Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tech Integration Workshop - Watch First

Pre/Post Assessment (Google Docs Form)
Workshop Checklist (Google Docs Document)

Technology Integration Workshop Main Page (Table of Contents)

Transcription of this video:

Hello everyone and welcome to this “Watch First” video for SchoolTechnology.Org - and this is the Tech Integration Workshop.  My name is Brad Flickinger and I work as a Tech teacher here in Colorado, as well as a Tech Integration Specialist.  I get to go all throughout the US and Canada helping schools and school Districts embed and incorporate technology skills as well as 21st Century skills into their curriculum.

Now, where you are at right now is by Blog.  It is a result of the work that I do when I work with teachers and Districts; of all the little ideas that I get - things that work, things that don’t work - I have decided to start recording it, mostly in a video Blog format.

And what you are part of right now is this Tech Integration Workshop where, when I have worked with Districts, they have said, “Hey, could you bundle that all together and tell us exactly what steps you do?”  So I was able to write it all down, and I got the twelve Steps all figured out - and this is what I do every time I go work with school Districts.  And that is where you are at right now, is by Blog that has all this information on it.

Now, you should be the person for your building or your District that is in charge of technology.  And these people go by lots of different names:  Mediatech Specialist, Tech Integration Specialist, Building Tech Coordinator - all these different things - but basically it all comes down to the same thing:  you are in charge of the technology for both either your building or for your District.

Now, you might be a teacher or an administrator sneaking into this course - and that’s great! So you will get a lot out of this workshop as well - but it really is meant for those people that are kind of the “go-to” people when it comes to technology for schools.

Now, the first thing you should really do is bookmark or follow this Blog.  If you already have a Google account you can just click the “Follow Blog” button - but really you need to know where this is so you can come back and check back on it often.  So, that is Item number one.

Item number two is set up a time and a reminder - so put a post-it note on your screen or something - to come back here a few days from now or a week from now, so you can keep going through the course.
The Workshop is twelve steps long; so you will want to set up time to be able to work on it every week.
Now, some people, when they see all the different Steps in this Workshop, they think “Ah, you know, I just really need to go to Step Eight, or do Step Three”.  You know what?  Try not to cheat, okay; don’t cheat with this.  Just start with Step One and do all those Steps, or the Action Items, that I tell you in each Step because I build upon them from Step to Step.

And in Step Eight I am going to be referring to things that we have done in the previous seven Steps.  So some of this might be a review for some of you - and others it might be totally new ideas.
So, I work really quick through it; these are short little videos that I do - but try your best not to cheat.  You will get much more out of the Program if you just follow it along.

And some people ask me, they are like, “Brad, how long is this going to take?”  And they see twelve Steps and they think, “Ah, twelve weeks I can get this done.”  Well, the reality is that some Steps take very little time at all; you know, you have got to order a couple of books, join a few Nings - it might take you an hour.

Other Steps are going to take you weeks and maybe even a month or two to do:  a Step like “Meeting with Teachings and Embedding Technology into Curriculum” - that could take a lot of time.
So for the whole course, if you can put in a couple of hours a week you should probably get through this in six to seven months, after getting through all these Steps.  But at the end it is going to be great because you are going to have all this technology embedded and incorporated into your schools.

Now, I am going to just assume that you have got great tech skills because on my Steps I am just going to say things like, “Download and install iTunes on your computer.”  Well, you know, I am not going to take you… hold your hand and tell you every little button you need to click on - you are going to, obviously, know how to do those types of things.  So I am not going to waste your time.

Now, the reality is that you can’t really get through this Program without spending some money; so I hope you have got some professional development money or some building budget money that you can spend on the books that I recommend, the subscriptions that I recommend - those types of things.  It is not money for me - it is money for these things that you need to have to make you a great Tech Integration Specialist; because, like any course that you take at University, you need to have curriculum; you need books, you need those types of things.  And I am going to be recommending those.

Now, also that goes hand-in-hand with the fact that I am very opinionated when it comes to school technology and 21st Century skills.  So I am going to tell you exact brands that I use when it comes to hardware and software; product names, Wikis that I use, books that I read - so and I am very opinionated.  And you are going to get that throughout this whole course.  And try to follow along; try to get exactly what I tell you to do, because I have been testing it in the schools that I have worked with and in my own school every day.

So, you know work around that.  And I am sorry if I offend some of you, and I am sorry if I say I don’t like products that you maybe love - and we can maybe talk about that later in the feedback slide that comes up.  But that is the reality.  I am going to be recommending actual products for you to buy.
And now, since we are talking about school technology, technology changes!  So under each Lesson should be a little area that says “Updates to this Video”; and I will put in there, if I have changed my mind on a Wiki that maybe you should be subscribing to, or there is a new something that comes along like a new Podcast; I will just put it down there.  So check that.  And then if it gets to be too much, I might just re-record the Screencast or the presentation about that.  But always check for changes because things happen - especially in technology.

Now, this is also the “funnest”, since you can watch me in high-def and I have recorded these and uploaded them to YouTube and they are available in 720p.  So go ahead and change that if you want to.  Now, I didn’t do this so you could just, you know, count the hairs on my beard or something!  But really I know that some people use this for professional development to go up in front of a group of six or seven building Tech people, and so they will put it up on the screen.  And so this is nice - so you are not going to see it all pixilated and blurry but you can actually watch it in high-def up on a big screen.  So that is why I have really done it.  But if you are just watching it on your computer, the 360p is just fine.

Now, you will need, obviously, a computer, broadband internet; headphones are a really good idea since most of this is done with a video Blog, so you can listen to me privately; and, you know, probably a notebook, and obviously maybe a folder in your bi-documents called the “Tech Integration Workshop” - just so you can download PDFs and keep things organized in that way.  So you need to set things up on your end.

And if you come across anything that you would like to see included in this Workshop, go ahead and send me an email; just right there on my Profile side of this Blog has the contact information. And you can send me your ideas as well as feedbacks, and your opinions on what I am doing.  And if there are any typos or anything like that, send it back to me.  The quality of this work is very, very important to me.  So please participate and give me feedback on any of your ideas that you have.

Alright, now we are down to the last two slides.  So, down below this video is a link to a pre-assessment; it is a short little pre-assessment.  So go ahead and take that pre-assessment.  And it is kind of where your tech skills are as far as tech integration.  And then when we are done the twelve courses, the twelve Steps, then you will take the post-assessment; it is so that you can just see growth.  And it is private, it is just for you - so go ahead and take it and file it away - but it just gives you an idea to think about as we move through this course.

And then the last thing - and this is THE most important thing - is download that PDF that has the checklist for this course, so that you can follow along from Step to Step and make sure that you are getting every point done.  That is the only way this works; is you have got to go through this and make sure that you accomplish every one of the Action Items and you learn every one of those points that are under the “understanding” part; that you understand these different concepts and those types of things.
So go ahead and download that; print it and get ready to come back.  And, hey - let’s right now go off to Step One and let’s get started!

So, once again, my name is Brad Flickinger and this is my Blog, SchoolTechnology.Org - and I will see you in Step One!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tech Integration Workshop - Step 1: The Big Picture

Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.

Lesson Video:

Action Guide Video:

Once you have watched both videos please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.

