Kickin It Old School…Tech in 2009


Teachers’ Use of Educational Technology in U. S. Public Schools, 2009: First Look provides national data on the availability and use of educational technology among teachers in public elementary and secondary schools.  The purpose is two-fold: (a) to determine the availability of technology and (b) to determine how often technology is used.  The teacher survey included: (a) information on the use of computers and Internet access in the classroom, (b) availability and use of computing devices and software, (c) availability of school or district networks including remote access by teachers and students, (d) use of educational technology, (e) teacher preparation for  educational technology in instruction, and (f) technology-related professional development activities.   Continue reading “Kickin It Old School…Tech in 2009”

Can Technology Make Curriculum Cool?

Over the past few months, you may have heard some talk about Curriculum, Instruction and Technology (CIT) as one of the new specializations for the old Masters of Education (M.Ed.) degree.  Not surprising.

Tech is cool. Curriculum is anything but.  Technology has been a part of the social fabric for about 20 years, or so. Curriculum was carved into stone tablets back in ancient Greece, by Plato or Aristotle, or someone. Think of technology as a much-needed injection of youth serum into curriculum. Technology has fostered new learning theories, new gadgets for instruction, and new ways of doing…well,  just about everything.

According to a recent survey by the Education Week Research Center (2018), teachers said that to help students use technology resources for learning, not just educational games, teachers need a wealth of knowledge about how technology influences new ways of lesson planning, exploring new learning theories, and accommodating unique learners.

“Technology within the classroom, allows educators to enhance the learning experience for all students but more importantly provides educators the capability to meet the diverse learning needs of students,” Dr. Daniel Tanquay, Associate Dean of Faculty and Programs at Southern New Hampshire University said. “The key component to properly integrating technology is the educator’s ability to identify the appropriate technological resources to implement, as based on the student’s learning needs.”

And as with any hot new degree program that comes onto the scene, educators are chiming in with, “Will this benefit my students?”

The short answer? Absolutely. The longer answer? Read on for a few example degree programs.

According to Fischler College (2018) the CIT specialization helps prepare educators to provide effective instruction by incorporating contemporary technology.  The University of Albany has a different spin on CIT titled CDIT (curriculum development and instruction technology). According to U of A (2018), they provide opportunities to explore the intersection of curriculum and instructional design in cutting- edge, technology-infused 21st century teaching and learning environments. At Concordia University, they have a M.Ed. degree titled Curriculum & Instruction: Educational Technology Leadership. Concordia University (2018) describes technology in the classroom as helping students retain more details, access more information, and better share their ideas.

So, a degree with the combination of curriculum, instruction and technology is the new “thing”. It makes sense because educators that are equipped to blend learning theories and instructional technology to enhance student achievement are able to infuse the best practices of two disciplines. School administrators with CIT knowledge can emphasize district-level curriculum planning with instructional technology leadership.

Are you ready to be one of the cool kids? Have you started exploring the new curriculum, instruction and technology degree program?

7 Tips for Making Technology Integration More Human


Recently, I was speaking with a technology integration specialist (TIS) whose position is new for her district.  Her goal is to make it the norm for “teachers to be able to request TIS services for 1:1 coaching with any device or app or curriculum activity”.  She  is working to make both herself and the purpose of her position known, while generating ideas and trainings for teachers where technology-use lacks right now.  Continue reading “7 Tips for Making Technology Integration More Human”

Surveys for Technology Plan Building

I am teaching a graduate course on systemic change. During the course, the subject of building public schools technology plans has come up. When writing a technology plan, a survey is intended to compile information about the current status and future plans for the use of technology in the district. Surveys may be given to staff, students, community members and parents.  In Massachusetts, the commonwealth provides a tool called the Technology Self-Assessment Tool (TSAT). The TSAT has been designed for:

  1. Teachers: to determine their own levels of technology proficiency and to identify personal technology professional development needs.
  2. Schools/Districts: to assess their professional development needs and to plan professional development activities that will help all teachers become proficient in technology.
  3. The State: to gather and report data on technology competencies and technology professional development.

Many technology directors use this when writing their technology plans. I think it is a dated tool and I won’t document he agony of trying to login and how it requires teachers to have a separate (from ELAR) login to use.

Here is an alternative. I think you will find it much better than the TSAT.

Survey Tools for Schools

The Friday Institute has developed a set of surveys to help K-12 school leaders make data-based decisions in their schools or district. On this site, you can create an online version of any of our surveys for easy distribution, data collection and data review. Each survey is unique – you can create surveys for individual schools in your district and new surveys can be created each year. All surveys will be saved in your account so you can access your data at any time.

Once a survey is created in your account, you will be able to:

  • Monitor real-time response rates
  • Extract survey result data
  • View visualizations of survey data

Please note: You will need a valid Google account to access this tool, and you will need to use the same Google account each time you log in to access your data.

Let me know what you think, below.

Exploring Virtual and Augmented Technologies

In this blog post, we will explore how virtual and augmented technologies have found their way into classroom enhancing traditional learning by blurring the physical and digital world. Reducing the gap between the real and digital world makes the learning environment more flexible and adaptive.

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the potential to transform the way educators, communicate with students. But where do we start? With so many VR and AR devices, information, and experiences available on the internet, virtual and augmented technologies can be overwhelming.  The brief descriptions (1) and accompanying videos will provide you with the basic ideas and concepts for each technology. Continue reading “Exploring Virtual and Augmented Technologies”