http://saintmichaelcomputer.wikispaces.com/principals Good morning. At the beginning of this presentation, I’m going to refer to a survey. I had asked to have it mailed to everyone via First Class last week. Unfortunately, I don’t think everyone saw the survey and several people probably had trouble because the letter r got cut off when the link was clicked. At break time, I’m going to display this page and if you have a computer or if you can borrow one, I’d appreciate you taking the survey. In the meanwhile, the numbers represent about 20% of the people in the room.
Whenever I listen to someone present, I’m always curious about their background and how they came to be presenting. I’m a product of a K-8 education at Saint Anne’s School in Garwood in Union County. I never touched a computer until I was 19 years old, but quickly came to enjoy not only using them but teaching others how to use them as well. I ended up being a computer trainer for adults at National Starch & Chemical, Continental Insurance, Sea Land Shipping, and after a break to have two boys, I became the computer teacher at Saint Michael School in Cranford.
My goal is to give you new knowledge, get us talking as a group, teach you in several different modes. You have a handout. I want you to be working on completing the handout over the course of the morning. As we work, I want you to look for 3 things you want to remember, 2 things you will tell someone else, and one thing you will do before the end of the month. I’m going to work to make this as interactive as possible in a large group setting. We’ll be working in different modes. Hopefully we’ll differentiate in a way that suits your needs. Look for the triangle symbol on the slides. It’s there to remind you to fill out your 3-2-1 sheet.
I spent time looking at all the web sites for the elementary schools. I found a lot of evidence of technology -- from forms, to photo galleries, to videos, and music. So from the outside looking in, there are many different types of technology in the schools.
I’ll be flipping between the presentation and the Internet as we work. As we look at the different examples, tools, and ideas this morning please remember that as a principal you have to always be concerned with student learning first. It’s easy to get excited and say put something on the interactive whiteboard, or use the iPods. With all technology, you have to start with the end in mind. Have clear objectives, decide what type of assessment is being made of the learning. I taught middle school math for a number of years. During a second on metric measure, I was thinking about how my students always had trouble with converting between units in both metric and standard measurements. I happened to have a digital scale at home. The students collected a variety of things they wanted to measure. I had the students take turns taking digital photos while they worked to fill out a data form. The project was going to initially involve the photos and a presentation at the front of the room. I had just learned about a free web site called Voice thread. I decided to load the photos into Voicethread and give the students a homework assignment. The tiny images are mostly my students. The last image is a teacher from Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada. We had been discussing math class together and had students of similar ages. He was working on mental math strategies. We decided to pair the students up and have them evaluate each other’s calculations. It ended up being a great project for both classes, but the student learning and assessment came first. Keep that first in mind when looking at teacher and student use of technology.
One way to measure how we are doing is through the standards put out by ISTE. There are standards for administrators, teachers, technology coaches, technology directors, computer science educators, and students. As an administrator, you are needed to lead your school community and we will spend time this morning getting to understand what the goals for principals are.
The ISTE NETS for administrators have five major components. We’re going to come back to these categories at the end of the day today. My job today is to share new ideas for you to take back to your school. I will be focusing on ways that you can help yourself, your teachers, your students, parents, and other school stakeholders at little or no cost. After looking at the results of the survey I sent out last week word processing, spreadsheets, Internet research, and email are used by 100% of the people who responded this is as it should be. I will give you ideas that you can take back to school and help you in all five categories of school leadership. We know intrinsically and from scholastic research that there are different adult mentalities when it comes to work ethic. Some teachers will falsely believe that if you, the principal, are not checking into how the teachers are progressing with their use of technology and what the students are doing that you don’t care. Also, if you have technology sitting in the building - such as an interactive whiteboard - it does no one any good to have it in a locked room or unassembled. Technology becomes old fast. What was amazing last year, is getting old this year, and three or four years out it’s going to be out of warrantee and starting to get slow compared to new technology. We’ve been able to try many new types of technology in the school because we have a vision in our technology plan. We learn together as a group of teachers with the principal. We learn to extend our professional practice through sharing with each other and through training. We incrementally work to improve and do more year after year. We focus on digital citizenship at the adult and student levels. I’ve always been given the ability to try new projects with the students and teachers. It’s because of the culture we have at school.
