Tag Archives: Ed Tech 501

Technology Maturity Survey

The technology maturity survey was an eye opener. If someone had asked me where my school rated before I did the survey, I would have said my school was fairly progressive. Now I realize that we are barely at Island status.

I rate my school as an Emerging Island for a combination of reasons. The primary reasons are:

  •  Because I realize now that it isn’t just about having “stuff”.
  •  How technology is or isn’t being integrated into the curriculum
  •  The impact technology has on student achievement
  • Limited communication between stakeholders

Today after a PD activity, a couple of teachers were talking about what happened to all the student laptops we had last year. I listened to all of the different ideas they had for students no longer having access to computers in the classroom, but I didn’t say anything. The sad thing is I know where they are – locked in a room in the media center. The computers are just sitting there, so close but totally inaccessible. It feels like we are taking giant steps backward.

Our district’s goal is to prepare our students to successfully compete in a 21st century environment.  We have the ability to do that: we just have to get everyone moving in the same direction. To do this, we must have a common focus. We can no longer be “islands” operating in isolation. Communication is the key!



Technology Use Planning Overview

Change is coming…..

What is technology use planning?

  • It is a short term plan that focuses on technology applications to reach desired outcome for learners and educators.
  • It is a SMART goal for learning utilizing technology in curriculum delivery.
  • It is embedded in staff development

The one thing that really stood out to me in the Transforming American Education Learning Powered by Technology (United States Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, 2010) publication is the shift to a learner focus. The plan must address the questions:  what are the desired outcomes for the learners, and how can technology enhance the learning and curriculum delivery? While building an infrastructure is critical, institutional hardware and software purchasing shouldn’t be what drives the plan. We are in the business of education, and our customers are the students. It is their needs that should be driving our planning. A couple of years ago my state began requiring the technology plan be tied to school improvement goals. I think this is a major step forward in outcome based technology planning. We have a ways to go, but it is progress.

In the article Developing Effective Technology Plans, See (1992) made a strong case for short term plans, stating the rapid change in technology. I agree that plans need to be for shorter time spans. For the past 12 years, I have been involved in one aspect or another with a district’s technology team. For six years this included writing the technology plans and e-rate applications. The technology plans were in 5 year increments, with an option to update (if approved by the state). This was/is a tedious and time consuming task, trying to plan for technology that may be antiquated in a couple of years. The focus of the plans seemed to be on quantity – how many computers, running what applications. Quality of integration or learning sadly was not the focus.  See (1992) points out that student outcome should drive the technology use plan. He continues to say that curriculum enhancement and staff development are also critical elements of and effective plan.


Anderson, L. (1996). Guidebook for developing an effective instructional technology plan, version 2.0. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved from

See, J. (1992). Developing effective technology plans. National Center for Technology Planning. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Technology Education. (2010). Transforming American education: learning powered by technology (Contract No. ED-04-CO-0040). Retrieved from



RSS for Education

RSS feeds = your own personalized ticker tape!

My Personal Teaching Resource Bundle

The RSS feature that is now available on many websites makes keeping up so much easier. I know most people are not new to RSS (Really Simple Syndication). I have subscribed to several sites for quite a while. For me, the difference with this assignment was using this resource on a professional level and not a personal one.  Utilizing Google Reader and bundling the feeds makes keeping up on the topics that interest me a snap. It is sort of like one-stop browsing. No more click here, then there, and scroll down to click yet another link. The bundle feature does it for me by putting all of my RSS updates in one nice neat package.

Having the feeds in a centralized location and package makes it much more convenient to see what is going on. Like most of you, my time is pretty precious and I don’t want to waste any of it. Using Google reader streamlines the feed updates, saving me time and energy. The bundle option makes it even more efficient. I like to keep up on what is happening, and I think this will help.

As a teacher, I think this could be a valuable tool for students as well. It offers students the same conveniences as it does me, saving them time and energy and making it much more likely they will utilized the product.  In addition, most of my students enjoy using the Internet and I look for different activities that will require them to use the Internet as a tool, not a toy. I think the Reader app in conjunction with the RSS feeds will help them see another aspect to using the web. It is also a great resource for on going research. If I were still teaching at high school, it would be an awesome way for me to have students track information for a senior project or other culminating activity.

What I got out of this assignment is a new appreciation for RSS feeds, and Google Reader. Without this project, I am not sure I would have taken the time to fully explore the usefulness of either of these tools.



Zotero Group Library

I first stumbled on to Zotero when we did our group Digital Divide project, but didn’t truly understand the depth of its abilities. So when this project came up I was totally stoked!

This week we really delved into Zotero. For those of you wondering just what Zotero is, it is an awesome Open Source application that becomes your personal research assistant. It captures all things digital from online PDF documents to audio files.  It allows you to upload files from your computer, or save documents from the Internet, and then generates formatted citations. Best yet….Zotero goes wherever you go. In this aspect it is similar to Google Documents, but its purpose is as a research tool, not a filing cabinet or productivity suite. If you want you may also download an app for your Mozilla browser and for your word processor. These applications sync with your Zotero account online, so your information is read and waiting wherever you are.

For Week 9 I choose to find articles on Open Source Software in education, not realizing that just about every application I was using was open source: my browser – Mozilla, Learning Management System – Moodle, search engine – Google, citation generator -Zotero, and since I was using my laptop and not my desktop my word processor – Libre Office.  As I found more and more articles, and really started reading them, I was amazed at how many open source applications are out there, and the impact they have on education.

For Week 10 we used another component of Zotero – the group library. This feature allows multiple users to share information in a group folder. Since Zotero has a note option, group members can not only view the documents and notes contributed by the other users, they can add to them. It simplifies research collaboration. If you want to see what our group has come up with, go check out our library:

In the future I can see using Zotero not just for this graduate program, but in my professional and personal life as well. I have already shown several colleagues this amazing tool. I think that students will really benefit from this application, especially since our servers are not set up to have individualized student logins or server space. By having students use Zotero, they will have all of their research information with them wherever they have Internet connectivity. They will no longer be chained to a specific computer, or be at the mercy of the computer’s hard drive and other students users.




Tech Trend Lesson Plan

This is the lesson plan I wrote for a seventh grade computer applications class. While I am not currently teaching, I have taught this class in the past.  I chose Tablet Computing as a topic because there is talk in my school district about purchasing tablets.  I figure if it were an assignment and the students took their publications to the board, it might sway their decision.

This assignment is in alignment with AECT standard 3.1, as it provides students with hands-on experience using tablets and smartphones for academic purposes. The exposure to the educational side of this technology would be a huge boon to the students.  There are a few who have tablets, or have played with them, but none of them have used a tablet as an educational resource or learning tool.

I think using tablets with our population would be a great advantage. Many of the students live where Internet and electricity are not always available, and students from outlying areas have rather long bus rides to and from school. One of the major marketing strategies for tablets is their battery life  is so much longer than a laptop; this would enable the students to use the tablet to do school work during their commute, and at home. In addition, our district currently has a reading initiative, and the tablet could be an integral part if we loaded the tablets with e-books.

For most school districts, virtually all decisions are standards and research based.  Implementing the use of tablets as a educational tool meets the criteria of  AECT standard 3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization, along with Arizona state technology and Career and Technical Education standards.







Ed Tech 501 Introduction Video

This is the video I created in Animoto as an introduction for Ed Tech 501- Spring of 2012


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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in 3.1 Media Utilization