    Partnership for 21st Century Skills (join the mailing list)
    International Society for Technology in Education
    iTunes Download Page

    Updates to these videos:

    Transcription of these videos:

    The Lesson

    Hello everyone and welcome to Step 1: The Big Picture. My name is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org - and let’s get right into what “The Big Picture” is.
    What we are talking about today in the big picture of this whole Workshop series is 21st century skills.  We are going to talk about what they look like; how do we get teachers to have them; how we get students to have them, how do we assess them?  We are going to cover that all over these next 12 Steps that we are going to do.

    But what we are really just going to focus on for The Big Picture is just kind of the history of 21st century skills; where they came from, what they look like, and a little bit on how we assess them.  So let’s get started.

    Now, you have got to understand that 21st century skills is a really, really big subject - we could spend hours talking about each skill.  But we are going to just really be talking about the tip of the iceberg in this series.

    So without any further waiting, here are the six skills that we are going to find as 21st century skills.  Now, they vary kind of from group to group on what they are calling 21st century skills; but they kind of all come down to these basic items.  And so we are going to follow the ones from the International Society for Technology in Education, or ISTE; and here are their six skills:

    Creativity and Innovation
    Communication and Collaboration
    Research and Information Fluency
    Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making
    Digital Citizenship
    Technology Operations and Concepts.

    So that is what we are talking about as far as 21st century skills.

    But before we get into those individual skills, let’s spend a little bit of time on the history of where do these skills come from and why are they needed?

    Let’s just shine a little spotlight on some things that have happened - I am going to put two parts of this slide up right now - and that is back in 1998, ISTE formed the National Education Technology Standards for Students; so basically a list of what they felt the tech standards needed to be for students.  And they kind of got this list from, you know, the employers in Industry saying, “We just do not feel that the students in America are ready to come to work with their tech skills.”

    And then in 2002, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, or P21, they kind of put out a similar list saying, “Hey, you know, we are hearing the same thing!”  But that really kind of flew under the radar until 2006.  Now let me put up these three pieces of 2006.  This is the “perfect storm” if you will, of 21st century skills.

    First of all, “Time Magazine” comes out with this article called “How to Bring our Schools Out of the 20th Century” - not a very flattering article about education in America. They mostly compared us to being back in the Fifties still; and the only thing we have really updated was we have gone from “Green chalk boards to whiteboards.”

    So that really was the slam on it; saying, you know, “Everybody else has gone forward with tech skills - except education”.

    And then also in 2006, Thomas Friedman publishes his bestselling book, “The World is Flat”, basically saying that outsourcing is going to hit us hard and that with the internet and everything you can have employers in India, and in China and all these things - and boy, has a lot of things come true from Thomas Friedman’s book back in 2006!

    And then also these two guys, Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod, put together this little presentation they showed to their District called “Shift Happens”, talking all about just some of these facts about how technology is really changing the world rapidly; how there will be more English speakers in China than in the US pretty soon, and that information will start to double every 72 hours - just some phenomenal facts.  And they just show it to their District.

    Well, they also post it on YouTube - and this thing takes off virally!  Everybody is watching it, everybody is talking about it - and suddenly they are going, “Okay, what are doing about 21st century skills in our schools?”

    So that is really where this has all come from. But the bottom line is our graduated high school students just lack the skills needed to compete in today’s global economy.  That is the bottom line of what all this came down to.

    So what are we going to do about it? So if I asked a hundred teachers to tell me, “What is the goal of education?” I am sure I would probably get a hundred different answers.  And this is really the answer that I have come up with, with talking to educators out there - and I hope you support me in this.  And really, we are in the business of making a future of employable, productive and happy people.  That is that we do as educators.

    Now, if we make just happy people but they are not employable, we haven’t really done our job. So we need to make them productive and employable.  And all these studies were saying that they don’t have some of these skills.  I mean, they might have math, and reading, and all these things; but if they lack these basic tech skills, or 21st century skills, then they are not very employable.  And that is what we want to really do.

    But back in there, there is a key word:  we want to make a “future” of them.  And so, “Future”; so how do we predict the future?  That is the real kicker here.  So, here is a little elementary kid, coming to school for his first day of kindergarten.  He is going to graduate in 2022.  So what is his role going to look like in twelve/thirteen years?
    I don’t know - I can’t even predict next year, practically, when it comes to technology!  So, to really hammer this point home, let’s go back twelve or thirteen years, and say “What was it like in 1997, and what was missing from things we commonly use every day now?”

    So these are just common items we use every day - look at all these things.  These didn’t really exist at all in 1997.  DVDs: we are still watching VHS tapes.  No Wi-Fi, no broadband internet; we are dialing into the internet.  GPS: all the satellites were still locked from the Government so that hadn’t been released yet.  IPods, iPhones, hybrids… all those things didn’t exist, that are so commonplace today.

    This is just to give you an idea how much things are going to change; that we really can’t change this little tail, okay? We can’t go chasing the little technology cutting-edge technology tail because we are just going to go run around and round.
    So we need to stop teaching technology (I am talking, you know, specific applications) like, “This is how you do it, in this program, right now, this version!”  We need to teach skills, so they are adaptable:  whether they sit down to a PC, or a MAC; or this version of a word processor or that version of a word processor - they get in it and they know what to do because they are creative and they are innovative, and they can do these things.  And that is what it is really about.

    The other thing is what do they look like?  And I am going to show a little video in a just couple of slides here; and want to really show you what 21st century looks like, what these skills look like to these students.

    And then the last part is, “How do we know if a student even has these?”  You see, we have got to… if we are talking 21st century skills then we have also got to talk 21st century assessment.  We don’t go and try to give them a test to find out if they have got 21st century skills.  There is a different way.  And we are going to talk about that in the upcoming presentations here.

    So I am going to finish our little lesson today with this video from Mabry, Georgia, from a Middle School there. These are Sixth Grade students that put together this video - think about that:  Sixth Grade.  And here are all the skills, listed around the edge of it - and you just watch when these skills pop up during this video.  Here we go.

    “So, how long have you lived in China”
    “Well, this is my second time living in China…”

    We had a video conference with Matt while he was in Beijing, China.  He told us about a Foundation that you will learn about in our movie.

    “Oh, my gosh!  Shopping was so exhausting!”
    “Firshtee, where are your bags?”

    Well, I asked Firshtee why she didn’t buy anything today.  She said that she had seen a short video on the internet about an American man living in China.  He was asked by a friend to donate $250 to buy a water buffalo for a poor family.  When he asked the local farmer about receiving a water buffalo, the farmer replied that it would be the best gift, worth one year’s salary.

    A five-year-old water buffalo can work for fifteen years.  So they bought the water buffalo and delivered it to the very poor Su family, living in Dachuan.  They were helping four generations: the great-grandmother, the grandmother, the father and the daughter.

    When the family received the gift they were all in great shock.

    “I have an idea”.

    In order to help us raise money to purchase a water buffalo for a family in China, please donate $1 for a raffle ticket.  Your donation will enable you to participate in a drawing for one of these three Vera Bradley purses.

    Do you remember the video conference we had with Matt in Beijing?  Well, the money that is donated will go to the KIVA Foundation that Matt told us about, to help the poor in China.

    Through technology, we, as Sixth Graders, can change a purse into something much more meaningful.  With YOUR help, we can change the world.”

    Wow!  That is just amazing what these kids put together!  And I hope you are like me; you can look at every one of these skills around the edges of this video and you say, “Yes, these kids did it!”  And they are proving they know these skills by the artifacts, the digital artifacts that they produced.

    Okay, we are done with the Lesson part of this.  So just go right down to the next video - and that is the Action Items.  And we are going to talk about the things that you can do right now, in your school, to start moving towards your teachers and your students having 21st century skills.

