Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Challenges of Serving all Communities

      Technology in education has various levels of implementation, and degrees of ease of use. For example, students are the easiest to teach how to use any given piece of technology, mostly because their culture is embedded with technology. Most students in  a classroom have various online accounts, such as Facebook, Google plus, Twitter, Instagram, tumblr, or Grooveshark. They know how to navigate the internet, they are willing to try new programs and can learn them quickly. Working with members of the educational community presents degrees of challenges. While most of the education community would agree that teaching and using technology has value, there are mixed emotions on the level and the type of technology tools that should be integration. New teachers are receiving some training about what tools to use in the classroom and how to incorporate technology (Cohen, 2007). This training provides some basic level of understanding and use of technology with students. Teachers who have gone through training programs prior to this change sometimes show a bit more resistance to change. Many feel as though they have discovered what works well, and the way they teach is working and have a difficult time accepting and implementing technology (Morehead, 2005).  School administration pushes the use of technology because of 21st century initiatives and pressure. They may have the attitude that technology in the classroom is an important tool, but may lack the understanding of how to best incorporate technology. Administrators should walk the walk, meaning they should model good use of technology. An administrator who is lacking skills and is attempting to promote technology may not have the impact they desire. The school board, and the general public are often somewhat removed from the daily education environment. They may feel as though they understand and use technology, but may have misconceptions about how it should be used in education. These misconceptions lead to the lack of acceptance of the use of technology to enhance education. In my experience many of the hesitations around technology result from the fear of cyber-bullying, poor awareness of digital citizenship and digital footprint.

     When working with reluctant teachers, hesitant school board members, and parents. It is important to have data and realistic comparisons to illustrate how technology can enhance education. Similarly, it is important to be able to model good use of technology to enhance a presentation, or training session. Parents and school board members are the key players in any public school. They require appropriate training and understanding of the technology tools to be able to make unbiased decisions about approving technology integration into schools. For example, many schools block the use of social networking. The assumption is that these tools are used for gossiping and bullying. While that may occur in a "private" session, the same type of bullying and harassing occurs in the hallways, on the school bus, in the locker rooms, and in the classroom. The difficulty with cyber-bullying is tracking, reporting, and keeping tabs on students in these
networking sites where they have free reign. In a controlled setting, like the use of Google plus in a monitored school Google domain, the students know that teachers are a part of the community, and are monitoring behavior. Similarly this opens doors for other teaching moments where students can learn how to be appropriate digital citizens. Parents and school board members have to be taught how these tools work, how they are monitored and controlled. They should also be included in the network deployment. For example, a school with a Google domain should create accounts for each of the school board members. If feasible, parents should also be given the opportunity to obtain an account within the domain. This inclusion may help to relieve some of the reluctance to using some tools. This article helps to describe the benefits of school community inclusion.

    The best way to eliminate misconceptions, and assumptions is to provide appropriate education to all communities members to truly understand how the tools work, why they are being used, and how they can enhance education. The school community also needs appropriate time to allot for training and collaboration about the best use or best practice of technology integration.


Cohen, M. T., Pelligrino, J. W., Schmidt, D. A., & Schultz, S. (2007). Sustaining technology integration in teacher education. Action in Teacher Education29(3), 75-87. Retrieved from

Morehead, P., & LaBeau, B. (2005). The continuing challenges of technology integration for teachers. Essays in Education15, 120-127. Retrieved from

Monday, September 23, 2013


This tool has saved my organizational life! I'm one of those people whose desk looks like this. I usually get strange looks when I defend myself by saying "it's an organized mess. I know where everything I need is...just give me a second."

WorkFlowy has helped to reduce some of my desk clutter. It is so easy to use to take notes, and keep a to-do-list. The chrome desktop app is also a great feature. it allows me to access my notes very quickly. I've been using this as my daily classroom planer, note taking tool for the various meetings at school, and to help keep my personal to-do-list up to date.  The zooming, hierarchy feature is very helpful, and the search option is great to quickly find a thought.

Give it a try. It will help transfer the physical desk clutter to the cloud.


Haven, C. 2013 The Book Haven: Cynthia Haven's Blog for the Written Word. It's easier to think outside the box when you can't find the box. Retrieved from

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Project Your Android in The Classroom!

With the increasing availability of technology in the classroom, students are more likely to be using hand held devices for educational purposes. Here is a brief tutorial about how to project your android in your classroom. I've only tested and used this with Windows 7.

  1. Follow the directions provided here
    Image retrieved from
  2. Set your android to allow for USB Debugging. On older androids go to settings-applications-development. On newer androids it is hidden. To find it go to settings-about phone -build number. Than tap build number 7 times really fast. A popup should appear telling you "congratulations you've unlocked the hidden menus," or something like that. 
Once it is running, you should see your android screen on your computer, which you can project for your students. It is similar to how you might project a TI graphing calculator in a math class. It comes in handy when teaching students how to use their phones for more than gossiping to friends. 


Riboe, J. 2013. Droid@Screen Installation. Retrieved from