Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Most Used Words

During the course of my first semester of graduate school, I completed this blog on administrative leadership in technology. I used a great site called Word It Out and entered my blog address in to generate a word cloud that emphasized my most used words throughout the blog.

Based on this word cloud program, my most used words were "technology," "learning," and "students." And...this really summarizes the focus of what this graduate course was all about. Administrators have the obligation to be digital leaders and promote and model technology to improve student learning.

A great digital leader:

  • Inspires and empowers teachers to use technology to improve student learning
  • Creates and models technology for teachers to enhance student learning
  • Creates opportunity for professional development in technology in efforts to improve student learning
  • Composes and maintains a strategic technology plan and provides resources to enhance student learning
  • Models and promotes digital citizenship so that students are learning to communicate through technology appropriately (International Society for Technology in Education, 2009)

International Society for Technology in Education. (2009). ISTE Standards Administrators. Retrieved from

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Promoting Literacy is EPIC!

Have you heard of EPIC!?

Photo from

EPIC! for Educators is a FREE online program that provides teachers access to thousands of free books for children 12 and under. There are a variety of genres that will appeal to all students. A collection of audiobooks are also available for younger children who can not quite read on their own yet.  Many books are can be accessed in Spanish for ESL learners. In addition to the online website, there is a free downloadable app available for iOS and Android.

EPIC! for Educators allows teachers to create up to thirty six profiles for individual students and track how long students have read. EPIC! also creates challenges for teachers to read with their students and provides a certificate for achievement when that challenge is met. The program recommends books based on previous ones read and all books are 100% safe.

The program also provides printable fliers for parents to purchase the program for $4.99 a month.

EPIC! Creations Inc.,. (2015). White iPad Educators. Retrieved from

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cyber Safety

How can administrators promote and model safe online interactions?

Administrators can promote and model safe online interactions by developing a plan to educate students and their parents on the dangers of online, social interactions and how to respond to them.

Based on the Norton Online Family Report, 62% of students claimed they have had a bad experience online and four out of ten students described their bad experience as cyberbullying or receiving inappropriate photos (Steinberg, 2012).  Cyberbullying is just one of the dangers lurking on the Internet today. According to Hinduja and Patchin (2015), in their 2015 CyberBullying Data, based on a random sampling of teenagers, 34.4% have been cyberbullied at one point in their life. Digital citizenship education would help teach students the appropriate ways to use the Internet and communicate online. Sites like Common Sense Media and Netsmartz Kids are perfect starting points when administrators are developing a digital citizenship curriculum. It is important, with the advancements in social media today, that our students are education on appropriate online social etiquette.

It is important that administrators have developed policies that address cyber safety and that the school community is educated on these policies. Educating the parents of our students is extremely important especially since most of them did not have experiences with technology growing up. I agree with Steinberg (2012) that is concerning that a quarter of young people claim their parents have no clue what they are doing when they are on the Internet. It is important for administrators to not only develop a digital citizenship curriculum for the students, but to share and promote the curriculum with the parents. According to Steinberg (2012), the process of learning online social norms is an ongoing process and needs to continue at home. Administrators can create videos and post them on the school's social media site, or they can create a blog to encourage learning and discussion outside of school. For families with little or no access to the Internet, informative fliers, similar to the Family Tip Sheets (Common Sense Education, 2015).

 Administrators must take the lead and create a school environment that promotes safe and appropriate digital learning.

Cyber Safety, Digital Learning, and Digital Citizenship Resources

Common Sense Media

Netsmartz Kids

Think U Know

Cyberbullying Research Center


Common Sense Education,. (2015). Family Tip Sheets | Common Sense Media. Retrieved 23 November 2015, from

Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. (2015). 2015 Cyberbullying Data - Cyberbullying Research Center. Cyberbullying Research Center. Retrieved 23 November 2015, from

Steinburg, S. (2012). Why Digital Citizenship Must Be Taught in Schools. All Things D
Retrieved from

Thursday, November 12, 2015

NETS A: Digital Age Learning Culture

Digital Age Learning Culture:

In this article, Technology Leadership for the Twenty-First Century Principal, Flanagan and Jacobsen (2003) discuss how the role of a principal has been impacted due to the push of technology integration (p. 124). The article looks deeper into the leadership components it takes a principal and his/her staff to successfully implement technology integration across the curriculum.

Flanagan, L., Jacobsen, M. (2003) "Technology leadership for the twenty‐first century principal",Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 41 Iss: 2, pp.124 - 142.

