Inviting Change: Professional Development Models

Just the other day, a colleague asked for my insights into a scenario she had encountered. In this blog entry, you will find part of my response as well as my attempt to clarify requirements for successful professional development.

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Inviting Change
One of the tough aspects of asking others to change is when you haven’t walked the walk. Consider this story about Gandhi:

Mahatma Ghandi was not just a political and spiritual leader, he was also quite wise, and people traveled from all over to ask his help with problems both large and small. One day a peasant woman came to visit Ghandi. She brought her son with her. She told Ghandi that her son was addicted to sweets. The sugar made him hyper and too wild to attend school. She hoped Ghandi would tell her son to stop eating sugar. She was sure that her son would listen to him. Ghandi paused and then told the woman to come back in three weeks.

She came back three weeks later. Ghandi took the little boy, sat him on his lap, and said
simply, “Please do not eat sugar. It is bad for you.” The boy smiled, promised to stop and returned back to his mother. His mother was understandably stunned. She had traveled over 100 miles—twice. It was a difficult journey. Bewildered, she approached Ghandi and asked, “Why didn’t you just tell
him to quit eating sugar when I first approached you three weeks ago?” Gahndi smiled and said patiently, “Three weeks ago, I was still eating sugar.”
In Ghandi’s words, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

This story speaks to me, especially when you consider how change is encouraged and pushed from top-down district admins to teachers in classrooms. How does this story change your perspective?

Scenario: Clarifying PD Models

During a meeting with key stakeholders in your District, it becomes clear that “professional development” has different meanings to different people. The representatives ask you to create a brief presentation to share at the next meeting “clarifying professional development models.”

Considering this scenario, I thought it might be fun to look at it from a different perspective. There are many things we expect teachers to do, but when asking people to change what they do, it’s often best to focus on one or two.

Identifying Vital Behaviors

“Vital behaviors,” share the authors of Influencers, “are the smallest set of actions that lead to the results you want.” In working with my colleague, I suggested that she ask participants what vital behaviors are the ones that will obtain the results PD models are implemented to achieve.

 Then, I said, “Why don’t you setup an activity where they tell you what their top behaviors are for teachers in the classroom, and what’s the best professional development model to use to encourage teacher adoption? They could pretend to tweet it out using a handout like the one shown below:

Below, you will find some of the responses from a few participants highlighting vital behaviors with hashtag of the PD model they imagine would encourage adoption.

Vital Behavior #1: Build Strong Relationships

Hashtag: #coaching

When teachers build strong relationships between themselves, their peers, and their students, as well as encourage them between students, learners feel trusted and respected. This surprisingly results in students be more receptive to learning opportunities in their classroom. Unfortunately, the respondent did not share what PD Model would best encourage adoption of this behavior. Still, it is clear that collegial coaching would best serve to build strong relationships. This coaching relationship could be enhanced through the use of technology, coach and coachee to take advantage of communication technologies like Voxer, Appear.In, Slack that allow for prompt sharing of ideas.

Vital Behavior #2: Engaging in PLCs to Plan for Instruction

Hashtag: #intentionalplanning

This vital behavior takes advantage of professional learning communities (PLCs) to further ensure planning for instruction. Having witnessed and participated in PLCs myself, I can certainly testify to the power of collaborative planning. Often, teachers work alone to plan lessons, sharing planning load for different subjects. Through the power of a PLC, teachers can engage in data-driven lesson planning, crafting units and activities that address the needs of all students in their care. This helps deepen the relationship between teachers. Although not a recognized PD model, intentional plan could easily be replaced by #plc or #pln to represent professional learning community or professional learning network, respectively.

Vital Behavior #3: That all adults are enthusiastic about improving practice

Hashtag: #loveskids

What saps the enthusiasm of adults? There are many possibilities in K-12 school settings, but continuous improvement, continuous learning remains one of the critical aspects of being a lifelong learner and teacher. The PD model I would recommend for this would be #peerobservation. The reason why is that peer observation helps teachers step out of their isolated classrooms and see what other teachers are doing. It also “improves their game” as other educators step in to watch. When both engage in joint reflection, then teachers are able to improve. As John Dewey says, “We do not learn from experience, but rather, by reflecting on that experience.” Observation (including analysis of audio/video of a lesson) and reflection (whether one on one, a blog or reflection journal) will improve the quality of lessons and help teachers better be prepared.

Vital Behavior #4: Amplify student voices

Hashtag: #coaching

Granting students (and teachers) the authority to speak, to find and nurture their voices can be quite powerful. Rather than passive objects to be schooled, human beings and voices are amplified. Coaching can enable this because it focuses attention on teacher’s (or student’s) growth:

A Collegial Coach not only helps teachers uncover their beliefs about effective learning and teaching, but also gathers data to facilitate the self-evaluation process. Once teachers have clarity about their driving motivations, the Collegial Coach acts as a ‘mirror’ in the classroom, enabling teachers to see how closely their behaviours support their picture of the classroom they want. This becomes “reflection on action,” keeping control in the hands of the teacher. Source: Collegial Coaching

Professional Development Models

Of these, you probably already know that coaching, peer observation and research/PD model
are the most effective, while school visit and workshop lag behind.

As an extensive array of research has shown, there are some tried and proven ways of approaching professional development or professional learning. Here are some of the requirements for professional development that works:

  1. Supportive of teacher collaboration via coaching and mentoring
  2. Job-embedded and specific to academic content
  3. Ongoing, sustained, intensive (40+ hours), and includes technology 
  4. Focused on implementation in classroom
  5. Strong assessment component for both teacher and student
  6.  Supports reflection on strategies and implementation
  7. Creates a culture of continuous professional learning
One of the amazing reasons why change is necessary is captured in this quote:

New shifts and reforms “represent a retreat from the traditional rote, fact-based style of instruction toward teaching that fosters critical thinking and problem solving” (Source: Teaching the Teachers, Center for Public Education report)

As I consider all the available PD models, represented above, I have to admit that collegial coaching as espoused by Dr. Dawn Wilson and Dr. Katie Alaniz is the most engaging. Consider the statistics of coaching:
My Thoughts
One of the challenges with the scenario as presented is the lack of opportunity to present one’s own perspective. It’s important for the key stakeholders in the scenario to share their insights and analysis of research. My thoughts are that any PD model needs to take advantage of these approaches:
  • Engage with Problems: Engage learners in the authentic purpose of solving a problem (problem-based learning/inquiry-based learning).
  • Encourage Collaboration & Implementation: Encourage and support adult learners as they collaborate on projects–sharing their own life experiences–focused on the creation of tangible product(s) with modeling and safe implementation opportunities.
  • Amplify Learners’ Voices with Tech: Amplify human voices with technology as they gather stories and share them (blogging, podcasts, video, media collections).
By taking advantage of these 3 approaches, any PD model can be enhanced to achieve much of what educators need. Collegial coaching serves as a great way to accomplish these goals. 
What are your thoughts?

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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7 Keys to Blended Learning #miee #msftedu @microsoftedu

“We need an educational system,” shares Ken Kay, CEO of EdLeader21, “that encourages self-direction.” How do we accomplish this given all of the new tools we have available? In this article, we’ll explore some simple ways that MS Classroom can support elements of a blended learning environment. Rather than start from scratch, let’s breakdown key components of blended or flipped learning.

#1 – Make participatory learning expectations clear.

“The culture of education today is such that … only the most cutting-edge learning environments are really teaching and allowing kids to be self-directed. That’s a real misfire today.” Jobs of the 21st century are fundamentally self-directed, and education—pedagogy in particular—must change in response to that. (Source: Education Week)
Encouraging students to be self-directed can be a shift for many who have grown up with different expectations. For example, consider this list of roadblocks and detours for students (adapted from this source):
Roadblocks Detours
Students may think online means working only from home. Manage student expectations by explaining what you expect them to do at home and in class.
Students may be reluctant to take responsibility for their learning. Explain early and often what is expected and how it is beneficial to them.
Students may lack time management skills. Provide time for completion, and divide work into bite-sized modules.
Technology can become an obstacle for some students. Avoid high-risk technologies.
Identify technology requirements for the course and model technology use before making online assignments.
Rely on a learning management system (e.g. MS Classroom) and invite students to set up a “technical helpdesk.”
Students may watch videos or content, but not be sure how to share what they have learned. Take advantage of MS Forms to create web-based quizzes that work across multiple devices, as well as graphic organizers that can be filled out using OneNote drawing tools.

#2 – Create a digital textbook for student reference.

“It’s not the reader of a text who learns the most,” says Stephen Knudsen,  as cited in this TCEA TechNotes blog entry, “but rather the author.” While you may soon have students creating a digital textbook, encapsulating their learning, as the teacher, you can begin to organize yourself online. Using tools like MS Classroom and OneNote Class Notebook can make this organization painless.
Not sure about the benefits? Read this blog entry by Matt “Ditch That Textbook” Miller. He shares Garth Holman’s and Mike Pennington’s (two teachers) journey toward getting rid of textbooks. He also highlights some key ways that they worked together. Students were able to:
  • Write, collaborate and publish online. In today’s Office 365-powered classrooms, you can easily use Word Online to facilitate collaborative writing. And students can publish their Word Online directly to MS OneNote or take advantage of the collaborative space in OneNote to facilitate multiple editors.
  • Develop interactive content. With OneNote, students are able to embed a wide variety of content into a OneNote page. The list is ever-growing. Using the built-in drawing tools and audio/video recording, students can annotate text and images easily.
  • Take ownership of assessing their own work. Students can co-develop rubrics for creation of content or rely on a pre-created rubric available online. Students can copy these rubrics to their individual folders in OneNote and then fill them in for their own project or another student’s creation. With OneNote, you can easily embed an Excel spreadsheet, create tables, or add checkboxes to facilitate creation.
  • Create cartoons. Students can create cartoons using a variety of sources online, or surprisingly, Powerpoint (another tutorial), Pixton (works with Office 365), or using an app on another device.seven
  • Create videos and enhanced podcasts. Students can also rely on Powerpoint+Office Mix or Sway to create screencasts, narrated slideshows, enhanced podcasts (images+audio), documentaries, and more. Storyboarding can be easy using Powerpoint’s slide organizer or Sway’s card shuffling tools. Adding audio narration and embedding video is also a cinch.

#3 – Clarify grading overview.

While grading policies for every learning situation may differ, consider taking advantage of video annotation and quizzing tools that enable students to interact and reflect on video. While assessing learning resulting from pre- or post-video watching activities, remember that you need not rely on traditional paper-and-pencil approaches.
Here are a few you can take advantage of that you may not yet be aware of:
  • Microsoft Forms – Use this to create a quiz that checks for understanding. MS Forms can also be used to create “entry/exit ticket” type activities.
  • Office Mix – Use assessment features to embed multiple choice, true/false, or short-answer questions at key points in the Mix product (works only on web version, not with MP4 video version). In an Office 365 environment, students login and these checks for understanding are tracked. You can also embed YouTube video.
  • EdPuzzle – This web-based tool makes it straightforward to add notes and assessments to videos from YouTube, Khan Academy, Learn Zillion, and others. This enables understanding checks. There’s also an iOS app you and/or your students can use. A similar tool is VideoAnt.
In addition, students can also rely on video reflection tools that work similar to discussion boards, but use video instead of text. Two notable tools include Flipgrid.com (be sure to check the free Microsoft Education Community online class) and Swivl’s Recap. Finally, also take a moment to explore video annotation tools that your students can use to take notes about YOUR videos:
  • VideoNot.es and TurboNote are two tools that allow you to take notes off to the side of the video.
  • Vialogues, not unlike Flipgrid, allows you to create conversations that revolve around a video.
One more note about assessment in a blended learning classroom. While you can create and grade assignments and quizzes students complete, alternative assessment may play a role. “Flipped learning” often permits alternative assessment, as indicated by flipped learning creators:
In our Flipped-Mastery Model, we required every student to pass each summative assessment with a 75 percent. I was very rigid on this. A 74 percent was not good enough. But as I embraced alternative assessments, I was pleasantly surprised at how students were able to show me what they had learned without having to prove it on traditional tests. I had students designing video games, making videos, and doing art projects (Source: Jon Bergmann, Edutopia).

#4 – Set up an online presence to share instructional resources.

Using MS Classroom and the OneNote Class Notebook add-in you can easily create an online presence that is available to students, regardless of what mobile device they happen to use. This can become a digital repository for class resources, audio/video presentations, linked content, and assignments. More importantly, it becomes a digital space you and each student can use to exchange information and discuss growth around learning objectives.

#5 – Select a screencasting tool to record instructional videos.

A host of screencasting tools are available, including Office Mix‘s built-in tools, MS Snip, as well as browser-based recorders like Screencast-o-MaticScreencastify, and Nimbus Screencapture/Screenrecording add-ons for Chrome browser.
For example, a framework you could model for students:
  1. Pick out five photos that are about a particular event, a situation, or topic.
  2. Write three to four sentences about each of those photos. (Sample storyboard | ACMI Generator)
  3. Combine sentences and photos into a digital story.
Remember, Powerpoint provides a built-in storyboarding tool with its slide organizer and slide notes that students can use. They can then create an Office Mix viewable on the web or exported as an MP4 video that can be shared via YouTube or Vimeo or placed on a Classroom OneDrive account.
seven

3 Little Pigs Story (Edinburg 12/13/2016)

#6 – Create class videos online for easy access across devices.

Whether you’ve created an instructional video, screencast, or Mix, you may want to find an easy way to host it online. Few options work as well as YouTube.com, but some educators may not have access to that. Did you know you can insert a video into MS Powerpoint, then upload that PPTx to Mix? Once there, you can copy-and-paste the address to your Office Mix into a OneNote page and it will appear as embedded content (size of the video does not count against your OneDrive storage). (Access the sample shown here.)

#7 – Implement engaging classroom activities.

When in class, students need to take advantage of hands-on activities. Some approaches can certainly involve paper slides to capture student learning, using Minecraft: Education Edition to have collaborative student groups implement learning concepts garnered via video.
Here are a few activities adapted from multiple sources (click title for source, template for sample, if available):
Online
      1. Emoji Puzzle (template): As your students enter the classroom, hand them an emoji puzzle piece that will match one other student in the class. After all the students are in the class, have them walk around the classroom and try to find the other student that has the matching emoji puzzle piece. (via  @diben)
      2. QR code (template): Print QR codes and cut them into four pieces. Give each student one of the four pieces of the code. Next, have your students find their group based on their category. Once in their group, have your students scan the QR code to reveal if their category word is correct. (via  @diben and @preimers)
      3. Conversation Starter Stones (template): Use inexpensive clear stones with a glued on task to get kids moving and engaged. (via  @diben)
      4. Padlet: Have students create a slide about themselves in Powerpoint, use MS Snip to record audio annotation, then copy-and-paste the link to Snip into a Padlet with the picture.
Individual (F2F or Online)
      1. Create a graphic organizer of concept. This can be created in a OneNote page using Draw tools or a web-based tool such as Bubbl.us.
      2. Use Kahootor Quizizz to assess students’ grasp of material.
Group

    1. Think-Pair-Share: This activity, focused on dyads, allows students to process content and then share their reflections.
    2. Round Robin: In this activity, each student shares one concept from a source. Combine with TodaysMeet, Word Online, OneNote Collaborative Space, or Padlet for large group sharing. MS Classroom Conversation can also be used to organize student exchanges around each topic.
    3. Question Cards: Create cards about various aspects of a topic in advance and then share them with groups of 4-6. Each person reflects on their response, then shares it with the small group. At the end, one person from each group shares what the group came up with in regards to question cards. Combine this with a Powerpoint Online presentation that students can add commentary to.
    4. Team Matrix: Give students access to a Powerpoint Online they can edit, then ask them to match characteristics relevant to a particular word, phrase, or concept.
    5. Fishbowl Discussion: Inner/outer circle type discussion. Students can record summaries of discussions into the OneNote Class Notebook using inserte audio or Learning Tools Dictation option (speech to text conversion).
    6. Case Study: Students are challenged to come up with a solution to a real-life problem or scenario using the information they were to have processed previously. At the end of session, they share their solution responses.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to blend teaching and learning with MS Classroom and Office 365 tools like OneNote Class Notebook, Learning Tools, and more. The purpose of this article was to suggest a few ways that might tickle your imagination and facilitate self-direction for you and the learners in your care.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

3 Steps to Professional Learning Planning (PLP)

In a previous blog entry, Planning Active Learning for Professionals, I shared a few ideas I’d gathered (then “stolen, made to look like not stolen, then shared among thieves” as an old colleague told me once). My end goal was to create a one-page professional learning planner that could serve as a visual aid.

As a visual learner, it helps me to be able to see as many possible choices and bits of information in a “all on the table” kind of way. That’s why I wanted to build a one-page PLP document. After some false starts, I have settled upon the following document:

Page 1 of 2 | Get the PDF version

As you can see, it tries to capture the 3 Step approach. I admit that I added the Professional Development Model question at the top of the document after creating the 3 steps. One of the reasons why it’s such a pain to ponder professional development models is that we sort of already know most of them don’t work as well as we would like.

Key Elements for Professional Development
Below are some key elements of successful professional development. Yes, I swiped these from Kaplan’s web site, The Principles of Effective Professional Development. They have a great summary of some of the research reports I reference below. Ok, here’s the excerpt…

Professional development needs to:

  1. Be an ongoing experience for educators that provide extended learning opportunities help them master new skills and instructional methods. These have a better chance at positively impacting student learning. (Gulamhussein; Darling-Hammond et al.)
  2. Be job embedded as much as possible so that what is learned can be applied in the classroom. (DeMonte; Darling-Hammond et al.)
  3. Provide support for teachers during the implementation stage of using a new instructional method in the classroom.  (Gulamhussein).
  4. Offer content that is specific (e.g. goal, discipline, grade level, developmental stage) instead of generic. (Gulamhussein; Darling-Hammond et al.)
  5. Be engaging and use varied approaches to support learning for both groups and individuals.(Gulamhussein). 
  6. Include modeling because it helps educators understand new instructional methods (Gulamhussein; Darling-Hammond et al.)
  7. Promote collaboration among teachers because it leads to better teaching and instruction, helping educators solve problems they are dealing with in the classroom. (DeMonte; Darling-Hammond et al.)

Simply put, professional development needs to be ongoing, job-embedded, specific, as well as model and support implementation in the classroom via various group/individual strategies. PD should also support collaboration among teachers, something which they have little time for during the day. Can anyone say, “Twitter PLN?”

What’s missing? 
Now that I look at it, what I don’t see and would like to, is how learners are going to create or make their thinking visible. What else do you think is missing that should be there? Please share in the comments.

Note: Much of what I’m sharing below in terms of research comes from Linda Darling-Hammond as cited in a Center for Public Education report, Teaching the Teachers.

What Students Need But Often Don’t Get
As you look at the PLP above, you’ll notice that there is a bias towards active learning. Of course, aligning activities learners are engaged in is important. I expect that professional learning from this point forward has to model approaches that mirror the learning styles of Generation Z students. And, of course, you can probably guess what kind of approaches those are (check the chart).

