Mr. Flick's Tech Badges: Take 2

#edtech #edchat As many of you know, last year I tried to flip my tech classroom for 4th and 5th graders and have them earn badges for the tech skills they needed to acquire while still in elementary school. I am pleased to report that it was a screaming success. With that said, there are still a number of things that need to be improved, and that is what I am now trying to do.

Student will use technology to help to improve literacy in Nicaragua.

My tech badge program is a mixture of the flipping model, PBL model, and Challenge Based Learning.

This summer I have been watching a lot of TED videos and they have really got me thinking. Thinking about how I can turn my students into little social innovators, students that care about the world around them and then try to do something about it.

So here is some of the info from the PBL planner that I am using to give you an idea...

Name of Project: Bethke Kids Helping Kids Program

Duration: all year long
Subject: Technology
Teacher: Mr. Flickinger
Grade Levels: 3rd, 4th, and 5th
Project Idea:  Students learn how to leverage technology to help change their world following the theme: "Using technology to make our world better."  In order to do this they have to gain certain tech skills (which will be tracked by earning badges) that will allow them to progress to different levels as they create projects that will be part of the Kids Helping Kids Technology Showcase and Dinner with the proceeds going to help a library program in Nicaragua. This will be a red-carpet event with awards to the top projects.
Driving Question: How can I use technology to make the world a better place, starting with me?
Stay tuned for more updates...


2nd Annual DPS iPad Symposium

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning I am giving two workshops at the upcoming Denver Public Schools iPad Symposium on February 23rd.

iPad Filmmaking Boot Camp where educators will learn how to shoot and edit movies on their iPads. (come with the iMovie app already installed)

Amazing iPad Projects that will Freak Your Students Out! In this fast-paced and very interactive workshop you will see how I use iPads in ways that most students have never dreamed  of. You will see how my students make movies, web-shows, podcasts, music, animations, and much more with their iPads. This workshop is part improv-comedy and part rock-concert as we learn how to do these projects together, so bring your iPad and come and have fun participating in iPad projects that will assess your student knowledge and skills in ways that will have them begging for more. You can't say that about a normal test! (come with GarageBand, Stop Motion Studio and ArtRage installed)

2nd Annual DPS iPad Symposium from Brad Flickinger on Vimeo.

Video: Student filmmaking with iPads

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning Here is some behind the scenes footage of my students using iPads to film an anti-bullying movie that the wrote. You will see them refer to their blue sheets which are their storyboard sketches of the movie.

iPad Filmmaking from Brad Flickinger on Vimeo.

Video: Student Web Show Made with iPads.

#ipaded #mlearning #edtech Here is a video of my students shooting their weekly web show. It starts off with a minute of the actual show, then you will see behind the scenes and how they shoot it with iPads, and use an iPad teleprompter...

KBOB Web Show from Brad Flickinger on Vimeo.

Fun With "Going Mobile" Online Course

#edtech #mlearning #ipaded #atomiclearning

Yesterday afternoon I had a blast filling in for my over-scheduled friend Susan Williams over at Atomic Learning as I facilitated a discussion as part of her blended learning course she is teaching called "Going Mobile." At about 4:30 I got home from teaching and logged into their Adobe Connect account and prepared things on my end as I waited for the educators to join our online discussion.

I got things started by reviewing what they had been learning this past week which turned out to be the SAMR Model, something I ramble on about all the time. Many of them were familiar with the logic behind this model for tech integration, but there needed to be some clarification on how to apply it to lesson planning. I had some in-the-trenches stories to help explain the levels. They then shared how the SAMR Model was applicable to their classroom situations.

Since this next week the participants would be reviewing my Atomic Learning course on authentic assessment using iPads, I took the remainder of the hour to tell them about some of the iPad projects I had been working on since I made the assessment course last June. It is fun to be connected virtually with other educators and share ideas about the exciting reformation of education - some of what is driving this is the use of mobile technologies like the iPad.

It is like all of us educational heretics are starting to unite and organize.

We are going forward, and there is no stopping us -- the status-quo of education is not enough for this type of educators. They are hungry for more and courses like Going Mobile is feeding their appetite for direction and information.

- Brad Flickinger, TechTeacher, Bethke Elementary


Tech Integration Workshop - Step 12: Make Improvements

Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.

Lesson + Action Guide Video:

Once you have watched the video please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.


Updates to these videos:

Transcription of Videos:

Lesson & Action Guide

Hello again everyone.  Welcome to the Tech Integration Workshop here at SchoolTechnology.Org.  My name is Brad Flickinger - and welcome to Step 12 of the Tech Integration Workshop, which is called “Make Improvements.”

Now this is the last Step and we only have one more video after this, which is called the “Watch Last” video.  But this is really it; this is the last come-together for everything to work out - and that is “Make Improvements.”

Alright!  So, for improvements to happen, you need to record data along the way.  So you need to have some place where you start and some place where you are going.  So for me to be able to reflect back over time I use my reports that I have.  And so every month I give my Principal a monthly report basically saying the things that are happening this month technologically, and with 21st Century Skills, in the Building - just so I can keep track of what happens in October or what happens in November.

And then on that report is a little line I have on there for making improvements - like, “Allow an extra week for podcasting,” say, or, “Animation happened a lot faster than we anticipated so subtract a week off of that - those type of things; so I have a little list of improvements.