In this article, On School Educational Technology Leadership, Davies (2010) explores principals who take a leadership role in technology and develops an organized method of technology integration that focuses on teaching and learning (p. 55-56).

Davies, P. (2010). On school educational technology leadership. Management In Education24(2), 55-61.

In this article, Technology Leadership Among School Principals: A Technology- Coordinator's Perspective, Wang (2010) looks deeper in to an elementary school's attempt to integrate technology and why it was not successful (p. 51). The principal did not take a leadership role during the process. In reference to the International Society to Technology in Education's Standards for Administrators: Creating a Digital Age Learning Culture, the principal did not promote or model technology for his staff and was not involved until later in the process (ISTE Standards Administrators, 2009). 

Wang, C. (2010). Technology leadership among school principals: A technology-coordinator's perspective. Asian Social Science,6(1), 51-54. Retrieved from

ISTE Standards Administrators. (2009). Retrieved from

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Learning Strategies and Performance In a Technology Integrated Classroom (Review)

In the article Learning Strategies and Performance In a Technology Integrated Classroom, Debevec, Mei-Yau Shih, and Kashyap (2006) discuss the how a student's use of technology plays a role in their efforts to learn (p. 294). The article focuses on student initiative to use technology, attendance, enhanced performance on tests, and how much of a role does technology play in their learning (Debevec, Mei-Yau Shih, & Kashyap, 2006). After completing the study, Debevec, Mei-Yau Shih, and Kashyap (2006) determined that most students utilized technology to prepare for lessons and exams, that students who accesses course content outside of the classroom attended class although the information was available online, and that learning is enhanced and performance is maximized as a result of proper technology integration (p. 304-305). 

This article is from the Journal of Research on Technology in Education. The journal is a peer-reviewed technology journal provided by the International Society for Technology Education. The journal focuses on the evolution of educational technology around the world.

Debevec, K., Mei-Yau Shih, & Kashyap, V. (2006). Learning strategies and performance in a technology integrated classroom.Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(3), 293-307. Retrieved from

Friday, October 23, 2015


Plickers is an amazing app and online program that allows you to track the progress of your students from the touch of your phone or iPad. Each student has a designated, computer generated answer sheet used to answer multiple choice questions. The students can hold up their answer sheets and the teacher can use their phone or iPad and scan the answer sheets. The program will then graph the results and provide data with the click of a button. 

Plickers is easy to use and offers these great features: 
  • Library- In this section, you can create questions to use for future lessons. You can create folders to easily organize your questions.
  • Reports- This section provides reports that teachers can use to assess their class's knowledge. The reports can be broken down by question and the teacher can see which students struggled to answer correctly and which students have a clear understanding of the information.
  • Classes-  You can set up your classes in this section of the program. This is great for middle school teacher, high school teachers,and curriculum specialists that see multiple classes throughout the school week. This program allows you to add multiple classes for assessment and will provide a unique answer sheet for each student.
  • Live View- This section allows the teacher to instantly show the students the results of the questions .
Plickers is a great tool for assessment and data collection. Plus, it's FREE to use!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Virtual Reality (VR) Education

World of Comenius, Virtual Reality Biology and Anatomy
This image features students from the Czech Republic participating in a new program called the World of Comenius, which is project that was piloted to enhance student performance and learning through creating a virtual 3-D learning environment (James, 2014). Computers with Oculus Rift DK2 VR headsets and mounted sensors were installed in to several schools in the Czech Republic (James, 2014). The VR headsets allowed the students to actively engage in 3-D learning and this led to students collaborating during the lesson and offering support to one another as they used the new technology. The sensors pick up student movement as they completed tasks that were given by the program. James (2014), blogger, visited the Czech Republic during the time of implementing this new technology and describes this new innovative method of learning as "intuitive" and realistic to real world situations.

James, P. (2014). This is the Beginning of VR Education, and It Will Only Get Better. Road to VR. Retrieved from

James, P. (2014). World of Comenius, Czech Republic. Retrieved from

Sunday, September 20, 2015

NETS A: Visionary Leadership

Below you find several resources that support the ISTE Standards for Administrators, Standard 1, Visionary Leadership. 

