPad

Monday, March 17, 2014

This is IT2 Recap



SW/WC Service Cooperative held their 8th Annual Educational Technology Conference, This is IT2 on March 14th with the pre-conference on March 13th.

I've attended this conference as a non-employee of the cooperative and an employee.  This is IT2 had several different breakout sessions ranging from Free Digital Curriculum - Personalized Learning.  The conference was a huge success with many educators, administrators, and technology departments from MN and SD attending.  The keynote speaker was Mr. Rob Mancabelli from BrightBytes.  He was a riveting speaker and had everyone in the audience excited for the possibilities in education.

If you attended the conference, don't forget to stay in touch by tweeting and using #swwc2014 -- just because the conference is over doesn't mean the learning is!

Thank you to all who attended and presented at our conference and made it a huge success!

www.swsc.org/it

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Free Apps Tuesday 3/11

Only the publisher can determine when apps are free.  If you see an app you think you'd like, please download it right away - you never know when it may go full price again!

There are some really awesome apps today - Enjoy!

Animate

StickIt (make stickers)

Sue and the Shadow Puppet Part 1 (book)

Play Magnus - Chess

Sneak A Snack - 3D Storybook

Bugsy Kindergarten Reading School

Bugsy's Math Quest

Kindergarten Bingo - Letters, Shapes, Numbers, & Colors!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Operation Math Code Squad Review an iOS Math App

If you are looking for a fun way for students to practice their math facts in a timed setting, look no further!  Operation Math Code Squad is an engaging app that allows students to practice math facts.

One thing that I found interesting with this app, is the fact that up to 4 people can play the app at the same time.  As a teacher, you could group your students by ability and have them practice their timed tests in subtraction, addition, multiplication and division or a mixture of all 4 areas.  The other twist with this app is the "missions" the students are on.  Students will learn the value of cooperation and teamwork as they work together to defeat Dr. Odd.

After selecting the math fact to practice, students will be given the opportunity to choose between easy, medium or difficult fact questions.  After 5 wrong answers, the student's keypad will disconnect from the game.  At the end of the round, the students will see a mission summary that explains how many correct answers each player scored.  Teachers and students are able to take this information and continually build on more balanced teams and focus on where students need more work.

My personal recommendation is that every elementary and middle school math teacher should have this on their "must have" app list.

The app is very reasonably price at 2.99.  Here is the app address:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/operation-math-code-squad/id555750694?mt=8

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Google's Gadgets for Drive - Tips to help educators

Google's Gadgets for Drive
Tips to help educators


Hoping to pass on some inspiration for teachers who are currently using Google Drive or those who haven't found the awesomeness of Drive.

1.  gClass Folders 2 - Instructions.  Website to download.  
What it does:  gClass Folders is a script that Google will run to create folders for you for as many course sections as needed.

What it does: Doctopus is a Google Apps Script that can be used to manage and share documents with students or groups.

3. Flubaroo.  Help Video.  Website to download and Instructions.
What it does: Is a script that helps you quickly grade multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank assignments automatically using Google Forms.  Will also compute average assignment score, average score per question, and flag low-scoring questions.  It can also show you a grade distribution graph and gives you the option to email each student their grade and an answer key.

4. FormRanger - Help Video  Website to download and Instructions
What it does:  Is a script that allows you to automatically populate the options in any multiple-choice, checkbox, or listbox style question in Google Form from any column in the attached spreadsheet.

5. Goobric - Website to download and instructions
What it does: script attaches a rubric created in Google Forms to a document that you sent to students using Doctopus.  It allows you to grade the assignment and it will then attach the rubric to the document and send an email with the rubric to the student.

Do you have a favorite Google Script?  If you do please share in the comments!




Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

This Is IT2!


Mark your calendars for the SW/WC's 8th Annual Technology Conference!
Pre-Conference will be held on Thursday, March 13, 2014
Conference will be held on Friday, March 14, 2014

March is always an exciting time for me.  First, it's my birthday :) Second, it's the Technology Conference in Marshall, MN!  This year the conference has some awesome presenters.  The keynote speaker is Mr. Rob Mancabelli from San Francisco.  Rob is a dynamic and engaging speaker who will discuss ways that technology is drastically changing education.