New shifts and reforms “represent a retreat from the traditional rote, fact-based style of instruction toward teaching that fosters critical thinking and problem solving” (Gulamhussein as cited here).

What students need is listed below:

  • Investigation and problem-based approaches
  • Participation in meaning-making and reasoning
  • Questioning strategies
  • Generating ideas and questions
As you can imagine, this is pretty fantastic research from my point of view. As a PrBL advocate for many years, having facilitated PrBL Academies at the TCEA State Conference a couple of years in a row as well as in a large urban school district I served in and for a regional education service center, I have never found problem-based approaches to fade in the research. I suspect that it is because as human beings, we are wired for problem-solving. 
Professional development must engage learners in active learning that leaves them seeking more. It has to be significant (more than 14 hours, closer to 40 hours) and ongoing. Honestly, there’s no way to achieve that without technology and blended learning/webinar approaches.

Workshops
For example, the “workshop” approach that we are all so familiar with (91.5% of teachers are subjected to this) has little to no impact on student learning or teacher practice!

 “The one-time workshop assumes the only challenge facing teachers is a lack of knowledge of effective teaching practices and when that knowledge gap is corrected teachers will then be able to change” (Gulamhussein as cited here)

Workshops are only effective if they allow for and focus on facilitating learning specific skills or strategies backed by research. Some strategies that can improve the effect of workshops include the following:

  • Readings
  • Role playing techniques
  • Open-ended discussions of what is presented
  • Live modeling
  • Visits to classrooms to observe and discuss the teaching methodology
Still. you wonder how much benefit anyone actually does gain from workshops. Perhaps, more worrisome, is the assertion that teachers who learn something new actually have to see it be successful before they accept into their own practice. Given that workshops often fall into 

Coaching
Compare the workshop approach to the “coaching” approach (45% of teachers exposed to to coaching).

For the coaching approach, consider these statistics:

  1. 5% of learners will transfer a new skill as a result of theory.
  2. 10% of learners will transfer a new skill as a result of theory and demonstration
  3. 20%  of learners will transfer a new skill as a result of theory, demonstration, practice with training
  4. 25%  of learners will transfer a new skill as a result of theory, demonstration, practice, training and feedback
  5. 90% will transfer a new skill into their practice with theory, demonstration, practice with the training, feedback and coaching.

    Obviously coaching wipes the floor with the workshop approach. Other popular PD models such as Peer Observation (63% of teachers have experienced this), Research (39.8%) are also heavily used. My money is on coaching, though.

    Peer Observation
    Bell (2005) defines peer observation of teaching as a “collaborative, developmental activity in which professionals offer mutual support by:

    • observing each other teach; explaining and discussing what was observed
    • sharing ideas about teaching
    • gathering student feedback on teaching effectiveness
    • reflecting on understandings, feelings, actions and feedback
    • trying out new ideas
    Having experienced peer observation myself as a third grade bilingual teacher, I can certainly attest to the effectiveness of this model. The reason why I perceived it as effective is that I was learning from a respected colleague who didn’t have another agenda (e.g. district office oversight, not that they had it back then), I could try and fail and try again with support, students were active participants in the process. What really made it fun was that I was already writing articles for publication, so my attempts at new ideas almost certainly found their way into my writing. 
    In fact, those peer observations, then trying it out in my classroom with my students, and reflections got me hooked on a new type of writing unlike the academic stuff I’d been accustomed to. It was the precursor to the blogging that I would begin a few years later.
    While peer observation can also be used for performance management, as opposed to development (which was what I was familiar with), I am a little nervous about top-down “performance management.” I have a healthy distaste for someone managing my performance. I suspect that it works just fine for others, though (grin). Some other quick points about peer observation:
    • Peer observation of teaching provides a forum where teaching practices are shared rather than remaining a private activity (D’Andrea 2002a), and this 
    • encourages reflection on teaching and 
    • fosters debate about and dissemination of best practice (Hammersley-Fletcher and Orsmond 2005). 
    • Peer feedback can be used as evidence for teaching award or promotion applications (Hammersley-Fletcher and Orsmond 2004) and 
    • complements student evaluations since academics provide a different perspective (Hutchings 1996). 
    • provides a model of peer and self assessment for students (Napan and Mamula-Stojnic 2005). 
    Some key ideas about peer observation:
    1. Instrumental interpretation of peer observation is insufficient by itself to enhance teacher performance in the classroom.
    2. “Learning about teaching, and heightening a sense of professionalism stems from a continuous process of transforming personal meaning. This demands an active engagement with pedagogical theory, purposeful critical reflection on classroom practice, and a challenging of assumptions through shared critical reflection” (Source)
    Professional Learning Planner (PLP)
    As I reflect on the PLP, it’s clear that it doesn’t address any of the key elements of professional development. Those lie outside the scope of that document. And, I’m OK with that for now. However, page 2 of the PLP (doesn’t exist…yet) may very well be a way of addressing these areas, even if it is a reminder to PL/PD planners of what those elements are.

    So here is page 2 of the PLP, which I imagine would run two-sided on a piece of paper:

    Page 2 of 2 | Get the PDF version

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Planning Active Learning Possibilities for Professionals (Updated)

    “In a few days,” shared a friend, “I’m going to have to encourage a team of professional development experts to figure out their vision for professional development. The problem is, I’m not sure what the best approach is. I suspect no one will agree and I’ll be stuck refereeing a disagreement of epic proportions.”
    AN INVITATION TO BE A GUIDE
    A few years ago, I recall being in a similar spot as my friend. I had come up with the best plan imaginable, taking advantage of my advanced, technology-based experience. Upon presentation, all found a way to criticize the plan proposed.

    Just as chaos was about to occur, I had a flash of insight. I invited them to draw a picture of their ideal solution. The room grew silent except for pencils and pens scratching at blank sheets of paper. When each dyad or triad shared their vision, an astonishing reality became known. 

    Not one vision had elements common to all. Each held a vital piece of the puzzle in their hand. We moved forward to collaborative planning with various pieces of the puzzle, each representing a particular stakeholder group. This enabled us to put together a plan and solution that worked for all. This experience transformed my approach to groups, effectively turning me from sage on a stage to guide on the side.
    RECIPES FOR LEARNING CONVERSATIONS
    In their free book, The Joy of Professional Learning, the authors, who happen to be  Apple Distinguis hed Educators (ADE), outline various recipes for professional learning. These recipes promote active learning, which research has shown students perform better with than when they sit through a lecture. While these approaches are mostly intended for use face to face, some or all include technology or can be adapted to include it. In the final column, I have added my spin on the approach, describing what I would do. Of course, you may have another idea that would be fun. I encourage you to read Joy versions in their entirety. Unfortunately, they are only available in Ibooks format:
    Finally, I have also added Problem-based or Project-based Learning (PrBL/PBL) to the list of recipes since it is one of my favorite approaches.
    RECIPES CHART
    At the end of the chart, you will also find a Professional Learning Planner (PLP) to help you better construct your professional learning experience. Remember that all professional learning must kindle the interest, and occurs with the consent, of the learner. Fail to obtain either, and your professional learning may be doomed.
    Approach
    Description
    Technology Adaptation
    BREAKOUT EDU
    Learners are engaged in a problem-solving approach that relies on ingenuity and creativity. Learners experience teamwork and collaboration. Usually involves a kit.
    Cafe
    Participants gather at this social event to discuss important topics. Conversation starter cards, coffee and pastries are made available.
    Setup online shared documents, padlet and invite participants to gather in groups to respond to the conversation prompt. This can also be done as audio (e.g. Voxer) or video (e.g. Flipgrid) social event. Technology makes capturing the discussion easier.
    Challenge based Learning
    Learners brainstorm big ideas relevant to a pre-selected topic, then discuss and develop an essential question. They convert the question into a challenge statement that “creates urgency and spurs action.” When each team has a challenge statement, rotate the teams so problem-solving can begin.
    Create an online shared document for each team. In that document, they list brainstorming, questions, essential question and challenge statement. They submit the link to their document via a Form, accessible by other teams. Each team adds their thoughts to the online document in a different color.
    Collections
    Learners collect items (magazine articles, links, photos, videos) relevant to a particular topic and create a shareable document.
    Use a web site like PinterestPadlet or AnswerGarden to have students collect audio, images, photos, video with their mobile device then share it via the padlet. Participants could also rely on tools like Diigo Social Bookmarking, Twitter/Instagram hashtags, a Facebook Group.
    Another approach involves creating interactive infographics using tools like PiktoChart,Easel.lyInfog.ram,
    or Canva and then dropping that creation into Thinglink. Combining an infographic creation tool with Thinglink makes your infographic interactive, extending the reach and usability of your new creation.
    ED CAMP
    Also characterized as an “unconference,” this enables learners to identify topics of interest to them. Topics are grouped and organized according to available space and time. Learners then meet in the available spaces at agreed upon times to discuss a topic of interest. The law of two feet applies (participants can leave at any time) and there is no designated presenter or lecturer.
    Have participants submit topics of interest via an online Form. The organizer arranges topics and create rooms using appropriate tool (e.g. Appear.inVoxer) and then publishes links to the virtual spaces. Participants join rooms and offer their contributions. A facilitator to handle technical issues may be designated. One example is EdCampVoxerconference that occurs every December.
    Game board
    Create a game board that involves dice, movement of pieces, and drawing a card that suggests a potential action.
    Gamifying learning is made easier with tools like Minecraft: Education Edition that allow for creating a virtual learning space.
    Genius Hour
    Learners explore a topic of interest and 60 minutes is set aside to support learners’ pursuit of that topic. Learners develop a driving question that must involve research and the project needs to be shared with the world.
    A wide variety of technologies can be used to support Genius Hour.
    Live Stream
    In this recipe, participants use Periscope to broadcast from their mobile device, discussing a particular topic. They share their thoughts then publish the link.
    Video reflection tools like Flipgrid.com and GetRecap.com make the use of non-education focused apps like Periscope or YouTube Captureunnecessary. Simply create topics, share the code with each team, then they can respond to it. What’s more, other teams can respond to the initial topic discussion by another team.
    Mobile Learning
    Learners use their mobile devices to interact with their surroundings as they walk around campus. Each station on the walk may include a QR code or AR trigger. Learners keep notes on their device, submitting it at the end of their walk.
    Learners can take a learning walk and add learning (e.g. anchor chart examples) to a Pinterest wall, submit via Google Forms (which is later made available for viewing by the whole group), or use FlipGrid.com to create video reflections for various topics.
    Online Course
    Create an online course in your favorite learning management system (LMS) and then facilitate learners as they navigate various modules and activities.
    Vary your approach from using traditional LMSs (e.g. Canvas, Moodle, Classroom), and try using tools like Slack, Voxer, and WhatsApp, which are mobile and allow for more mobile learning.
    Playground
    Design hands-on activities that correspond to a particular topic arranged in Centers. Participants work in teams to complete activities then rotate to the next station.
    Create digital spaces that allow for teams to complete and submit activities online.
    Podcast
    Podcast participants determine a guiding question or topic, then record the audio of their conversation. When complete, they publish it via a blog or a platform with an RSS feed.
    Podcasts are easy to record using Skype, Appear.in or Voxer. Each of these allow for conversations. Voxer works great for back-n-forth conversations. Afterwards, you can combine each vox using Audacity sound editing software.
    Learners are introduced to a real life problem or simulation that requires them to identify what they know, what they need to know, strategies for solving the information problem, and a reflection component. They must identify guesses about the situation, what they know for certain, what questions they need answers to, and stakeholder perspectives embedded in problem. Then they divide up into groups to develop a solution from their perspective that prioritizes and groups questions. Each group has a different perspective and set of questions to respond to. Their solution may be a project, a presentation, identification of next steps.
    Throughout the PBL process, technology can be used. For example, virtual simulations can introduce a problem, clarify the problem, or test a solution. Technology can also be used to communicate and collaborate with others engaged in parallel problem-solving or with different expertise (or in the field with relevant data).
    Technology can be used to document as well as share solutions with others. Real life applications make PBL the best approach for integrated use of technology tools.
    Showcase
    Contact individuals ahead of an event, inviting them to submit slides ahead of time. Combine all the slides into one slide deck then provide each person time to share about their showcase topic.
    Ask individuals to create a timed video, place that video on Youtube, then create a playlist for all the videos. Share the playlist with others so they can watch it. Use a Padlet or online form (e.g. Google or Microsoft) to capture insights and take-aways.
    Speed Dating
    Learners are paired in two parallel rows and pose questions related to organizational goals. They each share their experience and then rotate.
    Employ Appear.in to setup virtual conversations rooms with remote experts (in another school, state, or country). Each device represents an expert that is remotely connected. Have learners rotate from device to device.
    TwitterChat
    Twitterchats are organized around a particular hashtag (e.g. #tceachat) and enable anyone following the hashtag to join in. They can involve guest hosts along with a regular host that facilitates the technical elements of the chat.
    Some ways to enhance twitterchats include using tools like Tweetdeck, Participate.com/chats, or Twubs.com to track chats and publicize them to others. You can also use
    Professional Learning Planner (PLP)

    Note: This is a rough draft of my PLP. I am actually working on a much better looking one but think of this as my rough draft. I’ll probably share the nicer one later this week. After all, who wants to carry around this tome of a blog entry when putting together PD/PL?

    When crafting professional learning, I often ask myself these questions:

    1. How do I engage participants from the get-go, encouraging movement?
    2. How do I setup the learning environment so they are moving from the start?
    3. How do I enable them to take the stage to share their insights and learning?
    4. What’s the easiest way to capture that and share that with the world?
    5. How can I blend a check for understanding or assessment component that holds learners accountable and pushes them to engage in reflection?
    The PLP is only one of many graphic organizers to help me make sense of learning. It is based on these general concepts shown below.
    Concept Type
    Description
    Engaging Activities/Icebreakers
    (Question #1)
      1. Emoji Puzzle (template): As learners enter the classroom, hand them an emoji puzzle piece that will match one other student in the class. After all the learners are in the class, have them walk around the classroom and try to find the other student that has the matching emoji puzzle piece. (via  @diben)
      2. QR Code (template): Print QR codes and cut them into four pieces. Give each participant one of the four pieces of the code. Next, have learners find their group based on their category. Once in their group, have your learners scan the QR code to reveal if their category word is correct. (via� @diben and @preimers)
      3. Conversation Starter Stones (template): Use inexpensive clear stones with a glued on task to get kids moving and engaged. (via  @diben)
      4. Padlet: Have students create a slide about themselves in Powerpoint, use MS Snip to record audio annotation, then copy-n-paste the link to the Snip into a Padlet with the picture.
      5. Sway: Have students create a MS Sway presentation about themselves.
      6. Four Corners: Organize participants into four equal sized groups then have them discuss a question, sharing their responses via some online venue (e.g. TodaysMeet.com, Twitter with a hashtag, Padlet).
      7. Kahoot/Quizizz: Participants complete an online activity, sharing their knowledge (or lack of) about a topic.
    Encourage Movement
    (Question #2)
      1. Act Out Stories: Have students create a story about the information they are working with. Each learner in the group acts out different aspects of the story. Record each portrayal, then publish the videos via the campus blog or web site.
      2. Go Noodle: This web site has tons of activities that facilitate movement in class.
    Taking the Stage and Sharing
    (Question #3 & #4)
    Employ one of the recipes shown above with a technology adaptation. Each technology adaptation makes it easy to share student creations with others.
    Check for Understanding
    (Question #5)

    Updated 02/23/17

    Update: Note the PLP is now available online with explanation.

    Page 1 of 2 | Get the PDF version

    Page 2 of 2 | Get the PDF version


    Conclusion

    Thanks for sticking with me through to the end. As you might imagine, there are MANY more ways to engage learners. What are some ways that you would like to see mentioned here? Or, what are some ways you would adapt those approaches to reflect ubiquitous technologies many learners have access to?

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Visualizing Our Understanding: Graphic Organizers

    “The use of graphic organizers,” says the El Campo ISD’s Intervention Warehouse website, “is a powerful tool that is easy to integrate into daily instruction.” The ECISD site then goes on to share access to several sources for graphic organizers for visualizing learning.
    Graphic organizers are teaching and learning tools; when they’re integrated into classroom experiences, students are better able to understand new material. Creating a strong visual picture, graphic organizers support students by enabling them to literally see connections and relationships between facts, information, and terms.
    Source: Teaching Graphic Organizers
    As a writer, I often skipped “outlining” and note-taking as ways to organize my writing and notes. Instead, I created graphic organizers to capture ideas and map out my writing. When taking notes, I captured powerful research concepts using a graphic organizer rather than laboriously writing out page after page of notes This approach helped me build a gestalt of the ideas presented.
    yED Graph Editor

    The Problem with Graphic Organizers

    Imagine that when someone says to you, “Could you read this technical text and summarize it?” you could ask yourself, “Well, which graphic organizer should I select?” Then, after some deliberation, you would pick the appropriate graphic organizer and use that one. You wouldn’t be limited to the default spider web graphic organizer with a main concept in the middle.
    Instead, you would just use the right one for each task. Unfortunately, that has always been my problem with graphic organizers. Although I know there are different types (e.g. Problem-Solution, Fishbone, Time Order, etc.) for various functions, I never knew which one to rely on when I was growing up. To this day, I still rely on the easiest graphic organizer, the spider web with main topic in the middle and ideas radiating out from the center. Drawing graphic organizers by hand, though, can be cumbersome since mistakes are tough to correct.

    Solutions for Visualizing Our Learning

    “To know” goes the old constructivist saying, “is to know how to make.” When teachers pre-print graphic organizers for their students, they inadvertently do several negative things. Those things include:
    • Modeling the use of a graphic organizer appropriate to a text and thus
    • Removing the responsibility and ownership of selecting the correct graphic organizer appropriate to a text from the learner
    Obviously, if students have less of a say in exactly what graphic organizer to use and when, their long-term use of this tool may suffer. This is because graphic organizers are visual representations of what we store in our brains. This can lead to challenges in comprehension. That’s pretty profound, isn’t it? That’s why it is so important to get students to create their own graphic organizers.
    Let’s explore three tools you can use to create graphic organizers via digital devices.

    Hand-Drawn Graphic Organizers with OneNote

    If you’re not familiar with OneNote, it is a phenomenal mobile app that makes digital ink a reality for those with touch-screen computers or Surface Pro/Android/iPad tablets. With digital ink (that is the ability to draw on the tablet screen with a stylus or fingertip), students are able to finally create graphic organizers that are representative of their own visualizations.

    Computer/Browser-Based Tools

    If you have access to a Windows, Mac, or Chromebook, then tools abound for creating graphic organizers. Here are my top two favorite no-cost (free!) tools, but there are many more available, also known as “mind-mapping tools.”
    • Draw.io: Looking for an easy to use, browser-based diagramming or graphic organizer creator? Look no further than Draw.io! It works in your browser, but allows you to save to whatever cloud storage system you prefer, such as Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive.
    • yED Graph Editor: yEd can be installed on your computer (Windows, Mac, GNU/Linux) and works fantastically well. You can create graphic organizers using its simple layout. It also scales up to meet the needs of grade 9-12 and adult learners.

