Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

1:1 and the SAMR model

Posted: June 11, 2013 in 1:1, Learning..., technology

Our district has done a beautiful job of supporting us with plenty of opportunities for growth and preparation within the 1:1 model for the summer, and I look forward to taking the opportunity to learn, grow and prepare for next year.

The first online course for us is one about the SAMR model of technological integration.
Here is a video describing SAMR, if you are unacquainted:

And then a thoughtful blog post:
SAMR and the integration of technology

Finally, a cool matrix to look at that compares learning environments (constructed, active, goal-directed, etc.) with the SAMR integration types. (This is REALLY cool! Check it out. It even has videos that describe the various levels of integration in relation to the classroom/learning type!)

Technology Integration Matrix

Our task is to take a current lesson and kick it up a notch or two, more meaningfully creating technological integration. I’m on it!


Yesterday we got the official news: We are going to be a 1:1 iPad school! Every student in our school next year will be receiving an iPad and we will be moving forward as a staff to fully integrate technology in our classes and for our students with the ultimate aim of increasing student achievement.

I know there is SO much to think about in the 1:1 environment, and I am excited to learn, learn, learn! Do you have any resources I should check out and be inspired? I’d love to hear it!

Ultimately, I would love to have a fully integrated classroom, and will be looking forward to making strides with calendars/planners and even digital binders for the students in my AVID classes!

Week one has gone by for the 23 Things discovery learning project.

It was a hot and busy first week, and many people who were/are very interested didn’t have the time to breathe… much less get going on their 23 Things. (How was your first week this year?) I’m attributing the somewhat slow start to that… I’m still hearing interest in the program. Many asked if they could join in during the second week. Absolutely! So we’ll see how those numbers change in the upcoming week.

This project was publicized for our staff, but I’d love it if we had even more people participating (think Flat Classroom Learning). The learning from the 23 Things project is meaningful and easy (even for beginners), but the collaboration and networking that happens as you cheer each other on in their discovery journey becomes even more meaningful the more voices and perspectives we have.

So if you happened across my website today and are interested (at all), come and join us!

SWC’s 23 Things: A discovery journey in Web 2.0

Technology (for Cows)

Posted: September 8, 2008 in Moodle, technology, Theory
Tags: , ,

 I recently had the distinct pleasure of touring a brand new major dairy barn that is being built in the family. Since everything is new, they are switching over to RFID tags for the cattle. It all begins as they put a little round piece of plastic in the cow’s ear. From that point, the cow is a pawn in a fantastic tracking system.

As they enter the milk parlor, they walk to their place and the RFID chip is recognized.


The cow’s information comes up in the technology. The farmer can choose to milk/no milk along with other things.

As the cow is milked, the technology monitors the flow and amount of milk. This information is tied to the cow via the number on the RFID chip. Once the cow is done being milked, it’s time for the exit strategy.

As the cow leaves the parlor, she walks down the ramp and can be automatically separated by an electronic gate. The farmer (herd manager at this point, in my mind) sets up that certain cows need their hooves clipped or vaccines and enters those RFID numbers into the system. As that cow leaves, she gets separated via electronics into the area where she can be helped.

SOOO… What is the application? (AKA Why are you reading this?)

With the legitimate movement toward more and more formative assessment, we are empowered with information.  Through our empowerment, students are able to achieve at higher levels and it makes other things, like differentiation (for even more success), easier.

Technology can make our job easier, just as it does the herd manager. Maintaining and managing information about student ability through technology becomes easier and easier. The ability to aggregate and disaggregate this data can be almost fluid (after, of course, you learn how).

The technology I’m excited about for all of this, and plan on working with even more this year, is Moodle. Moodle has the ability to set up groups in your classes (separated and maintained by anything you think is meaningful) that can be visible or invisible to your students. You can then customize any assignment to certain groups.  You type in their number (add them to a group) and they can be separated for the help they need… online… (almost) effortlessly… seamlessly… and invisibly. Invisibility and seamlessness: the keys to meaningful technology.

Today we had our staff meeting where I presented about the 23 Things learning opportunity (join us if you’d like!). It was awesome to see so many people writing down the web address, even though they knew I would send it out to them later via e-mail.