Pre-Conference Workshops are:
  • LEVEL Up Your Classroom!
  • Creating, Adapting, and Using Open Education Resources
  • Schoolwires User Session
  • iPads in the Elementary Classroom
  • Maximizing the Digital Learning Environment
For more information on the conference, please visit SW/WC 2014 This is IT2




We hope to see you at the conference on March 14th.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Free App Friday Feb 7, 2014

FREE App Friday!

Kid in Storybook Maker
Todo Telling Time
Daily Art Pro
Physics: Mechanics
Build Your Own Interactive Science Experiments
Math Algebra
English Grammar Pro
Number Pieces (blocks for math)
Learn My Info - great for lower grade levels and special needs students
Lola's Math Ship
Quick Math
EleMemory - Periodic Table of Elements

All apps were free at the time of this posting.  10:23am CST 2/7/14

3.14 = Pi Day!

Image from pi314.net

Math & Science Teachers: Celebrate Pi Day on 3/14!  Teachers all around the globe take time out of their normal classroom routine to celebrate Pi Day on March 14th.  Join many of your fellow colleagues and host a party for Pi Day and Albert Einstein's birthday.  

Below are some resources to help guide you.
Making a Pi Necklace (Grades 5-8)
The Derivation of Pi (Grades 6-8)
Proving Pi (Grades 9-12)
(Pizza) Pi Project (Grades 4-8)
Pi Day Connections (Grades 6-12)
PiQuest (Grades 7-8)
Circles in Geometry (Grades 3-5)
Pi Day Activities (All grades)
Pi Day Activities for Trigonometry Classes (Grades 9-12) (archived copy)
Pi Day Activities for Algebra II Classes (Grades 9-12) (archived copy)

Downloadable "Happy Pi Day" Sticker




Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Google Chrome & Smart Ink Issue


If you are a Google Chrome user, you have probably noticed that your Smart Ink tools are not working when using your SmartBoard.  Chrome recently did an update and now the Smart Ink tools fail to work.  Please note that both companies are aware of the issue and are working on a solution.  Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

In the meantime, you can download Firefox.  Firefox is another web browser that is working with Smart Ink.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Stumbling Across Great Websites!


I love when I accidentally stumble across a great website that teachers can use.  This morning while researching something for another teacher, I found "Mentimeter". Mentimeter is similar to polleverywhere but seems a little easier to use.  

A teacher will need to sign up for a free account.  After the teacher logs in, the page that appears is the where you will ask your question.  In the free version, you are able to ask single answer questions or open ended.  You have the ability for students to answer more than one time if necessary.  

There is not an app to download and it will work on any computer, smartphone, or tablet as long as there is an Internet connection. After you have setup your question,  the website will tell your students the web address to go to and a code to enter.  Students are then able to post their answers.

There are several uses for this website.  Here are a few suggestions:
  • Elementary: Having students say who the main character is in a story, plot, etc.
  • Quick formative assessments.  Look for the understanding while you are teaching.
  • Engagement.  Allows all students a chance to answer without being called.
  • Polls
I'd love to hear from you and if you liked the site as much as I did.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Free App Friday! 1/24/14

Adding Apples: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id464881662?mt=8

Toonia Storymaker: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id583837869?mt=8

Imagination Box: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id698092635?mt=8

Wee Kids Word Games: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id638469247?mt=8

Shapes Memory Maker: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id716379171?mt=8

Intro to Cursive Writing: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id687552892?mt=8

Hughly, The Flower Who Wanted to Grow Book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id703413272?mt=8

Kids Math Grids Decimals: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id769116659?mt=8

My Multiplication Times Table: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id457267986?mt=8

goPaint Pro: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id604167620?mt=8

Garden Lab: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id733935400?mt=8

VNC Viewer: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id352019548?mt=8

Attainment's Access Language Arts (normally 39.99) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/attainments-access-language/id775947109?mt=8

stickit: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id585129075?mt=8

10 Monkeys Multiplication: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id660188693?mt=8

Wild Guess (teach young children home address & phones number): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id769404738?mt=8

Science Quiz TEKS 6: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id687500045?mt=8

ZooZoo Readables: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id455499898?mt=8

The Bear Went Over the Mountain: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id486109352?mt=8

Dragon & Wolf Interactive Book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id538760800?mt=8


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Free Apps Thurs Jan 23, 2014

If you are interested in any of the apps, be sure to download today!  They may cost tomorrow! J

Decode Meiosis: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/decode-meiosis/id786667527

Decode Mitosis: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/decode-mitosis/id739118066