    Thank you. My name is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org.

    The Action Guide

    Alright, welcome to The Action Guide for Step 1 here.  I am just on the website here on Technology.Org for Step 1.  I am just going to scroll down to the area here where we have the important points, but then these “Action Items” - and I want to show you each one of these Action Items, to kind of give you an idea what you need to do.

    The very first one says, “Bookmark and browse the websites listed below”; so I am going to go down here in “Resources” and I am going to click on the first link which is “The Partnership for 21st Century Skills”.  I am going to click on that and let that load in right here.

    Now, P21, as it is normally called, is just a great resource for everything about 21st century learning.  And so I would start with of course the front page here; check on any announcements.  And then also subscribe to the P21 e-newsletter; so enter your email address down here, so you are getting their publications and their little e-newsletters - that is just great stuff.

    Then I would move into the “Overview”.  Start with the “Skills framework”; start to read and get an idea of what this whole idea of 21st century skills is.  There are just some great things.  You know, I have all of these things downloaded to a folder on my computer that I can refer to as I work with teachers and administrators on the different areas of 21st century skills.

    So you have really got to kind of get good at the things that are available on this website here.  So, that is great. That is a nice little place; spend a few minutes on that, get to look around, and definitely bookmark it in a section that you have all for 21st century skills and doing this integration into your school.

    Now, the next one that is on the list here is the International Society for Technology in Education - or we just always call it “ISTE”.  So I am going to click on that and let ISTE load up here.  And again, you can type in an address here to be a part of their little newsletter if they produce new books, things like that; and you will definitely want to know that, so join that.

    But I would recommend that you join ISTE.  I think for just a normal membership of an educator is I think $92 a year or something like that - you know, around $100 a year.  And it is one of those things that you want to be a part of ISTE; you want to work towards always going to the conference every summer that they put together.  This is just where the people “In the know” when it comes to school technology get together and do things.  So that is just vital for this.

    Now, I think I told you in the “Watch First” video all about how, you know, there are some things I just spend my own money on, as a tech integration person - and this is one of them.  I just… I join it.  I mean, if you are lucky enough to be able to get reimbursed for it, that’s great; but you definitely want to be a part of this group - so, ISTE.

    And, again, the same thing here: you want to get into the “About ISTE”; you want to look at those types of things; spend some time in the “Bookstore”, see what books are available.  We are going to go and talk about the books in I think another couple of Steps away from here; we are going to talk about what books are great to have.

    So that really is just a wonderful website, to understand 21st century skills. And remember, these people put out the standards that I like to follow when I meet with teachers and of course have students learn these things.  And they are down here; they are called “The NETS” - let me just click on that for you - and they are called the National Education Technology Standards.  And there are standards for administrators, there are standards for teachers, there are standards for students.  And they are all available right here for you to take a look at.  So there they all are; so get to know that one - another great website to bookmark.

    Let me just close that and get back to our “Resource” list.  Okay, so those are the two websites we need to take a look at.

    The next thing on the Action Item list is “Download and install iTunes” - I am going to go ahead and click on this right now.  Now, iTunes is basically a music library and player, and it works on both PCs and Macs; so it works cross-platform.

    Anyway, this will take you to a download page - it will probably automatically detect whether you are on a PC or a MAC - and you just want to download the latest version, if you don’t already have it.  If you already have it, that’s great; you might want to make sure that it is updated so that you have the latest version of it there.  But this is what is going to manage all of the stuff that we are going to work with in the next couple of weeks.  So we want to bring in podcasts; we want to listen to things; we want to have resources that are available to us - and so we need to have iTunes on your computer.

    So it is just right here in this corner here; and you go ahead and just enter your email address in and click “Download now” and it will go through all the steps of downloading and installing on your computer.  So that is the install for iTunes.

    And then the last thing on the Action Item - now there might be more things here, because you have got to remember, I produce these videos and then things might come up; so if you see other things on this list go ahead and do them - but the last one I have on here is “Join”.

    Now, I am already in, so it already signed me into NING; but let me just sign out and let me show you what it will basically look like when you come into here.  So, let me just scroll over this way.  So it will say “Go ahead and create your own NING Network”; but you have got to come over here to this side where you have got to say “Join now”; and you want to just fill in the little form on there.  It’s free - and you want to join NING because, again, in the next couple of Steps what we are going to do, we are going to get into NING and start doing things with other people.

    So, NING is like a social network for professionals.  So if you can think of MySpace or Facebook, that type of things; it is for professionals to use that all have similar interests.  So we can have videos; we can have documents on there; photos on there, lectures on there - all that kind of stuff.  And so we are going to get into Ning in the next couple of steps.  So that is what you need to do.  So go ahead and join the NING right in there.

    And I think you get those things done, I think that is it for this first Step, Step 1.  Once again, I am Brad Flickinger with SchoolTechnology.Org.  And I will see you in Step 2 - but don’t cheat, okay?  You have got to get these steps done; don’t go on to Step 2 without them because you won’t be able to get very far, because we build upon things from Step to Step to Step.

    Alright, thanks a lot you guys. Have a good day.

    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Tech Integration Workshop - Step 2: You Must Take the Lead

    Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.

    Lesson Video:

    Action Guide Video:

    Once you have watched both videos please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

    Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.


    Updates to these videos:

    Transcription of Videos:

    The Lesson

    Hello and welcome back to Step 2 of our Workshop here on integrating 21st century skills into our schools.  My name is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org - and let’s get started in Step 2, which is “You Must Take the Lead”.

    Alright, before we move on - stop!  If you have not done the Action Steps from Step 1, some of the stuff we are going to do in Steps 2 and 3 and beyond is just not going to work for you. So don’t rush through this; don’t try to read the end of the book first - go back and do those Action Steps and I promise you, everything is going to work out when we get through all 12 Steps.

    Alright, so let’s move on to this idea that you have got to take the lead.  Okay, there are people out there that mistakenly think that students will naturally acquire 21st century skills.  You know, they already love technology; they have their little iPods and their cell phones, and they have all those things - and they think, you know, “Why do we need to even wrestle with this at school?  With all we have to worry about at school, why do we have to work on this too? because the kids are naturally going to acquire these skills?”

    Well, now that would be like saying, “Let’s give them all papers and pencils because they are going to NATURALLY learn how to write; they are NATURALLY going to get math figured out and be able to do algebra and…”

    You know, it just doesn’t work that way, okay?  So it brings up this point here:  Owning tools does not equal having the skills, okay?  Just because they have an iPod in their pocket doesn’t mean they truly know how to use it; I mean beyond just playing games.

    I mean, if you can see the kinds of things that kids are able to do with the technology - they have it just at their arm’s reach - it is amazing stuff; we can teach them to go great things with it, okay?  So that is what it is all about: just because they have them doesn’t mean they have the skills to use them, okay?

    The same thing goes here:  We cannot teach the skills without the tools, alright?  If we were teaching the big lesson on how to cut the wood with a saw, we could read it in textbooks, we could watch a video about it - but until the child puts the saw to the wood, they don’t really gain that skill.