    Conclusion

    I still remember my first copy of Inspiration graphic organizer software. I was amazed at what I could create to represent my understanding of a process, a concept, or a text. Learning how to use graphic organizers, short of learning to read/write and use technology, remains one of the best lessons my high school teacher taught me. How are you teaching your students to use graphic organizers?

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Minecraft: Education Edition Tutorial Videos

    Are you a Minecraft: Education Edition digital native? If so, do we have a treat for you! Take a look at this new video series focusing on introductory videos to everyday tasks in the popular program. These short videos walk you through some common tasks, such as changing a skin, finding materials in creative mode, as well as using the compass and map and mastering the teleport command.

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    Minecraft

    The Three Little Pigs

    One of my favorite activities involves asking participants to narrate their own Three Little Pigs story using Microsoft Office Mix. One fun activity involves building straw, stick, and brick houses. In this Minecraft video series, you will learn what you need to know to re-create this famous story.

    Video Series

    1. Changing a Skin (2:00)
    2. Finding materials in creative mode (2:24)
    3. Compass Map Teleportation (4:08)
    4. Survival and Finding Materials (0:57)
    5. Smelting and Torches (1:05)
    6. Building a Straw House (1:33)
    7. Building a Stick House (2:19)
    8. Building a Brick House (4:59)
    9. Make/Spawn a Wolf and Pig (3:17)
    Note: Notice a young voice? I’d like to thank James E. Guhlin (@jguhlin) for his work creating these video tutorials. You can follow his regular Minecraft video creations here.
    These videos are intended for teachers to learn some of the simple things they need to know to get started and offer an easy entry that scaffolds your efforts. Need more support?

    Register for Minecraft Professional Learningthreelittlepigs


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    The Power of Yet! for Hackers and Phishers #yetpower

    “Why did he click on that email attachment?” asked one technology director I spoke with recently. The click led to a ransomware attack that expanded to the business department’s server, resulting in frantic data-saving actions.  For many technology directors, the problem is not the phishing or the ransomware. The real problem is their lack of influence to bring about change in the organization. Consider this problem in light of a common occurrence in education today.

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    Knowing vs Doing

    What is Known:
    • Hackers, phishers, and scammers want our personally-identifiable information. They can sell it for $10 or more on the darknet, where illegal transactions happen (think “Silk Road“).
    • Bad people send out emails to educators. These emails appear legitimate. They invite district staff to surrender their username and password and then send decrypted sensitive data and/or ransomware that use staff’s machines as a beachhead to infect the rest of the network.
    • Staff know NOT to fall for these traps, but do so anyways.
    What is Done:
    In spite of knowing these things, staff continue to click on phishing links where they happily share their username and password via an insecure website, send copies of confidential documents to complete strangers, or click on ransomware that encrypts their computer, then spreads to everyone else’s. These actions by a few individual wreak havoc on the whole network, and small districts especially are overwhelmed.

    The Traditional Response

    The traditional response involves disciplining staff, even terminating them in severe data breaches. They should have known better, right? Oh, but wait, your district does not have a safeguarding sensitive data policy in place (many districts do not, which is why I offer this one as a start). It involves buying and issuing hardware (e.g. Chromebooks, iPads, Macbooks) that malware (e.g. ransomware) can’t work its dark magic on (YET…you just know hackers subscribe to growth mindset, right?).
    problem
    It means locking down Windows computers with Active Directory policies, Deep Freeze so that technicians don’t have to spend a lot of time fixing user errors. This has been standard practice for years. Here’s a roundup of advice that should help districts who want to keep closing the gate after the livestock has made its getaway. That is, mopping up the mess after someone has been hacked, phished, taken.

    TCEA’s Roundup of Ideas for Safeguarding Sensitive Data

    But what if there was another approach, employing motivation, influence, and authority?

    A Fresh Approach: Influence

    In their book, Influencers, the authors suggest identifying vital action(s) that can be taken. These vital actions consist of the desired behavior(s) that must change. Rather than try to change twelve or more behaviors staff exhibit, focus on one or two that will have the greatest results. For example, try encourage adoption of this behavior:
    Assume emails with attachments are suspect, so verify the source of the email. This can be as easy as sending a new email to the person who contacted you and asking, “Did you send me a file attachment that says, “burnbabyburn.exe?” Wait, you can even get more done. Walk over to the person who sent you the email attachment and ask them “Did you send me a file I didn’t ask for?” Or just call them or text them on your mobile phone. This ONE behavior change would stop 99% of the issues technology departments complain about (e.g. ransomware, viruses, malware as attachments, AND sending sensitive data to complete strangers).

    Changing behavior

    When seeking to change behavior, the authors of Influencers recommend recognizing that there are six sources of influence. Often, we take into account only the first two when trying to bring about change:

    Source 1 – Personal Motivation

    Make the undesirable, desirable.
    Example – Do you really care if your computers gets infected with malware and you lose data? It’s not that big a deal, after all. A technician will come fix it eventually and most of your work is done on paper anyways. Instead, you must passionately care about protecting your data and that of your students. If someone tried to take one of your students hostage, you wouldn’t be so passive.

    Source 2 – Personal Ability

    Surpass your limits.
    Example – Do you have the skills and knowledge to know when you’ve encountered an email that is intended to do you and yours harm? You probably have an idea that you shouldn’t click on bad emails. Learn what you need to be better on guard.

    Source 3 – Social Motivation

    Harness peer pressure.
    Example – Do others on your team or your department really care about email and email attachments? Maybe they go through their spam folder looking for problematic emails because they need a break? What if everyone on your team was motivated to help each other NOT open spam emails with attachments or to practice the desired behavior?

    Source 4 – Social Ability

    Find strength in numbers.
    Example – Who could you speak to in the district who could help you obtain the knowledge or resources you need? Maybe there’s a SafeSchools or EduHero eCourse you can take or a free ebook you can read.

    Source 5 – Structural Motivation

    Design rewards and accountability.
    Example – When you check your email, are there a ton of emails waiting for you, so that you despair about getting through all of them and just click on anything? Maybe you can adopt Inbox Zero strategies so that email isn’t so overwhelming. Avoid sharing your confidential data (username and password) anywhere online since it can be so easily taken.

    Source 6 – Structural Ability

    Change the environment.
    Example – Maybe your district could adopt a different communications medium that isn’t susceptible to malware email attachments, like Slack or Microsoft Yammer or Teams.

    Conclusion

    While this has been a lighthearted attempt to address the challenges end users face every day, it is important to realize that changing ONE behavior can result in significant change. When you go about changing it, realize that asking people to do the right thing and training them is not going to get it done. Unleash all sources of influence to bring about the change you want.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    The Power of YET! Meme – Google Educator Level 2

    MEME INVITATION: Here’s an invitation. Use this template in Google Draw (or make your own, like these Growth Mindset Cats by Laura Gibbs) to make your own Power of…YET poster each day this week, reflecting on YOUR own fixed mindsets. Then share that on your blog or via twitter/Instagram (tag it #yetpower) and post it in the comments. Won’t that be fun?

    I had a bit of fun reflecting on Google Educator Level 2 experience I had in December and came up with this Power of YET! to capture some of the topics I recall and pulled from the sample exam questions….It’s also fun to make one of these because you have to ask yourself, “What is that I don’t know about yet?” Yes, this is pretty low-level how-to, but it could be fun to also use this as a way to get folks thinking about what they don’t know how to do yet.

    Dealing with how-to is pretty great because it’s low stress…for most folks. “I don’t know how to do something so how can I learn how?” The answer is easy for how-to questions; watch YouTube. For deeper issues (e.g. biases, mindsets that are based on emotions/feelings rather than facts and information), Power of YET becomes a lot more controversial. Making your own Power of YET that inventories those internal biases can be tough.

    Of course, it’s tougher if someone else inventories your biases for you! Better to do your own.

    Scenarios

    1. YouTube Annotations:
      “Jennifer,” said Superintendent Charlie, “I’m so grateful that you recorded that staff development presentation at Central Office and put it on YouTube. I know that there are several key components in the video that folks may want to jump to rather than sit through the long introduction I gave.”
      “Would it help if we added a hyperlinked table of contents to the front of the video?” Jennifer asked with a smile.
      “Yes,” said Charlie. “Gotta run! Let me know when it’s there so I can mention it…maybe even at the district gathering!”
      “Yes, sir,” replied Jennifer. Then she sighed. “How am I going to add hyperlinks to a Youtube video? Where is a Google Educator Level 2 Certified person when you need one?”
    2. Google Scholar:
      “Today, class,” said Ms. Rosen, “we’re going to be conducting research on immigration.”
      “Are we going to build a wall?” asked Nezio.
      “No, no,” she said without inflection. “Colonial immigration patterns played a key role in the short immigration video we’re watching later today. What is a tool that we’ve used recently to get information on immigration trends in colonial times?”
      “Google Scholar?” inquired Arminda.
      “Yes, exactly. Let’s take a moment and use Scholar to research laws during colonial times. Use your Big6 organizer.”

    3. Google Tour Builder:
      Take a moment to read this blog entry on Google Research and Tour Builder. Explore Google Tour Builder and build a virtual tour of your own family’s migration patterns in the U.S. to the best of your knowledge. This can include cross-country moves and involve any scope of time (e.g. ancestors or just your life if you’ve moved a lot). Be sure to include a picture/video and text for each.
    4. Achieve Inbox Zero:
      You are getting tons of email from work colleagues. That’s not so bad, but you’re losing track of the “important” emails from your supervisor and grade level team. Investigate how Google Labels, filters and/or Groups could be used to better manage your incoming email. Create a short how-to screencast demonstrating how you’ve sorted your inbox with labels for Dr. Jackson, Mr. Green, and a Google Group for your grade level.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    The Power of YET! Meme

    Do an internet image search on “growth mindset,” and you’ll stumble across an astonishing array of pictures that capture Carol Dweck’s ideas about growth mindset. In case you’re not familiar with it (yikes, how have you missed the deluge of growth mindset pictures, articles, books?), growth mindset is defined in this way:

    “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” writes Dweck.

    When I reflect on growth mindset in my own life, I realize that I definiely have some legacy “fixed mindsets” in place that I need to remove. May I share one of them with you?

    Fixed Mindset: What I Know Now Trumps What I Could Learn in Future

    Like many Google Certified Innovators and Trainers (ok, I am well-certified in Google tools, ok?), I remember doing what I’ve seen some Microsoft folks saying wherever they hang out. What’s ironic is that these are the same things I’ve heard some in the “true to Google” camp say, too.

    Why would anyone want to use that? I don’t know about it and don’t want to learn how to use that. I’m satisfied with what I do know.

    I’d probably go even further. So, when I started down my path using Microsoft (as a result of my job), I had to set aside my fixed mindset. Instead, I had to agree to become a learner, resetting my odometer to zero, relinquish my expertise as a Google expert (sheesh, how do you define experts anyway?) and embrace my ignorance.

    Wow, what a tremendous experience that was. Now, I often do embrace my ignorance (it’s easier to learn new things, I’ve found) but learning new stuff can be hard. And, my journey with Microsoft tools was just the beginning. And, what fun it was to learn new stuff!!

    After awhile, it didn’t matter what I was learning, only that I was learning. Does that make sense?

    That’s why “The Power of Yet!” is so powerful. And, it inspired the image at the top of this blog entry. Imagine making your own “The Power of…Yet!” for yourself about your particular challenges and obstacles. Wouldn’t that be cool?

    MEME Invitation

    Here’s an invitation. Use this template in Google Draw (or make your own) to make your own Power of…YET poster each day this week, reflecting on YOUR own fixed mindsets. Then share that on your blog or via twitter and post it in the comments. Won’t that be fun?


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Designing #Minecraft Spaces

    “How might you shape your space to foster creativity and learning for yourself and others?” asks University Innovation Fellows (@uifellows) via this presentation slide. At its most effective, early childhood curriculum expands children’s knowledge of the world and vocabulary. Such curriculum makes investigating real topics and events meaningful for children. And it instills a desire for question making and the use of literacy skills to explore the world around them. Ultimately, it invites them to be co-creators.
    Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum known as spacetime. Source: Wikipedia
    Knowing how to shape the spaces we inhabit remains a human imperative.

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    Designing Learning Spaces

    Physical Space Design
    Early childhood educators can both shape the physical and virtual spaces students work in. With Minecraft: Education Edition, they can invite children to shape the virtual spaces in ways that the physical space cannot. Designing learning spaces converts impersonal spaces into learning-friendly ones and moves far beyond throwing a carpet down in the corner reading center.
    As we re-imagine physical spaces to reflect current educational research, several basics must be kept in mind. (Source: Tips for Creating Wow-Worthy Learning Spaces)
    • Allow students to easily transition to functional locations
    • Create spaces that nurture a sense of belonging
    • Foster interactive spaces that allow students to work in small groups
    • Highlight displays and materials (e.g. books)
    • Tidy storage of materials when not in use
    • Develop an ambience that addresses air quality, temperature, lighting, sound absorption, and effective wall space usage
    How can we coach students and help them create virtual spaces that are learner friendly?
    Virtual Space Design
    Whether in Second Life or Minecraft: Education Edition, as students become architects, how will physical space design principles transfer into the virtual world? One approach involves having students simply copy the physical space design. Minecraft: Education Edition explores re-designing classroom learning spaces. Who hasn’t looked at the flat world in Minecraft: Education Edition and felt a sense of awe at the creative possibilities? How do we help students go out and create a world?

    From Classroom Space to Virtual World Design

    Minecraft boasts unlimited space. The largest Minecraft map, if translated into a real world scale, would be equivalent to 9.3 million times larger than the surface area of the Earth (Source: The How-To Geek Guide to Minecraft). While students can’t necessarily be expected to fill the space, we should be asking ourselves “How can we design a worldwide virtual space, and what would a network of Minecraft worlds look like?” It’s not hard to imagine Minecraft:Education Edition expanding to include the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and more. Anyone who has experienced The World of Humanities has gotten a taste of the immensity of Minecraft space:
    spaces
    spaces

    Pre-Populating Your World

    If you are balking at how to get started with designing in Minecraft: Education Edition, you may want to take advantage of seeds.
    Every time you create a new world in minecraft, it will be assigned a random unique value, known as a seed. This seed is kind of like a barcode for Minecraft saves, and allows Minecraft players to share the cool worlds that they have found with other people. However, any changes made to the world made by the player will not show in a newly created seed.
    Source: What are Minecraft seeds?
    For example, to obtain the village shown below, I located a Minecraft seed that works on the Pocket Edition of Minecraft (and also with the Minecraft: Education Edition).
    designing
    And here’s what pasting the seed into the Create World window looks like:
    designingBenjamin Kelly (@bbtnb) provides some examples of seeds usable in Minecraft: Education Edition. Find them at the links below:

    Conclusion

    “Less is more,” some say. Ensuring students learn how to design virtual spaces may be one of the next big challenges they face online. Begin with the end in mind and consider the tips referred to in this blog entry.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Collecting #ELL Anecdotal Records with #OneNoteEDU #msftedu

    Most language learning assessment tools are rooted in paper and pencil. As Surface tablets, iPads, and Chromebooks find their way into teachers’ hands, new technologies can move us one step closer to multimedia assessment techniques. For example, in the area of assessment, the use of Microsoft OneNote can be helpful for recording observational notes. In this article, let’s consider how OneNote can enhance a type of assessment known as anecdotal records.

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    Towards Authentic Assessment

    In the Language Learning classroom, Microsoft OneNote can be used to support various types of assessment, such as anecdotal records. As discussed in 50 Strategies to Teach English Language Learners, using OneNote can greatly enhance the assessment process, through the following steps:
    1. Decide on a system for collecting assessment.
    2. Choose what to document/schedule.
    3. Conference with students to set growing goals.
    4. Use records for planning hands-on, cooperative learning.
    A campus team, such as a department or grade level group, can take advantage of OneNote to facilitate observational notes and collection of student work. Growing goals can be set in collaboration with students, and the digital version can be updated.

    Anecdotal Records

    Anecdotal records are a form of authentic assessment. These observational notes allow the teacher to record authentic experiences, unintended outcomes of literacy development, levels of engagement, curiosity, motivational factors, and more. For teachers, these records facilitate assessment conversations between educators and others.

    assessmentAnecdotal Records Assessment (ARA) with OneNote

    In his article, Focused Anecdotal Records Assessment: A Tool for Standards-Based, Authentic Assessment, Paul Boyd-Batstone outlines several ways ARA can be used. Let’s review some of his suggestions for OneNote usage:
    • Observing children in instructional settings: In this suggestion, Paul points out that students may be observed in small groups of 2-4. One of the concerns is that the teacher may forget the observations. He suggests observing different students throughout the week to build an observational record. Furthermore, using the Office Lens app, the teacher can capture student work, photos, and images and place them directly in the anecdotal record notebook.
      OneNote Connection: Teachers can create a page in OneNote for each student, adding video/audio recordings of the student, while quickly switch back-and-forth to make notes about specific students.
    • Maintaining a standards-based focus: Maintaining a focus on a particular standard or set of standards enables the teacher to better keep track of what he/she is observing. Paul cites specific verbs that the teacher can use. For example, in writing, verbs would include: write, print legibly, summarize, describe, and others.
      OneNote Connection: Teachers can keep a list of standards they copy-and-paste into OneNote as needed. These become checkboxes participants could use to quickly check off standards observed.
    • Making and managing of anecdotal records: Paul suggests that a single-page form can facilitate managing records (see example in OneNote).
      OneNote Connection: Create an anecdotal record form as a OneNote page, then set it as a page template that you can insert when taking notes. Here’s a blank form, as well as a sample that you can review (get the PDF version of both). As you can see, having the form in digital format makes it easy to include audio/video annotations as well as traditional text.

    Conclusion

    Assessment in the language learning classroom can be aided through the real-time recording of student work towards academic outcomes. OneNote facilitates this process for teachers, enabling them to record their own observations in digital format and quickly embed media (e.g. audio, video, images) that enhance those recorded notes.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Creating Illustrated Quotes

    Leaders, looking for an easy app to use to spice up important quotes that you include in your staff missives, parent newsletters, or student projects? How about a simple way to highlight key ideas in assigned student text? Typorama may fit the bill for iOS device users!

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    Quote Makers, Create!

    I love collecting quotes, often snapping a photo of my favorite quotes at Buc-ee’s while I’m traveling or jotting them down in my handy notepad. The best part of being out on the road is encountering truisms, as well as listening to K-12 and adult learners share their stories.
    Just last month, I spent some time in Edinburg facilitating Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) professional learning. We kicked off the session reflecting on a powerful quote from Microsoft. Using Typorama, I recreated the quote below.
    quote
    Don’t you think this is more engaging than words on a slide? Typorama is a VERY COOL iOS quote app! Once you start using it, you won’t be able to stop.
    quote

    Scan this image with Aurasma to listen to the audio introduction from Dr. Katie Alaniz, author of “Digital Tools for Today’s Classrooms,” the book from which this quote was taken.

    Quote Makers, Adhere to Copyright!