This is a project that I worked on with a second grade teacher. The students were practicing their letter writing skills by writing soldiers in Iraq. The classroom teacher asked if I could scan them. We did and we posted them on a wiki. A wiki is a web site that can easily be edited. I scanned the images and helped the teacher learn how to create and add the images. I asked the teacher if she would like to send the students down to the computer lab one at a time to record their voices. We then added a sound file with the picture.
There are many opportunities I want to give you for participating in this workshop. For those of you who have never heard of Google Docs, I’d like to share a short video. I will do this a couple of times during our time together. There are a number of videos by a small company called Common Craft. They are available on YouTube. I think it can be really useful as an educator to find a short video clip to use in class. There is an amazing wealth of useful video online. Our middle school math teacher uses short YouTube videos to explain concepts. Our teachers at all grade levels use clips for science. There have been videos shown to enhance religion class. All of these take up much less time and are more to the point than a full length video. I’m going to ask for some volunteers to keep something called a Google Doc as we work. This short video is going to give you an overview of the service from Google.
As with other tools that I usually keep private, I am going to share this document publicly. Anyone who is interested can type this link right now and you will be an editor on the document. I am going to switch to the Internet to view the document live. I want to invite as many of you that please to keep this document open and add notes as I am show you different features. One thing that I find really useful is to have multiple people at a conference taking notes in the same document. I was at a two day conference in New York this August. I decided to take notes in a Google Doc and I tweeted the link out. Some wonderful unknown soul made an index of my notes and added links as I was typing. It was an example of a digital age learning culture.
Another tool you can use to gather feedback from teachers, students, and parents are surveys. We need to be able to meet people at their comfort level. I’ve been working with the teachers to use online surveys for a number of years. When I want feedback, I have taken to giving them multiple ways to respond. Just as our students gain comfort in learning at different paces, so do adults. This summer, I was collecting information on how technology was used in our school to promote student learning. At the end of the year, the principal gave each teacher the survey on paper. They were given the choice to either fill in the paper survey and mail it to me, email the answers to me, or type the web address (like I gave you) to answer the survey online. No one mailed the paper back to me, but it was a 50/50 split with people who felt comfortable using email and people filling in the online form. The teachers do not have a school email address, but at this point our teachers all have a personal email address. A few years ago, I was teaching the teachers about building a habit of mind in response to technology tools. A habit of mind the principal is trying to instill this year is that the teachers need to get in the habit of opening their email account daily. Rather than posting paper messages at the sign in sheet in the office, we are now receiving emails.
If a teacher does not have an email address, there are many free options such as Gmail. As far as creating surveys, there are numerous free tools out on the Internet. The ones I have most experience with are Survey Monkey and Google Forms. Google Forms are a part of the Google Docs tools. I use a Google Form for teachers to reserve the cart of tablets we have in the building. I’ve used both with students. I don’t use PollEverywhere because I usually want more than 40 responses when we are outside the building. When we are in the building, I can use our ActiVote devices.
I want to pause for a moment. What are some ways that you have used electronic surveys of our parents, teachers, students? What ideas have popped into your head as I was sharing these tools?
We are a Google Apps for Education school. It is free. I would strongly recommend investigating Google Apps for Education. It gives you the ability to create and share documents with students and teachers without the need for email addresses. I’ve used it with great success in creating collaborative presentations in the eighth grade. Students can create collaborative documents, such as the one I’ve just invited you into as well as spreadsheets and presentations.
Last year, I began working with a teacher in a school in Canada. His combined second and third grade class worked with students from both our third grade classes. The classroom teachers worked on projects during the week. We’d add them to our wiki during our weekly computer class. I’m going to walk you through the wiki.
One of the reasons my school has so many partnerships outside our town is that I have been using learning communities online. As an administrator, one of your standards under Digital Age Learning Cultures is to facilitate and participate in learning communities that stimulate, nurture and support administrators, faculty, and staff in the study and use of technology. The Educator’s PLN is a community of educators from around the world. It is a social network dedicated to supporting educators as they try to build a personal learning network at a global level. There are over 10,000 educators who participate in this learning network. Classroom 2.0 is a community of educators for teachers interested in integrating web 2.0 and social media tools in the classroom. As a member, you will be invited to many weekly webinars to help you learn more about what is going on in educational technology. There are over 60,000 members on this site.