Spelling Bee: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spelling-bee/id680720918

Conversation Builder - Reduced from 19.99 to 3.99 - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id413939366?mt=8

ABC Animations - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id786031451?mt=8

My Multiplication Table - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id457267986?mt=8

Martha Read, Play, and Draw: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id580510641?mt=8

QuickGame - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id687598712?mt=8

KG Math - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id687598712?mt=8

Tree of Dreams Interactive Book - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tree-dreams-interactive-book/id582670114

123D (Turn pictures into 3D): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/123d-catch/id513913018?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D8

Van Gogh Painted with Words - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id587305028?mt=8

Dot Connector: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id522794040?mt=8

Little Star Learning Story Creator: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/little-star-learning-story/id793077363

Antonym Math - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/antonym-match/id786868905?mt=8

Homophone Match: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/homophone-match/id794723450?mt=8

Synonym Match: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/synonym-match/id778611894?mt=8


Friday, January 17, 2014

Free App Friday! Fri. Jan 17, 2014

If you are interested in any of the apps, be sure to download today!  They may cost tomorrow! J
The following apps can be put on individual iPads but not a cart of iPads.

Elementary:

JH/HS:

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What Does it Mean to be a Technology Integrationist?

What Does it Mean to be a Technology Integration Facilitator?


November 23, 2008 Technology Integration Facilitator 12 Comments

What does it mean to be a Technology Integration Facilitator? Or an Integration Technology Coach… or… BTW what is your official job title?
My job as a TIF did not exist 3 years ago at my school. My job still does not exist in many schools across the USA and the world. There are still computer lab attendants and computer teachers that welcome students into the lab and supervise them as they practice their typing skills, do research for a paper that is due in one of their core classes and learn how to use word processing programs, spreadsheet applications and presentation software.
My job is still in its infant stage. It is growing and changing so rapidly that sometimes I wonder myself what my job description is. How can I describe what I do? What are the components that are essential for a technology integrator? (How) Will I survive infancy? How about the “Me, me, me” and “I can do it myself” stage of the toddler years. How will I make it through the awkward tweens and the rebellious teenage years?
Who and what I want to be when I grow up?
I spent the past two days at a non-technology conference with school administrators (principals, advancement, admission, IT directors, etc). Not all schools I talked to or heard about had even a dedicated Technology Integrator on staff as part of their technology team. I was even asked several times what exactly my position was?
How do I see my position today? Into what will it evolve by the end of the school year or next?
  1. Professional development
    1. Lead professional development for faculty, staff and administration
      1. Just in time
      2. 1-1
      3. Small group
      4. Monthly workshops
      5. Bring in and facilitate the presence of outside voices
      6. Create digital How-To guides and step by step tutorials
    2. Present and share at local, national and international conferences
  2. Life Long Learner
    1. Practice what you preach: You want your teachers and students to be learners, you have to be the model.
    2. Continue to take classes, attend workshops, conferences, meet with colleagues, skype with experts in the field
    3. Avid reader of educational blogs, wikis, listserves, twitter, podcasts, professional journals
    4. Stay abreast technology AND education trends and how they relate to student learning
  3. Plan and Co-Teach
    1. Plan regularly with classroom and resource teachers.
    2. Be informed and able to reference curriculum across grade level
    3. Support teachers by co-teaching with them, then let them fly
  4. Teach
    1. Teach at least one class (a tech club or after school activity) to keep it real
    2. Don’t loose touch with what it means to teach real kids and not to just theorize about how teaching and learning should look like
  5. Personal Learning Network
    1. Create, actively grow and nurture your own PLN- local as well as global
    2. BE a part of a personal learning network for others- (you get out of it what you put in it)
  6. Model 21st Century Skills
    1. Communicate and Connect with other educators (local and global) in order toCollaborate
    2. Take active steps to make connection for your teachers and their students around the world to open the classroom walls
    3. Write, reflect, and grow├é  on your own professional and school blog
    4. Share resources on your blog and/or wiki
    5. Create new opportunities for yourself, your colleagues and students
    6. Be flexible with curriculum or calendar related changes as well as guaranteed equipment failures
  7. Be part of school’s Technology team
    1. Participate in and make hardware and software purchase decisions
    2. Participate in and make budget decisions
    3. Attend Technology Committee meetings
    4. Present to school board
    5. Work closely with network administrator, media specialist and other team members