Tech Tip Tuesday- Screencasting

For this week's Tech Tip Tuesday, we are going to talk about some nifty uses for screencasting, specifically with Screencastify. What is screencasting? Screencasting is when you record what is happening on your whole computer screen, one tab, or just your webcam, and...

Tech Tip Tuesday- StudentSites

Did you know that we have our own blog site for students?  It's called StudentSites and you can find it at What is StudentSites? StudentSites is a blogging site for our students.  It can be used as a publishing tool for...

Tech Tip Tuesday: Don’t tell mom your password

As any teacher knows, there’s often a direct correlation between the things we emphasize and the things students find significant. And we often show emphasis by the way we model behaviors. For instance, we speak in complete sentences, use proper punctuation and spelling when we write on the board, say please and thank you, and the like. These are some of the areas in which students like to take short cuts, and in the long run it will pay off.

When it comes to technology, however, there are shortcuts we like to take–and even encourage students to take that will eventually and inevitably be harmful to students.

Tech Tip Tuesday- Recording in Moodle (iLearn)

Let's Hear it for the Recording Tool! One of our favorite tools in Moodle (iLearn) is now built right in!  The recording feature allows you and your students to record voice and add it right into your Moodle course! Why is this important?  Because the possibilities...

Tech Tip Tuesday- Using Google Keep for Feedback Comment Banks

  Since we have been focusing on the importance of timely and actionable feedback, we wanted to share another quick, simple way to provide feedback using Google Keep.  In cases where you find yourself providing the same feedback for the same errors over and over, you...

Teaching our Students the Importance of Actionable Feedback

As teachers, we know that providing feedback to students is extremely important to their success.   Timely, actionable feedback provides students with the necessary tools they need to improve their learning.  Now, that lesson is being passed down to our students at...

Tech Tip Tuesday- Using Bitmojis for Fun, Friendly, Informal Feedback

Since we have been talking about feedback, we wanted to share a fun way to provide some feedback to your students.  What is a Bitmoji you ask?  Well a Bitmoji is an avatar that you can create to look just like you!  You can check them out and create your own...

Technology Integration Partnerships

This year, as in years past, Amy and I will be available in buildings on a regular basis to support teachers and students in their needs with regard to technology use. We will also begin to develop our Technology Integration Partnerships with teachers and students, in which we will be working alongside teachers and students on a curriculum unit basis to help develop, plan, and co-facilitate instruction that integrates technology for increased student opportunity and learning.

Tech Tip Tuesday: Hotkeys for Teachers

Inspired by the sweltering heat of the past few days of school, I thought I’d share a few shortcut keystrokes. You may (and should) be familiar with some, but others may not be as familiar. Here are a few hotkey combinations that every cool teacher should know…

Time, Talents, and Passion (Bob is back.)

After a long summer of uncertainty and hesitation about my career goals, as well as a few weeks of trying it out, I have requested to end my Administrative Internship and return to my previous position as Technology Coach…

…Let’s continue inspiring kids to use technology in productive ways, educating lifelong learners for success in the 21st century, and celebrating our manifold successes in opening doors to new and greater opportunities for learning in a digital world.

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S.O.S. for Mahara Users

Getting Your Feet Wet For those who may be unfamiliar, Mahara is our ePortfolio program, and has become very popular among teachers across the district.  Mahara is a clean, bright platform used to display videos, pictures, and text.  It can fully integrate with Google...

From Lawn Chairs to Finish Lines

Potato Chips, a Lawn Chair, and the Nudging Neighbor On a beautiful spring day, my husband and I were sitting outside, watching the neighbors walk their dogs, ride their bikes, and generally enjoying the springtime air while getting in a little exercise.  As I sat...

Hanging Out with the Tech Coaches: The Moodle Workshop

We were live on Google Hangouts on Air this morning discussing how to set up a Moodle Workshop module (view the recording below). Here’s a glimpse of what Amy and I talk about when we’re not meeting with teachers, and also a tutorial (in full or in part) on how to set up the Workshop module for your own class!

Reason #5: Moodle is Sustainable

Every endeavor into a new tool or strategy comes at the expense of something else that isn’t being pursued. Every endeavor involves a tradeoff as well as an investment. And if the investment is mostly financial (which is often the case for the most “user-friendly” tools), we can be in for a rude awakening when the funding dries up, the focus shifts, or the vision changes. People who invest time and energy in using a particular tool can find themselves in a quandary when it suddenly goes away or becomes a paid service. So much of what we try to do or use in education simply isn’t sustainable in any sense of the word.