  • The article by Dyrli and Kinnaman offers recommendations when creating and executing a district wide technology plan. 
Dyrli, O. E., & Kinnaman, D. E. (1994). Districtwide technology planning: The key to long-term success. Technology & Learning,14(7), 50. Retrieved from

  • This article touches on all of the NETS A Standards, but provides a strong underlying message that administrators and principals should be proactive (Miller & Ribble, 2009).  This message supports Standard 1: Visionary Leadership.
Larson, L., Miller, T., & Ribble, M. (2009). 5 Considerations for Digital Age Leaders. Learning And Leading With Technology, 37(4), 12-15. Retrieved from

  • Richardson and McLeod conducted several interviews based on the status and need for educational technology in Native American Schools. The article discusses the results of these interviews and suggests the ultimate needs of technology within these schools. Although, not all schools within a district are Native American Schools, the interview process Richardson and McLeod conducted, could be beneficial to school districts when collecting data and developing a technology plan. 
Richardson, J., & McLeod, S. (2011). Technology Leadership in Native American Schools. Journal Of Research In Rural Education, 26(7), 1-14. Retrieved from

  • Sheppard and Brown, based out of Canada, discuss leadership disbursement and how to move toward student-centered and technology-directed learning from teacher- directed learning. This information supports the NETS A standard through the development of a vision and using that vision to support goals and maximize leadership roles.
Sheppard, B., & Brown, J. (2014). Leadership for a new vision of public school classrooms. Journal of Educational Administration,52(1), 84-96. doi:

  • Vanderlinde and Braak discuss Technology Planning in Schools (TPS), and focuses on a product and process through five dimensions: "1. a dimension referring to the cyclic process of technology; 2. a content dimension referring tot he content of the technology plans; 3. an interaction dimension referring to the different stakeholders involved in technology planning; 4. a dimension referring to the strategies that can be used to support schools in technology planning; 5. a produce dimension referring to the outcome as a technology plan document" (Vanderlinde & Braak, 2012).

Vanderlinde, R., & van Braak, J. (2012). Technology planning in schools: An integrated research-based model. Br J Educ Technol, 44(1), E14-E17.

Monday, September 7, 2015


WebQuest is a "cool-tool" that allows students to navigate safely on the web while engaging in a lesson and task. WebQuests include higher-order thinking processes, and are not just a click and move on. Each WebQuest includes and introduction, task, process, evaluation, conclusion, and credits. 

WebQuest was developed by Bernie Dodge, in 1995, but has developed into a worldly online educational technology tool, that allows students to take initiative of their own learning. You can visit and search their data base of WebQuests by academic and grade level. You can also create your own WebQuest through other online authoring systems, and WebQuest will guide you through the process. Another way to engage in WebQuests is to go to the Google Search Engine and type in a keyword (based on the type of information you are looking to learn about) and the word "WebQuest." Other WebQuests from online authoring systems will appear. 

Picture from: www,

WebQuests offer a safe way for students to research and navigate on the web. Students surely will enjoy learning with these online scavenger hunts!

Dodge, Bernie. N.p., 2015. Web. 7 Sept. 2015.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Connected Principals Connected Principals is a wonderful educational blog that features many different authors, all of who are administrators, contributing their own opinions with one common goal in mind; focusing on the students.  The authors have collaborated and published a list of guiding principles (which can be viewed from the home page) that depict their educational beliefs as administrators.  This is an exceptional blog that features many different ideas in many different planes of expertise. In addition to the variety of posts you can research, this blog features video access to a new, exciting leadership movement, similar to Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), through Parkland Division Schools in Canada. You can register for the “Leadership 2.0- A Collaborative Learning Opportunity for School Leaders Based on the Alberta Education Principal Quality Standard” by clicking the offered link, or you can download and watch the recorded sessions that they offer links to. This online event is open to all leaders, even if your standards are not based on the Alberta Education Principal Quality Standard.

The creator of Connected Principals, George Courus, a Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning, in Canada, created the blog with the focus that collaboration between administrators would better serve the learning needs of all students.  In one of his most recent blog posts, “Building Relationships Through Technology,” Courus reflects about a past experience where he connected with his students by commenting to their newly created blog posts. His students felt their work was appreciated by the simple gesture. Courus states “What I have truly believed is that technology isn’t meant to replace face to face interactions, but if anything, it can enhance them” (Courus 2015). His statement strikes a chord with me as I believe technology is a powerful tool that should not take over learning entirely, but should be used a tool to enrich it.

Connected Principals. (n.d.) Retrieved August 29, 2015, from

Courus, G. (2015, August 25) Building Relationships Through Technology [Web Log Post]. Retrieved from: