Show 37: Technology Literacy & Hardware Choices- Part II

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Guiding Question: Which hardware tools for the task? Which hardware tools work best for particular kinds of learning activities?

Guest: Abrianna Nelson  The EdTech Report  ||  Journalism on the Ridge

Tips of the Week:

Abri- Notability as a multi-faceted tool for taking notes and handling documents.

The EdTech Report  ||  Journalism on the Ridge

David- A thoughtful and well-explained comparison of matching technology to the learning needs of the class can be found in the Giving Up My iPads for Chromebooks blog post from the “ Alice in WonderTech” blog. Alan November wrote an article for eSchool News entitled “Don’t Plan for Technology; Plan for Learning”. The article hits on the guiding mantra of our podcast that it isn’t about the technology but about the learning. Alan gets into how we title our tech integrators and directors of technology as he writes about advising an international school in SE Asia. I have to smile wondering if the school is HKIS where all the instructional technologists and the director of technology have moved on over the years. I would tell Alan that back in the day that we contemplated changing our titles back then to “learning specialists”.

Mark - The Innovative Teaching and Learning Program ( sponsored by the Microsoft Partners in Learning program is a wonderful resource for engaging your students 21st century skills. What's different about the ITL approach is that they have done a great job defining clearly what 21st century skills are and how they can be quantified and assessed. The Web site offers clear definitions, rubrics, and research from classrooms around the world. 

Show 36: Technology Literacy & Hardware Choices- Part 1

Guiding Question: Which hardware tools for the task?

Tips of the Week:

Mark- I like to take handwritten notes, but I also like things in a digital format. I was so excited when Evernote bought Penultimate, because suddently, you can have the best of both worlds. Penultimate is a great app for IOS that feels almost like writing on paper with a stylus on the iPad. When you link your Evernote account to Penultimate, each notebook you create in Penultimate is automatically uploaded and saved in your Evernote account. Beware, though, if you delete a notebook in Penultimate, it also is deleted in Evernote.

David- Racing the iPad in K12 Education comparing hardware choices for schools going 1:1. The article compares the iPad to several laptop choices including the Chromebook. It also looks at the $300 CDI Android UnoBook. Cost is a big factor for school systems as well as note taking especially for classes that rely on teacher delivered instruction. One telling point is that the hardware choice to some extent can tell one how shifted a school is. At my son’s high school they note that most of the students have laptops as they are better for taking notes for paper and pencil assessments which is the nature of most of their classes. The MS students at ACDS have iPads to connect to a curriculum that is moving towards individualized product creation assessments. Definitely a difference between a HS and MS but this example does offer some insights. A follow up tip of the week originates from USA Today that was published after we recorded the podcast. It reinforces our point from the podcast that the iPad with all of its creative tools really supports the constructivist, student-centered classroom. Chromebooks and other style laptops often adopted for MS and HS often tell the story of more teacher centered and direct instruction classrooms where students need a tool to take notes.

Examples of student projects from Alexandria Country Day School where David works. They are mostly generative projects using various hardware devices but some involve skill/drill work. Technology literacy to some degree of fluency really come into play.

Shifted Practice: Here is the link to Sara Stein’s presentation page.

Show 35: Teaching for Constructivist Learning

Guiding Question: How do you help your students build their understanding and make meaning in their learning? 

Guest: Stephan Anagnost of The International School of Curacao

Tips of the Week:

Stephan- The Trans Atlantic slave trade database voyages to get a deeper look at this time period.

David- ASCD’s Educational Leadership February edition is out focusing on the topic of creativity. Not all the articles are accessible without an ASCD membership but many are.

Show 34: Blended to Virtual Learning in History Class

Guest: Stephan Anagnost of The International School of Curacao


Tips of the Week:

Stephan- to help students improve their writing especially how original their ideas are. Interesting way for students to have in a sense peer review. Look to use it in the editing and peer editing process. Project Zero out of Harvard. Look to listen to our podcast with Dr. Jim Reese who coordinates the Project Zero Institutes.

David- Innosight Institute put out a PDF describing their classifications of “blended learning”.