Teaching is Hard

Over the past couple weeks, students in Ms. Angela Altomonte’s U. S. History class at Fordson have been working hard at preparing lessons to deliver to their peers on various topics. They learned valuable lessons about what it takes to be a teacher–and taught us a lesson about what students are really capable of when it comes to technology.

From Vestigial Video to Empowering Evaluation

The problem isn’t with videos. Sometimes the best way to learn about something is to watch a video about it. Sometimes a video is necessary to support other materials in learning about a particular topic. I tell people that half of what I’ve ever learned has been from YouTube. I’m kidding, of course, but it may not be that much of an overstatement. The problem, as always, is what students are doing with the video.

The Myth Of Magical Technology

Just this morning, I received an email from Kahoot reminding its users that they can administer “homework that corrects itself”. As a teacher, this is intriguing to me for many reasons. Giving self-corrected homework helps me avoid a little of the mundane practice of...

Embracing Google

It’s not a secret anymore. The answers are out there. Whether it’s a high-level writing prompt or a simple multiple-choice question from the publisher’s question bank, the reality is the same: if it’s been used at all before, the answers are likely posted somewhere on the internet.

Revamping a Webquest

…as students began working, we noticed that all they had to do is google the exact question and the search returned the work of students who had done the webquest before and had published their answers online. Were they cheating? I’m not so sure. After all, we were asking them to search for answers online–and that’s exactly what they did. Were they cheating themselves in the long run? That’s more likely. But not because they were finding answers…

Bryant’s Online “My Learning Plan”: Year 2

Over the next couple weeks, students will begin creating pages on Mahara, Dearborn’s ePortfolio system. These MLP pages will include their NWEA scores, their academic goals for all of the core areas and extended core, and their personal goals. And each team of teachers is currently thinking of ways to help students showcase even more of who they are using these pages.

Calling it Learning When it Isn’t

Simply putting technology in the hands of our students is not magically going to increase achievement. Neither is having them go through the motions of all the other strategies we try to employ. Just being “engaged” doesn’t mean a student is being enriched.

Go [Digital] Eagles!

This year, I've been working with an amazing team of sixth grade ELA teachers at Bryant Middle School to make the transition to implementing My Learning Plan on a digital platform using Mahara. Previously, the team was introduced to Mahara and some of the...

Good with Technology

Here's another one of my analogies for you:   Being "good with technology" : integrating technology :: being good at cursive : writing ability The fact of the matter is that most people in the professional world are "good with technology". It's pretty much a given...

The Path of Least Resistance Around Our Pedagogy

I used to tell people that 80% of my job was finding creative ways to prevent kids from cheating. That was a bit of an exaggeration, but that’s how it feels sometimes, doesn’t it? We want kids to internalize their learning. We want them to be good, conscientious pupils, just like we were. We want them to forgo all of the modern conveniences–cell phones, the internet, Google–and just learn it for themselves like we did.

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Meet the Tech Coaches

Who we are, where we’re from, and what we do

Teacher Perspectives

Dearborn Teachers discuss their experiences with using the Moodle Workshop module in their instrution.

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Early Childhood / Preschool

Use technology in beneficial ways with your child
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Google Apps

Help, tips, and hints for using Google Apps for Education (G Suite)
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Help students collect and curate artifacts of their work, set goals and develop plans.
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Transform the way students learn in your classroom with iLearn
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Form a working partnership with parents and students by communicating effectively
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Everyone has a right to information. Learn how to make your materials accessible to all.
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Technology for Lifelong Learning

As technology increases exponentially, learners in the 21st century have the opportunity to go far beyond the boundaries of the traditional classroom.  The available technology provided by the Dearborn Schools allows students to interact in the digital community, collaborate with peers, and engage with the world from their seats in our classrooms.  The possibilities for learning know no boundaries online.  Learn how to help students become lifelong learners in the digital community.

Our Goal

The goal of instructional technology coaches is to help teachers become effective at using technology to provide the most technology-rich, positive learning environments possible.  To this end, we believe effective teachers…

  1. Facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity.
  2. Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments.
  3. Model digital age work and learning.
  4. Promote and model digital citizenship and responsibility.
  5. Engage in professional growth and leadership.

from Standards for Teachers.

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