In order to help you become more personally acquainted with a learning network, I’ve created a space for us to continue conversations. It’s something that I have been using at Saint Michael School in Cranford for the last year. At Saint Michael, I have called the web site Help Me To Help Myself. As part of a training day two years ago, we were talking about forming the habits of mind to do more research and searching for ideas for technology online. I have called our space the Principal’s Place. Right now the site is public because I want anyone in the audience to join right now. By the end of the school day, I will set the space to be private. No one will be able to access the site without requesting membership. No one will be able to see the content without a user name and password. There is only so much we can do in the course of the morning. I will continue to add information as I become aware of it. This will allow us to continue our conversations long past today. The company that provides the service is called Ning: N-I-N-G. They allow anyone to create a social network. Think of it as a private Facebook. Through a private social network you can share photos, videos, questions, and answers. You can post questions and share your best practices so we all can learn. I’m going to walk you through the features. I have added some videos and posts to the forum. As I find new information, I will add it here. I hope that you will do the same. Usually it costs $20 per year for the service. Pearson will sponsor the site for up to 3 years. They are sponsoring this site.
One web site that you might want to use is Poll Everywhere. For free, anyone who creates a K12 account can have up to 40 responses. As a sample of how this works, I’d like to invite you to participate in this sample poll. I’ll be able to accept the first 40 responses from the room. For a fee, you can have more responses. For example, you could poll parents at a back to school night event. When I researched more responses, I found that for $15 per month I could have 50 responses. For $65 per month, I could have 250 responses.
Another way to think about how to introduce systemic change is by attending conferences. One of the difficulties of attending conferences is the cost. I’d like to share a few ideas with you. When I first started teaching at Saint Michael School, I looked at conferences as expensive choices that I would make occasionally. As I started working with other teachers online, I began learning about other conferences in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. I’ve had some amazing opportunities in the last few years that have introduced me to educators of all walks of life and situations.
• Learning about exciting, free Web 2.0 tools • Hearing from esteemed educators who are innovating now • Leaving with an array of applicable strategies and ideas to begin the change process • Complimentary breakfast and lunch • Networking opportunities • Sharing of best practices by other school districts, teachers, and administrators • Opportunity for hands-on experiences with innovative digital tools For this price you get 2 meals, a nationally renowned keynote, presentations innovative educators in the Northeast, and priceless networking opportunities.
Part of digital citizenship is ensuring equitable access to digital tools and resources to meet the needs of all learners. I think of this in two ways. First, there is the simple fact that not all students have access to digital tools at home. This could mean a computer, a printer, or the Internet. Students who grow up and find jobs will not be able to function without basic computer skills. It’s up to us to make sure the teachers are including a variety of technology options to students and teaching them to make the most of the tools they have. The second way I look at equitable access is in giving students the ability to use technology to help them with learning deficits they may have.
Universal Design for Learning says that all learners need to be given information in ways that meet their needs. It’s not just for students with IEPs. The intent is that if we provide all students with the ability to access content in different ways, differentiate the ways in which they can show what they know, and stimulate their interest and motivation for learning each child has the potential to learn more. The UDL Tech Toolkit is a web site with many different free technology tools to help all learners. It’s broken into several categories. I have suggested and used several of these tools at Saint Michael. One tool I was able to share with the students at Saint Michael is Quizlet. It is a free online flash card tool. The middle school teacher has created flash cards to help the students study for the vocabulary portion of their reading final. The Spanish teacher creates study sets for the fourth through eighth grade students. Our students have created and shared their flash cards for other subjects throughout the year and have taken the tool on to high school. In addition, they have chosen to use the mobile apps that can be used with their Quizlet card sets. I have shared the Dragon Dictation app with our skills teacher from Union County. She and I worked with one child's parents. The student was a wonderful storyteller who had great difficulty getting the words on paper. The student was able to record and have help with creative writing projects. The app uses the iTouch recorder to record speech and convert it into text.
