PD 24/7 4u

February 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Angela Smyers, Jerram Froese – Irving ISD
Twitter hashtag #pd247


Biggest hope for when we work with teachers is for them to reflect on their practice and for the pd to have a long lasting impact on them

3 F’s. Framework, focus, flexibility.

Framework “lights the way” so that things make sense as they go through the process. Must be engaging, clear, consistent.

What will I learn
What will I read/study
What will I watch
What will I discuss
What do I do
What do I know (assessment)

Consistency with look/feel of courses online is important.

Produce some of your own content
Use internal products.
Interactive and collaborative tools
Build in options for product choice

We forget not everyone knows the same things or are at the same place. Example of how many people don’t know what web 2.0 is. We assume that everyone knows these things, but they don’t.

How do you engage teachers in online pd
Give them options, don’t just give them one thing to do. Start discussions.

Everything must align so the focus of the pd makes sense.

Fear factor with online pd is lessened because it is asynchronous. You can edit your thoughts and gather supporting evidence before you “speak”

Flexibility – teachers need differentiation too.

Q and a: does your online pd replace days of training. They allow some flex credit.


Simplify: creative uses for eduphoria e-courses

February 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Mendy Autry – Duncanville ISD (south of Dallas, 12k students)

In the room – quick poll, staff development challenges. Time is the biggest issue.

We can use these e-courses for required pd, i.e. Sexual harassment, blood borne pathogens. Cover state and federal mandates.

Copyrighted material – put it on intranet.

System doesn’t lie. They have e-courses and a deadline. If coursework isn’t finished by deadline, there is a f2f sessions teachers can go to.

Grant and stipend documentation
-date grant
-job specific stipends

A lot of the things we make teachers sit through on staff development days could be done via e-courses on their own time, freeing up time for them to choose other PD opportunities (and maybe allowing us to get in the door more on PD days)

Literacy beyond the classroom: social networking

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Amanda Ellis – 3rd gr teacher McKinney ISD

thetechieteacher.weebly.com – all resources from today’s presentation

Weebly is like a wikispace, mainly for getting info out.

Social networking – interactions, q & a, point/counterpoint, pln

Prezi – alternate to PowerPoint.

Blabberize – makes a talking picture, can record the sound via phone, mic, or prerecorded content

Glogster – digital posters

Voki – talking avatars – if students don’t type in what they want the voki to say correctly, it won’t play correctly. Makes students focus on typing.

Pbworks allows comments to be added directly to the page. Can set up student accounts and completely lock down the page so that everyone has to log in to view. Admin can delete comments.

Sounds like you might be able to do this with Moodle also.

Polleverywhere – online poll using text messaging.

Voicethread –

Edmodo – similar to facebook, but within a walled garden. Has a phone app available.

Kidblog.org – very kid friendly. Looks like wordpress.

Mixedink – students can collaborate on writing taking sentences and phrases and remix, but it gives the original writer credit.

Scrapblog – similar to glogster, embeddable.

Session covered lots of tools for getting students to engage socially outside of the classroom. A different view from traditional social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Web 2.0: balancing the protection of students for 21st century technology and learning

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Birdville ISD

Dr. Stephen Waddell – Superintendent (moving to Lewisville ISD) room is full of Lewisville folks
Kelli Montgomery – coordinator of instructional tech

Go to any conference and watch the number of people with laptops cell phones etc. As a presenter, should you assume that they are off task and not engaged? Why would you assume that about your students?

2 years ago House and Senate Ed committees listened to presentation by Daniel Pink.
Pink is the author of A Whole New Mind: Why right brainers will rule the future

We need to be producing the idea people, the creators, designers, etc that will come up with the things the rest of the world will produce because the rest of the world can produce items cheaper than we can.

Lots of examples of old tech being replaced by new. Adding machines, tractors in the 40’s vs. today, etc.

Lots of example, but not getting to the point (the title of the presentation)

We have got to develop minds and skills that cannot be outsourced.

We’re 35 minutes in and he still hasn’t gotten to the point.

Is it possible that we are going to go back to a time when people are hired for jobs not based on the degree they hold, but on the knowledge they hold and the work they can prove the can do.

We are not the experts anymore

Skills needed: critical thinking, creativity, communication,

Clayton Christensen: disrupting Class

Calculateforfree.com – free calculator. Some students prefer this to the TIs

Birdville unblocked YouTube 4 years ago. No controversy on this.

New belief: trusting relationships. How can we tell you that we trust you and then turn around and tell you that you can’t use these tools

We cannot mandate engagement.

Overall good session, but I wish he’d talked more about policies and procedures.

Delivering rich multimedia wirelessly to everyone on your network

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Keller ISD
Using eclicker host via mobile phone. Compatible across platforms. Enter ip address and it comes up via web browser

Did she say this app was $10?!

“we’re agnostic in our district” meaning they are not platform specific.

24/7 access is important
High school students would rather use full sized laptop or smartphone as opposed to netbook

Vested lesson plans

After this bond runs out, they are at $0 for tech. They need to embrace devices that students are bringing.