    Typorama combines a wide range of copyright-friendly backgrounds and text styles and allows watermarks to be inserted as well to advertise your campus, district, organization, or event. What’s more, you can use pictures from your camera roll and then add powerful quotes from students, staff, or even your own creations.
    Note: Don’t have an iOS device? You can make your own image quotes with Google Draw or Powerpoint, but you might also give one of these a try:  Recite.comQuozio.comBeHappyMe, and/or VizzBuzz
    Not satisfied with the pictures that come with Typorama? Save pictures from any of the popular free image sites, several shown at the bottom of this blog entry, to your iOS device and then add your quote. The New York Public Library just released their digital collection for use, so be sure to include that in your list of image sources.

    Learning Connections

    As written in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), “Students must develop the ability to comprehend and process material from a wide range of texts.” Using a quote generator like Typorama, you can help students identify topic sentences or key ideas represented in text.
    Tap into the excitement students experience when creating quotea work of art. This work can be displayed via social media or made into a “mini-poster” for bulletin board placement. And you can also help students “summarize the main idea and supporting details in text in ways that maintain meaning.” Whether for professional development (e.g. book study, article jigsaw) with adults or ask ing students to work in small teams with a buddy to analyze text, this type of activity is powerful for engaged learning.

    Quote Makers, Share!

    Learners can, as encouraged in Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms, “Collaborate to create an online clearinghouse of student-created media.” This clearinghouse can serve as a resource for students to use as they support one another in preparing for exams. The clearinghouse can be any one of the following:
    • quote

      OneDrive-based Image Clearinghouse
      Hallway bulletin board
    • Google Photos – Easy to create a shared album, enable multiple staff/students to add content.
    • OneDrive Photos – Easy to add images to a folder, as well as share edit rights or view only link.
    • OneNote Online Notebook
    • School or classroom Instagram account

    Steps to Make and Take

    quoteHere are the steps you can take to create your Typorama quote project. Remember, these techniques can be used whether you have the app or not. If you and your students are on a computer, try one of the aforementioned, browser-based, free quote generators.
    1. Read a selection of text, online or from paper.
    2. Choose your favorite quote or come up with your own based on what you have read (better activity).
    3. Start up Typorama, select a background from their image search results or use a picture you have taken with your camera. Remember, you can always find a picture online. The image should reflect a key word in the quote text.
    4. Modify the text and image features and then share it online.

    Enhance with Augmented Reality

    Using the iOS app Aurasma, you can convert these student-created image quotable quotes into “hyperlinked” images. That is, you turn each image into a “trigger” that when students point their iOS device to it, it has students reading the quote aloud, sharing a short anecdote.
    Reminder: TCEA members, don’t forget about the upcoming January 25, 2017 Augment Your Reality Lunch-and-Learn webinar where we will share more ideas for using AR in the classroom.
    quote

    Use the Aurasma app on your Android/iOS device and scan the quote picture above to listen to audio via Voxer!

    More Than Quotes

    This is a perfect app for both adult and K-12 learners to use. You can use it for creating memorable vocabulary words, summarizing fictional texts, and posing problems in social studies or history class. Please comment below and share how you would use Typorama in your classroom.

    quoteList of Copyright-Friendly Image Resources

    1. iClipArts for Schools
    2. Animal Photos
    3. Car Pictures
    4. Classroom Clipart
    5. ClipArt.com: School Edition
    6. Compfight
    7. Creativity103
    8. Creative Commons Search
    9. ClipArt ETC
    10. Discovery Education Clipart
    11. Free Clipart
    12. Free Icons
    13. Free Images
    14. Free Images Collection
    15. Free Foto
    16. Free Photo Bank
    17. FreePik
    18. Internet Archive
    19. Pexels
    20. Pics4Learning
    21. Pixabay
    22. School ClipArt
    23. Teacher Files Clipart
    24. UnSplash
    25. Wikimedia Commons

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Forms Smackdown: Google & Microsoft

    Collecting data via online forms has never been easier. New web-based form tools have revolutionized how we gather and analyze data, making arcane database-backed web tools obsolete.

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    Even the next generation of database-backed web tools (e.g. AirtableObvibasemore solutions) find themselves catering to power users, rather than teachers and students. These descendants of venerable desktop database tools (e.g. Filemaker Pro, Microsoft Access, Alpha IV, Paradox) require some knowledge of databases and how they work. Google Forms and Microsoft Forms drop database complexity and make it easier for K-12 and adult learners to focus on the task rather than the method.

    Practical Uses of Forms in K-12 Schools

    The uses of forms to support teaching, learning and leading are legion. While you can see 81 Interesting Ways to Use Forms in the Classroom, here are a few of my favorite uses:
    • Gather data about a particular phenomena or event and then use the data for analysis by staff and/or students.
    • Conduct climate surveys to get insights into staff perspectives about the work place.
    • Enable participants to craft self-assessments for appraisal or growth purposes.
    • Get insights from staff/students/community into home technology and/or social media use.
    • Employ forms for formative assessment activities, such as exit tickets.
    • Set up a help desk system to track requests for support.
    You can find even more uses online in these TCEA TechNotes articles on the use of forms. Remember, you can easily adapt the uses of forms across the tools available. Find the one that works best in your environment (e.g. Google or Office 365).

    Feature Comparison

    Both Microsoft and Google Forms have a wealth of features. Let’s explore some of those features, keeping in mind that they are rapidly changing.
    Feature Microsoft Forms
    msforms
    Google Forms
    msforms
    Web link View Microsoft Forms View Google Forms
    Account required Free Office 365 account or School Office 365 account Personal Google account^ or Google Suites for Education account
    Multiple question types Includes:

    • Choice (multiple choice and checkboxes)
    • Quiz
    • Text (short and long answer)
    • Rating (linear scale and star choice up to 10)
    • Date
    Includes:

    • Choice (multiple choice and checkboxes)
    • Multiple choice grid
    • Quiz
    • Text (short and long answer)
    • Rating (linear scale and star choice up to 10)
    • Date
    • Time
    • File upload^
    Embed media such as videos/images
    • Images
    • YouTube
    • Images
    • YouTube
    Add subtitle description Yes Yes^
    Option to shuffle responses Yes Yes for any questions containing multiple responses^
    Add question to quiz computation Yes, add any question to a quiz Yes, create a self-grading quiz
    Add other option to available responses Yes Yes
    Organize form elements in sections No Yes
    Adjust theme to reflect color of choice or available background image Yes Yes, and includes option to insert one’s own image
    Preview form using built-in desktop or mobile Yes No, but features responsive web design
    Re-order questions at any time Yes, with up/down arrows Yes, drag-and-drop
    Copy/duplicate question Yes Yes
    Delete or trash question Yes Yes
    Organize question into multiple pages No Yes, insert page breaks after questions
    Branching responses Yes, dependent upon response chosen Yes, with the ability to send to a different page.
    Share form online Yes, includes the following:

    • Link provided for copying
    • Embed into OneNote Notebook Page
    • Email link
    • QR code download
    • Web page embedding
    Yes, includes the following:

    • Link provided for copying
    • Share form link via email
    • Web page embedding
    • Social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) link sharing
    Tracking form completion Yes, tracking is possible if user is required to login to access the form Yes, tracking is possible if user is required to login to access the form
    Export results as a spreadsheet Yes, results can be exported to Excel sheet (and other formats from there) and saved for further analysis or placed online Yes, results can be exported in various formats
    Form data at rest can be interacted with (Google Sheets tab is similar to an Excel Workbook sheet) No, form data can be printed or deleted but not create a live workbook sheet that can be used, interacted with on another sheet Yes, form data on one Google Sheets tab can be linked and interacted with another tab
    Set start and end dates at specific times for when the form is open or closed for access Yes, by date and time No, form must be manually shut down to stop receiving responses. FormLimiter add-on can be enabled, however^.
    When form is NOT accepting responses, create a custom message as to why Yes Yes^
    Handling of individual or summary responses Yes, options to form creator include viewing, deleting, printing individual and/or summary responses. In summary view, responses are aggregated and appear with graphs when appropriate. Yes, options include viewing of individual and summary responses. Summary view includes aggregate results with graphs. Removing individual responses may require accessing the Google Sheet where Form responses are archived.
    View average completion time for the form Yes No
    ^Special thanks to Eric Curts (@ericcurtsCtrl-Alt-Achieve) for his feedback and corrections indicated with this symbol.

    Update 01/26/2017: Microsoft Forms Enhancements

    Microsoft Forms is in the process of rolling out enhancements, as reported by Brandon Cornwell (@CornwellEdTech; Tacoma, WA schools), that include the following NEW features not included in the chart above:
    1. Print summaries of MS Forms charts are now possible.
    2. Individual quizzes featuring student responses, scores and feedback are printable by the teacher.
    3. Extra credit points can now be alloted.
    4. Teachers can post scores, enabling students to to view their quiz score and obtain feedback.
    5. Students can be provided feedback regarding their form responses.
    6. Individual items can now be scored.
    7. Specific value formats (e.g. number) can now feature data entry restrictions.
    8. Math symbols and equation creator are available in quiz mode.
    9. Form creators are prompted as to whether Form or Quiz is planned.

    Reflections

    Microsoft Forms features have expanded (e.g. a recent addition is collaborative form editing, a feature Google Forms also enjoys) since a preview launch in the summer of 2016. In important ways, it has achieved parity with Google Forms. In other ways, it may have outpaced Google Forms. For educators in Office 365 districts, Microsoft Forms represents a fantastic tool. Given the prompt development of both products, the feature gap will not endure long!

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Engaging Learners with MS Forms

    Dump those old paper rubrics and flip the learning! Empower yourself and your students to use Microsoft Forms for the quick evaluation of academic work. This makes grading easy and simplifies the process for students. In fact, it can create a culture of collaboration and self-assessment. Let’s explore some ideas for using Microsoft Forms, as well as review Forms features, in the classroom and/or for professional learning.

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    #1 – Flip Learning

    Flipped learning videos enable students to seize anytime, anywhere learning opportunities. However, a challenge for teachers and students involves deepening engagement with the video content. While tools like EdPuzzle and Flipgrid offer built-in assessments and video responses, respectively, they are also more involved than simply filling out a form.

    #2 – Check for Understanding

    With Microsoft Forms, you are able to gain insight into students’ engagement with a video or online activity, including flipped learning videos. Here’s the process you can follow:
    1. Create a Microsoft Form.
    2. Embed a YouTube video, image (such as a Powerpoint slide with information or diagram), or Office Mix.
    3. Pose questions that check for understanding about the video.
    4. Students complete the questions as they watch the video.
    You can review student submissions, as can students, depending on the goal of the check for understanding. Some also rely on Microsoft Forms to create exit tickets. “Exit tickets can be a great way to set up the next day’s learning,” says Diana Benner (@diben). “Before students leave class, they can be asked for an ‘exit ticket’ that provides insight into what they learned from the day’s activities.”

    #3 – Empower Students to Create Rubrics

    Make it possible for students to collaborate and create their own rubrics for class projects. Not only do you create a culture of teaming, but students will experience a model, purpose-driven learning.

    #4 – Remember Awesome Failures

    Tracking success can energize learning, while tracking failures can kickstart new directions and possibilities. Use Microsoft Forms to create a digital
    space where students and teacher(s) share what did not work and why. When learning new ideas and implementing projects, sharing how you have failed can be an effective motivator.
    Having these awesome failures relevant to projects over time can help map out roadblocks and detours that students can take. Create a virtual failure space with Microsoft Forms to capture incomplete implementations or partial success. Model the use of this with your students.

    #5 – List Learning Take-Aways

    “What are the most important takeaways from today’s lesson or reading?” Microsoft Forms can facilitate the list that results from this kind of prompt. Combine this approach with soliciting feedback from the community. As students work on a project, post their works in progress (video or photo) and then invite community members you trust to share their suggestions.

    Getting Started with MS Forms

    To get started with MS Forms, all you need is an Office 365 account, which is available through your school district or free. Let’s walk through the steps:
    1. Get an Office 365 account for free.
    2. Add a new form.
    3. Select the type of questions. You have several choices such as Multiple Choice, Quiz, Text, Rating, Date.
    4. Type your question or add media (e.g. YouTube video, image).
    5. Publish the form to others in your organization or anyone with the link.
    To better understand the possibilities, here is a list of MS Form features.

    Creating a Survey

      • Requires an Office 365 account (free)
      • Multiple question types, including Choice, Quiz, Text, Rating, and Date
      • Easily embed YouTube video or images in the question text
      • Add subtitles (in case you want more instructions; media adding isn’t available for subtitles)
      • Option to shuffle responses
      • Add question to Quiz computation
      • Add “Other” to available responses

    Organizing Questions

      • Adjust theme to reflect color of choice or available background image
      • Preview form using built-in desktop or mobile view
      • Re-order questions using up/down arrows
      • Copy/duplicate question
      • Delete or “trash” question
      • Branching dependent upon response chosen to a particular question

    Sharing Form and Viewing Results

      • Share form online via copy link, email, QR code download, or web page embedding
      • Copy link to MS Form and then paste it into OneNote 2016 to embed form for student use
      • Make it easy to track those who complete the form in your organization or make it available sans tracking for anyone with the link.
      • Save results as an Excel spreadsheet. After all the responses have been gathered, use Excel to add formulas and sort the data in order to analyze it.

    Opening/Closing Form for Completion

    • Set start/end dates at specific times for when the MS Form is opened or closed for completion.
    • When form is NOT accepting responses, create a custom message as to why.
    • View/delete/print individual responses or summary responses in aggregate form with graphs.
    • See what the average completion time is for the Form.
    Also, each question has individual options that you can take advantage of. For example, the Rating question type includes the ability to assign labels. With the Rating question type, you can switch between stars (e.g. 5 stars for great!) or numbers (e.g. 1-5, with 5 being the best).

    Conclusion

    As you can see, MS Form boasts an extensive list of easy-to-use features. Combine it with one of the five approaches mentioned above to engage learners in your Office 365 classroom. If you are already creating rubrics, exit tickets, or awesome failure walls in Microsoft Forms, I’d love to hear from you! Share your examples with me at @mguhlin on Twitter

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    What’s Your District’s Privacy Process?

    “What approaches do you have in place to safeguard student data and privacy?” From student assessment data to personally identifiable information to counting how many times students visit the restroom, administrators are working to put tracking systems in place. 

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    These systems (such as Google Sheets/Form where students submit data about themselves without parental knowledge) make it easier for schools to record and track information on students, but they may also put sensitive data at risk. What is your organization’s process for safeguarding student privacy?

    What’s Your District’s Process?

    “There’s no right or wrong answer,” says Bill Fitzgerald of Common Sense Media, “except to not have a process to evaluate how data will be maintained over time.” Whatever the original positive intent, each campus and/or district should evaluate how it intends to use and share collected student data BEFORE any program to gather that data is implemented. The process may include something as simple as the following:
    1. Prepare the program for a pilot implementation.
    2. Invite stakeholders, including students, parents, and educators, to meet and discuss the proposed program. Some points to ponder:
    • What are the positive and negative aspects of the program?
    • Who will access the digital data and for what purpose?
    1. What does the Committee think about objections by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other organizations that make these assertions (Source)?
    • While there is an expectation of supervision and guidance in schools, monitoring the detailed behaviors of individuals can be demeaning.
    • Tracking and monitoring young people in their development may condition them to accept constant monitoring and tracking of their whereabouts and behaviors.  (Source: Chip Free Schools as cited by Slate)

    Conclusion

    Before you purchase and implement a system that tracks students’ movements or data, give serious thought to the process steps you may have overlooked. Doing so can save time and trouble later, resulting in a safer environment.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    5 Solutions for Filling Out Forms on iOS Devices

    “My admins are looking for a way to do teacher evals,” wrote a colleague, “using self-created forms that have drop-down boxes, not just text. Any suggestions?” This question got me thinking about all of the different ways to do forms. Let’s do a quick review of available solutions for filling out forms on any mobile device.


    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    Solution #1 – Forms Connect

    This solution, available in iPhone and iPad app versions, as well as a pro version, defines itself in this way:
    The FormConnect and FormConnect Pro apps allow you to create various types of forms including patient intake, customer contact, onsite inspection reports, invoices, expense reports, proposals, purchase orders, surveys, and more. The data collection app will set you back $14.99, offering an impressive list of features.

    Solution #2 – iFormBuilder

    Zerion Software’s iFormBuilder boasts an impressive list of features, including data encryption and secure data storage on the device with an internet connection. Some key features include “27 element types, powerful smart logic,  and smart table search.” Although a robust solution, cost may become a factor given that pricing starts at $5K+.

    Image 334Solution #3 – GoFormZ

    GoFormZ offers the ability to scan existing printed paper forms via the web, then convert them into a mobile-friendly form. The form will work on all mobile devices and via the web.
    You can use the form editor to create drop-down lists, automate calculations, embed maps and photos, and add data sources for list items. Setting up an account is fairly quick.

    Solution #4 – WuFoo for Education

    fiveBranding itself as a “choose your own adventure story” for form development, Wufoo automatically builds the database, backend, and scripts needed to make collecting and understanding your data easy, fast, and fun. Because they host everything, all you need is a browser, an internet connection, and a few minutes to build a form and start using it right away. It comes with 400 + templates.

    Solution #5 – Microsoft Forms and/or Google Forms

    Forms creation solutions from Microsoft and Google make it easy to get started.  While neither offers an exclusive iOS app (yet?), accessing these forms are a cinch via the iOS Safari browser. Whatever tool you decide upon, both offer a wealth of features that make form creation and data aggregation easier (read Forms Smackdown blog entry for more details).
    Also, Google Forms has a series of templates (if you need inspiration from the old Google Forms templates, be sure to investigate those before “early 2017” when they will go away) to get you started. I have no doubt Microsoft Forms will eventually feature a template gallery, too!
    five


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    5 #OneDrive Tips You May Have Missed

    Looking for tips that will improve your productivity? Microsoft OneDrive offers incredible benefits, so why not take advantage of it? It’s an app that I use every day, both on my Windows computer and my mobile phone. Did you know you that you can scan documents, record video, and backup your images straight to this amazing (and free) resource? Or did you know that you can access your OneDrive files without having an Internet connection? Learn about these tips and more below.

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    Tip #1 – Engage in Conversations about Documents

    Want to discuss OneDrive documents with others while you both review them? OneDrive and Skype are integrated to allow communication. With a few clicks, you and another person can Skype about a particular OneDrive document. This is a tremendous tool for having staff and students discuss and collaborate on files.

    Tip #2 – Create and Share Documents with Others

    five onedrive tipsCreate Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Excel Survey, and OneNote notebooks using OneDrive on the Web. This is the quick way to create documents that you can share with others. You can also organize your documents and move and copy them from one folder to another. The app also makes it easy to share documents with others via a variety of options, as shown in the included image.
    You are also able to embed content in a blog or web page. And, aside from saving files with others, you can also make it easy to get files off your own computer using the Fetch feature.
    If you have the OneDrive desktop app for Windows installed on a PC, you can use the Fetch files feature to access all your files on that PC from another computer by going to the OneDrive website. You can even access network locations if they’re included in the PC’s libraries or mapped as drives.
    When you browse a PC’s files remotely, you can download copies of them to work on. You can also stream video and view photos in a slide show. To access files on your PC remotely, make sure the computer you want to access is turned on and connected to the Internet. OneDrive also needs to be running on that PC, and the Fetch files setting must be selected. (Find out more).
    five onenote tips

    Tip #3 – Create Files Using the Mobile App

    With the mobile app on your phone or tablet, you can manage the web version of OneDrive, take photos, record video that bypasses your device’s photo gallery (a.k.a. camera roll), and create Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and Powerpoint presentations. Photos and videos are created in OneDrive and saved there. Office files are created and accessible via your device’s Office apps, as well as Office Online (e.g. Word Online).