Another aspect of digital citizenship is the promotion, modeling, and establishment of policies for safe, legal, and ethical use of digital information and technology. I do this in a number of ways through my computer classes at Saint Michael. I do this in a very hands on method. As a principal, what you do and allow teachers to do speaks volumes. We all promote best practices in the way we model ourselves. I’m not sure if you picked up on it during my presentation, but I have used many images. The images all have citations. My favorite way to get images and music is through the use of something known as Creative Commons. I’m sure everyone in the room is familiar with Copyright. It basically says all rights reserved. No one can use this without my express permission. You are probably familiar with the public domain as well. Images, music, books, and other types of creative expression whose copyright has expired become part of the public domain. As educators, we’re fairly well versed in Fair Use - the ability to use portions of copyrighted work for educational purposes as long as it stays in the building.
One way I have helped the students to understand the importance of copyright and the Creative Commons is through students creating a personal animation, selecting a license for their work, and explaining why they chose that license.
It’s our responsibility to promote and model responsible social interactions related to the use of technology and information. Whether or not individuals grew up with the Internet, it takes instruction, modeling, and reminding about the fact that what we put on the Internet can last far longer than we realize. You might, at some point, heard the word digital footprint. It can be an advantage or disadvantage to you.
An example of a positive digital footprint is the one I’m helping my son Stephen build. He has a great love of technology and has learned to build web pages, program games, and is in the process of learning to create apps for the iTouch and iPhone. I want him to understand that when people Google him, they should find what he wants them to find by building a positive presence on the web.
Pause before you post - good message to students, teachers, and principals. Have you ever received a message and answered when you were not in the best frame of mind? What we say can be amplified many times over. Part of digital citizenship is being aware of the impact of cyberbullying, too. It used to be that when someone was picked on, it was limited to physical encounters - you had to be in the same physical space. The only people who knew it was happening were in the same space or it was passed on by word of mouth. Now it becomes something that can follow a student through text messages and Facebook postings. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but when it does, it can crush the person’s spirit. We have a valuable opportunity to be able to speak from our Catholic heritage and beliefs. When I speak about this with students, I bring up the ten commandments. We know that we are not to bear false witness against our neighbors.
A topic that I’m going to touch lightly right now is the concept of modeling and facilitating the development of a shared cultural understanding and involvement in global issues through the use of contemporary communication and collaboration tools. At school, we have invited others into our classroom and teacher faculty meetings. We no longer have to rely on people in our building or even our state to educate us. When we work through digital tools, we have to become sensitive to other cultures, other patterns of speech, and the fact that the way we present ourselves will affect the image people in other cultures around the world have of us. Some examples here include a map of the US and Canada. Last year, our third grade students became partners in an ongoing project with students on the eastern portion of Canada near Toronto. We worked with a combined second/third grade class and shared photos, school work, and videos to learn more about each other’s school, school day, weather patterns, and travel. The students loved learning about another culture and comparing the similarities and differences. Our teachers came to the lab and participated in Skype calls. We even sat through one of their fire drills unexpectedly. Sometimes it takes a bit of effort to work globally. On the right side of the screen are some items called travel bugs. The students in fifth and seventh grade learned about using GPS devices to find hidden treasures around the world called geocaches. We had students in the middle of Canada who sent us a travel bug (their teacher actually started it off in Scotland). We sent a travel bug to those students as well as a group of first graders in Australia. In order to Skype into Australia, the seventh grade students received permission slips to return to school at 7pm so that we could be available during the first grader’s recess. Each time we connect with another school, we learn something new.
I use a curriculum called CyberSmart to introduce students to the concepts of being safe and secure online, building manners and online citizenship skills, talking about cyberbullying, how to ethically use and cite sources, and how to do a better job researching and validating information online. I’ll be teaching a workshop on digital citizenship to the teachers in the building later in the year. It’s not the kind of lesson you teach once, either. It has to be reviewed year after year with students and adults. It’s so easy to say something online and spend years wishing you could take it back.
