Tuesday, April 26, 2016

National Education Technology Plan: Issues to Address

There are certainly several issues to address to ensure that technology transforms learning for students.  In my last post entitled A Look at the National Education Technology Plan, I introduced the five main components of the plan.  In this post we will briefly review the issues that the plan hopes to address.

Issues to Address

  1. Digital Use Divide- There is a need for the learner to become creators and not just consumers.
  2. Evidence on the Effectiveness of technology-enable programs- Can we truly say a program made an academic difference in learning and meeting the standards?
  3. Effective Approaches of Using Technology- Are students using the correct methods for using technology to truly accelerate and enhance learning?
  4. Out-of-school Learning Experiences- How can we tie informal and formal learning together in and out of the classroom?
  5. Teacher Preparation and Professional Development- How can we better prepare teachers to use technology appropriately?
  6. Assessment Approaches- Are we taking full advantage of how technology can help with assessment including social and emotional learning?
  7. Protecting Student Privacy- How can we provide students with great digital resources while also protecting their privacy?
Do you see other major issues we should address when it comes to educational technology in the coming years?  Please share your thoughts.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A Look at the 2016 National Education Technology Plan

The U.S. Department of Education published the 2016 National Education Technology Plan in January 2016.  You can find the full plan here.  In my next few posts I will share my expanded reflections on reading the plan.  Let's first examine the main components of the plan.


Technology integration should be about transformed learning while remaining equitable and accessible to all students.


When appropriately applied, technology can enhance and accelerate teaching practice as well as enable new types of learning experiences.


In order for technology to transform learning and teaching, educational leaders must have a shared vision about how technology can best meet needs of students.


How we measure progress can be greatly enhanced by taking advantage of technology as an efficient means to assess learning.


Both a physical and learning infrastructure must be in place in order to adequately provide the connectivity that learning requires.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Google Tip of the Day: Create a Poll in Classroom

The question feature just got better in Google Classroom.  You can now create a multiple choice poll.  Here are the steps.

  1. Go to https://classroom.google.com.
  2. Click the name of the class.
  3. Click the + sign and then Create question.

  4. Type a question.
  5. Change the question type to multiple choice.
  6. Type the answer choices.

  7. Click Ask.
  8. Monitor the answers as they come in.

BrainPop Educator Features

Have you checked out the BrainPop Educator feature yet?  You can find it here.  https://educators.brainpop.com/

This is a great place to find lesson plans, materials, training, webinars, and videos based on the TEKS.  You can also find out some good information about how to manage student accounts here.


If you haven't setup your account yet, this may be useful.

Educator Codes (Taylor ISD Employees Only)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Google Tip of the Day: Add Reminders to Your Calendar

It is now possible to add reminders to Google Calendar.  There is a calendar called Reminders in your list under My Calendars.  This allows you to toggle reminders on/off from viewing.

Simply click a box on your calendar and then select Reminder.  Then add the details and click Create.

When the time arrives a message will pop up reminding you of the item.

Click Delete or Mark as Done.

Monday, April 4, 2016

T-TESS: Technology Integration

During the 2016-2017 school year, the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) will be rolled out to all districts in Texas.  Many teachers across Texas will be trained in this new evaluation system this summer.  As we transition to this new system, I will share my thoughts and tips on how technology can support teachers in the context of T-TESS.  Since I'm new to the T-TESS system, I will be learning many things along with you, so your understanding is appreciated.

After examining the Teacher Handbook, it is apparent that in order for technology integration to facilitate and enhance learning outcomes for students, it must be purposefully incorporated in lesson design.  Integrating technology should become a routine practice that is seamless and readily available for students. 

TEA explains that there are four critical elements which must be present to integrate technology effectively.  They include;
  1. Knowledge of Content and the Discipline
  2. Knowledge of Instructional Practices
  3. Knowledge of Technology
  4. Knowledge of Students

What are your initial thoughts about T-TESS and technology integration?  Look for future posts on this topic over the next few months.  Your comments and questions are welcome.

Google Tip of the Day: New Google Contacts Preview

You may not have noticed yet but Google updated the way contacts management works. Here is a video introducing the new contacts feature.

Student Project Showcase: Vision Taylor ISD

Vision Taylor ISD is a district-wide project where students are invited to take photographs and make artwork that best represents each word in our District’s vision statement. 

Mrs. Zavala, Taylor High School's Commercial Photography & Photojournalism teacher leads this project with the students taking art or a digital media class. 

She invites these students along with teachers, parents, and community members to share their interpretation of words from the District’s vision statement. They are encouraged to share via Twitter using the hashtag #VisionTISD. All are invited to follow the project at @VisionTISD