    Tip #4 – Scan Business Cards, Documents, and Whiteboard Using the Mobile App

    Digitizing student work, important paperwork, photos, and more represent real tasks. The Scan component allows you to capture business cards, documents, and whiteboard work. Scan your paper notes, which are then turned into a PDF and sent to your cloud storage. Once notes are saved to cloud storage, you have the ability to share those with others. You can also use the OneDrive app to print, delete, rename, or open the file in another app.

    Tip #5 – Use It as Your Digital Hub

    OneDrive can work as your digital hub for documents, but it also notifies you when others share documents with you. You can enable notifications using the mobile app. But wait, there’s more! Did you know you can set up MS Office 2016 on your computer to save directly to OneDrive? Of course, you are also able to save files offline. Want to save space on your Surface Pro tablet or computer?
    Map your OneDrive as a network drive with these instructions
    five onedrive tipsIn this video by Sean Ong, see how to set OneDrive to show all the files on your Surface or PC without taking up any storage space.
    Here is a summary of the instructions shown in the video:
    1. Log in by going to www.onedrive.com
    2. Go into a folder in your OneDrive (any folder)
    3. In the URL bar (navigation bar), copy the text that is between the “=” and the “%”
    4. Go to “This PC” and click on “Map Network Drive” option
    5. Type in “https://d.docs.live.net/[your copied text]/
    6. Click finish, enter your credentials, and voila! You’re done.

    More Tips

    “I’ve taken so many pictures and videos, but I can’t get them off my iOS device!” Many fall into this trap. Caught up in the excitement of capturing and creating content, they fill the limited storage of their iPhone or iPad. Data is lost as teachers reset the device to clear content. Let’s take a look at an option you may not have considered, Microsoft OneDrive.

    To the Rescue

    Teachers attending a TCEA Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) event asked,”How do we use Office 365 accounts to backup photos and videos?” Another question that follows is “How do we share photos taken at school events with a wider audience?” The answer is Microsoft OneDrive, available for personal (5 gigs of storage) and work (1 terabyte up to 15 terabytes for school accounts).
    The hub of Microsoft’s mobile apps, OneDrive makes interacting with various Microsoft apps possible. The iOS version offers an elegant interface (sans complex options) that you can use in the following ways:
    • Access and open OneNote Notebooks
    • Automatically upload camera photos, which feature camera information like camera used, shutter speed, aperture.
    • Create photo albums to facilitate sharing
    • Scan and digitize paper documents, whiteboards, and business cards
    onedrive

    OneDrive now features Scan, a way to digitize paper documents and save them direct to OneDrive!
    Miscellaneous features such as monitoring your storage space, the ability to modify settings, accessing offline files, and setting up multiple Microsoft Office 365 accounts are also included.
    Once activated, OneDrive will upload pictures and videos from your device to your account. On your mobile, as well as online,  you also can organize items into albums for sharing, allowing viewing and/or editing. The Album image thumbnail rotates to give you a preview of the contents.

    Save Photo or Record Video to the Cloud

    OneDrive makes it easy to take a photo or create a video that can be saved directly to cloud storage. This eliminates the hassle of creating a video, then figuring out how to back it up. Instead, your photo or video is saved directly to your OneDrive account. See how you can do this with this guide.
    onedrive
    As you can see in the screenshot above, the video recorded straight to OneDrive (bypassing the iOS Camera Roll) and appears with a time/date stamp. Sharing options for this Microsoft product (view/edit with a link or not) for Business/Education reflect your school district administrator’s preferences. OneDrive personal accounts provide individuals with more flexibility.

    Interact with Photos Online

    If you back up your camera roll to a personal OneDrive account, the photos will be available to you onedriveat OneDrive.live.com. You will see the “Camera Roll” folder appear inside your Pictures folder. To see Albums of Photos, and to access a specific Photos menu, be sure to click on the left sidebar, as shown below.

    Share Albums and Photos

    You can access photo albums and, as shown below, modify the sharing options:
    onedrive
    One neat feature that OneDrive-based photos have is the auto-tagging option. OneDrive automatically tags photos, as seen below, with one-word tags:
    onedrive

    Conclusion

    Offering a multi-function feature set, OneDrive provides you with backup and creation options. You can backup photos or videos you have saved to the Camera Roll and use OneDrive to capture photos/videos direct to the cloud. Finally, you can use the iOS Send To menu to save to OneDrive. Give it a try and avoid the hassle of other, less effective methods.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    School Security Summit: Safeguarding Privacy

    Safeguarding student privacy and the security of networks remains a key priority for education leaders. 

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    In December, 2016, school leaders came together to match answers to tough questions as they heard from industry experts on ways to protect what is most important to them. In this blog entry, learn how to get access to the powerful presentations and conversations that took place.
    Mark Your Calendars! The 2017 TCEA Technology Leadership Summit is scheduled for Friday, May 12, 2017. Register now for this event.

    How Do I Get the Summit Resources?

    You can access the audio, presentation slides, and more of the sessions online now for a nominal fee ($49). You will need to have a TCEA log in.

    What Exactly Will I Get?

    Presentation slides, pictures,and  audio recordings of the high-level speakers will be yours to explore and reflect on. In addition to Bill Fitzgerald’s (of Common Sense Media) keynote, critical areas addressed include:
    • Understanding DDoS Attacks,
    • Securing Single-Sign-On (SSO)
    • Security/Privacy Legislative Panel

    TCEA’s Commitment

    TCEA is committed to creating professional learning and networking opportunities that address the needs of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) and Directors/Coordinators of Technology in K-16 education institutions. Be sure to join your colleagues at the Friday, May 12, 2017 event.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    New Chromebook Features

    On January 24, 2017, Google announced some powerful enhancements for Chromebooks available for education, both for educators and students. These features (available in devices from Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Samsung) enhance the Chromebook’s versatility. With more than 20 million teachers and students employing Chromebooks, both will soon have access to devices that rely on “apps, stylus, and increased touch capabilities,” as well as USB-C charging (source).

    Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Read other awesome blog entries by the TCEA team online at www.tcea.org/blog

    For Teachers

    For teachers, Chromebooks will come with world-facing cameras. This enables teachers, as well as students, to capture videos and photos from all directions. Teachers will also have access to many Android apps, as well as specially designed cloud apps. These include Adobe Creative Cloud apps (such as Photoshop Mix, Lightroom Mobile, Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Comp CC, and Creative Cloud Mobile). Teachers will be able to combine these intelligent enhancements with Chromebooks. They can use just-announced Google Classroom notifications for better assignment management and tracking with the new models.

    Chromebooks for Students

    Students, in addition to a greater variety of bundled Android apps, will be able to enjoy access to creative applications:
      • Explain Everything: An incredible, robust presentation, digital whiteboard app, and video annotation tool that is indispensable.
      • Soundtrap: This web-enabled audio editing and podcasting tool is a much needed addition for Chromebooks.
      • WeVideo: A browser-based video editing solution that, like audio editing, remains in high demand in Chromebook environments.
    All these solutions are available at discounted pricing for schools.
    Even more exciting, especially in math and other classes where drawing is involved, students are able to take advantage of the inexpensive, high-quality stylus. This is an advantage when using the Google Classroom Android app. Styluses can be shared or easily replaced if lost since they do not require charging or pairing with a Chromebook.
    Thanks to Google for continually listening to educators about the needs of the Chromebook-powered classroom!

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Revisiting One of My Favorite Books: Our Iceberg is Melting

    I wrote about this some time ago, but can’t find my blog entry. SO, I’m copying-n-pasting from someone else’s (Leading Blog: A Leadership Fable – thanks!):

    1. Create a sense of urgency. (not panic) “Problem. What Problem?” Take the issue to the right people. Watch this YouTube interview with John Kotter on his new book, A Sense of Urgency.

    2. Pull together the guiding team. This team must be strong enough to guide the change—leadership skills, credibility, communications ability, authority, analytical skills and a sense of urgency. If you look at the companies that are good at initiating a major change, increasingly you’ll find that it doesn’t work if the top few try to do all the heavy lifting.
    DECIDE WHAT TO DO: 

    3. Develop the vision and change strategy. Change to what? Too many change initiatives might indicate that you haven’t done this step well. You’ll get change burnout and more resistance.

    MAKE IT HAPPEN: 

    4. Communicate for understanding and buy-in.
    5. Empower others to act. Remove barriers so that people can act on the new direction. Get the “junk” out of the way to get the momentum. Empowerment, but not a free-for-all—competent training may be called for.
    6. Produce short-term wins. It’s critical because you always have skeptics. Tangible success will help to drain the power from these people and bring them on board.
    7. Don’t let up. Even after the win, keep up the pressure to keep the momentum going. Be relentless until you reach the end goal.
    8. Create a new culture. Make sure that it sticks—internalized.

    Fascinating stuff and worth reflecting on…again.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    In Memoriam – Adalgisa Guhlin

    Graveside Service and A few more stories and pictures

    “You need to come see your Mom.” While at the TCEA 2017 Convention, having just finished lunch and walking back across the Exhibit floor, my phone rang. Amidst the hustle and bustle of convention goers and exhibitors, the words that came into my ear were, “You need to come see your Mom. She is ‘actively dying.'” The words sent a chill down my spine. They made everything I had done that day inconsequential. I had known this moment would come, I just didn’t know it would arrive at this moment, Thursday, February 9, 2017.

    What a person look like before he finds out his mother is dying
    I had just finished participating in a panel, and would give a presentation
    after this panel. At the same time, my mother was due to begin her final journey.


    “Are you sure?”
    Somehow, I doubted her, this person I had never met but who was now coordinating efforts to make my Mom comfortable in her final hours. As I sought out the nearest exit,

    a quiet space where I could interrogate the registered nurse (RN) on hospice duty at Brookdale Assisted Living Center my Mom had spent the last 4 years at since her fall, I felt myself slip into the surreal, that moment when everything you know is changing and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it. I had experienced it before in my life, and I suppose, nothing prepares you for it. At first, I couldn’t believe the nurse on the other end of my phone. I dragged my rolly backpack behind me, my tie grasping with futility, like a frantic hope, at my neck. Inside, I knew it was over. Doubt plagued me each step, and I clamped down on my emotions. Now was not the time for doubt, for tears, for sorrow. Yet, a part of me wept. It was the same part of me that has wept every day since Mom entered the Assisted Living Center, though they loved her and cared for her. She had lost her independence and knew it…and hated it.

    “How soon can you get here?” The question ended all hope that this was a mistake, a temporary setback that my Mom could rise up from. “Her rapid breathing, her unresponsiveness suggest she has suffered a stroke, or blood clot.” Why didn’t they know? Then, I remembered. Mom had wanted it this way. Hospice, not hospital. Nurses at bedside, her bed, not a sterile room staffed by doctors with MRIs and CAT scans waiting.

    Read Romans 8:26 in English

    “She was fine this morning.” By all accounts, it had been a great day. My Mom had eaten breakfast, just as I had. All reports indicated she had been fine that morning. And, I had finished my two workshops for the day, the first a panel presentation, the second an exploration of ways to blend technology into teaching and learning. I was looking forward to connecting with others at the TCEA 2017 Conference. It was not to be.

    “I’m in Austin right now. It will take me about 2 hours to get there from here.” With that, I hung up and moved quickly to pack my belongings, evacuating the hotel room, and leaving the Hilton, TCEA, and Austin in my rearview mirror. In moments, I had called my supervisor to let her know I was leaving. Then, I called my wife, asking if she could hold my Mom’s hand until I could get there. On the drive back to see my Mom, I used WhatsApp to notify my cousins in Panama. By the time I arrived in San Antonio, WhatsApp had become the hub for communications for family and friends.

    “She gave a cry earlier today and then deteriorated quickly. She is actively dying.” A short time later, I arrived. It was worse than I feared. Mom could barely hear me, and a lone tear slipped from the corner of her right eye. I could tell she knew. This was it, the moment she had long-awaited with dread but also anticipation. When Dad died on October 7, 2006, she had given a primal shriek that caused something. Although doctors declared her fine, we both came to believe that this is when her brain tumor began to grow. It was an inoperable tumor that would affect her ability to control motor functions on her left side of the body, shrivel her left arm, bind her to a wheelchair, and affect her memory.

    Read Romans 4:8

    “Descansa, Mami.” As I patted her arm and hand, encouraging her to rest, my wife arranged for my son and daughter to say goodbye over the phone. Recognition was fleeting, perhaps a mirage we longed to see in the distance of her stare. I looked at my wife, then at the Chaplain who hung around in the room, shuffling papers. She knew. As Mom breathed in rapid shallow breaths, her mouth hanging open, the Brookdale Assisted Living Center support staff came in, kissing her and wishing her well. It was their way of saying goodbye. A resident came in, telling her how much she loved her. As she walked out, she hugged me. “I am waiting to die, too.” And, giving her a hug, I whispered, “I understand.” We stared into each other’s eyes, the truth one neither of us was afraid to admit. We would meet later, and she would hug me again, saying, “I loved your Mom. She is in a better place.”

    “O Lord, into Your hands and into the hands of Your holy angels, this day I entrust my soul, my relatives…my mother.” The hands of Holy angels are the hands of the staff at Sterling House and those who provided hospice care.

    In the few short hours since I arrived, my Mom was unconscious, not responding to stimulus, eyes blank.

    In the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the priest anoints the seriously ill, injured, or the elderly with the oil of the sick. The oil of the sick is a special oil used for the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. It is blessed by the bishop at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week. Source: The Anointing of the Sick

    “Do you know a priest who can administer Last Rites?” She asked the Chaplain. “Yes, I know several.” She also thought to call Fr. S., the priest and friend who had baptized and married our daughter. In a short time, we lamented but grateful, two priests were on their way. The first to arrive was Father K., an Irish priest whose administration of the sacrament so comforted me, I could only clutch my wife’s shoulder. I prayed for her absolution of sins, and to be honest, for mine. Surely, I could have done something else, something that would not have resulted in her being in this situation. But then, I would have to have been God myself to have dealt with her medical conditions. And, I was not.

    Read Matthew 11:28

    A short time later, Fr. S. arrived. We had tried to cancel Fr. K. on finding out about Fr. S. coming, but to be honest, I was grateful. The same Sacrament, administered twice. Selfishly, I felt the power of the Last Rites again, praying my mother would feel it, experience it, say the prayers in her mind even thought she could not speak. “My God, might I receive the Sacrament of the Sick, too?”

    Fr. S. hugged us, this older priest suddenly stronger and more animated than I had seen him before. I felt the tears rise up then retreat. Now was not the time to cry, not yet. We went home after a few more hours. It had been a long Thursday, this 9th of February.

    “Your mother died at 9:30pm.” My wife and I had gone to pick up our son from an outing. We had just returned from spending time with Mom, noting only a small change for the worst. As we rushed back to the Assisted Living Center, it struck me that Mom had finally moved on to be with Dad. No longer would she ask, “How long will I be alive?” My response had always been to remind her that the women on her side of the family were long-lived…how long had Esmeralda, her mother and my grandmother, lived? The response always drew a smile to her lips. “You have ten more years to go, Mom!”

    As I stepped into the room, I couldn’t help but see the nurse on duty and the RN on call already making phone calls, putting into action the plan we had all agreed to so long ago when death seemed an improbability. I didn’t want to walk to the bedroom where Mom lay. I had seen Dad die, his mouth gaping, gasping for breath. I had seen Mom do the same only two hours before.

    She lay there, her mouth hanging open. Dark dots appeared around her nose, a face waxen and drained of life. I hope that in writing these words, they may wipe the memory from my mind so I remember her only as I saw her last (photo below) on February 4th, the Saturday before I drove up to Austin for my work.

    Mom earlier this week. She was to die a few days later.

    “Let it out,” she said. My wife stood next to me, her hand on my shoulder. I began to feel the sobs start deep down, sobs I had not cried since my father died, when I walked the empty house where only the previous week we had met, ate, and enjoyed my children’s foolishness. As I clung to my wife, sobs working to crack the grip I kept on the dam behind my eyelids, I held onto the shard of a memory. When they stopped at last, I felt purged. No more the suffering, the brave face, only now the tears to wash away the sadness, to make open the way again. No more the silent weeping of the soul.

    “My mother was Panamanian. She married a Jamaican, my father, and he took her back there from Panama.” When the nurses returned, my tears had been loosed, the sobs having shaken them free. Now, I could become what they made me, the executor, the person responsible for ensuring their final will would be done. As we chatted, the horror of death set aside for a short time, a person resembling my mother in the other room, the emptiness held in respectful silence, I discovered the RN was a Panamanian (Esther). That is, she was the daughter of a Panamanian and Jamaican. I marveled that at the last, it was a countrywoman–never having been to Panama–that made the call, who took care of my mother at the end. A profound sense of relief and gratefulness moved through me. Surely, God had arranged her life, from her parents’ meeting, to the immigration of their children, to Esther’s arrival in my Mother’s room at the final moment.

    “God may not always give us what we want, but he does provide us everything we need. You can’t just ask for what you want all the time, because it might not be what God wants. So you must ask for what God wants.” The Book of Esther

    “It is finished.” That is the Scripture quote that comes to mind. It is what the Gospel of John reports Jesus as saying at the end, before he gave up his spirit. Now that Mom is dead, but not yet buried, I am in limbo. I do not know whether I should read my Twitter and Facebook, do any work, or simply meditate on Scripture. In the end, I decided to do all of it. Life stops for no one, but Death, well, he dropped by at 9:30pm on February 10, 2017 for Adalgisa Guhlin de Gonzalez…mother, aunt, sister, grandmother, wife. No, it’s not quite finished for me and may never be.

    “What did you learn?” Once, I thought dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease to be evil, robbing the aged, our parents of their precious memories. Now, I wonder. In the months before Mom’s death, she found moments of happiness with the staff. I saw her less depressed to be without my father, beginning to reach out to others. The paradox baffles me no more. Mom had found some measure of peace, whatever the cause, and now she was ready. All the suffering, the anger, the sadness, it led to this–that she might find, after difficulties and the loss of her love, her “happy thought” again.

    I often tell my wife that we may only die when we have learned something, the one lesson that transforms us. The more stubborn you are, the longer it may take. And, trust me, stubborn is a family trait. Yet, we resist that lesson. Life can make us pliable, working to find the experience(s) that will teach us what we need to know before moving on. I’m reminded of Kahlil Gibran’s treatise on children, where he writes, “Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.” It’s as if Jesus will not allow admittance to heaven, asking each, “What is the ONE lesson you learned that changed you for the better?” And, God, He gives us every chance to learn it, and then some. Better to be glad for the bending in His hand.