Another part of increasing our excellence in professional practice is through allocating time, resources, and access to ensure ongoing professional growth in technology fluency and integration. A not so simple task is learning to find resources online. I’m going to walk you through an exercise that you can share with your teachers to find more resources online. I’m going to use Google, but most of these exercises could be completed in other search engines. I am sharing the information I learned on a Bit by Bit podcast from the Christa McAuliffe conference in Maine back in 2007. What would you type if you wanted to find information about teaching the water cycle?
The fifth grade students memorized The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Each student memorized a portion of the poem. The teacher recognized the effort of the children and wanted to share it in a video. Two fifth grade students wrote the introduction. I’m just showing you a short clip.
An administrator is expected to promote and participate in local, national, and global learning communities that stimulate innovation, creativity, and digital-age collaboration. Before you can suggest this to others, it is important to find value for yourself. One way to begin finding personal value might be through the Connected Principals web site. It is actually a group blog. Thirty-three principals from all walks of K-12 life share their thoughts on a variety of topics. On their about page, they share that this blog is the shared thoughts of school administrators that want to share best practices in education. All of the authors have different experiences in education but all have the same goal; what is best for students. I find a lot of thoughtful information on this site.
We can stay abreast of educational research and emerging trends regarding effective use of technology and encourage evaluation of new technologies for their potential to improve student learning through reading magazines and journals. Again, this doesn’t have to be costly. There are several journals I receive for free that help me understand shift in technology and keep on top of what is emerging. A few of my favorites are The Journal, eSchool News, and Tech and Learning. I have a forum topic with links to the magazines and journals on the Principal’s Place ning. You should share these links with your teachers so they can learn how others are increasing student learning through different technologies.
a. inspire and facilitate among all stakeholders a shared vision of purposeful change that maximizes use of digital-age resources to meet and exceed learning goals, support effective instructional practice, and maximize performance of district and school leaders. Visionary technology leaders involve all the stakeholder to move toward purposeful change. You must think of yourself as a networked educator. A networked educator needs to become aware of an array of digital tools. These tools can help you meet and exceed learning goals. It can help your teachers support effective instructional practice. It can maximize your performance as an individual. It seems like a lot of promise. I can tell you from experience that it takes time to begin building your knowledge and skills, but you don’t have to do it alone. By the end of this morning you will have a variety of choices. As I work through the ideas, I want you to make a short list of things you want to try.
b. engage in an ongoing process to develop, implement, and communicate technology-infused strategic plans aligned with a shared vision. A visionary leader needs a plan. We should all have a technology plan for our schools. I took the words from my school’s technology plan and put them into a web site called Wordle.net. It’s a pretty neat tool. It does a count of each word and draws a cloud of those words. Our plan focuses on how technology is used by the teachers and students in the school and in the classroom. We want to use the computers in new ways. We are leveraging a lot of free tools on the Internet. It’s very important the tools are used to enhance student learning. One task that needs to be done by everyone in the room is to make sure your technology plan is up-to-date and that you understand it and communicate it to the teachers.
c. advocate on local, state and national levels for policies, programs, and funding to support implementation of a technology-infused vision and strategic plan. Visionary leadership calls for us to advocate for local, state, and national programs to fund technology-infused vision.
If you’re not used to the use of technology in the ways I’ve been sharing today, it’s ok. But now that you know more, it’s up to everyone to take their skills to the next level. If you are using certain tools, make sure that you model and promote the frequent and effective use of those technologies for the learning of your staff and faculty. The more you model and promote different technology, the more it will become an expectation for all teachers in their interaction with students. If you haven’t previously done much personally, you should have found at least one thing you are willing to commit to trying. As you gain comfort, share that with the people in your building and go on to something else that is new.
In order to ensure instructional innovation focused on continuous improvement of digital-age learning you want to listen to your faculty and staff when they come up with innovations. As a parent I want to know more about my student’s day. An example of instructional innovation is the use of blogs, Facebook notes, and video to share what our students are learning and how they are learning. When I looked at all the school pages, I found that at least 48% of the high schools and 20% of the grammar schools in the Archdiocese of Newark already have a Facebook page. A smaller percentage have a Twitter page. This year, we’ve been putting notice of things coming home in the backpack, upcoming events, and other notices. Several parents have mentioned how useful this is to them.
I want you to share with the people in your group the best use of Facebook that you have seen...the best use of Twitter.
