Sunday, November 27, 2005

Things Have Changed

Our 1200 teachers each have their own laptop.
They each have a video projector and Dcam in their classroom.
Our principals each have a laptop with a replicator.
Principals and District Admin each have a Treo 650.
We are adding computers for 20,000 students this year and next.
Like most places the infrastructure is questionable and tech support needs improvement.
Professional development offerings are exceptional.

I am my District’s Director of Technology Planning.
We are the 9th largest district in Washington.
My job is to dream, determine and evangelize the desired future for integrated technologies in our 32 schools.

I went to Philadelphia and the NECC conference this summer.
I’ve read the World is Flat and watched the MIT online lecture by Thomas Friedman.
I switched to Firefox and Thunderbird.
I read WWWEDU.
I set up my account.
I set up my PortaPortal account.
I now receive 253 RSS feeds on Bloglines.
I tried a couple of other aggregators and didn’t like them.
I set up a few blogs on Blogger.
I set up a myspace account to watch my own children, shocking.
I set up a protopage account.
I set up my Technorati account where I found all of my blogs rank 979,918 with 0 links from 0 sites.
I set up a Zoto & Flickr account.
I set up a Gmail account.
I set up an All Consuming account.
I have a 43 things, 43 Places account.
I set up maps on Frappr, Wayfaring, & YourGMap.
I explored the world with Google, Virtual, & Flash Earth.
I further explored the world with Yahoo Local, a9, maplandia, USAphotoMaps, Worldwind and literally dozens of other maps.
I set up wikis on PB, Jot, Schtuff, Seed, Mozilla, Media, Spaces & Wikipedia.I bought an ipod and now listen to podcasts in my car and on my bike.
I use a Treo 650. I set up a SplashBlog & ODEO.
I set up a Digital Divide Network account.
I set up a ELGG account.
I set up a My Tube account.
I set up an Upcoming account.
I’ve found over 1000 geocaches with my 3 GPS receivers.
I read the bible on Bible Gateway.
I read the newspaper through RSS.
I’ve taken a class on Blackboard.
I set up seldom used accounts on Writely, Xanga, LiveJournal, Digg, Furl, SuperGlu, Plazes, Vizu, & Moodle.
I have a Yahoo & a Yahoo 360 Account.
I set up a Skype account (GEMalone) and talked to one person; although I see him at work every day.
I have chat accounts with AIM, GTalk, MSN & Yahoo and have integrated them with Trillian & Meebo.

After all of this; even though I sold TRS 80’s for a living, even though I was one of the very first owners of the Wozniak Edition IIGS, even though I could write programs in Basic, Logo, and Pascal (emphasis on could). Even though I’ve been an adjunct professor for major universities teaching classes on Laser Discs & LogoWriter. I have to admit, it didn't take long for me to determine that I am not the techno-nerd I used to be. Things have changed since I was last teaching in a 5th grade classroom in 1989. Demands are different. Heck, things have changed since I was last an elementary principal in 2003. Actually things have changed a great deal since my visit to Philadelphia in July!

Here are my questions…
How do you keep up? How do you keep current? How do you find and focus on the very best? How do you get principals and teachers to try this stuff without being overwhelmed? How do you determine the right stuff? Where did you start? Where should a newbie start? How do you get educators to realize it’s not about integrating tech anymore? How do you teach old dogs? Student engagement is impacted without question but where’s the connection to student achievement?


  • Amazing reflection. I found myself reliving the past two years of my life through all of these links, bits, and pieces. While the change has been personally exciting, I'm more and more afraid for what this means for education. We are in for a HUGE shift.

    You ask the right that I'm afraid will get lost among the hype. What about connections to student achievement? Miguel asked the other day "Where are the curriculum people in this conversation?" Absent.

    I think the answer to the student achivement question happens somewhere within Robert Marzano's "Classroom Instruction that Works". Each of the 9 strategies integrate tightly with the tools/strategies listed above. It's a perfect blend. Unfortunatly, I fear too few districts will have the resources/knowledge to a) keep up and b) make it fit together.

    Here's my question for you? You hiring? :O)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:35 AM  

  • Glen
    I would be interested in hearing more about your "exceptional" professional development offerings. This is so critical to the successful technology integration!!

    By Blogger Charlene Chausis, at 6:35 PM  

  • It's simple. You give up trying to catch up to the Technology Train and think of it as a pig in a wallow. (grin).

    More online at:

    Miguel Guhlin

    By Blogger Miguel, at 8:16 PM  

  • pig in a wallow is a good way to put it!

    I try to have fun with it. I'm constantly telling the faculty and students I work with: Go play. Let's play, and see what we can do. Some of the applications and implications are immediately clear, and you can right away start using them, in the classroom or to support curricula. Others, it's not so clear. So some of the others just go on the back burner. But they're staying there, simmering ...

    [sorry about the mixed metaphors]

    I agree it's not just about integrating the tech anymore. In many ways, I do think it's about getting folks to join in the fun.

    For when it's non threatening, and we're modeling 'fun' and progress and enhanced experiences, they're more into joining in.

    So thanks for showing so many ways to play ... ;-)

    By Blogger techdiva, at 7:04 AM  

  • Keeping up, catching up ... wasted energy. I share Glenn's mission with 30 schools. We do feed the rabbits, but for the majority of our teachers, we go slow to go fast and accept that our kids will always be ahead. With "student achievment" the dominate criteria that decides resources (financial & manpower), we have tried to do a few things well such as engaging students in interesting assignments that require regular use of technology.

    By Anonymous Scott Smith, Visalia Schools, at 3:18 PM  

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