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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.

When Learning Emerges

“Every day is filled with uncertainty. Learning prepares you to deal with uncertainty. ‘Education’ prepares you to deal with certainty. …There is no certainty.” -Dr. Sugata Mitra

Hanging Technology on the Wall

“All this technology stuff is great! How do I hang it in the hall?”
Let me show you.

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...

iLearn Spelling Course Training Series

The Tech Coaches are excited to announce a training series for the elementary spelling course!  We have had an overwhelming response to a spelling course created and shared throughout the district.  What started out as a pilot for 4 fourth grade classrooms is now...

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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.

How do I ...?

Get help on some of the most frequently-used tools.

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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