Mark- Promoting Student Engagement is a very thoughtful and substantive blog written by Eric Williams, the Superintendent of York County Public Schools in Virginia. The blog focuses on exploring multiple ways to engage students in their learning. He often shares examples from his schools and connects these with larger trends in education. Eric is also a great follow on Twitter (@ewilliams65) where he tweets frequently about what he sees as he’s out and about in schools.

Show 33: Blended to Virtual Learning in Higher Education

Guiding Question: Besides MOOCs, what is happening in the world of higher edu regarding blended to virtual learning?


Guest: Jeff Nugent of Co-Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at Virginia Commonwealth University


Tips of the Week:
Jeff- The University of Central Florida’s Center for Distributed Learning offers its Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR) of blended and online instructional strategies. The VCU Online Learning Summit coming up in May.

David- Doug Johnson post at his Blue Skunk blog looking at MOOCs and K-12. He brings in a few other takes on MOOCs at the university level.

Mark- TPACK Cases is a new collection of video-based teaching cases collaboratively developed by the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education and the National Technology Leadership Coalition that demonstrates robust examples of TPACK in action. While they were developed primarily for preservice teachers, they could be great for experienced teachers as well.

Also, eLearning by Design by William Horton is a great resource for considering options for online learning.

Show 32: Team-based Instructional Leadership for Concept-focused Math and Science Education

Guiding Question: How can educators connect with one another to improve technology instruction for enhanced math and science concept understanding?

Guest: Sara Dexter, Associate Professor of Technology Leadership at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. for team-based instructional collaboration resources. Provides in-service and support for leadership teams in K-12.

Tips of the Week:

Sara- Immunity to Change: How to Overcome and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization by Bob Keegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey. Leading Adult Learning: Supporting Adult Learning in Our Schools by Eleanor Drago-Severson. Changing on the Job: Developing Leaders for a Complex World by Jennifer Garvey Berger.

Mark- The Teaching Channel is an amazing resource of video cases. While the library goes far beyond technology integration, there are about 60 videos focus on technology integration. All of the videos offer excellent lesson ideas and many include lesson plans and other materials.

David- Kara Gann recently completed her series of articles on the NETS for Coaches in ISTE’s Learning and Leading with Technology magazine. If you are a subscriber to the magazine, definitely take the time to read the articles to provide further guidance on how to provide the leadership and coaching for supporting technology use in your school.

Show 31: STEM in IB and Other Classrooms

Guiding Question: What are some teaching strategies to support STEM that IB and regular classroom use?  

Guest: Greg Moncada, STEM Coordinator for the Bainbridge School District. He blogs at The Bainbridge STEMBlog!

Tips of the Week:  


Citizen Scientist:

Citizen Sort:

Sheltered Instructional Protocol from Pearson

Citizen Science/Gaming: Citizen Science sites on Scientific American

Fold-it: Game driven citizen science protein folding site.

Eyewire: A neuroscience game that is designed to map the brain.

Citizen Sort: Learn how to classify organisms taken by others. Great for getting students to identify animals.

Other projects on CitizenScienceAlliance.  Good Whale music for orcas.

Problem Based Learning from the Pacific Environmental Institute: www.

We also have a number of webinars that we’ve recorded in the past year that give an introduction to some of the PEI guides (which are available for free online), as well as online tutorials that give a basic introduction to the guides. These include:

a.       Field Investigations(webinar): webinars/field_investigations  
b.      Environmental PBL(webinar): webinars/environmental_pbl
c.       Exploring Landscapes through Project-Based Learning(webinar): afwa/52242836
d.      Connecting students, STEM and standards through Field Investigations, Project-Based Learning and Systems Thinking(tutorial): php?id=325

David- I mentioned in Show 28 the value of having a unit planning template for your curriculum review system. Grant Wiggins recently posted about the importance of using templates in the planning process. If you are not already following Grant’s blog, do look to add it to your reader.

Future Problem Solvers:


Next Show- Sara Dexter, Associate Professor of Technology Leadership at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. She will join us to talk about team-based instructional leadership for concept-focused math and science education.

Show 30: Teaching IB History

Guiding Question: With so much pressure on IB teachers to deliver content knowledge to students, how can IB teachers design and facilitate more student-centered learning experiences?