    And the same thing goes with technology.  We can’t just send them to textbooks and websites to try to learn about it; they have got to do it, they have got to touch it.  And that doesn’t mean expensive things; that means we can do it on different budgets, different schools, different socioeconomic backgrounds of our students - we can adjust and we can do it.  But we need to have the tools to be able to teach the skills.
    So this comes down to, “Who?”  Who is going to teach these skills to these students?  Well, I hate to say this - but it’s you and me.  and I know we go by different titles and different schools; and as I am out speaking and lecturing on this subject, I mean, I don’t know if you are called the “Media Director” in your building, or the “Tech Specialist”, or the “Building Tech Coordinator”, or the “Tech Integrationist/Specialist… ist ist ist…” all these things; or you are the “Librarian”, you know, if that title still exists somewhere in our system and everything; or you are the “Assistant Superintendent” or the “Assistant Principal” that is in charge of technology”… I don’t know really where you are coming from - but you are in this PD class because YOU are going to be the one to bring the change, okay?

    Let me go to this next slide here.  Unfortunately, you know, our administrators, our teachers, they are just so overwhelmed with all the other things they need to fix and do in schools - they have got “No Child Left Behind”, they are worried about State Scores and National Scores and all those things, that WE have got to be the ones.
    And when you stick with me through these Steps, you are going to see how easy it is for the teachers to be able to get 21st century skills - for both themselves and their students.

    Because it is not a “Chicken and Egg” problem; you know, “Who gets them first” and things like that - they can get them TOGETHER, and they can move forward together.  And it is going to be amazing.  And it is going to be easy.  And they are going to not even realize how great it is.  And they are going to be in the thick of having 21st century skills all around them - because their lessons are going to have them in them and it is going to be great.

    So that is the lesson of Step 2; is that “There is no-one else”, okay?  You have got to be the one to take it on; become an expert in 21st century skills and an expert in integrating them into your school.  And I am going to help you with all that; and we are going to look at all these great different resources.

    So, that concludes our Lesson.  So let’s go down to the Action Guide and let’s get into it and let’s start doing some things.

    So thank you once again; my name is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org.

    The Action Guide

    Hello everyone, this is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org; and welcome to Step 2: You Must Take the Lead - and this is the Action Guide part of Step 2, so kind of the assignments that you need to do to progress along through these Steps.

    Alright, so I am just here on the website; I am a little bit below where you are watching this video right now - I am just here in the Action Items.  And the first one is to “Go into iTunes and look up Edutopia”.  So let’s just go in there and I am going to show you what that is about here.

    So I am in iTunes; and you just want to click on the “iTune Store”, which is normally the front for all the music side of iTunes - and that is what people are most familiar with, using iTunes.  But it has so much more in here.  And I am going to click up here, along the top bar; there is “iTunes University” or “iTunes U”.  And this has some of the greatest lectures from all around the world from the greatest professors, and things like that.   So you can just spend hours in here!  So go ahead and look around if you want.

    But we need to get into some things because we only have just a few minutes of this part here.  So I am going to search for “Edutopia” here, up here in the Search area; click “Enter” on my keyboard here.  And this is going to come up and find “Edutopia is a non-profit group that does…” well, it is working in public education - I guess that is what they are really… their whole thing is all about.

    So I can click on any one of these that I want; and this will take me in and it will tell me a little bit about what this lecture is about, or this video is about.  And if I click up here I can go right back to the very front page of Edutopia; and here it is; and this will tell you all about it and what the top downloads are, and all these great things.
    And to have one, you just basically click on it and then you click on the “Download” button right over here; say “Get movie” - and it’s free; the downloads are right to your computer.  So that is great.  So go ahead and try any one of those and download it right into your computer.

    Okay, let’s also see what else is next here.  It says we should look at “TEDTalks”, and “The Teacher’s Podcast”, and “The Tech Teacher Network”.  These are just a bunch of podcasts.  And some podcasts are just audio; some are video.  And so let’s go ahead and take a look at “TEDTalks” right here.  Up in the Search area again; I am just going to come up here and type in “TEDTalks” - it is actually one word - which we want to hear.  And this is “TED”; let me get into “TED” here.  I am going to go into the front page; I have actually clicked on the link to “TED” and not necessarily to this one episode here.

    And these are like, “Ideas worth spreading:  if you have never experienced a TEDTalk, go have fun with it!  Click on any one of these - they are just absolutely amazing to watch!”

    So, let’s just get into here, see how many there are.  There are just hundreds of different talks you can watch.  So here is one just recently from Bill Gates, and… you know, these are all the leaders and movers and shakers of the tech industry; and design, and entertainment - just fantastic stuff!  And again, they are free.  So you just click on the “Free” and it downloads it right to your computer.

    And the last one I wanted to talk to you about was… let me just check where it was here, back over here on my website.  So it was “Teachers: The Teachers’ Podcast”.  Okay, so “Teachers’ Podcast”; let me see what that pulls up here.  Alright, so there it is - “Teachers’ Podcast”.

    And this is one that you can also not just download an episode; but if you click this little “Subscribe” button over here, it will subscribe and then it will always, as new stuff gets put on their Podcast, it will just automatically come to your iTunes, and you can either put it on your iPod, or just watch it on your computer - whatever you want to do.

    Here is my Podcast section in my computer; and I have got lots of things.  And even go do something that doesn’t have to do with teaching:  here is one on Fly fishing; here you are - I can also subscribe to a fly fishing podcast so I can listen to and watch things about fly fishing.

    And here is “TEDTalks”; and we can go ahead and listen to one of the ones on TEDTalks, see what it looks like.

    “Now, we see this space, this three-dimensional environment, as being a canvas on which all sorts of applications can play out.  And maps, directions are really just one of them. If you click on this you will see one of the ones that we have put out just in the past couple of months since we have launched; so, for example, a couple of days after…

    That was one of the developers for BING maps; and he is going to show you some amazing things that happen here.  So you just get in there, you watch these things; take a few minutes. For me, every Thursday I spend about an hour just to watch a few podcasts, listen to some things, and then go into my Nings.

    And that is what I want to show you next, because I believe that is next on our assignment list.  So we come down here, where it says to “Watch these podcasts and subscribe to them” - I think you should subscribe.  And then it is “Find a podcast of something that just interests you” - and I did fly fishing.  And then it says, “Join some Nings”.

    So, last week we created a Ning account.  And so this week we want to actually join some Nings.  And I am going to show you the Nings that I use.  And you might have to search for these in here - you know, you want to go in and look around for a Ning - but I am part of one called “Classroom 2.0”; let me just open that up and I will show it to you.

    So, here is Classroom 2.0.  It is a fantastic resource for finding out about what is happening with technology in the classroom.  And these are all the members of it; and you can ask questions, you can watch videos; you can do all sorts of things in this Classroom 2.0.  So join that Ning!  And I don’t have a “Join” button on here because I am already a member; but you just look for the “Join” button; and then you fill out a little form about what you do and stuff, and then you get approved to be able to be in.
    Let me go back to my front page of the Ning here.  And then the second one is this “K12 Online”.  And I have got to tell you, I have taken so many ideas from this one.  And this one down here, this little green box, is actually a video; you click on that and you watch a video.  That was what I watched just a few days ago, all about a Second Grade teacher down in New Zealand that is doing the most amazing things with her students.

    So this is one of the great resources to really, really get you into what is happening in education and technology.  So please join these Nings - it will take probably 24 to 48 hours for you to be approved - so when we get into Step 3 we can actually start doing some great things with these Nings and we can go around and make some posts, and ask some questions and things.

    So that is part of the assignments for today - and let’s see you in Step 3.  So get these things done and then I will see you in there.  Thank you.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Tech Integration Workshop - Step 3: Watch Out for Speed Bumps

    Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.

    Lesson Video:

    Action Guide Video:

    Once you have watched both videos please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

    Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.


