Archive for December, 2010

Evolving Google Apps for Edu

December 29, 2010 1 comment

After reading the article Google Pushes Education Software Through App Store, I began thinking about the next step for Google Apps for Education. Now that many classes, schools, and districts are using GA4E with their students, I find the next logical step for Google is to start partnering with educational software tools to provide a wider breadth of applications. It is a brilliant move! Google hooked us educators with a great web platform; and now they can leverage the user base to get these 3rd party companies to sell us products. I have always said, the education sector is the next big industry and technology is driving that business. Since GA4E is a simple and robust administrative platform, it will make it easy for technology administrators to bring in new education applications into their infrastructure without much overhead. If evolved strategically, GA4E can become the web platform for the next generation edtech initiatives. Can you imagine in the future, GA4E integrating with Learning Management Systems, SIS, virtual worlds, and online interactive education content? You would have to think Google had this in mind prior to launching a free Google Apps for Education…muahahah!

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Recommended Tech Skills

December 17, 2010 3 comments

Here are my thoughts on technology skills I believe our next generation master teacher should possess:

  • Successfully integrated various technologies to engage students in 21st century learning.
  • Using data-informed technologies to drive instruction.
  • Uses social media and web 2.0 tools to collaborate, share and practice in professional development with other educators.
  • Successfully contributed online content demonstrating teaching practices. (i.e. wikis, blogs, webinars)
  • Demonstrated the use of technology to differentiate, personalize, and accelerate instruction.
  • Experienced delivering professional development using a wide variety of multimedia. (i.e. podcasts, videos, screencasts)
  • Proficient using interactive technologies to deliver instruction. (i.e. Interactive White Boards, Student Response Systems)
  • Worked with content learning management systems to develop lessons, courses, and assignments for students.
  • Understands the role of the various information systems (i.e. SIS, Gradebooks, CMS) and how it impacts student learning.
  • Demonstrated project-based learning strategies using technology platforms.
  • Demonstrated classroom management skills blending computer-based technologies with traditional classroom teaching strategies.
  • Shows interest in personal technologies.
  • Has a basic knowledge of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and has the ability to troubleshoot basic computer operations.

Data Warehousing

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

The buzz word going around education is “Data” and how we can aggregate data to drive/inform instruction. The latest acronym term I read on the 2010 National EdTech Plan was D3M – Data Driven Decision Making System. The goal of a student data management platform is to compile multiple data points such as Student Information Systems, Data Assessments, and Response To Intervention systems into coherent reports that anyone (students, teachers, parents, etc.) can access and make intelligent decisions about a student’s education plan. The challenge has been building such a system with the variety of isolated information technologies that support the various systems. After spending time thinking about what an aggregated report would look like, I began asking more questions about what a teacher really needs to know about students? Below are some ideas of what data points I think teachers may need. However, input from my education PLN would really help my thinking behind a data warehouse solution that fits what teachers really need to deliver high quality instruction. Your input is valuable, thank you PLN!

What information data does a teacher need to deliver high quality personalized instruction?

  • Data assessments on how student are performing on core standards.
  • SIS information of grades, behavior, and student background.
  • Rubric data on how students are performing on 21st century skills.
  • Special Education, IEP, RTI data.
  • Assessment surveys on how students learn and interests.
  • Data pulled from online curriculum software packages (i.e. Study Island, Aleks)

While aggregating data is the first step, the next level of data-analytic tools would intelligently provide teachers recommendations and prescriptions to help inform/drive instruction.

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