New campus – projectors are not mounted. Teachers asked them not to because it would limit how they teach. Projectors are mounted on an articulating arm and is mobile.

Threat detection with students bringing their own devices – Motorola has air defense which allows them to detect any threats. It is an ongoing process.

Did a whole policy around appropriate behaviors and not around what you can’t do. They looked at Littleton Colorado as an example of how to do this

Density of wifi to handle 1-to-1. Access points in EVERY classroom. 100gig bandwidth (it’s still not enough)

Guest network, staff network, student network

Currently using a wep passkey for each network, but are going to an 802.x authentication.

For kids who don’t have access at home, they can check out a verizon mifi card that is tunneled back to their network so it is filtered.

Not so much about what the title suggested but some great info.

TEA Update: new options with digital content in Texas #TCEA11

February 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

John Lopez – TEA

Quick note: John spoke at a workshop I was attending last year and there were very few details about digital content, just that it was coming.

Electronic textbooks – established commish list
Revisions need to be made to rules (like the fine for errors)
State will pay for books on commish list
Districts can choose from SBOE or commish list
Textbook funds CAN be used to purchase tech equipment.

TEA web site, instructional materials and technology – commissioners list.

Commish has established a list of equipment we can order to access content.

Approved vendors
One more that I didn’t get.

ARise (LEP) – available via project share.

Open source textbooks -hb2488
Only one vendor took state up on this and state dis not pursue it because the vendor didn’t meet the requirements

Open source texts would be free of charge.
SBOE can adopt an open source textbook at the secondary level.

Open source textbooks must be written by University faculty.

If adopted the state becomes the property of the state. State can add/delete content but will not prevent the vendor of the content from using/selling the content elsewhere. The intent is for districts to be able to modify as well so control will be local.

Tim Holt: isn’t the nature of open source that it is free? Why is state proposing to pay for this?
John: someone at the state level will need to gather the material and commissioner has ability to recover part of that cost via fees to districts.

What to watch for
New legislation
District decisions with instructional materials – we need to be involved in the decision making process along with classroom teachers – order a classroom set of electronic texts and pilot it
Impact in the classroom
mobile devices – we need to look more into that environment.

App developers, stop being iSheep!

February 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

Look, I get it. The iPhone is pretty. It makes cute little noises. It’s gotten a lot of hype, and now, it’s getting a whole ‘nuther network to work on.

But let’s take a look at reality here: there are an awful lot of people who don’t want to switch their cell phone provider. There are an awful lot more that don’t want to be tied to an Apple product that Apple will likely stop supporting before their contract is up.

My love affair with Apple ended badly, so yes, I’m a little bitter, but app developers who are trying to reach a wide audience need to realize that the iPhone isn’t the end-all, be all, of mobile platforms.  In face, Blackberry has been around a lot longer, and those users are getting screwed worse than Android users.

I’m an Android user by necessity. I didn’t want to pay AT & T’s ransom
rates for mobile. At the time, Sprint suited my needs. Now the iPhone is on the carrier with the second highest rates, and I still don’t feel the need to switch. I’ve become an Android fanboy. My Android does pretty much everything I want it to do, and I don’t have to jailbreak it to get it to play a custom ringtone when I get a text message. But guess what? If I do want to root it (the Android version of jailbreaking), it’s pretty straightforward and easy to do.

My beef here is with the app developers, though, so let me get into that.

The TCEA conference is happening currently in Austin, and guess what? There’s an app for that! And there was an app last year, but only for the iPhone. This year, they’ve added an Android app, and, you guessed it, it doesn’t work like the iPhone one.

If it’s a difference in app layout, that’s one thing, but having things that function correctly on one platform, but not on another (and that usually only goes one way, if you know what I mean) just frustrates people.

Here’s another example: in my district, we use FirstClass for email (they call it a “communications platform,” but let’s face it, it’s email.) They’ve had an iPhone app for the last year and a half. When the iPad came out, they had an app for that within a month. Guess when their Android app is coming out?

That’s right…it hasn’t yet. And notice the date on that tweet? It’s been 2 months since that little exchange. I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me they’re “real close” to being finished with something, it usually means it’s a matter of days. Maybe a week. Not MONTHS.

And did I mention Blackberry? We’ve had administrators in our district with Blackberries since before the iPhone came out, and yet, FirstClass doesn’t have a Blackberry app yet, either. Oh sure, there’s a way to sync your FirstClass account with a Blackberry, but the setup is just obnoxious. And you have to buy 3rd party software to do it.

Talk about not knowing your customers.

Look, it’s going to come down to the same old fight we’ve been having for years about platform. It doesn’t matter whether you have a PC, Mac, Linux, etc. If the software doesn’t work, and work the same way on all platforms, it’s never going to be adopted.

Sure, there will always be some platform specific software, like iMovie, but if you’re an app developer and you want to reach as wide of an audience as possible, the only way to develop is cross platform and launch cross platform.

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