Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meeting Notes - Feb 22

Notes from Wednesday, Feb 22 meeting:

TCEA - those who went to TCEA shared some "aha!" moments. Stella from Starkey shared an idea where a group of teachers from her campus meet in her room to discuss SMART board tips. They had their first meeting and John from BTW went over and shared some ideas.

Tech Assessment Scores - Material from Learning.com will be available for teachers to access for continuing their learning. There are over 250 online lesson material bundles available from TCEA that teachers can access. Information about this to be delivered after Spring Break.

Recommendations - Bob put together a recommendation for BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) and we are working on changes to it. Joel is looking at piecing together the recommendation to move to Google Apps for Education for increased access to mobile resources including email. We can stay with Microsoft but look at paying a minimum of $70,000 to get to the same level that Google provides for FREE. Email addresses would stay the same but inbox sizes would go to 10GB per user.

Storage - Joel is finishing up lessons to train staff on proper and appropriate network storage. The lessons explain the network, network drives and how to properly store files. We are giving an incentive to teachers who complete training in the form of a USB thumb drive for them to use to help store their files.

Summer Staff Development - starting to build catalog now. If you have ideas, let Joel know. He is looking for presenters. Techpalooza 2.0 will be Monday, June 4 at Hal Peterson again. This time it is "bigger, better and Paloozier". We may have a keynote speaker!

Joel is also developing a better way to infuse Learning.com with Atomic Learning by maybe giving topics to teachers to study in small groups or individual where they take on a topic and use online learning to develop CORE content using the different tools. Credit would be established for professional development and Earned-Off based on the completion of tasks. Similar to a book-study or independent research. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Last Lectures

In 2007, this lecture from Randy Pausch (1960-2008) of Carnegie Mellon University gave his last lecture on the topic of Last Lectures: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.

It is over an hour long but REALLY worth it.

I think I originally saw this video at a point when I felt unmotivated and beaten down by work and life. It sparked so much creativity in me and inspired me.

I wanted to share this as a continuation (or a precursor) to the previous post from Sir Ken Robinson on creativity. This is a great video.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Motivational Thoughts

This video was recommended to me to watch tonight and I found it to be such a great metaphor for our profession. It is a short video worth watching and definitely worth sharing.



Sir Ken Robinson is a great speaker and author. I have read his book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything and it is on my recommendation list for any professional to read. If you haven't taken the time to see it, I also recommend you spend 20 minutes watching this over 3,000,000 times viewed TED Talks video by Sir Ken on the topic "Do Schools Kill Creativity?". Well worth your time!


Lastly, I cannot stress how important the TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) app or podcast is. Think of it as a dialogue from people on the forefront of their field talking about being on the forefront of their field. It isn't just technology, these are dancers, puzzle-makers, street planners, bio-tech engineers, etc. talking about what it is like to be on the edge.

What do you think about his message?

Friday, November 18, 2011

App Making


6th Grade presenter, Thomas Suarez, shares at a local TEDx conference in Manhattan Beach about making apps and where he learned this ability.

Thomas articulates his vision that students are a valuable new technology resource to teachers, and should be empowered to offer assistance in developing the technology curriculum and also assist in delivering the lessons.

Have any kids at your campus who are interested in doing this?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Scope & Sequence Discussion

Technology Application TEKS change in 2012-2013

Current TA TEKS can be found on TEA's website at 1998-2011 TA TEKS



These are the new TEKS beginning in 2012-2013
K-2 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
3-5 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
6 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
7 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
8 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
High School TA-TEKS for all courses beginning in 2012-2013 (full list of all courses)

What are some ways to help teachers adapt TA TEKS into regular classroom instruction?


1. Learning.com - campuses switched from SRA Techknowledge to new Easy Tech online lessons that teach basic computer applications as well as integrated activities for core subject areas.

2. TCEA and Learning.com partnership - TIME - A portal for teachers to access specific content related to TA TEKS. Based on free and fee-based subscriptions. 

3. Forethought and Forethought Community (coming soon) - A way for teachers to share best practice when it comes to implementing technology applications in the classroom.

But what is best practice when it comes to implementation of TA TEKS?

How are you implementing technology in your classroom? Do you feel overwhelmed with technology? What percentage of your instruction relies on kids using technology to solve a problem vs. you presenting using technology?

How reflective of the district do you think these responses are?



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Published AEC

An article from this Scholastic Administrator was sent to me today. As I was flipping through the online magazine, I realized that this entire issue relates to so many topics we are discussing now in our committee.

Scholastic Administrator - Fall 2011 Issue

I suggest you take some time to read through this mag. It is completely online and you can flip the pages by clicking on the bottom corner of each page. Zoom in by clicking on the screen.

There are some options on the far right to print, email or even link directly to a page.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Meeting Notes - 10/17/2011

Today we met with cookies and snacks provided by Stacy at BT Wilson. We decided not to split into individual groups. We are going to share researching on the various topics to thread as discussions in each of our other AEC meetings.

Here is a list of topics and our ideas on them. Feel free to share discussions and comments/questions below.

1. Staff Technology Proficiencies: Joel will look into setting up testing accounts for all staff in the system that is used to assess 8th grade technology assessments. We currently use Learning.com's 8th Grade Tech Literacy test. He will address district Leadership to get this on an agenda for staff to complete during a workday.

2. Mobile Access, 1:1 student computers; BYOD: all of these merged into one topic. Deandra Ramirez, Nieves Stephens, and Patty Hyatt signed up to look into research on these.

Joel is going to contact Bastrop ISD about their survey they sent home to students to find out about what devices students answered they had access to at home.

Joel had information from Deer Park ISD about their current BYOD solution. Files are linked here:

DPISD - Timeline for implementation document
DPISD - Registering a personal device to the network
DPISD - Guideline FAQs
DPISD - Student BYOT Agreement
Ed Tech Magazine article about DPISD BYOD plan
DPISD - Presentation about BYOT
DPISD - Balancing Resources and Providing Access presentation


3. eCourses will be studied by John Mein, Eddie Mathews and Stacey Blair. Notes reference Project Share and Project Great as well as Perry's Principles and Khan Academy. Also a tool for screencasting that is free is Jing.

Also this is my post about Flipped Classrooms that I mentioned.

4. District Upgrade: This is more of a whole group discussion that will be implemented into all these other discussions. Nieves expressed interest in sharing about this but I think it will blend with the Mobile Access/BYOD topics.

5. Assistive Technology: This is also a whole group discussion where we share about resources we discover to help our special needs populations. Patty Hyatt expressed interest in this group.

6. Scope & Sequence: A continuation of previous years of work to continue promoting integration of the Technology Applications TEKS in all grade levels and subject. Updated TA TEKS were released last Wednesday! Stacey Blair, Stella Blocker, and Lou Anne Brown are heading up this group.
1998-2011 TA TEKS

K-2 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
3-5 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
6 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
7 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
8 TA-TEKS that will be taught beginning in 2012-2013
High School TA-TEKS for all courses beginning in 2012-2013 (full list of all courses)


Joel will see about getting new TA TEKS added to Forethought to make it easier to share.

He is working on getting our TIME accounts setup which is a new portal that Learning.com has made for teachers to connect them to TA TEK activities in one online portal. Link to TIME to read more about it.