For some reason my jump drive refused to work at all, so my PowerPoint presentation that I toiled over for this presentation was out of the question. It turned out okay, though. My dear friend played along well and asked some questions (in that fun way so it seemed like we planned it out as part of the presentation). Fantastic.

After the meeting, one teacher came up and talked about how she was very excited because she had been meaning to do more with technology and this is the perfect “next step”. Another teacher was so excited and said, “I just feel like… like I can DO it!” This totally made my day. Even one of the administrative assistants e-mailed to say that it was fantastic… I hope that she tries it as well. I think it has application in everyone’s life.

So, after a long day of hauling boxes, unpacking boxes and trying to find some semblance of order in my room again (we had a  huge construction project this summer), I’m tired. I hope you’re all having a good night and a great day of school tomorrow!

Last year we really “dug in” in the upper-level German classes and watched the podcasts of the German news (“Tagesschau” from ARD) on a regular basis. We used various exercises to interact with the news: find key vocabulary, bell-ringer activities with the key vocabulary ahead of time, just watching the show (no audio), only audio, creating our own news interpretation as anchors in front of the video, and more. Watching the news was a multi-purpose activity. It is authentic and holistic learning as students can pick up all kinds of vocabulary and news information (differentiated in its very essence) all while they are learning about German (and world) culture and taking those important steps closer to becoming world citizens. It was a fantastic adventure, and we tried a few different news sources, but ended up sticking most with the Tagesschau.

It was a bright, sunny Thursday (read: hot and sweaty in a classroom with no air conditioning) and I was back from lunch, setting up the final things before the upper-level class and one of my students came up to me, PSP in hand.

“Frau? Were you able to get today’s news? I tried a couple times this morning  and couldn’t get it. I’ve got all of them from the past two weeks and I’ve been watching them <thrusting PSP closer to my face>, but I couldn’t get today’s. Could you?”

(Astounded and caught a little off guard) “Uh, no, actually… I couldn’t either. <smile> Wow. I’m so proud of you! Are you loving it?”

And the conversation went on…

Here’s what you need to  know. This student isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, the A+ student in the class (who you might assume would be the one to do this sort of thing), so this was really eye-opening (and exciting) for me.

It made me realize that the more opportunity you give kids to experience and work with (and find) web tools for learning, the more learning they will do on their own. My job, as a facilitator of learning, is to help equip them with the tools for lifelong learning… and for these students (digital natives or not), the tools that they often (not just want, but) need are embedded in technology (21st century workplace, here we come).

So what tools have you helped your students find and learn (perhaps unwittingly, like me) so they can be life-long learners?


Posted: August 13, 2008 in leadership, Learning..., technology
Tags: ,

It’s been a Tipping Point for me this summer (for some reason) and I’m kind of excited about it. I’ve lost some of that quiet anxiety and am looking forward to stepping out to help and serve others as a “real” leader. Okay, I’m not working for “Staff President” or anything like that (why does that title sound odd, yet “class president” is something we just accept as normal?)… instead I stepped into leadership of the technology committee in the middle of last year, and this year I get to start it off (the right way).

So I’ve been contacting members of the committee and talking about things like mini-sessions on various technology-related things… and, of course, the “23 Things“.

Today I read a post from Scott Elias about Leadership, and the quote he used to jump-start everything was one from Ralph Nader: The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.

This quote hit my latest concern on the head. I have been reaching out for this “23 Things” project because I want it to be collaborative and give others a chance to take real ownership in our committee and the things we will be doing. I am finding, however, that although some are very interested in “hopping on board” and talking already about ideas for mini-sessions (like effective PowerPoint, Moodle, etc.), others are just ignoring the whole thing (trying to be able to just “pass the time” in their committee choice). Okay. I might be blowing it out of proportion a bit (running up the ladder of inference, if you will) since we haven’t even begun school yet and I haven’t seen any of these people yet (all of this judged purely by e-mail correspondance, or the lack thereof). However, it still comes back to the question:

How can I inspire them to share of themselves and really become a leader in the team instead of just biding their time?