    For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
    And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered? Source: Kahlil Gibran “On Death”

    Mom became pliable. She was made of tough material and stronger for it. Another way to see it, I suppose, is the story of the starfish and the clam…pressure is applied in ways to make you open up and yield your treasure.

    “The Gonzalez came out.” That was, one of my cousins said with a smile, a particular trait of the women in my mother’s family. When I look at my Mom, I see a woman of powerful passions, a woman whose small town perspective broadened in time combined with her learning, who worked hard to become more than her beginnings in Santiago, a small town in the county of Sonora in Panama. I remember the stories of her love for my father, her love for her only son. I remember her imperfections, the way she worked hard to get me angry to prove her points. I remember her fear when she realized her inoperable brain tumor was stealing her memory, the look of vulnerability in her eyes.

    May I always remember the love this little boy had for his mother,
    and the love she had for him. Thank you, Mom. You gave all.

    “I remember.” While Mom has moved on, a part of me remembers still, the sweet mother who listened to my stories, who bore me as long as she could. Who gave birth to me, a 4 pounds, 4 ounces premature child born at seven months, who reminded me of that birth every October 22nd at 6:30pm, who interceded when my father was angry. A mother, my mother, who did her best to raise me, who lost her temper, who taught me to deal with angry women, and later, who helped me learn that humor is the best way to defuse a situation. A mother who opposed my marriage, then loved her grandchildren. No longer will I hear the story from her lips, or see the pride she took in her students, students that often greeted her in the streets of Panama City, Republic of Panama, who thanked her for her work with them teaching mathematics in Panama’s public schools. Life has fled, but I remember her as she was, fierce and brave and can only stop to sigh.

    One of my favorite quotes is Helen Keller’s. “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” For Mom, full of courage, vim and vigor, I can only say, it was the former.

    I remember the empanadas she made, the chile con carne, the arroz con pollo she made me. I remember the love my mother had for me. Imperfect, flawed, angry, suspicious, loving, beloved, forgiven.

    I remember. And, I pray that my own children will forgive me when my time comes to say goodbye. I hope they will remember, we are only human, flawed, here to learn from the Teacher so that we may advance to the divine.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Check out #TCEA17 Twitter Moment for Quick Audio Interviews

    Feeling a bit disconnected from the excitement going on at the TCEA 2017 State Conference? Check out this Twitter Moment, which provides easy access to on the spot audio interviews!

    Listen to TCEA 17 audio interviews and see pictures!


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Creating Digital Prof Learning Communities (PLCs) with Social Media #tcea17

    Check out my slideshow for this talk online at http://ly.tcea.org/tcea17!

    “Don’t wait for the stars to align, reach up and rearrange them the way you want,” says Pharrell Williams. “Create your own constellation.” Want to rearrange your learning experiences with social media? Bridge the gap between face-to-face community efforts and online? Then read on to discover tips on how to shape the social media flow. Grab a friend, your mobile device, and let’s go!

    Manual Approach to Social Media

    If you’re like most people, you probably have been cajoled into creating a social media account. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, YouTube, and LinkedIn are the most common ones that people start with. But how do you create a community around what you share? Here are some suggestions to get you started:

    Tip #1: Mix-and-Match Your Social Media

    Combine audio and video tools. Instagram and Facebook make it easy to post links to other social media tools, such as Twitter. That means you can start a Facebook Live session, record audio using Voxer (or use the YouTube Capture app on your phone) and share the link out via Twitter. This is great because it allows you to “liven up” Twitter with audio and video. Imagine recording a student explaining his/her solution to a problem or thinking process. Here are some Voxercasts that I shared via Twitter. If participating in a Twitterchat, try responding to a question with audio or video. It will leave participants “mind-blown.” And, if you’re feeling adventurous, use Voxer and/or Flipgrid.com to kick off audio or video reflections respectively.

    Tip #2: Decide on a Content Curation Tool

    Content curation involves finding great stuff, stowing it somewhere for safe keeping, and then sharing the relevant information with other interested parties. How the sharing happens is usually through social media. Here are a few tools that I use for content curation. They make sharing with others via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook easy.

    • Get Pocket.com: This remains my favorite content tool. Anything I find on my mobile device or on my computer, I promptly save to Pocket. Since it is everywhere and works well with other tools, it makes saving content easy. Getting content out is also straightforward. More on that later.
    • Diigo.com for Educators: An oldy but goody, social bookmarking with Diigo is a cinch on computers, not so much on mobile. Still, the benefit of Diigo is that you can turn every item you save to it into a tagged item. Tags in Diigo come with RSS feeds (learn more about RSS), which make it easy to share to Twitter and other places. Using the free for Educators account comes with additional benefits.
    • Flipboard.com: A fantastic curation tool since anything you “flip” into a digital magazine (ezine for short) becomes an easy-to-share resource with others. People can subscribe and leave comments. Imagine creating a flipboard ezine for your class on a particular topic or having students collaborate and contribute to a shared ezine. Flipboard makes it possible, and viewing is a pure pleasure.
    • Storify.com: This is a helpful tool since it makes capturing tweets and sharing content easy, although to access some of its more esoteric features will require payment. Storify is often used to archive Twitterchats, even though there are more comprehensive tools. Storify makes finding and sharing content for a classroom of learners simple.
    • Paper.li: Want to create a newsletter that curates itself? Paper.li makes that possible and can auto-publish itself via Twitter with new content daily. It can be hands-off or you can spend time updating it. Like Storify, full feature access costs money.

    Tip #3: Master Those Twitter Chats

    social mediaEvery day, there are thousands of educators like you connecting and learning from each other. This network of professional learners, open to anyone and everyone willing to learn, is known as a “professional learning network” or PLN for short. You can find a wealth of hashtags, such as #tceachat, that boast robust conversations on days or nights. Here are several tools you can use to make navigating and participating in Twitter chats easier:

    • Tweetdeck: Tweetdeck allows you to set up multiple columns, as opposed to Twitter’s single column of content. You can follow multiple hashtags simultaneously, as well as see what you are tweeting and what others are tweeting at you. What’s more, as you get more proficient and want to manage your own Twitter chat, you can schedule your own tweets days in advance at anytime. Great for tweeting during a presentation and wowing your audience.
    • Participate Learning: This is a must-have tool to take advantage of since it provides a concise schedule of hashtags for Twitter chats and when they are taking place. What’s more, you can search hashtags for relevant conversations, as well as add your own chat. This makes it easier to find other’s chats, as well as sharing your content.
    • Twubs.com: Straightforward interface aside, Twubs is intended to help you get to know who is participating in a Twitter chat. A unique feature includes your ability to get an embed code so you can place the results of a hashtag search on your web page.

    Tip #4: Create Image Flyers to Hook Twitter Chat Participants

    social mediaDecided to facilitate a Twitter chat for your school or district? Create a landscape flyer with Adobe Spark, Pixlr, Powerpoint, or Google Slides that includes pertinent information, as well as a link to more content. In addition to creating a way to advertise your Twitter chat to the world, you will also want to solve the archive problem. For small Twitter chats, you can use Storify or simply copy-and-paste into a GoogleDoc or IFTTT recipe to feed tweets into a Google Sheet. However, for larger chats (>1000 tweets), consider using a more robust solution like TAGS.

    Tip #5: Automate Your Social Media Sharing

    “Share once and done!” Avoid having to share information via multiple outlets. Some school districts embarking on social media domination move to post the same piece of information on each social media outlet, but that can be a big waste of time. Use one or both of these tools to automate your social media sharing. Create a blog post and then see it shared automatically to Twitter and Facebook, post images to Instagram and email them to others, and more.

    • IFTTT.com: If This Then That allows you to create mini-apps, or recipes, that execute when a trigger action occurs. For example, if I add a tag “2tweet” to a web article I save on one of my content curation tools, Pocket or Diigo, that item appears as a tweet within thirty minutes. If I add a tag “tceamie,” the item is posted to a Slack group for technology directors and coordinators.
    • Microsoft Flow: A newcomer to the scene, Flow works like IFTTT, yet it works hand-in-hand with Office 365 tools. Visit their website to see some sample “flows.”
      social media

    Tip #6: Create a Virtual Sharing Space

    At a certain point, you will want to archive all the great things that are being said or happening. One way to do that is to save all chats to a virtual space, such as a OneNote Online notebook (see example, Google Plus Community (see example), or Facebook group. You can, of course, also use popular blogging platforms like Blogger and/or WordPress.
    Use tools like Remind.com to share daily updates via mobile phones. This helps keep your community connected to you, enabling easy, non-intrusive sharing. My favorite example is Dr. Scott Mcleod’s Dangerously Irrelevant daily reminders that arrive via SMS text message every day.

    Conclusion

    Don’t be afraid to grasp the stars and rearrange them! Social media tools like those discussed in this blog entry make shaping the flow of social media a joy, not a chore.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms Chapter 6 #edtech

    Note: Friends Dr. Dawn Wilson and Dr. Katie Alaniz were kind enough to share a book they authored in collaboration with Joshua Sikora, Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms: The Potential for Meaningful Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

    Listen to Dr. Katie Alaniz, one of the authors, share about the book

    In the space below, I’ve included some of my take-aways from the book, stuff that struck my fancy in Chapter 6, and included my reflections/comments in square brackets [really? that’s unbelievable!]. Feel free to swipe the images highlighting key points and repost them everywhere! Read blog entries relevant to this book. Note that my notes imperfectly capture some of the main ideas in the book. I heartily recommend reading the text!!

    MyNotes on Chapter 6: Setting Meaningful Learning: Supporting Students with Content Acquisition

    1. Savvy educators identify ways to leverage the boundless potential of multimedia applications to set the stage for learning within their classrooms.
    2. Effective teachers seek to engage their learners in vital content.
    3. Impactful educators prepare, encourage, and inspire their students to wrestle with various aspects of content until they establish meaning for themselves.
    4. Active construction of their own learning can be achieved in…
      1. a variety of ways
      2. using an assortment of tools
      3. in order to create products that are:
        1. intentional
        2. authentic
    5. The modern ability to record and replay actual footage of key historical events from around the world is revolutionary.
    6. Teachers utilizing digital media to connect students to a specific place elsewhere on the globe or to a historical event must work to help students envision the reality of these scenes. Otherwise, learners may easily process such images just as they would the illusory world of Avatar or the exaggerated devastation of a metropolis depicted in a superhero film. [excellent point! how?]
    7. Keep it real by:
      1. encouraging students to judiciously document their own experiences with a video camera. The process of producing their own documentaries can serve to encourage learners in re-associating media experiences with reality.
      2. Students must engage their imagination just as actively while watching a film as they would when reading a book, but instead of creating the missing visual content, a film viewer is prompted to envision thoughts, motivation, and emotions.
      3. Use listening and viewing guides that facilitate analysis:
        1. Movie Sheets is an online worksheet database with ready-made, editable worksheets.
        2. NewseumED offers a collection of educational resources for incorporating primary source materials from news sources into classroom learning.
        3. TED-Ed
        4. Khan Academy
    8. By engaging in interactive content, students receive feedback on their input, offering them a two-way interface. Interaction may also be peer-assisted, such as when students seek support of other students via online tutoring sessions.
    9. Elementary Resources that students can interact with engaging, meaningful, educational multimedia content:
      1. Interactives Sites for Education
      2. PBS Kids SMART Board Games
      3. Seussville
    10. Middle School Resources: The text includes multiple other resources for MS/HS
    11. Discussion of Webquests…[wow, trip down Memory Lane!]
    12. [I would also respectfully include video annotation and hyperlinking tools mentioned in this blog entry]
    13. Impactful, memorable educational encounters engage learners in significant content.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Infographic: Ten Ways to Customize MS Classroom #tcea17 #msftedu #msftexpert @

    Get Adobe PDF version | Note: This blog entry to appear at TCEA TechNotes Blog

    #1 – Add Students to Your Class

    1. Login at MS Classroom
    2. Click on Teachers & Students in top right section of page
    3. Add students after quick search. Click DONE after finding all students

    #2- Add Co-Teachers

    1. On the same screen where you add students, you can add teachers
    2. Search and select them

    #3 – Create OneNote Class Notebook

    1. Click on Class Notebook tab
    2. Create Class Notebook with desired settings
    3. Open it as OneNote Online then EDIT in OneNote 2016 to sync a copy to your Win10 device

    #4 – Start Conversations for Student Participation

    1. Create Conversations around identified class topics
    2. Edit members in group by clicking on ellipsis in top right corner of screen

    #5 – Make Assignments

    1. Click on Assignments tab
    2. Click on + New Assignments
    3. Set title, due dates, description
    4. Set assignment for all classes for whom it applies, attach relevant documents, enable Conversation

    #6 – Grade Assignments

    1. Click on Assignments tab
    2. Click on Assignment name in “In Progress” column
    3. Review “Submissions” and then easily enter grades, assigning comments as needed.

    #7 – Share Files and Resources

    • Click on “Files” tab to access the shared files for the class.
    • Place Word, Excel, Powerpoint Online documents and other files for students to access.

    #8 – Use Class Calendar

    • All assignment due dates appear in calendar
    • Add new dates for events (e.g. field trips) to class calendar for students to access

    #9 – Manage Class

    • Modify course info using the Manage tab as well as
    • Update class banner, icon and course description

    #10 – Update Notebook Settings

    • Add/remove sections
    • Update teacher/student button if changes to roster have been made
    • Lock/unlock Class Notebook Collaboration space for student use

    Attending TCEA 2017 Conference?

    Microsoft believes in empowering every student to achieve more. In our mission to support educators in guiding and nurturing student passions, we are offering preconference professional learning to TCEA participants. Attendees at these sessions will be eligible to receive a complimentary Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exam voucher for attending and earn badges on the Microsoft Educator Community to recognize their achievements.*  Preregister to secure a seat.
    2-Day MIE Trainer Academy
    • Monday February 6th and Tuesday February 7th | 8:30AM-4:00PM Register Here
    1-Day MIE Teacher Academy
    1-Day MIE Teacher Academy:  Minecraft Education Edition
    Visit aka.ms/TCEAresources to find session schedules and other information about Microsoft’s presence at TCEA as it develops.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Engaging Learners with Text #iOS #iPad @typorama

    Be sure to read this blog entry at TCEA TechNotes’ Blog for access to even more exciting content!

    Leaders, looking for an easy app to use to spice up important quotes that you include in your staff missives, parent newsletters, or student projects? How about a simple way to highlight key ideas in assigned student text? Typorama may fit the bill for iOS device users!

    Quote Makers, Create!

    I love collecting quotes, often snapping a photo of my favorite quotes at Buc-ee’s while I’m traveling or jotting them down in my handy notepad. The best part of being out on the road is encountering truisms, as well as listening to K-12 and adult learners share their stories.
    Just last month, I spent some time in Edinburg facilitating Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) professional learning. We kicked off the session reflecting on a powerful quote from Microsoft. Using Typorama, I recreated the quote below.
    quote
    Don’t you think this is more engaging than words on a slide? Typorama is a VERY COOL iOS quote app! Once you start using it, you won’t be able to stop.
    quote

    Scan this image with Aurasma to listen to the audio introduction from Dr. Katie Alaniz, author of “Digital Tools for Today’s Classrooms,” the book from which this quote was taken.

    Quote Makers, Adhere to Copyright!

    Typorama combines a wide range of copyright-friendly backgrounds and text styles and allows watermarks to be inserted as well to advertise your campus, district, organization, or event. What’s more, you can use pictures from your camera roll and then add powerful quotes from students, staff, or even your own creations.
    Note: Don’t have an iOS device? You can make your own image quotes with Google Draw or Powerpoint, but you might also give one of these a try:  Recite.comQuozio.comBeHappyMe, and/or VizzBuzz
    Not satisfied with the pictures that come with Typorama? Save pictures from any of the popular free image sites, several shown at the bottom of this blog entry, to your iOS device and then add your quote. The New York Public Library just released their digital collection for use, so be sure to include that in your list of image sources.

    Learning Connections

    As written in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), “Students must develop the ability to comprehend and process material from a wide range of texts.” Using a quote generator like Typorama, you can help students identify topic sentences or key ideas represented in text.
    Tap into the excitement students experience when creating quotea work of art. This work can be displayed via social media or made into a “mini-poster” for bulletin board placement. And you can also help students “summarize the main idea and supporting details in text in ways that maintain meaning.” Whether for professional development (e.g. book study, article jigsaw) with adults or ask ing students to work in small teams with a buddy to analyze text, this type of activity is powerful for engaged learning.

    Quote Makers, Share!

    Learners can, as encouraged in Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms, “Collaborate to create an online clearinghouse of student-created media.” This clearinghouse can serve as a resource for students to use as they support one another in preparing for exams. The clearinghouse can be any one of the following:
    • quote

      OneDrive-based Image Clearinghouse
      Hallway bulletin board
    • Google Photos – Easy to create a shared album, enable multiple staff/students to add content.
    • OneDrive Photos – Easy to add images to a folder, as well as share edit rights or view only link.
    • OneNote Online Notebook
    • School or classroom Instagram account

    Steps to Make and Take

    quoteHere are the steps you can take to create your Typorama quote project. Remember, these techniques can be used whether you have the app or not. If you and your students are on a computer, try one of the aforementioned, browser-based, free quote generators.
    1. Read a selection of text, online or from paper.
    2. Choose your favorite quote or come up with your own based on what you have read (better activity).
    3. Start up Typorama, select a background from their image search results or use a picture you have taken with your camera. Remember, you can always find a picture online. The image should reflect a key word in the quote text.
    4. Modify the text and image features and then share it online.

    Enhance with Augmented Reality

    Using the iOS app Aurasma, you can convert these student-created image quotable quotes into “hyperlinked” images. That is, you turn each image into a “trigger” that when students point their iOS device to it, it has students reading the quote aloud, sharing a short anecdote.
    Reminder: TCEA members, don’t forget about the upcoming January 25, 2017 Augment Your Reality Lunch-and-Learn webinar where we will share more ideas for using AR in the classroom.
    quote

    Use the Aurasma app on your Android/iOS device and scan the quote picture above to listen to audio via Voxer!

    More Than Quotes

    This is a perfect app for both adult and K-12 learners to use. You can use it for creating memorable vocabulary words, summarizing fictional texts, and posing problems in social studies or history class. Please comment below and share how you would use Typorama in your classroom.

    quoteList of Copyright-Friendly Image Resources

    1. iClipArts for Schools
    2. Animal Photos
    3. Car Pictures
    4. Classroom Clipart
    5. ClipArt.com: School Edition
    6. Compfight
    7. Creativity103
    8. Creative Commons Search
    9. ClipArt ETC
    10. Discovery Education Clipart
    11. Free Clipart
    12. Free Icons
    13. Free Images
    14. Free Images Collection
    15. Free Foto
    16. Free Photo Bank
    17. FreePik
    18. Internet Archive
    19. Pexels
    20. Pics4Learning
    21. Pixabay
    22. School ClipArt
    23. Teacher Files Clipart
    24. UnSplash
    25. Wikimedia Commons

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms Chapters 5

    Note: Friends Dr. Dawn Wilson and Dr. Katie Alaniz were kind enough to share a book they authored in collaboration with Joshua Sikora, Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms: The Potential for Meaningful Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

    Listen to Dr. Katie Alaniz, one of the authors, share about the book



    In the space below, I’ve included some of my take-aways from the book, stuff that struck my fancy in Chapters 1 and 2, and included my reflections/comments in square brackets [really? that’s unbelievable!]. Feel free to swipe the images highlighting key points and repost them everywhere! Read blog entries relevant to this book. Note that my notes imperfectly capture some of the main ideas in the book. I heartily recommend reading the text!!




