Thursday, August 22, 2013


Continuing on the theme of Integration vs Innovation in this post as well as thoughts from ISTE13.  

I am going to start with a question that may be a little bit silly, but I am going to ask it anyway.  How many of you know about the NETS?  If you did or didn’t do you know there is a NETS-S, NETS-T, NETS-C, NETS-A, and NETS-CSE?  It is the ISTE version of standards.  They break it down into different levels: students (NETS-S), teachers (NETS-T), coaches (NETS-C), administrators (NETS-A), and computer science educators (NETS-CSE).  Downloadable PDF two-page synopsis of the NETS standards can be found on the ISTE website.  

The main reason I bring the standards up after the Integration vs Innovation post is actually pretty simple.  If the teachers don’t meet some standards and basic knowledge of technology, how can they be expected to innovate with technology in their classrooms.  The same works for students, administrators, coaches, and computer science educators.  If students don’t have a basic knowledge/standard of technology skills, how can they be expected to use the technology in the innovative ways their teachers are asking them to do their assignments.  Administrators also need a set of standards for technology to support and guide their schools.

I know that I am a little behind in some of the NETS-C standards.  I need to sit down and see where I rank and figure out an IPDP (Individualized Professional Development Plan) that will help me in the area that I am “weak” or “lacking”.  I am ever wanting to learn and improve my technology skills to better assist the schools that I serve.  This is going to be an honest self-reflection of my skills, unless I am honest with myself I cannot improve.  Until ALL teachers, coaches, and administrators do this on their own, how can they be innovative in the classroom and build their students skills and knowledge.

I have another challenge for teachers, coaches/integrationists, and administrators.  Where do you rank in your specific NETS?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Integration vs Innovation

There is an interesting dichotomy in schools of what integration actually entails.  (I know it is early in the year and post to be throwing out the $10 words, but I just thought it was the right word for what I was wanting.)  There is an interesting TEDx talk by Richard Culatta that you only need to watch the first two minutes of the video and you will probably be able to name at least one person in your building or district that is doing what Richard Culatta is talking about.

We need more INNOVATION with the technology in our schools!  We need to be more TRANSFORMATIONAL with the technology as well!  We need to move WAAAAAAY beyond digitizing our curriculum.

How do we do this?  That is the Million Dollar Question!

I attended several session at ISTE this year that dealt with the Integration vs Innovation concept.  The thing that I have talked to teachers about with regards to this topic are several models of integration.  Each has its own flair and usefulness.  The three models are: SAMR, TPACK, and TIM.  I like the simplicity of the SAMR model with four levels of Integration/Innovation, as I will call it.  The TIM has a great matrix that allows a teacher/administrator to easily see where they are with regards to technology, not only themselves but their students uses.  The TPACK is the most complex and one that I am still learning more about.

I recently spoke with a couple of schools and challenged them, as a staff, to implement one of these models of Integration/Innovation.  I do the same to you.  Pick one of these models and  do a self-evaluation.  Are you just substituting/digitizing your material or are you innovating/transforming your classroom.  Change won’t happen overnight.  Raise yourself to the next level first and work your way up.  The next thing you know, you are transforming the learning of you students and being an Innovator.  Also don’t forget to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


This summer I came across a script in Google Docs that will set up all the folders for your classes and save you time.  The script is called gClassFolders.  When you run the script, it will take you through the entire process.  The only information that you need is the Student’s name and email address, class(es) they are in, period (optional, but for multiple sections), and your email.  Instead of typing in all the information yourself, all you would need to do is create a form that the students would fill out with all the information that they need.

When you run the script, it will create a shared folder between just you and the student that can be used as a “dropbox” for assignments.  It will also create two more folders that are shared between you and the entire class.  One folder is for sharing documents that are able to be edited by everyone, and the other folder for those that are “view only” documents.  It puts the folders in the teachers “Drive” and the students “Shared with Me”.  

This script will save you time in creating all the folders for all of your classes.  When combined with a form to gather the information you are needing, except your email address, you will save even more time.

You can find a video showing the setup process here.