There are ways to lead purposeful change to maximize the achievement of learning goals through the appropriate use of technology and media-rich resources. We’ve had a number of webinars for the students. Last year, many of our students attended a Scholastic webinar about word choice in writing. They interviewed Taylor Swift about how she writes the lyrics to songs. The middle school sixth grade students attended a webinar via the JASON project on sea life.
As a principal, it’s up to us to ensure effective practice in the study of technology and its infusion across the curriculum. It doesn’t always take going off site to learn and it doesn’t take having someone in. There is definitely value in doing that when you can, but there is an array of free professional development and inspiration available online if you know where to look.
a. allocate time, resources, and access to ensure ongoing professional growth in technology fluency and integration.
In order to establish and maintain a robust infrastructure for technology including integrated, interoperable technology systems to support management, operations, teaching, and learning we need to get creative.
As we work, we can ensure instructional innovation focused on continuous improvement of digital-age learning through having teachers share their stories in the building. We had a teacher who was very much an “old school” teacher. Her son was stationed in Iraq. As a secret Santa gift, I set up a Skype call between her son and her class.
When you have an opportunity to hire look to recruit and retain highly competent personnel who use technology creatively and proficiently to advance academic and operational goals.
It’s through the establishment and leverage of strategic partnerships that you will be able to to support systemic improvement and help bring more integration of technology into your school.
Leading Through Technology Ann Oro email@example.com At the break, if you haven’t done so, please go to http://www.tinyurl.com/2011october and complete the short survey questions.
Product of K-8 Saint Anne - Garwood
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During the Break 3 Free Passes Name eMail address
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Ideas: 8th Grade Spring Awakening by Samantha This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. I want my second animation to be in Creative Commons too because I will let anyone use it as long as they say it was made by me and do not change it. This Animation (Ying Bam Boom) is (c) 2010 Stephen. Please ask if you would like to use this. I am Copyrighting this because I made it. http://saintmichaelcomputer.pbworks.com/w/page/12728264/0910animatesamantha http://saintmichaelcomputer.pbworks.com/w/page/12728265/0910animatestephen
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water cycle 54,800,000
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Excellence in Professional Practice/ Digital Age Learning Culture http://www.diigo.com/network/njtechteacher 3 2 1
Visionary Leadership http://www.flickr.com/photos/langwitches/3458534773/
Visionary Leadership www.wordle.net 3 2 1
Visionary Leadership http://www.nj.gov/education/techno/nptech.htm
Digital Age Learning Culture http://www.flickr.com/photos/rdhout/5660961736/in/pool-858082@N25/ 3 2 1
Reading Material “Great book for the Not-Yet-Tech-Savvy school leader” - John Robinson, principal, Newton Conover Health Science High School “Did you read the book cover to cover? How readable is it? I’d like to recommend it on Thursday.” “Yes. Read it entirely. Not entertaining, but full of information.” - J. Robinson
Digital Age Learning Culture 3 2 1
Professional Use of Social Media http://twitter4teachers.pbworks.com/ http://twitter.com/#!/list/njtechteacher/principals-6 http://twitter.com/#!/list/njtechteacher/catholicedu 3 2 1
Numbered Heads Together Text Best Use: Facebook Twitter Audio Video
Webinars 3 2 1 http://www.jason.org/ Taylor Swift – Word Choice Webinar
Digital Age Learning Culture http://www.tinyurl.com/inspiredpd 3 2 1
Digital Age Learning Culture http://k12onlineconference.org/ 2010 - http://globaledcon.weebly.com 2011 - http://globaleducation.ning.com/page/2011-conference 3 2 1
Systemic Improvement http://cdwg.discoveryeducation.com/wawl/ http://www.grantwrangler.com/ 3 2 1
Systemic Improvement http://teachingwithcontests.com/ 3 2 1
Digital Age Learning Culture 3 2 1
Systemic Improvement http://www.flickr.com/photos/plugusin/5333410499/in/pool-858082@N25
Systemic Improvement http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgecouros/5703446833/in/pool-858082@N25/
License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Ann Oro 2011
Summary: A presentation to grammar school principals on leading through technology tied into the ISTE NETS for Administrators.