    My Notes from Chapters 5:

    1. Chapter 5 – Using Digital Media to READY Students for Learning: Preparing Learners to Acquire Key Knowledge and Skills
      1. Teachers need to reflect on the following questions:
        1. Begin with the end in mind. What do students know and be able to do by the end of instructional cycle?
        2. How can multiple modalities most effectively be incorporated into instruction?
        3. How can students move through Bloom’s higher levels, analyzing, evaluating and creating?
        4. What instructional strategies most effectively direct students toward reaching the goal of independently demonstrating their learning?
        5. What resources will be used?
        6. What assessment strategies/tools will be employed?
        7. Will rubrics be used?
        8. How do you activate engagement, motivation and interest?
      2. By charging students with tasks that require creativity, analysis, and applications, teachers move the focus away from themselves to an emphasis upon their learners.
      3. Student-centered products enable learners to showcase their new knowledge and skills in relation to a particular topic in an infinite variety of ways. Examples [love these examples!!] include:
        1. Building a website that demonstrates their content knowledge.
        2. Constructing a multimedia presentation to teach learned content to others.
        3. Creating a newsletter or flyer that highlights key findings on a given topic.
        4. Producing a stop-motion video that displays a process or procedure.
        5. Designing a cartoon strip that highlights important findings in a unique way.
        6. Creating a digital story to describe reflections on a particular topic.
        7. Producing a Sketchcast demonstrating mater of a topic or concept through narration, text, sketches.
      4. Research about how students learn is shared, including Piaget, Curran and Bruner.
        1. Bruner’s theoretical framework describes learning as an active process in which learners construct their newfound knowledge using concepts derived from previous experience.
        2. The learner selects and transforms information, creates hypotheses, and arrives at decisions based on a cognitive structure (mental model or schema), which adds meaning and organization to the experience and enables him or her to perform the information given.
        3. “If students are not paying attention, they are not engaged; and, hence, they are not learning” (Wolfe, 2001).
        4. When stimuli are ignored, the brain begins to shut down inputs from that particular source. However, if the brain is primed for additional incoming information, the learner is more likely to perceive this input.
        5. Selective attention of the brain depends on suppression of irrelevant data and amplification of meaningful data (Jenson, 1998).
        6. When emotional or personal stimuli are present, attention is more powerfully gasped.
        7. Varying the routing and methods of presenting material increases students’ attention in classroom settings.
        8. Two types of interest…teachers can influence and/or create situational interest and anticipatory sets seem an ideal vehicle through which to do so (Ormond, 2004).
          1. Situational interest – short-lived, revolves around an activity or topic
          2. Personal interest – more enduring, includes pursuits in visual and performing arts, sports, speech, etc.
        9. Both attention and interest are related to motivation.
        10. Students motivation to learn encompasses their ability to derive intended benefits from meaningful, worthwhile activities.
        11. TEASe – Technology Enhanced Anticipatory Set:
          1. utilizes a media presentation to introduce a unit or lesson.
          2. Effective TEASes seamlessly coalesce media, images, music, and text within a three- to seven-minute multimedia piece, ultimately heightening learners’ interest and motivation.
          3. A TEASe’s storyline is composed of visual and audio pieces to activiate prior knowledge, very broadly stitched together with short lines of text to guide viewing.
          4. TEASes that include elements of pop culture and music relevant to students’ lives most powerfully engage learners.
          5. Should not be used to deliver content to learners, rather, TEASes help students focus their attention and interest at the beginning of a unit, even before the content is delivered.
          6. Narrative messages wield tremendous influence in changing the attitudes and beliefs of audiences. They allow for a specific reading or viewing experience. They transport recipients into the narrative world, personally involving them cognitively and emotionally.
          7. TEASes provide a unique opportunity by which to ready students for learning.
    Quick Reflections:
    Wow, loved this chapter! Leaving behind the copyright concerns of Chapter 4, it strikes at the jugular of creating engaging content! I loved the examples provided, research regarding engagement (which is so often discarded as “Tough, life isn’t always fun and engaging. kids should pay attention if they want to get good jobs!”), and the TEASe activity. 

    This last item reminds me of problem narrative or problem engagement activities in PBL/PrBL.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Digital Media in Today’s Classroom Chaps 3-4

    Note: Friends Dr. Dawn Wilson and Dr. Katie Alaniz were kind enough to share a book they authored in collaboration with Joshua Sikora, Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms: The Potential for Meaningful Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

    Listen to Dr. Katie Alaniz, one of the authors, share about the book

    In the space below, I’ve included some of my take-aways from the book, stuff that struck my fancy in Chapters 3 and 4, and included my reflections/comments in square brackets [really? that’s unbelievable!]. Feel free to swipe the images highlighting key points and repost them everywhere! Read all blog entries relevant to this book.


    My Notes from Chapters 3 and 4:

    1. Chapter 3 – Essential Considerations in Using Digital Media
      1. Media literacy–applying skills to media and technology messages, learning to skillfully interpret, analyze, and create messages–empowers people to be both critical thinkers and creative producers of messages using image, language, and sound (NAMLE, Ellis, 2005).
      2. Media education seeks to mae school more student centered.
      3. “We were educated to read actively, yet we’re conditioned to view visual images passively,” observes Steve Apkon.
      4. Now is the time to change “English” classes into “Communication” classes in which students study the grammatical rules of graphic arts, film, and music, in addition to learning the rules of English grammar.”
      5. Ubiquitous access to tech suggests the focus must now shift to identifying and applying the most fitting tools and resources for meeting students’ needs and reaching learning goals.
      6. [This chapter focuses on several key ideas, such as COPPA, copyright, terms of use, keeping track of acceptable use policies/responsible use agreements. I heartily disagree with the portion that suggests schools track the paperwork. This is an antiquated perspective. Now, most districts take advantage of opt-out clauses in their Student Handbooks. If you want to opt-out, then you have to do so. Otherwise, this grants teachers the right to use third-party systems with students, acting in loco parentis].
    2. Chapter 4 – Planning for Digital Media: Settings, Groupings, and Platforms
      1. Key questions:
        1. Under what circumstances should teacher consider integrating digital media within classroom settings?
        2. How should digital media be integrated within classrooms settings?
        3. Who should be utilizing the media–teachers, students, or both?
        4. For what purposes should digital media be used within classroom settings?
      2. Curriculum Design models:
        1. The Understanding by Design Framework
          1. Effective curriculum planning involves a process of “backward design”
          2. Educators must also initially determine a set of learning goals for their students. They should identify certain enduring understandings.
          3. Specific strategies for measuring students’ learning need to be reflected upon.
          4. Teachers should begin with the end in mind, designing a road map.
        2. The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Model
          1. Offers students various modes of content representation.
          2. Encourages teachers to provide students with multiple means of expression, including both physical and communicative action.
          3. Promotes numerous methods of engagement.
        3. Bloom’s Taxonomy
        4. Classroom Instruction That Works: Identifies nine categories of instructional strategies that hold tremendous potential for enhancing student achievement for all learners:
          1. Summarizing and Note taking
          2. Identifying similarities and differences
          3. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition
          4. Homework and practice
          5. Cooperative learning
          6. Nonlinguistic representations
          7. Setting objectives and providing feedback
          8. Generating and testing hypotheses
          9. Questions, cues, and advance organizers
      3. Digital media enables teachers to vary their methods of representing content through a diversity of media, including print, video, audio, hands-on modeling, interactive applications, and much more.
      4. Digital media to practice and receive feedback on their own content knowledge with online flashcards, games, and simulations. Examples include:
        1. Online quizzes and educational games provide students with the opportunity to test their remembering and understanding skills using interactive media such as Quizlet. 
        2. Students can enhance their content knowledge through playing online games associated with the concepts taught in class.
        3. Digital media simulations allow students to apply, analyze, and evaluate the ways in which content elements interact.
          1. Math and Science simulations (PhET)
          2. Social Studies simulations
          3. Interactive multimedia games warehouse provides teachers with a multitude of games and simulations to support students.
        4. Authoring tools:
          1. Audacity
          2. Voicethread
          3. Kidblog
          4. Digital storytelling via Little Bird Tales (littlebirdtales.com) and Storybird (storybird.com)
          5. Draw.io and Bubbl.us
      5. A teacher should 
        1. focus on the content that should be delivered and the learning goals that are being sought. This allows them to harness digital media as a tool to serve educational objectives.
        2. consider the type or types of devices with which students will learn. 
        3. think about the online tools, resources, and software options students will have access.
      6. Ready, Set, Learn! Model
        1. Ready: This involves preparing students, from lesson’s start, to meet and act on content. 
          1. Teacher-centered: Should I create my own digital media or use an already-created resource to grasp students’ attention and ready them for learning?
          2. Student Use: How can I ensure that content is delivered in a variety of ways for diverse levels and varying learning modalities?
        2. Set: Establishing the content in the students’ mind. 
          1. Teacher-centered: Should I create my own tool for the students to use in developing content knowledge, or should I identify an already-created tool?
          2. Student Use: How can I be certain to provide students with opportunities to interact with content, check for understanding, and receive formative feedback in a variety of methods using an array of online tools and targeting a mixture of learning modalities?
        3. Learn:  Students demonstrate their learning with independence. Students are challenged to create an original product that demonstrates their learning through the use of multimedia tools. 
          1. Teacher-centered: Should I create a resource to assess student learning or use an already-created assessment?
          2. Student Use: How can I provide students with meaningful and applicable opportunities to demonstrate their learning by independently creating a digital media product? Should I assign specific tools to students or leave assessment choices more open-ended?
      7. In curriculum design, content is king.
      8. Effectual planning begins with the end in mind, and teachers ask, “What do I want my students to be able to accomplish?”
    a counter-question…too much control  in teacher’s hands limit students’ freedom to take ownership of their learning and creations.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    MyNotes: Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms 1 & 2

    Note: Friends Dr. Dawn Wilson and Dr. Katie Alaniz were kind enough to share a book they authored in collaboration with Joshua Sikora, Digital Media in Today’s Classrooms: The Potential for Meaningful Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

    Listen to Dr. Katie Alaniz, one of the authors, share about the book

    In the space below, I’ve included some of my take-aways from the book, stuff that struck my fancy in Chapters 1 and 2, and included my reflections/comments in square brackets [really? that’s unbelievable!]. Feel free to swipe the images highlighting key points and repost them everywhere! Read blog entries relevant to this book.


    My Notes from Chapters 1 and 2:

    1. Chapter 1 – Digital Media – What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
      1. Children aged eight to eighteen spend an estimated seven hours per day, on average, glaring into screens (American Academy of Pediatrics).
      2. Teenagers compose an average of 3,417 text messages per month.
      3. The bedrooms of an estimated 97% of adolescents contain at least one electronic device (Aspen Education Group, 2011). [I believe these stats just based on what I’ve seen of my own teenagers…in fact, one device in the bedroom is understated!!]
      4. No solid evidence exists that technology is deteriorating the cognitive capacity of today’s students (Taylor, 2012).
      5. Obsession with social media [or games!] may amplify or contribute certain psychological issues.
      6. Using media to simply transmit information in the clasroom has not proven effective (Grabe & Grabe,2004).
      7. Research demonstrates that multimedia might be used to support learners in accessing prior knowledge, evoking emotion, stirring interest, heightening curiosity, and appealing to multiple intelligences [so, is that worth the $$$ spent on edtech each year?]
      8. Gains in achievement result when students are granted the opportunity to create original products using some form of multimedia (Goodlin, 2012).
      9. Potential applications include:
        1. Have students study fairy tales from different locales, analyze them, then create their own. Story analysis and media construction are the acquired skills.
        2. Students collaborate to create an online clearinghouse of student-created media to serve as a resource for supporting one another in preparing for exams [or, let’s think even bigger! a real life project/problem! and use Minecraft?]
        3. Create stop-motion videos for sharing/commenting on lab experiements/results
        4. Study media coverage and resources to develop different forms of persuasive media techniques to protest an issue they feel strongly about.
      10. Incorporation of multimedia in the classroom provides students with exposure to both pictures and verbal information (“dual coding”) which yields two memory codes instead of one.
        1. Dual coding theory asserted that individuals process perpetual information by encoding images for organizing, storing, and retrieving knowledge through a nonverbal system.
        2. They process text and words using a verbal system, which deals mostly with linguistic information.
        3. Dual coding suggests learning is generally more meaningful when new information is encoded and processed through both channels (verbal and nonverbal) than through either alone.
      11. Decisions teacher must make when considering how to incorporate tech into teaching practices:
        1. Who will use the digital media?
        2. When in the lesson will it be used?
        3. How will it be used?
        4. Which tool(s) will be used?
        5. How will student products be assessed?
    2. Chapter 2 – Research Findings and the Implications on Learning
    3. Image Source | More
      1. Adidas or “New Way of Learning” suggests a learning archetype:

        1. 70:20:10 Framework
          1. Seventy percent of learning occurs experentially on the job
          2. Twenty percent of learning happens through social interactions with others
          3. Ten percent of learning results through formal coursework
        2. The brain forgets 50% of learning that takes place in a classroom environment within a mere hour’s time [oh oh, that means participants in my 1 hour sessions will only remember half of what they learn…whew!]
        3. Forty-three percent of teachers have incorporated online games in classrooms
          1. Students allowed to use gaming software scored 91.5% on a standardized assessment versus an average score of 79.1% for those students who did not use digital games
        4. Use of digital resources allows teachers (76%) to simplify the process of adapting teaching methods to diverse learning styles
        5. Teachers (77%) report edtech boosts student motivation
        6. Teacher (76%) commented edtech enhances content being taught
        7. Research on the impact of technology on student outcomes suggests that students who use digital resources in their learning experience a slight positive gain over those whose instructional experience does not include technology.
        8. The pivotal achievement factor is not the type of tech, but rather the actual use of the tools.
        9. Academic achievement increases when the technology is integrated in a student-centered environment.
        10. Most beneficial environments involve students in:
          1. creating hypermedia presentations
          2. solving problems
          3. conducting research
          4. developing computer simulations representing models of their own understandings.
        11. Tech integration enhances learning when students engage in solving complex, authentic problems that cross multidisciplinary boundaries instead of focusing on knowledge acquisition.
        12. Student created digital media, when combined with rigorous content standards, has demonstrated a positive effect on student achievement and performance on high-stakes testing.
        13. An educator’s ability to provide powerful links from the curriculum to real world experiences appears to encourage students to respond to the material in a highly positive manner.
        14. Digital resources are most strongly correlated with enhanced student learning when the instructor’s role is that of a facilitator of knowledge creation rather than a disseminator of knowledge.
        15. Cognitive load: when learners are required to split their attention between two or more streams of information simultaneously, cognitive load increases. This means the ability to process new knowledge decreases.
        16. Academic achievement increases when students are provided the opportunity to progress through 5 different levels of active processing, namely selecting words, selecting images, organizing words, organizing images, and integrating words and images.
        17. Selecting words and images involves both the visual and verbal working memory while simultaneously making internal connections to images, words, and their meanings.
        18. Research indicates that image data is collected simultaneously while text is processed in a sequential fashion. This simultaneous processing allows learners to make sense of visuals sixty thousand times faster than text.
        19. Visual literacy truly has become the new currency of learning.
        20. A student’s prior knowledge can influence which images are remembered and the ways they are recalled.
        21. Videos are even better tools than still images, as videos send multiple streams of information to learners through movement, music, words and pictures. This supports student learning regardless of their learning style or intelligence.
        22. In classroom settings, images and video clips hold the potential to increase students’ understanding of a subject while also prompting them to develop emotional connections with the material being presented. 
        23. Learning experiences must be designed to strengthen the process of visual attention and connection in order to deflect the pressure of over-sensory stimulation.
        24. Dual coding and imagery are powerful tools that allow the learner to activate prior knowledge in addition to encoding details more rapidly so that they remain for longer periods of time.
    Wow, a great review of research and some powerful points about multimedia in the classroom! In a future blog post, we’ll take a quick look at some of my notes from the next couple of chapters.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Connect then Engage with @Flipgrid Video #msftedu



    Technologies that connect us, engage. One example of this is Flipgrid, a free video discussion board service. With Flipgrid, you can create grids with topics on them and have workshop participants or students respond to the topics with recorded videos. Several workshops ago, I decided to begin using Flipgrid as a regular part of the learning. Some of the applications of the tool included:

    • Ask participants to introduce themselves and/or each other.
    • Watch videos about a topic and then share a summary or take-away.
    • Summarize an article they have read.

    Free Online Flipgrid Course

    The Microsoft Education Community offers a free course, Amplifying Student Voice, that features FlipGrid uses. In that course, the developers imagine Flipgrid as being more than just a communication tool in your classroom:
    For students, Flipgrid provides a safe space to connect with their peers, share their voice on relevant course topics, and add to the collective knowledge of the classroom. For teachers, you can see firsthand as your students develop confidence, reasoning skills, respect of diverse opinions, and understanding through reflection. Moreover, as Flipgrid videos are asynchronous, you can conveniently connect your students with classrooms around the world by sharing your grids with other educators. Their students add their voices to the grid building an active community of shared knowledge.
    You can watch videos embedded in the course, as well as view content, without completing the course (but then you wouldn’t earn the badge!):

    Introducing FlipGrid for Professional Development

    Introducing Flipgrid to others has been easy. I point out how to access the Flipgrid topic I’ve set up for the process, either on a laptop and mobile device (e.g. tablet or smartphone). I start with a quick demonstration, often recording the video prompt in front of the class. Then I invite participants to work in groups of two to three to record their responses. Some even go out into the hall. After they have completed their video responses, we share a few to the whole group. Who would not be engaged by their own face and voice as they connect with others?

    FlipGrid in the Classroom

    “Seeing and hearing students’ video responses can make discourse fun; the site allows personalities and ideas to shine in 90-second clips,” says Polly Conway, Commonsense Media reviewer. “Design is colorful, clean, and intuitive.” Curious about how participants in my workshops would describe Flipgrid in their classroom, I asked them to share some reflections. “How would Flipgrid be helpful?”
    • In computer programming, students could use it to demonstrate how the code works and the output.
    • Formative assessment tool.
    • Quick check for understanding.
    • Have students work on a collaborative group project and then share their collective or individual video reflection on each task.
    • It is a great resource to use with the teachers we coach so they can reflect on their practices.
    • English Language Learners (ELL) students can experience opportunities to develop their language and practice language mastery.
    • Flipgrid in elementary would be a strong resource for reading responses.
    Listen to this Voxercast (audio recorded using the free Voxer app). It features two TCEA Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE), Jocelyn Crew (Lyford CISD) and Jodi-Beth Moreno (Education Service Center, Region 1) sharing about Flipgrid.