    Updates to these videos:

    Transcription of Videos:

    The Lesson

    Hello everyone, my name is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org - and welcome to Step 3 of our Workshop.  And this one is called “Watch Out for Speed Bumps”.

    Now, before we really get into these speed bumps, let’s just review where you are at so far.  So, you understand what “The Big Picture” is; you know that 21st century skills are the much-needed thing we need to bring into our schools. You have hopefully downloaded iTunes; and you have downloaded and watched, or listened to, some podcasts; things that interest you when it comes to technology in schools - and I hope you have learned things from those.  You have also joined a few Nings - and we are going to, in the upcoming Steps, talk about contributing to those Nings and getting information from those Nings.  And also, hopefully, you have joined ISTE; so you are now a member of the International Society for Technology in Education.

    So, hey, welcome to it! This is it! We’re moving on!  So, this Third Step:  Watch Out for Speed Bumps.  Notice, I pick my words, you know, really consciously here - and so I didn’t put “Road Blocks”.  Speed bumps are just things that just slow us down from wanting to go as fast as we possibly can when it comes to integrating technology and 21st century skills into our schools.

    So these are just speed bumps - not road blocks. So really kind of keep that in mind.  So, watch out - speed bumps ahead!  And let’s get into them.  There are four of them that I have kind of come up with; and if you work like me in your buildings, you are going to agree with these four.

    Okay, let’s get into them.  The first one is that of Time; then Money; and then Not Knowing What System to Use - whether it is curriculum or… you know - you just need to have a good plan; and then People:  people are another one of these speed bumps;  you know, they get in the way.

    So let’s review each one of these just in order, and we are going to talk about each one.

    Alright, so the first one, Time, is this idea that some of the things that I have come across do not respect the teacher’s and administrator’s time.  You know, they are busy, they have a lot to do; and if we steal too much time we are stealing it from something else, like Literacy or Math or something.  We need to respect that time.
    Also, let’s not waste the time of people who already have the skills.  You know, the mandatory meetings that these poor teachers have to go to - it is like, “Okay, flavor of the month now is Blogging!  Everybody has to go to a mandatory Blogging meeting!”  And you’ve got Joe in the back, like, “You know, I’ve got seven blogs of my own - why am I stuck in this meeting?”  So they don’t respect a person who already knows it.

    And then everybody has to go at the same pace.  So whether you are a newbie or you are an expert person, “No - we’re going through!”  And somebody is like “Oh, but how do you double-click?”, and the other person is, you know, “Finished!”  So, you know, you have got to respect people’s skills and not squish them into the same pace model and idea.

    And there are just too many people for one-on-one attention.  Time: if I was to work with each of my teachers individually it would take like nine years to bring this all into place, okay?  There is just not enough time for that.

    And we are going to see how that plays also into this next speed bump here - and that is Money.  If we had to buy and hire enough people to be able to get this done in a shorter amount of time that would be way too expensive. There would be like ten of me at my school to work with these teachers - and you just can’t have that.

    And then I have looked at systems in the past that are just not scalable or affordable because, whether you are a little tiny District in the rural areas or you are a huge school District, you are kind of… everybody is kind of paying the same; and it doesn’t work for the smaller ones.  And that is what I mean when I say this; that you have got to be scalable and it has got to be affordable.

    And you have got to be able to measure the results.  I mean, let’s get what we pay for, people!  And you know what I’m talking about.  There are all these phone calls you get saying, “Oh, you know, we’ve got this new tech plan” and this and that.  Well, “Proof is in the pudding”:  can we measure the results from when the students started, or teachers started, and where the students or teachers are after a year or so?  So I want that kind of stuff.

    And let’s not waste money on tech that doesn’t get used, just for the idea of “fairness”, you know?  Like, “Everybody is going to get an interactive whiteboard”; and then you go in and two-/three-quarters of them, you know, they are sitting on the wall not being used.  I mean, we have got to make sure that they are trained and that they know how to use them so we are not wasting money on those types of things.

    Our third one here is “A System”.  And I don’t know what electrical engineer person is designing some of these, but they are so hard to understand and navigate and use that it just turns people off.  I mean, it is like, you know, “I would rather do something else than try to use some of these things that are being peddled around here and used that way.”

    And then also, you know, I am doing this right now at my home; I like to work in my home - sometimes on my sofa with my laptop, watching TV; or down at the local burger hut thing downtown, you know, that’s got Wi-Fi - those types of things.  And I don’t like this idea that, “Oh, it is just on the school server, and you can only use it in this particular way, and network… No, I want to use it from anywhere.

    And then sometimes I have had these things demoed to me where the examples of what they are saying or doing are of such poor and low quality that I am just like “No thanks!”  And it’s like, “No, no, look at this - this is a little podcast a student made”; and it is such a horrible podcast or presentation or whatever, I am like, “I’m not interested.”  I want good quality things, okay?  We are in a state of… we need to be able to produce and reproduce well-made artifacts, digital artifacts, okay?

    And I don’t know what other way to word this, but this idea of “Not fresh or frozen.”  At my building we certainly do not have the latest release of the office products; ours is years, years old, okay?  And so if suddenly the system is only saying, “Well, this is the 2010 version of this”, you know, I can’t use it.  Mine is older than that, a LOT older than that.  And so whatever we use has got to recognize that some schools have state-of-the-art, and some schools have not so state-of-the-art, and quite old, okay?  So it has got to be able to handle both those worlds.

    And then finally: the People.  And don’t you love the picture I picked of this guy?  This is the “Not over my dead body am I going to do your tech stuff!” kind of guy here.  But this kind of goes back to that first speed bump, of Time:  I don’t like it that everybody has to follow at their own pace - and no-one does.

    Also, these ideas of “public assessment results”; so it is like “Okay, let’s all do a little pre-assessment on blogging”, you know?  And suddenly… who wants to go to that, and have people tell you that you don’t know how to do something?  I mean, it is just… no-one wants… they won’t show up; they don’t want to feel like they are inferior with their skills and their knowledge.  So, you know, there has got to be something that people do privately, you know, and at their own speed and their own pace.

    And also, respect that whole different range of passions and skills:  some people are really into this kind of stuff and some people aren’t; but we need to still do it, for our students.  And so we need to respect; so we are not forcing people to sit there through classes that they already have the skill for.

    And some teachers are scared of this idea of being corrected by their students.  Because in Math it doesn’t happen - very often at least - that some student will correct you; or in English or something like that.  But in Tech, you could have that happen.  And you have got to be okay with that; and your ego has got to be okay with that. And your teachers’ egos have got to be okay that a student could possibly come up and show you how to do something better. And you have got to have a plan to embrace that and use that.

    And then also a lot of teachers just don’t know what to look for.  And I have been hauled into classrooms and, “Oh yes, Mr. Flickinger, come in and see this!  Look, our children have been working on these presentations”.  And they pop them up on the screen and I am just like mortified; I am like screeching tires, and flaming logos, and all this stuff - and it just drives me insane because that is not what a good presentation is.

    But the teacher doesn’t know what to look for.  So that is what kind of scares them. Whereas we don’t allow that with Math; they can’t just do any willy-nilly thing they want to; or in Grammar and in English - they can’t just write it any way they want to, with bad grammar and bad spelling.  No, we insist on the best.

    And we have to help teachers know how to look for, with all these new technologies and these new skills, what is the best, and how do you grade it; what rubric do you put it on? Those types of things.  And that is what we need to help our teachers with.

    Alright, now, the reason I can talk about those speed bumps is unfortunately I have done most of them:  I have made most of those mistakes in my positions I the past, and in working with Districts.  And we have learned; every time we have gotten better and gotten better.  And now we finally are using a system that works and a plan that works.

    So, it doesn’t work by forcing them; saying “You will do this by this date”.  I can tell you right now; that will get you the phone calls from the, let’s see, the Superintendent might call you; or the Union, or a School Board Member: “No! Because you know what?” And this is what it has kind of been, you know, like some 62-year-old Math teacher is like, “I didn’t sign up for this.” And so we need to work with that and those people so that everybody can get on the same page and be enjoying all this.

    Alright, so here are the four speed bumps that we have talked about.  And what I want to tell you is that when you go through these next couple of Steps, you are going to learn the plan that I use that kind of, you know, levels out these speed bumps so they are not such an issue any more and that we can work around all these things.  And that is what we are really talking about, okay?

    And this plan involves this little system that I use; and I use it over and over again with my teachers and my schools to get them all to have these 21st century skills.  And I am just going to give you a little teaser of it right now.  It is K-T-E-C.  And I just use it over and over again; it is a little cycle that I use with my teachers, that gets them to have the skills that then the students have the skills.

    So that is kind of where I am going to kind of leave it off for this Lesson part of Step 3.  So get down into the Action Guide; get those things done.  I don’t know how long it is going to take you - it might take you a couple of hours, it might take you a few weeks to get these things done - but don’t move on to Step 4 until you have done those things, okay?

    I’ll see you down in the Action Guide.

    The Action Guide

    Alright, welcome to the Action Part, or the Action Items, or Guide - whatever we want to call this - for Step 3, the “Watch Out for Speed Bumps” Step.

    Now, on this Step you are going to be spending some money and still continuing to join things.  Now, I’m sorry that it has been a lot of these, you know, “Join this thing” and “Join that” - but it really will make sense in the next upcoming Steps, because I need you to have access to those Nings and to ISTE, and all those things so that we can build on this and complete this full integration of technology and 21st century skills into your school.

    And, like I said in that “Watch First” video, you NEED to spend some money.  And so we are going to not only spend some money, but you are going to request a quote from a company that I have worked with and have used for years.  So we are going to get into that.

    Okay, first off let’s look at the Resource List.  Okay, so I want you to go to Ning; go ahead and click on this to get into here.  And then with any one of these Nings that you are part of - let mine load up here - I want you to contribute; start to get used to contributing things.

    And so if I go into this Classroom 2.0; okay, so I am in there, and do you see where it says “Forum” right up here? If I click on “Forum” and there is one called “Introductions”; if you go into “Introductions” and then you can kind of introduce who you are, what you hope to be able to do over the next three or four months in your school - those types of things.  Or you can go in and start interacting. Like, okay, here is one: “iPod Touch in Education”. This is very big for me because my school was thinking about getting some for next year.  So I could click on this; and so look at this guy: “I have a class of thirty Year Eight students” (he must be speaking from Australia or from the UK because they are called Year Eight over there; so 12-year-olds) “and a set of eight iPod Touches” - and so he wants a little bit of information about that.  And then here are all the people’s replies; people that have used things; you have got links to other schools and what they are doing.

    So contribute to this; either help somebody out or ask for some help yourself - but be a contributing member. That is part of you having 21st century skills.  Okay, so that is me banging on my little drum about that!  So I want you to go and contribute to at least one Ning; do some kind of contribution to it.

    Alright, go to Google Docs.  This will probably just take me right into mine so I will have to maybe log out.  But I want you to go to and I want you to register; if you don’t already have like a Google account, whether it is a Gmail or something, I want you to be able to do that.  So go ahead into Google Docs and get an account.

    Again, in two or three Steps I am going to need you to have that account so you and I can collaborate, and you can collaborate with other people on documents, no matter where we are.  It is really cool stuff that we want to be able to do together.  And you are going to be asking teachers to open up Google Docs accounts so that you can collaborate with them.  So you need to be able to have that.  So that is that second link there, with the

    EPals is our third item on here.  And in the future Steps you are going to be using ePals to find schools all over the world that you can work with.  Your students can work with them and either video chat; work on projects together through Google Docs - those types of things.  And I am going to show you how I use ePals in I think two more Steps.  So go ahead and create an account right now.

    Now, it does take a while to create an account because one of the great things about ePals is that they verify who you are; so they will be calling your Principal or your School District to know that you are an employee in good standing and those types of things.  So it is a closed community of good people that have already been verified who they are.  So that is what keeps them all safe - because you do interchange with other classrooms and exchange information.  So, ePals; you need to join that because that is going to take another week or two to get approved  for that, and we need it in place when we start using it in a few weeks.  So that is ePals.

    Okay, let’s start spending some of that good money that you are supposed to be coming to this Workshop with!  In ISTE, in the Bookstore here - and since you are probably a member you will get the discount - here are the books (and there is a list of books of course in the Resource Section) but basically this one: “Web 2.0” book; it is “New Tools for New Schools”, okay, there is that book.  From ISTE: “Reinventing Project-Based Learning” - another fantastic book.  And then there are these: they are thin but they are the Guides for the Education Standards for Teachers; this one is for Teachers; this one is for Students; and my Administrator one is at my desk at the school - so you need all three of those.  And of course the list is on there.

    And then of course lastly from ISTE, you need to have this one here: “What Works in K12 Online Learning”, because we are going to be pulling little bits and pieces out of those chapters in the upcoming Steps, and so you need to be referring to those.
    And it is a good… just start reading them; they are fantastic books that are all about technology in education.  So, that is ISTE.

    Then you are going to need to go over to Amazon, because these books aren’t available at ISTE.  Now, ISTE you get a great discount.  So I go to Amazon - these are the three books I need you to order from there:  “21st Century Skills” - that is a great book; and it is all about the partnership for 21st century skills and showing you how it looks in schools, and what it is all about.  And again, we are going to be referring to different chapters and quotes out of that book.

    Then we have this one here:  “Leading 21st Century Schools” - another brilliant book.  This will just inspire you as to what you are able to do in your school.
    And finally, just to kind of stir things up a little bit, I want you to get this book here, called “Disrupting Class”.  “Disrupting Class” is, like it says here, “How disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns.”  It is an amazing book that will really open your eyes to how things are when we talk about wanting these changes.
    And you need to have these books on your shelf, and you need to be referring to them because in upcoming Steps you are going to meet with your Administration; you are going to meet with teachers - and you need to be in a position of knowing this stuff, okay?  So that is why it is so important to have it.

    And then last on our list here is “Atomic Learning”.  And this is a company that I trust and I have used for years.  And I want you to go in here, on Atomic Learning’s website.  And these guys are all about teaching… it is like “just in time” learning; but they also have curriculum on 21st century skills.  It is brilliant and we use this a lot.  And you are going to see why it is so critical in the success of bringing 21st century skills into your schools.

    So up here… okay, not subscribed today. You can go “How to buy” and… let me go into there - oh no, “Subscribe today”, right up this - this is the link you want, “Subscribe today”, because that is going to be where you can request a quote from them.  It is right there at the top.

    And don’t be thinking that you are going to have to pay the $299 per person for your building, because it works different, on a volume-purchase base.  But I used them for years, just myself having a subscription, because it is so critical to what I do.  And then over time then my whole school has bought into it and it has been great.

