Tag Archives: Catamount

How to Get a Real Education-Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut on getting a real education from the Huffington Post. Someone asked an author friend of mine why he bothered to write? Here’s the answer in a letter from Kurt Vonnegut written to a high school . “How to Get a Real Education”

A great Tutorial for Using Google Sites by Eric Curts

This is a very detailed tutorial on how to work with Google Sites.  The instructional document was created by Eric Curts.

 New Scoops on Scoop It

Ten Podcasting Projects from “We are Teachers”

Here are some ideas for creative ideas for podcasting in the classroom.

WeAreTeachers Blog

Bloom’s Taxonomy According to Seinfeld by Derek Rouch

This made my day.  Bloom’s Taxonomy According to Seinfeld

New “Scoop Its” including video writing prompts from the “Teacher Hub”

I have added more articles to my “Scoop It” magazine.  They include writing prompts using videos, using Google to enhance education, film making apps for the iPad, free Google forms, and science apps for the iPad.

Scoop it articles

These are interesting articles on education that I have “scooped” on Scoop it.  Scoop it is a great way to archive and share articles.

Technology Integration Survey

Recently, I sent out a Google Survey form asking the teachers in my district to rate their comfort levels using Technology and Google.  I want to thank all of  those who took the time to take the survey.  The intent of  our district’s technology guidelines is that they should be integrated seamlessly according to level into all of our classrooms.    Technology in the 21st Century is not something that is separate.  It is incorporated into  just about everything we do.  Technology has provided us with a new set of tools. It doesn’t mean we have to throw away  the old ones, although I suspect most of  our typewriters are collecting dust.  Our students need to develop the ability to use technology effectively, ethically, and creatively.  Our technology standards are not points that needs to be covered.  They simply reflect skills that should be part of everyday life in the classrooms of the Governor Wentworth School District.

 Technology Operations and Concepts:demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
 Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate  tools and resources
 Creativity and Innovation:demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology
 Communication and Collaboration:use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others
 Research and Information Literacy: apply digital tools to plan, gather, evaluate, and use information
  Digital Citizenship:understands societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior


I asked the teachers to rate their levels of technology integration based on the criteria that can be found at the bottom of this post.  The trends are as follows.  Overall the results are not far off from what I would have predicted.  Most seem to recognize that technology is an integral part of 21st Century education.  Many seem to still feel the need  for direction on how to accomplish technology integration. Many pointed out that the students need more  daily access to computers and tablets.  Some of our teachers have become comfortable with using technology on a regular basis.  Most are using technology some of the time and a few are using it very seldom or never.  Our goal should be that all of our students have consistent access to technology and that we move toward transforming the way we teach by redesigning and creating tasks that were previously impossible to create.  These tasks should not be integrated into the curriculum simply because they are new but rather because they increase powerful learning and  student engagement.  21st Century literacy demands that students become acquainted with various ways to publish and express themselves.   We need to provide our students with the opportunity to learn how to problem solve, think on their own, discover problems, and adapt to rapid change.  Technology is transforming how students learn and how we all live our lives. Therefore we  need to ultimately transform how we teach.

47%  feel they are comfortable using technology in the classroom

9%  felt that their technology integration was seamless.  Even as the technology integrator I was hesitant to choose this as we still have not gotten to the point where devices are available to all of our students on a full time basis. I was happy however to see that some of our teachers feel that they are functioning on this level.

12% chose sparse

32% chose basic

These result show that  88% of the respondents are using technology in one form or another. However it is clear that we still need to help teachers become more comfortable with using technology seamlessly when appropriate.  Teachers also need to be encouraged to explore and experiment on their own.

15% say they have used technology as a substitute for something they already do.  e.g. they may be using a word processor instead of a typewriter or a pen and pencil.

35% say that technology has functionally improved something they were already doing.  This might include spell check or access to Google information. It might mean using images to enhance a document.

31% say technology has helped them redesign what they had done before.  This might include using software such as PowerPoint or Photostory 3.

15% say that technology has redefined what they do in class.  They able to do things they couldn’t do before.  This might include movie making , podcasting, imaging, high level research, and high level collaboration

4% say they don’t use technology at all.

The conclusion I draw from these responses is that most of our teachers have moved toward using technology but that  we have a way to go before we can say that technology has transform they way we teach.

Comments include the need  for more in-service and individual training, an opportunity to increase the depth of what the students are doing, time to experiment, the need  for more devices, the need for one to one availability, and the need for trouble shooters.  Comments also noted that student-student and teacher-student collaboration has been a positive outcome of using technology. The ability of students to create and save in Google has also helped facilitate classroom procedures.

9% of our teachers say they never use Google Apps in the classroom.

32% say they seldom use it.

18% say they use it once a week.

19% say they use it multiple times a week.

22% say they use it everyday in their classrooms.


63% say Google has helped them transform their teaching.

37% say no.


Below are the levels of Technology Integration:

Sparse: Students in your classes rarely use technology to complete assignments or projects.

Basic: Technology is used or available occasionally. Students are comfortable with one or two tools and sometimes use these tools to create projects that show understanding of content.

Comfortable: Technology is used on a fairly regular basis. Students are comfortable with a variety of tools and often use these tools to create projects that show understanding of content.

Seamless: Students employ technology daily using a variety of tools to complete assignments and create projects that show a deep understanding of content.

The SAMR Model:


Substitution: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute with no functional change.

Augmentation: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement .


Modification: Tech allows for significant task redesign.

Redefinition: Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable.

Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference Keynote Speaker Videos

Scott Kinney, Angela Maiers, Richard Byrne

Seeing Curriculum Through a Child’s Eyes by Kim Ferris-Berg Education Week

Seeing Curriculum Through a Child’s Eyes.  The Mission Hill School is practicing powerful learning  through interdisciplinary, student based, theme driven curriculum.