Guest: David Riehl of Washington International School

Here are a few of the strategies that David sent as follow up to support what was shared in the podcast.

Some strategies that I try to employ in order to process and internalise content include:
  • The use and development of historical models eg. when teaching “The Origin and Development of Authoritarian States/ Wars" - these allow for the "layering of content" into a very visual/spatial construct while addressing bigger picture questions like "Are there discernible patterns in History?".  ie, Chunking of information.
  • The use of manipulatives eg.  When the order of events is key to understanding, type out the events in order.  Have the students cut them into strips (fun!!) and then place them back in correct order.  These can be kept in envelopes and reused for review. Just now as we are looking at the post-Lenin power struggle. I created Bolshevik cards where the students collect biographical information on the back side and positions vis a vis NEP for example. As we read a text or watch a movie the students should move the cards around to suit.  Good for checks for understanding etc. Again useful for review.
  • A primary source on a large poster size paper where a pair group must discuss material. Skills - agree on a message/meaning, value/limitations using the OPVL skills taught in the IB program. Ask key questions - What happened before this source was produced?, What happened after?  What can we determine from the source/what questions remain? Display of this work where possible illustrates/builds a thinking culture aesthetic and not just one of information.
  • Nothing beats a field trip or a guest speaker. I have been fortunate in my previous schools abroad to be near to centres of key events.  Right now I live in one.  Whatever the barriers/obstacles/demands on our time, I have found the investments worth it and trips memorable.

Tips of the Week:

David C: Two Edweek posts by Larry Ferrlazzo on using Ed Tech to support the learning process where he presents several bloggers and their viewpoints. Post 1 of a multi-part series.

Mark: The Microsoft Partners in Learning Network is a great resource for teachers and instructional technology folks. The PiL network is a massive, active community of educators and offers rich tutorials, great collections of tools, learning activities, and discussion groups.

David R: for history lovers, community-based: journal articles, media, etc. Series by the BBC on “People’s Century” for turning points in the 20th century. Storytelling and oral history.

Show 29: Overview of the IB Diploma Program

Guiding Questions: What are the learning goals set out by the IB organization for students taking IB courses in high school? What are ways IB teachers use technology to enhance learning?

Guest: Greg Moncada, STEM Coordinator for Bainbridge School District

Tips of the Week:

Greg- to get an overview of the progams. Look for blogs there was well.

Mark- Linoit is a great collaborative corkboard tool that is great for sharing notes, resources and links around a topic. It offers some of the same advantages as something like Pinterest or, but can also opportunities to discuss, through a series of post-it notes, along with the resources posted. You can also embed video clips, images, and links to documents. I’m looking forward to using this as a discussion board tool in my courses this spring.

David- World War II Learning Pursuit web site. I created this web site to house all the information for my IB HL and SL classes when we studied WWII. It uses technology in the form of Google Docs and online mind maps to provide the mechanism for students to record, process and reflect upon their learning. The resources section of the site lists links to a wide assortment of media. At the end of the school year the Google Docs and mind maps for each unit of study formed the basis for the study guides that teams of students constructed in preparation for their exams. I really pushed the students to use a wide variety of skills to not only gather and curate information but to push them to answer the much bigger essential questions often by working together.

Show 28: TPACK- It Takes a Village!

Guiding Question: How can we draw on distributed expertise to help pre and in-service teachers develop their TPACK?

If you are new to the term “TPACK”, do listen to our previous podcast on TPACK and the Learning Activity Types. You can also review the TPACK website.


Tips of the Week:

David- Jonathan Martin in his 21K12Blog shares insights and information about how to assess HOTS. He draws from the book How to Assess Higher Order Thinking Skills authored by Susan Brookhart. Jonathan is an incredible writer who goes in depth on the topics he covers. If you are not following him, definitely start to.

Mark- Creaza is a really amazing Web tool that enables teachers and students to create really feature-rich mind maps, create amazing cartoons, and edit audio and video all in the Web browser. All the apps are integrated and can be shared either publically or privately online. Free and premium versions are available.

Future Shows: We will have guests on to talk about the IB diploma program.