    So, this little button right down here; click on “Request a quote” and go ahead and fill it out.  They are not going to be bugging you and going crazy with it - but you need to know how much it is going to cost for you to bring something like this into your building, because when you meet with your Administrator in a couple more Steps, you need to have these kind of things saying, “Listen, I need X, Y, Z dollars for this; I need a little more money for this; we need to buy a couple of hardware/software to make this happen”, okay?

    Now, can you do it all without Atomic Learning?  Well, you can but it is just a lot harder.  So go ahead and fill this out and then, you know, you are going to have to work with how many teachers you have in your building / how many students you have in your building.  Brilliant stuff!

    So go ahead and do that.  That is your assignment for Step 3 here.  And don’t go to  Step 4 until you have done all that, okay?  So go ahead and get that done - and I will see you in Step 4.  Thank you.

    Sunday, March 14, 2010

    Tech Integration Workshop - Step 4: Define Grade-Level Artifacts

    Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.

    Lesson Video:

    Action Guide Video:

    Once you have watched both videos please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

    Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.


    Updates to these videos:

    Transcription of Videos:

    The Lesson

    Hello everyone, my name is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org - and welcome to Step 4, which is “Determine Grade-Level Artifacts”.  So thank you for sticking with us through this series.  I hope that it has been an enjoyable and an educational experience for you, because we have really enjoyed putting it together on our side.

    So let’s get right into these grade-level artifacts.  Before we show the actual digital artifacts, we need to understand this Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy - and there is a link in our Resource Section on this page that will take you to this so you can really see it up close.  But basically, Bloom’s Taxonomy was all about this higher level of thinking; going from a low level to a high level.  Well, the Digital Taxonomy is from just basic level of remembering things digitally, to actually the top one is “Creating things”.  So really think “creating”; that is the making a Podcast, and making a blog, and a Wiki.  Really creating digital products is the highest level on Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.  So this is just fantastic, the things that we are going to be talking about.  

    Now, before we actually pick the grade-level artifacts, we determine what skills are the priority for our building.  And you will be doing more of this in the actual Action Guide - and that is below this video here. 

    So I just want to introduce what these concepts were; and then you are going to actually do them.  So, in my building, I had to come up with the priorities first for the students.  And the number one priority was keyboarding.  Now, I teach at an Elementary school; so K through 5, the number one priority when they graduate Fifth Grade and go on to Middle School is they have got to keyboard well, because it is no longer taught in Middle School or High School, and they need to be great keyboarders to be able to do all their work.

    Now, also they need to be excellent at word processing.  So much of the work they do - both in the business world, when they graduate school, but also academically - is with a word processor: writing reports, doing those types of things.  So they need to really know their way around inside of a word processor.
    We also felt it was a great priority for them to be great at presenting ideas; to be good at influencing their colleagues, their fellow students on different ideas and concepts.  So we wanted them to be great presenters.  And that, again, will play well when they go off into Middle School.

    They should have a general understanding of how email works so they can correspond one with another - not a lot, since we only really bring it in in Fourth and Fifth Grade; but, you know, how to forward an email, how to reply to an email, how to use a list - those types of things.

    And then also they need to be excellent at doing online research: how to use multiple sources when they do research, and how to find the credibility of a website; to pull information out of it.  They need to be great experts at online research for when they go off into higher levels of school.

    Now, you notice that we didn’t talk yet about anything like creating a Podcast or anything with those students - because that comes later; that is the actual digital artifacts. These are just the skills that were a priority for our students.

    Now, for our teachers, in my building and in our District, their priorities are a little bit different.  The number one priority is that they obviously should know how to use the District email so they can get correspondence from their Principal and their Superintendent and those types of things.   So that is pretty easy; most people generally have an understanding of how to use email.  So a couple of little tweaks on how the District email works - but it is pretty easy to do.

    Now, second - and this is a really high priority to us - is that they need to be expert (well, not expert) but they need to really be I guess fluent in using Atomic Learning, because we use Atomic Learning for all of our other training.  So rather than having to spend tech hours in having to sit down with somebody and say, “Okay, this is how you do this in a presentation software; this is how you create a Ning” or these types of things, they just go to Atomic Learning, they search for it; and then they might watch a two-minute video or a three-minute tutorial on how to do something.  And that is where we have got the big savings from, as far as man hours and time, being able to do it.  And they can do it from home, or wherever.  

    So we give them a great lesson on how to be great Atomic Learning subscribers.  So they can go in, and they can find information quickly; find 21st century lessons if they want them, and how to adapt them to their own classroom and their own students.  So we give them a course on how to be great at using Atomic Learning; because when we spend a few minutes on that, we save hours on the  other side - so we don’t have to take the calls saying, you know, “How do I do this?” or “How does this happen?”  So we make them really good at that.

    We also make sure that teachers know how to use all their current classroom techs:  so if they have a document camera, they know how to use it; or a projector, or a laptop - those type of things… an interactive whiteboard.  We make sure that if they have it in their classroom they know the ins and outs of using it so we are not wasting anybody’s money.

    We also make sure the teachers have a classroom website that is effective, and that they maintain; and which teachers, and parents, and students all use.  So we really sit down with them, make sure that they have a great website.

    And also that they have the Google Docs Account set up, which is an excellent collaborative tool between teacher and student, and teacher and parents, and teachers and teachers, teachers and principals - all these people collaborate.  And the reason why we picked this photograph is that you can do it from home; suddenly you can be on there and you can be working with a fellow teacher; or taking a look at a student’s work - all just so easy because it is all just in the Google Docs cloud.  And that is what is fantastic.

    We also ask our teachers to have an ePals account.  And they don’t use it a lot; they use it only a few times a year.  But they all connect with a classroom from, say, Venezuela, and they will do like a poetry project.  And it really helps their students think outside of their own little suburb or their own little State, and really think more globally, because they have this fellow classroom somewhere else in the world that they look up and, you know, they can see all this stuff about them.

    Which also brings us to this point here:  is that teachers need to understand how to use Google Earth; because  so many of the things that they might talk about will have some type of geographical I guess twist to it.  So, you know, you are talking about kangaroos, and it is like, “Okay, well let’s put it up on the big screen and let’s see where Australia is” - and so the kids really get a relationship about where they are currently on the earth, and where other things have happened - whether in the past or are happening right now - those things, they are great.  So we give them a rundown on how to use Google Earth effectively.

    So that kind of covers what the teachers need to know in my building, and the students.  Now, these are the priorities that I thought of, working with teachers and watching what is going on there.  And you are going to have to do the same thing.  And we are going to talk about that in the Action Guide.

    Now, try to limit your bias.  Don’t be going, “Well I love spreadsheets - let’s make sure everybody does spreadsheets!”  Well, no, I mean we don’t work in spreadsheets in Elementary School because we looked at the reality of that and said “No.”  We touch a little bit on it in Fifth Grade, but not very much time is spent on that.  So really try to limit your bias and not be headstrong one way or another - but try to be best for the student.

    I am sorry if I am going through this rather quickly, but we have a lot of slides to cover in this compressed little ten-minute slot that we have to talk about here.
    So, next thing I do is I assign those grade-level artifacts.  I am going to show you what those look like right now.  And understand that learning always follows interest, and interest always follows fun - especially when we are talking about students.  So I try to make these ideas seem as fun and as great as possible, because then they REALLY want to do them.  And that kind of drove me when I came up with these ideas, working with teachers, to what the digital artifacts were going to be.