    Flipgrid Resources

    Others have been exploring Flipgrid for classroom use. Consider these examples:
    If you’re interested in exploring FlipGrid or other video annotation solutions? Check out this blog entry on Video-based Active Learning.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Create Lessons with #FREE Interactive #Math and #Science Simulations @flipgrid #msftedu

    Note: This blog entry was originally published at TCEA.org’s TechNotes blog. Read it there along with tons of other great articles!

    Need to model complex math and science concepts for your students? Use any of the 130 award-winning PhET math and science interactive simulations. Available for grades three through adult learners, these are  open educational resources (OERs), which means they are free to use. Each simulation will work on any device, making it perfect for 1:1 and BYOD classrooms, as well as those with only teacher projection.
    Image Source: https://phet.colorado.edu

    Explore Simulations

    Each PhET lesson (e.g. Balloons and Static Electricity simulation) comes replete with resources. Included are a video primer, lesson ideas, and teacher-submitted activities. Watch this video for an overview. A main goal of PhET is to assist students in becoming scientists. As learner-in-chief in their classroom, teachers ask questions (combine them with Quizziz or Kahoot for quick assessment) to highlight key concepts and spur deeper inquiry.

    Measure Learning with Office Mix

    Combine PhET and Office Mix to further support student learning.  Explore a friction simulation. This can help students see what factors affect friction. Students can then respond to multiple choice questions which are placed in a Powerpoint slide show using Office Mix.
    Did you know? You can learn how to blend technology into instruction. Schedule an online or face-to-face professional learning session with TCEA’s Microsoft Innovative Education (MIE) Certified Trainers and Experts.

    Support Open Inquiry

    Another approach involves using a student-centered strategy called POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning). Students work in small groups with individual roles or in cooperative learning groups if the learning needs to be scaffolded. POGIL activities focus on core concepts. They encourage a deep understanding of course material and develop higher-order thinking skills. Find out more | See it in Action

    Engage in Video-Based Reflection

    Deepen reflective interactions focused on a simulation with video. Use Flipgrid.com to pose video questions  about a simulation’s key concepts. Students respond via their mobile device’s built-in video camera.

    Conclusion

    These approaches and technologies are so easy, you can get going quickly. Select your interactive simulation and scaffold the inquiry with POGIL. Then, assess learning with Office Mix, Quizizz/Kahoot, and Flipgrid. Your students will be thrilled you made the effort!

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Single Sign-On (SSO) Solution for Texas Schools #edtech #txed @encore_enboard

    Just received this press release from Encore Enboard folks…definitely check them out as a great SSO solution!

    Don’t play password roulette
    Are your staff and students playing password roulette?
    Many districts are trying to adequately manage many digital resources
    and are discussing SSO. 

    Join Encore for a quick overview covering the following:
        What is SSO and how does it work?
        Can you create accounts in your SSO?
        Is it secure?
        Join Encore at the upcoming conferences FETC, TCEA and CALSA to learn more 

    Join us January 18, 2017, at 11:00 am for a quick overview to learn more.
    click here to register


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Google Teacher Tribe VIP Member! #gttribe

    Wow, so excited to have received this email announcement from dear colleague, Kasey “Shake Up Learning” Bell and new friend, Ditch That Textbook‘s Matt Miller:

    You are now a VIP Member of the Google Teacher Tribe!

    Welcome and thank you so much for your early support of The Google Teacher Tribe Podcast! We are so excited to share this journey with you.

    Grab Your VIP Badge! 
    As a thank you for your support, we would like to give you a digital badge that you can place in your email, on your blog, your website, wherever you like–to help spread the news about the Google Teacher Tribe.

    Follow Us on Social Media

    Use the hashtag: #gttribe 


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Towards a Community of Sharing: Reflections on a New @Voxer chat

    On January 2, 2017, I found myself at a Best Western in Sonora, Texas nursing a bee sting and listening to various Voxerchats, including Edumatch, ConnectedTL, EngageChat. That’s when a request for help came in via Voxer. That evening also found me longing for a Texas Voxer community focused around teaching, learning, leading and edtech (well, of course!).

    As I polished off my 8oz cup of Sonic french vanilla flavored coffee (quite good when you’ve been driving for a few hours, starving and bee stung), about to enter a caffeine-fueled swiftly flowing current of creativity (forgetting about my bee sting altogether until it started to throb at midnight, a 6-hour fugue), Dr. Dorian Roberts sent me a vox asking me about Microsoft stuff. She had been referred to me by Christy Cate (thanks!).

    Please join in at http://ly.tcea.org/tceachat | Voxer direct link

    As we chatted via Voxer, I realized what a tremendous opportunity I was missing–the opportunity to setup a Voxerchat that results in me learning more about tons of different topics! And, what better way than to ask others to teach me what they are great at? So, with that idea in mind, I brainstormed (in a blink of an eye, since I was coffee crazed) what should be needed:

    http://ly.tcea.org/tceachat
    • This needs to be a slow chat because who know when folks are going to jump in, and it’s great to not have the pressure of “we’re only doing this RIGHT now and you are going to miss out”
    • I need to setup pictures with info. Why not use Google Slides to create that and collaborate with others? (yes, yes, I could have used Powerpoint online, too).
    • Create a virtual space to house content, links, etc. Why not use OneNote Online? See image above
    • Invite new guest speakers to offer 1 question per day, Monday – Friday. 
      1. Build personal connection to topic. (what you feel)
      2. Share research and information (what you know)
      3. Share learning experiences (what you have experienced)
      4. Overcoming challenges (how you have detoured around roadblocks)
      5. Lessons Learned, Resources Gathered that may help others
    • Schedule some tweets using Tweetdeck announcing the chat.
    • Invite awesome folks to be “guest agitators”
    • A way to archive voxer audio contributions, or “voxerbursts” (yes, I’m trying to put that word in circulation).
    • Include voxer chat tips and tricks.
    How is it working?
    Curious as to how it’s working? Well, it’s working great! Our first two guest agitators have included Diana Benner (@diben; Read Sprinkle Innovation Blog) and Eric Curts (@ericcurts; Read Control Alt Achieve Blog). Both have done an incredible job sharing ideas and getting conversations going. More importantly, others have jumped into the conversations and I’m thrilled to be learning with them.
    For example, during the inaugural week, Dr. Katie Alaniz (you may remember her from my series on edtech coaching) jumped in each evening (more like LATE at night) and shared awesome research and insights into everything. Tons of other great folks are piling on this week, sharing their take-aways and learning.

    Want to be a Guest Agitator? Shoot me a Tweet or sidevox me!

    While not every topic will appeal to every Voxer chat member, I am hoping that we develop a community of continuous sharing where everyone will feel comfortable stepping up to the microphone.
    When that happens, I know #tceachat will have moved from a group of people hoping to learn from each other to a learning community.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Teleprompter Needed?

    There are a million uses for teleprompters in every and any situation you can think of. In fact, if I could, I’d have a teleprompter every time I spoke to a large group. It’s quite reassuring to know what to say, when.

    No doubt, you can think of lots of teleprompter uses in the classroom. Of course, using teleprompters shown above is crazy. What could you use instead? An inexpensive Chromebook and a free add-on perhaps.

    The goal of this quick post is merely to point out two available Chrome add-ons you can use. Each includes a short description from the Chrome Store:

    TelePrompter

    Adjustable automatic page scrolling with mouse and keyboard shortcuts.
    It’s easy to use this extension to automatically scroll any page while you read your favorite articles.
    A few great features in this chrome extension:
    ✓ Adjustable min/max and initial scroll speed through options.
    ✓ Both the use of mouse and keyboard to control the scrolling.
    ✓ Change scroll direction with both the keyboard and mouse wheel.
    ✓ Toggle scrolling with a quick double click.
    ✓ Auto scroll start on page loads.

    Simple, free teleprompter. Paste text into editor window, and click “Start Presenting”.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Tools for Making Quick Videos


    Looking for some quick ways to craft videos? These tools are all wonderful and can help you put together a video quickly:


    • Mobile Apps
      Combine your mobile device (e.g. iOS/Android phone/tablet) with an inexpensive tripod (duct tape works, too!) and use one of the following apps:
      • YouTube Capture (iOS only): This phenomenal app allows you to quickly record video, save it straight to YouTube. You can do simple annotations/edits with the app.
      • Shadow Puppet EDU (iOS only): Combine pictures, video and sound in this app to create a great video you can save to YouTube.
    • Screencasting
      Screencasting often involves recording your screen. Most screencasting tools will allow you to capture you in a small preview window, enabling you to record your screen while picturing you.
      • Screencastify: This easy to use Chrome browser Add-On allows you record Chrome browser tab with sound, your Desktop with sound, and include you in a preview window. You will have to pay more money ($20 onetime fee, well worth it) if you want to record longer than 10 minutes.  Watch tutorial.
      • Nimbus Screenshot and Screencast:  Similar to Screencastify but free.


    Bonus Tips: Take advantage of Green Screen tools to kick your video up a notch!  
    • iOS Device handy? Take advantage of the Do Ink Green Screen app ($2.99) and a $1.00 Family Dollar green table cloth to put yourself into the screen.
    • Windows 10 device? Use The Simple Green Screen app.


    And, finally, Chrome browser with webcam laptop? Use a Google Hangouts background! You can combine Screencastify and Google Hangouts Chrome Add-On to get all Googly (terrible example). After recording the video, crop it to cut out all the unnecessary screen noise. Example shown right.


    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Redesign That: SketchUp in Schools #txed

    SketchUp Pro

    “We’re going to redesign our Spot’s dog house this holiday break!”
    “What do you have so far?” I asked. My colleague held out a legal pad, crude drawings marring the perfect yellow pages. If you’re going to be re-arranging a dog house or your living room to fit a Christmas tree, take a look at SketchUp Make and SketchUp Pro, available for free to K-12 public schools.

    Get SketchUp

    With a Google account, you can do the interior design work using the newly-released My.SketchUp.com. And if you want the full power of SketchUp Pro (a $695 value), fill out a short form through TCEA. Private schools can obtain SketchUp Pro EDU licenses for as low as $15 per seat per year.

    Use SketchUp on Chromebooks, Windows, and Mac

    Available for Mac and Windows computers, SketchUp Pro now comes as a web version usable on Chromebooks. What’s more, SketchUp Mobile Viewer ($13.99) allows SketchUp models to be viewed on the iPad.
    As my colleague put it, “Google SketchUp is 3D modeling software that lets you create anything you can imagine. It’s powerful enough to build complex projects, yet is easy to learn and use.” Their work appears in SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse, which houses millions of models. Simple enough to use that grade 3 through adult learners rely on SketchUp for a variety of tasks. SketchUp can be integrated into different classes.

    Make Creative TEKS Connections

    Classes such as, art, science, history, geography, and math are just some of the perfect venues for learning with this free software. Some ideas of how you might want to use it in your classroom are available at TCEA’s SketchUp Resources. Curriculum projects can align to the Technology Applications:TEKS in Grade 6, such as defined below:
    Creativity and Innovation: The student uses creative thinking and innovative processes to construct knowledge, generate new ideas, and create products. The student is expected to…
    (C) explore complex systems or issues using models, simulations, and new technologies to make predictions, modify input, and review results
    You can find teacher guides that provide specific models.

    Explore More Features

    For children with autism, Project Spectrum shares powerful examples of student creativity made possible. SketchUp Pro can also be used for 3D modeling and printing. Students can create designs in SketchUp, then save them as OBJ files. These can then be opened in your 3D printer’s software (e.g. Makerbot) and printed. Talk about authentic learning!
    SketchUp Pro also supports design templates for 3D printing, making it a simple matter to create to scale. You can also export designs in 3D Warehouse to STL file format for 3D printing. Doing so helps clean up your design before beginning to print. Another neat feature involves interacting with holograms. Visualize design data and collaborate with others using SketchUp Pro with Microsoft Hololens.

    Conclusion

    SketchUp makes creating models for sharing, and printing. Prepare your children for the future and introduce them to it today!
    Special thanks to Taylor and Brian Wright for sharing their use of SketchUp to create real structures via their blog.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Activate Learning Innovators

    Change can be difficult. But it’s almost always necessary. So how can we activate learning innovators in schools? In this blog entry, we will explore key technologies and action steps.

    Getting Connected

    Today, we have access to new technologies.  VoxerAppear.inEdmodoTwitter, blogs, Skype for Business, and  YouTube Live are only a few.  Decide whether the tool, such as GoogleDocs or OneNote Class Notebook, scaffolds learners’ efforts. Ask yourself, “How does this technology facilitate access and reflection across time, space, and devices?”

    Growing from Network to Community

    In a professional learning network (PLN), the more nodes (a.k.a. people) in your network, the richer the flow of ideas. Moving from information to innovative practice requires effort. Think of a PLN as a journey of learning and reflection. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) often involve groups. PLCs also describe a team’s shared journey of learning and reflection. Unlike a PLN, the PLC focuses on team efforts for achieving desired student outcomes. Which works best in your situation?

    Activating Learners: Steps to Success

    Allow me to share some action steps I have learned with past initiatives such as  Pathways to Advance Virtual Education (PAVE), EC3 iPads in the Classroom , and the Technology Integration Lead Teacher (TILT) Program in several settings. Take these action steps to get a similar effort started in your school or district.
    1. Organize learning around content that fosters innovation. That may be why one Texas district brought in George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset, to lead #NISDTechCamp district-wide conversations (see my notes and  materials).
    2. Provide incentives that generate excitement among participants. Providing a stipend or technology equipment (e.g. iPad, laptop, Chromebook) that facilitates access is a common practice. When in a technology rich environment, offer options for various incentives. Remember incentives can also include badges for professional learning.
    3. Use a blended learning approach to meetings, including face to face and online. Be sure to bring the group together, face to face, at the beginning, middle, and end of the initiative. Social media has replaced cumbersome learning management systems (LMSs).
    4. Secure support from school/district leadership. Invite leadership to align strategic goals to your initiative and vice versa.
    5. Support participants in creating an online portfolio of work with video and audio reflections that results in certification.
    6. Let empowered individuals give back by helping others on campus.
    7. Celebrate, such as with a dinner or graduation ceremony. Celebrate the efforts participants have put into learning. This can assist them in assuming a new, influential role.

    An Example: Innovation Cohort

    “Reach for the edges,” says Ryan O’Donnel via a Voxerchat I’m participating in (connect with him via the ConnectedTL Tribe Voxer chat) as he shares his vision in this Innovation Cohort Application. Notice that there are several components, such as required meetings, designing an innovation project, site-based support, financial reimbursement for time, and an application process. Many similar efforts exist, such as the Google Certified Innovator programMicrosoft Innovative Educator (MIE), Discovery Education Network (DEN) Stars program, as well as many more (e.g. Seesaw Ambassador).

    Invitation to Reflect

    Please share in the comments what your thoughts are about these kinds of efforts. If you have participated in these efforts, how did they impact your work?

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    Dystopian Learning: No Matter What the Device

    “You’re just a shill for Google,” a district colleague joked when I shared I had been selected to participate in the Google Certified Innovator program in 2010. I laughed for a moment. If that moment was funny, the fact that I became a Microsoft Innovative Education (MIE) Expert in 2016 must generate a few more chuckles. And some wondered at my efforts with a 1:1 Apple iPad classroom. Work in education, you soon find yourself avoiding a dystopian, technology singularity.
    The Big Three, which includes Apple, Google, and Microsoft (let’s refer to them as AGM going forward), are competing for space in today’s classrooms. Each boasts new, powerful software, hardware, and online spaces that bridge the learning gap for educators around the world. From Apple’s Distinguished Educator (ADE)  to Google Certified Trainer to Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Trainer, each program connects you to a vibrant community of educators.
    AGM’s respective efforts involve getting educators to adopt education versions of their consumer technologies. While claims of classroom transformations must be taken with a grain of salt, there are real benefits. Let’s explore some of the benefits below.

    Drink the Kool-Aid!

    “Have you drunk the kool-aid?” When you drink the kool-aid, you suspend your cynicism of AGM’s intentions. Instead, you embrace problem-solving with the technologies at your disposal. The more active the AGM-affiliated educator community, the better off you are. These communities connect via various social media, email lists, and face-to-face gatherings. All are focused on helping you bring the power of their technologies to bear on overcoming learning challenges.

    Solving Learning Challenges

    How would you approach the problem below?
    Students need to adapt propaganda techniques seen in presidential candidate advertising. After analyzing those techniques in several video segments, students must create their own version. The version will connect to their reading of TIM, Defender of Earth, a dystopian novel featuring a dinosaur in a world-saving battle with nanobots.
    How would you approach this from your particular AGM perspective? For fun, let’s jump right in and see (i  alphabetical order):

    Apple

    Students could collect video clips, recording relevant clips using the iPad’s built-in camera. They must provide a brief analysis of the propaganda techniques in the video, then transition to their application of the techniques to a TIM, Defender of Earth main character. They could use one of these free apps (Shadow Puppet EDU or Touchcast) to create narrated video clips and then stitch the production together in iMovie ($4.99), Videocraft ($3) or Pinnacle Studio Pro ($13). Videos would be turned into the class Seesaw account (free), appearing on the Class Seesaw Blog after the teacher approved them. Students in other groups could offer feedback via the Seesaw app on their iPads.
    That’s one approach to solving this challenge using Apple. Let’s take a look at another way.

    Google Suite

    After reviewing YouTube versions of commercials and advertisements, students decide to use video annotation tools built into YouTube. They annotate parts of the video, highlighting the parts that exemplify a certain technique. Upon completion, students organize a Google Slide featuring still images, incorporating a comic strip storyboarded in Google Draw, and a video they recorded to YouTube using either their mobile phone with the YouTube Capture or their Chromebook’s webcam with ClipChamp extension($49 per classroom per year). Other students incorporate audio into their Google Slides presentation by recording voice-overs using Nimbus Screenrecording extension (free). And others might use Adobe Spark (free) or WeVideo ($250 per classroom per year) online.

    Microsoft

    Students might create a OneNote notebook, providing a written analysis of several videos from YouTube and Vimeo. They can copy and paste the video link (a.k.a. embedding) into a OneNote page, the video appearing for viewing. Then they use their MS Surface Pro 4 tablets to record a video rendition of their advertising. They could blend propaganda tips into the video and then add their explanation of what they did. As a final step, they create a view link for their OneNote Notebook. This makes it possible for anyone with an Internet browser to view the OneNote Online. Their teacher can make a class Sway highlighting the published products and share it online via Docs.com. Students with special needs are able to interact with the OneNote Notebooks their classmates create using the Learning Tools add-in.

    Conclusion

    You may have seen several possible ways to overcome the learning challenges in the scenario presented. In fact, like most educators, you imagined ways for all technologies to co-exist and empower students. Settling on only one technology may lead to an unwanted dystopian learning situation. Consider blending technologies instead. With that in mind, what would your technology classroom utopia look like? Please share in the comments!

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure