Tag: twitter

ToolBox and TPACK

As a technology coach, I am working on flling up my toolbox of strategies and what I affectionately call my “pro tips” for working with others. This week I met with principals and senior administration of my board to discuss the fall technology plan and rolling out devices on a huge scale. My goal is to prepare everything I can during these summer months to be able to best support students, teachers, families and principals as they move further and deeper into 21st Century Learning. My own professional development has never been more meaningful and I am embracing the challenge with the appreciation that I have this beautiful lake view deck from which to work this morning.

Simultaneously, as part of my Connected Coach PLP experience, I am working with the TPACK model this week. I feel like it’s a digital print akin to a MRI of my mind right now. The technology, content, and pedagogy are the trifecta of my work, but it is reaching the core of this that is my goal. I read a tweet this morning that mentioned finding the balance of home and work is impossible, that something must always be off-set in order to move forward. While this certainly made me think of my summer break with my family and the great work I’m doing presently, I also relate it to this model:

Being able to interlink the 3 components (pedagogy, technology and content) also connects all of these other things for me- strategy (my toolbox), process (growth as a coach and leader), and goal (personal, big-picture and board-wide).

Developing a sense of what this looks like in coaching, connected and otherwise, is kind of like looking at the world with 3D glasses. I am balancing the actual with hypothetical in order to see a possible future. Spending time at Calgary Science School (ConnectEdCA) enabled me to see what this looks like for them. Following the tweets and videos of ISTE12 allows me to connect virtually and participate in the learning from a distance, (with the added bonus of processing time while I paddle my kayak). And having daily conversations with a group of brilliant co-learners from around the world in my PLP network is a great way to challenge and process the content while developing a greater understanding of what lies ahead.

To be honest, the content at present is the least of my focus, and in my 3D glasses it’s like the “green” (4D?). Experienced educators are expected to have this. However, as I look at support, I know the source of information is directly related to the aquisition and use of this information, and has a strong connection to the technology. No one piece can be eliminated, nor can it be undervalued.

This is basically at the root of my pedagogy:

“Good teaching is not simply adding technology to the existing teaching and content domain. Rather, the introduction of technology causes the representation of new concepts and requires developing a sensitivity to the dynamic, transactional relationship between all three components suggested by the TPCK framework.” (Kohler & Mishra, 2005, p.134)


Yesterday a friend and colleague came over to visit on a beautiful hot, sunny afternoon. As we sat on the deck and our children played around us, we essentially, discussed just this. (Pink flamingo and flip-flop wine glasses in hand of course.) In her capacity as Curriculum Coordinator, and mine as Technology Coach, we filtered through scenerios with a focus on pedagogy, best practices, possible scenerios for support, and the technological tools we use in our own practices and with others. We are part of a change in infrastructure, human resources, and educational reform. We will be working together in the fall to support a great initiative in our school board, but we have the tools at hand with our existing skill set and knowledge of the curriculum. Our board recognizes the changing face of leadership, and we continue to strive for professional growth as we learn to adapt to evolving positions.

To me, this is the best Appreciative Inquiry.

So, as the sun has crept to this side of the house, my tea is empty and the glare on the laptop becomes a barrier, I know the transition time is upon me and the chickadees indoors will soon become louder than the chirping birds outside. The beautiful thing about being an Connected Educator is that when the time comes to redirect my energies to the REAL FaceTime I know that I have left a space where my support and inspiration will exist upon my return.


There’s No Place Like Home

Friday, November 11th, 2011…



My grade 5 studets were over-the-moon excited Friday afternoon as they packed up their ASUS notebooks to take home for the weekend. We are working with the students on the ins and outs of doing this (safety, use and best pratices) and are hopeful they will refer to their User Agreement as they unpack their laptops this weekend. But moreover, I too am thrilled that we have reached this point!

Students were asked to choose one academic or educational application to do and share with a family member first.

This might be any program we’ve so far this year and could include programs such as Storybird (science “energy” stories), TenMarks Math, Bitstrips, Voki, etc. They may also choose to create a blog post on our class blog via the school webpage.


students are permitted to use their laptop for entertainment purposes. (Now, let’s be honest. How many parents or adults get a little pit in their stomach when they read this?)

Entertainment purposes have not been emphasized in our school setting. This might be due to their age, the nature of my shared-classroom assignment, or because they are engaged with academics. However, some of the first questions I answered were about music, the webcam, social networking and YouTube. And I answer them. So, alongside our User Agreement, we have also implemented strategies for navigating around our technology and the Internet for interest’s sake. What do we do when we find ourselves on a website we think might not be appropriate? Is it safe to download music and movies? What should I do with pictures I take on my integrated webcam?

The work is not done.

And to be honest, if we waited until we discussed ALL of the potential threats of using technology outside of Room 306,

the laptops would never go home.

However, I’m reminded that my students (and parents) know my email address. They don’t WANT to do wrong. They WANT to use their laptops. And above all else, they understand that this technology is a tool for their learning. They can make mistakes. Together we’ll fix them. They are hugely creative. I can’t wait to see what they do with time, tools AND access.

So. Monday will tell a story. I hope we have some great stories to tell on the road to online learning (from home too!)

I, on the other hand, am creating for my Media Specialist course, participating in a ‘Day of Learning” with SimpleK12, collaborating on some research on Twitter, and helping my five-year-old do research on Africa and Christmas songs about “Befwaham”. That’s how I know technology is okay in the home. 😉