    So in Kindergarten they create a digital drawing; and then it goes all the way up to Fifth Grade where they do a documentary video - and I want to kind of show you a photograph of each one of these things to give you an idea.  So here are some examples of these lessons.

    So here we are.  Kindergarten: he is doing - it looks like it is a Big C / Little c; and he is drawing I think that must be a cat, a cake, a car and possibly a cookie on there.  But they are doing digital drawing; they are learning how to draw on a computer - and it’s great.  And so they will have a whole Alphabet book when they are done at Kindergarten.

    The students in First Grade start right off into using a document; and so this student is just working on a little document - look how relaxed he is, like, “Yes, you know, I’m just putting a document together here, in First Grade.”  And so they start being able to press the Enter button, and Bold something, and Shift to get a capital of something; and so they really start working inside documents.

    And then in Second Grade they do a slideshow to start getting their skills on being great presenters - and that is very important to us.

    And you have got to understand that all of these projects involve all of those skills we talked about:  so it will involve the keyboarding skill, the word processing skill, the presenting skill - all of those things that we felt were very important, every one of these digital artifacts is just dripping with those skills in it; as well as all those 21st century skills, of being creative and collaborative and all those things.

    So in Third Grade they create a book.  In Fourth Grade they do a Podcast.  And in Fifth Grade they do a documentary video.

    Okay, so that just gives you an idea of where everything is at in my building.
    So in the next thing, in the Action Guide, we are going to talk about that plan that I use, that I just keep repeating over and over again with my teachers, on how to really get these skills into everyday lessons and those types of things.  But you, as the tech person for your building, need to come up with what the skill priorities are, and also what the digital artifacts should be; and then work with your teachers to build those.  So that is what we are going to be talking about in the Action Guide, is how you can do that.

    So I will see you in one more video down, and we will get going on the Action Guide.

    The Action Guide

    Alright!  Welcome to the Action Guide for Step 4, which is “Determine Grade-Level Artifacts”.  Now, I am not going to lie to you:  this Step is going to take a lot of time.  There is a lot of work to do in this Step and I hope that you (it has been building up to this) that you have been doing all the other things from the other parts of the Action Guides from the three previous Steps.  And what we have said before is don’t go on unless you have done it - because nothing is going to make sense.

    So I hope that you have ordered those books from Amazon and you have kind of looked through them, because in the upcoming lessons we are going to be doing actual chapter assignments.  I hope that you have been participating in the Nings, and got a quote from Atomic Learning.  

    And it is because, you know, I use Atomic Learning to split myself up, you know, twenty-two different ways, so that I can get all this work done; so that I am not having to sit down individually with each teacher and say “Okay, this is how you can adapt this 21st century lesson; this is how you need to do to make a Ning” - those type of things.  It is so valuable to what we do that I hope you have gotten a quote back on it so you understand, you know, where it can fit in with the budget in your school.  And it is Brad’s, you know, “lazy way of getting it all done” - but it is also the only way that I can comprehend that it gets done.

    Okay, I have got my notes here, and I have also got my slide editor up on the screen, so we can kind of review where we are at.  

    The first thing you need to do is determine your skills priority for your school or your building or your District.  And, you know, don’t put this out to committee after committee; I mean, maybe bring in a couple of colleagues that you trust and can work with, that you respect - and you really come up with… I mean, most of this is just logic; which is why you don’t want to be having too many little fingers in the cake here!

    So when I looked at it for my Elementary School, these are the ones that came up:
    - keyboarding
    - word processing
    - presentations
    - email
    - online research.

    And I think most people will agree with that; and maybe add or subtract one or two things.  But, you know, I don’t have on there “spreadsheets”!  That is going to be done in Middle School, okay?  It is not a big priority for me.  

    So you have got to look at also the age of your students and say “What are the most important skills these students leave my building with?” And put them out into the workforce.  And we are not talking the 21st century skills, because those are going to be all mixed in - so creativity and collaboration - those types of things will all get mixed into it.  These are the actual skills sets that are today.

    And then also determine what the skills are for your teachers.  What has been bugging you about what the teachers can and cannot do?  And that is really where we came up with this other list, saying, well, you know:

    they have got to know how to do District email
    they have got to know how to use Atomic Learning
    they have got to know how to use everything in their classroom

    Those type of things.  And that is really our priority.  And these things change from year to year.  They have got to be very fluid because it is hard to predict - and we try to go as broad as possible to make them more universal, so it is not just like a “flavor of the month” - but you have also, every summer, got to take a look at it and say, “You know what? We don’t use ePals any more; let’s cross that off the list and use the new XYZ system that has replaced it” or whatever.  So really reevaluate each one every summer so that you are always staying fresh.

    So that is assignment number one: you sit down and you look at both your students and teachers; and bring in, like I said, some trusted colleagues - and you come up with these priorities.

    Now let me scroll down here to the other part, when it comes to grade-level artifacts.  Okay.  Now, keeping in mind the idea of Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, which creating is the highest level of thinking; also keeping in mind the “Six 21st Century Skills” as published by ISTE, I really - and these also are very fluid, so they change from year to year - but these are the things that we work on in our building and these are the things the students work on almost for the year; they work towards these culminating activities.

    And sometimes we cut ourselves off short, because the kids LOVE to do big projects - and then they want to share it with the world.  And sometimes they just share it with their teacher.  Well, I’ve got to tell you; these things are shared with the world!  So if you want to see some of these things, I have got a link down in “Resources” for the website that showcases my students’ work; and it is called  Go there and check out their Podcasting and those types of things.  Because we are going to be putting more and more of this online; and you are going to be blown away by the things these kids are able to do.  So go check that out.

    And so this is what we have really come up with; with working, you know, kind of, KIND OF with the teachers, you know; and it is not that I want to force this on them but, you know, the teachers don’t know the tech stuff like you and I know it!  And sometimes they get nervous, like “Wait a minute - you want me to do a documentary video?”  Well, the thing is, what we do is we take out the old “assessment” idea; so, maybe they are going to study the Renaissance - and the old way was for them to take a test.  Well, we take that part out and we say, “Well, let’s add a new assessment in there:  let’s have them do a documentary video on the Renaissance.  And here is the rubric you can follow; I’ll take care of the boot camp that will train them how to use the little inexpensive video cameras; and we can do all this - and it’s great!”

    And it ends up the teachers love it, the students love it - it is unbelievable and it is just great to do!

    So that is the second part.  And it is a lot of work to do.  But you have got to sit down and say, “Okay, what is age appropriate?  And what is going to make it fun, for the students to want to do; easy for the teachers to be able to take care of and manage?” And also “Is it affordable for your building?” You have got to look at that as well.    And so those are the things you have got to look at, saying, “Okay, what is the big culminating event, or the digital artifact for each Grade to make?

    So those are the two big parts to the Action Guide.

    Now, there are other things in here that I want you to do - let me just refer to my notes here.  I am going to have a couple of blogs listed in here that I want you to bookmark and start to follow.  And so those are listed just down in the Action Guide part.  As well as two videos I want you to go see.  And they will kind of get you pumped-up a little bit.  Maybe you have seen these before; you know, there are some pretty good propaganda about bringing technology into schools, and some pretty interesting things to kind of get you going.  So go take a look at that.

    There are a couple of other things; I am going to move those over to maybe another day or another Step, so that you aren’t too overwhelmed with what you have got going on right here.  

    So, get that done:  figure out your skills priorities; figure out your grade-level artifacts; and then check out these blogs and these two videos - and that should probably keep you busy!

    So I will see you in Step 5.