Ground Zero: Creating a Tech Integration Program From Scratch

As I sat down today to really think about creating a technology integration program, I was struck by the magnitude of opportunity I have before me.

How often does one have the chance to create a program from the ground up?  How often does one have the ability to create it on your own, since you are the program?  Not often, if ever.

It’s not like I sat down and just put something down.  With the help of my PLN, I’ve been learning about what’s really important in education, how to best teach teachers technology, and how technology can really drive positive change in schools.  So clearly I’ve been pondering this for about the last year.  About three-quarters of last year’s time was taken up with teaching and all that goes with that (’nuff said).  This year, I will be a full time Tech Coach, so I need a structure, a curriculum with standards, from which to work.

To accomplish this, I started with the biggest picture and progressively narrowed the scope.  I looked at my District’s vision and mission statements, and then the same documents from the Technology Department.  With those open in one window, I was able to craft a first draft mission statement for my Program:

To provide District teachers, administration, and staff with the resources, training, and support necessary to integrate technology into the existing curriculum emphasizing 21st century skills and authentic, relevant learning.

 Taking this mission and Danielson’s Instructional Specialist Rubric (which is used by my District for my evaluation), I was then able to create three broad goals for the program:

1.  training – To develop and provide relevant and meaningful training sessions for faculty and staff of District 90 in the areas of iPad use in the classroom, Web 2.0 tools using the PC labs, and District software programs.

2.  resources – To develop and provide relevant and meaningful digital and print resources to help teachers and staff integrate technology tools into their professional lives.

3.  method for data collection & program improvement – To continually collect and review data from teachers and students on the effectiveness of the Program, and to then modify the training and resources to better fit the needs of the teachers and staff as a whole.

I then went on to create timelines, action steps, resources, etc. (but I don’t think you want to see all those).  HOWEVER, I do want feedback on these goals and on my Mission Statement.  What needs to be added/deleted/substituted?

Thanks in advance for your comments!

Bloom’s (Revised) Taxonomy with Apps

Today, I came across a fantastic graphic combining 21st century learning skills, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and the SAMR Model.  I wanted to press print to share it with my teachers next fall, but then I noticed that my elementary district shared just a couple of the apps listed on his wheel.  So, I decided to make a similar graphic using the apps on our teachers’ iPads – only the apps assigned to all teachers, no matter what grade they teach.


Flat Stanley Goes Digital

Flat Stanley has been a favorite in elementary schools since I was young.  Back when I read the story, we just talked about it in class.  When my own kids read it, they made a paper Stanley and sent it to my mom in Montana so that she could take pictures of him in situ.  Grandma sent back 4 x 6 pictures of Flat Stanley in a cow pasture, in the snow with mountains, etc.  Lots of work for even a doting grandparent!


This year, my second grade team decided it was time to take Flat Stanley into the digital realm.  They decided they want to have the kids create a Travel Journal for Flat Stanley (FS) as he visited a US State.  Here’s what we came up with:

1.  I colored in a paper version of FS, and scanned him into the computer (image to the left).  Yes, he is very caucasian, because I made him to look like me.  If I had known that he would have been used by the entire school, I would have made him more…well…racially neutral.

2.  I then had to cut it out digitally so that he could be inserted into other photos without having the white background show.  I used the free photo editor and this video for help.  The resulting image had to be a .png file to maintain the transparency around his body.

3.  The teachers then created a QR code for each state where FS could visit (naturally, they didn’t do all 50 this year!).  They plugged a URL for a website with lots of good pictures into  

4.  After sharing the FS .png image with the second grade Google Drive, I went around to all the iPads the kids would be using and put the image into their Photos.

Image5.  Students then used the iPads to scan the QR codes, save images of places off the websites, and then made a travel journal using the Book Creator app, inserting FS into the pictures on each page.  Their digital story could then be shared with other students, or exported in an email to parents.

What ways have you updated a children’s (teachers’?) classic to be a part of the digital universe?