And then, although my Superintendent hasn’t asked for it, I send him an annual report of basically the state of the school that I am in with regards to technology;  so the great things that we are able to do.  And then on that report I will send links to the website to show off some of the great things that the students are doing. And really I just want it so that the Superintendent knows that in our Building 21st Century Skills are being taught.  So if he is ever asked when he is out and about and doing all of his superintendent things, like, “Hey, what are you doing about 21st Century Skills in your schools for your students?” he can say, “You know what?  I was just looking at something the other day and I saw this incredible animation that happened in one of our elementary schools…”  Just for those… and it is very brief - “This is what we’re doing.  This is what’s happening.”

But, again, it allows me to be accountable and to make improvements by seeing what happens from year to year and from month to month.

Now, you HAVE to keep the digital artifacts fresh - meaning that, you know, what is “hip” and cool, and the students are into it this year, it might not be that way a few years from now.

Let me give you an example: Right now in 2010 Facebook is the thing to have. Kids are using Facebook all the time. But if I was to be still teaching lessons on MySpace, it would be a joke!  The kids don’t use MySpace any more! I don’t know who’s still left using MySpace but it is certainly not the kids around me!

So you see, you have to… even though one social media has just been replaced by the other one, they are very similar - you HAVE to keep with the freshness of what you are teaching. Because the last thing you need are kids coming into a classroom and rolling their eyes going, “Are you kidding? We’re going to learn about 5 ¼ inch diskettes?” or something, you know?  Things like that - you have got to keep it fresh.

Not meaning that you start from scratch every year - but you take a look at your digital artifacts and just say, “Hmm, okay.  Animation - yes, still good, still really good for my kids to learn. Let’s see… podcasts - yes, still very relevant...” - those types of things.  You just take a quick look at it; make any final tweaks to it - just to keep things fresh.

And, boy, I tell you, any time there is a change or anything you have GOT to always be there for the teachers saying, “Oh, you know, we kind of adjusted / we got new software for recording audio - let me come in and teach you, show you…” whatever differences there might be with what they are familiar with - those types of things. You have got to support the teachers one hundred percent in any little minor changes that come through the curriculum or through the program - those types of things.  So always do that.

As well as take a look at those twenty-five to thirty different courses that you offer your teachers and see if any of THOSE need to be updated and refreshed to keep them current.

And then finally, I spend my summers taking all this together and making whatever improvements that might need to happen on these projects.  So for example, right now it is summer 2010 and I am really digging into the web show that my kids have produced - and you can see a shot of it right here.

I didn’t like how some of the things were coming together but I LOVED a lot of the other parts.  So I am just trying to tweak a couple of those things.

So I have a list of I think about forty / forty-five items, of just little improvements I want to make across the whole gamut of things that I take care of for technology.

And the great thing about having the summer is that when the kids start I get a whole new crop of kids that come into these certain programs and then it is just like, “Okay, now this is how we do it this way…”  And I am not trying to get out of them the old system because they might not be familiar with that.

So I really do spend my summers doing improvements.  And that is what I am recommending for you to do too.

So, hey, welcome to the end of the whole Tech Integration Workshop.  I will see you just for a couple of parting words in the “Watch Last” video.  But other than that, good luck with everything! I hope you have learned a lot and I hope your school is improving all around you with 21st Century Skills. It is something that you can be really proud of.

And thanks again for being with all this.  My name is Brad Flickinger, with SchoolTechnology.Org.  See you!

Tech Integration Workshop - Step 11: Gather a Body of Evidence

Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.

Lesson + Action Guide Video:

Once you have watched the video please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.


Updates to these videos:

Transcription of Videos:

Lesson & Action Guide

Hello once again and welcome back to the Tech Integration Workshop here at SchoolTechnology.Org.  My name is Brad Flickinger, and welcome to Step 11 of our 12-Step series here - and it is called “Gather a Body of Evidence.”

Now, as we have talked in the past, back in the first couple of Steps, we use a K-T-E-C System, so K is for Knowing, T is for Training, E is for Embedding - and now we are finally at C, which means to Check on the work that has been done.  And this is what this is all about:  A body of evidence is all those little pieces you put together that PROVES your teachers and your students have 21st Century Skills in your Building.  And that is what it is all about - that body of evidence.

Because remember, for the most part - I mean, it is starting to get a little more popular out there - but for the most part none of the skills that you have taught these students will show up on a standardized State or National test.

Now, 21st Century Skills are being added to a lot of State testing.  But for right now, like in my State of Colorado, everything I have taught them about podcasting, and creativity, and collaboration - all those things like that - would just not show up in a normal standardized test.  So you need to have a different way of collecting the data.

And really we said 21st Century Skills deserves 21st Century assessment - and so we get little artifacts; digital artifacts are what you are looking for.

So we want to celebrate the successes of the students.  So students that were shy are now suddenly doing podcasts, or movies - those types of things; that had a hard time in other academic areas can excel in animation and… you know, it just… So you want to find all those moments when the whole system is working and students are having a great time, teachers are having a great time, and you want to celebrate those with either an evening of showing things off, or an assembly - whatever - but find a way to celebrate the successes in your Building.

And of course I don’t mind putting in a little bit of a competition and awards.  Now I spread out my awards; so for example when we make a documentary, we have “Overall Best Documentary,” we have “Best Cinematography,” “Best Sound…” So we have different categories so that there are different winners in there.  And it is not like we are trying to give a blue ribbon to everybody for participating because I don’t think that is authentic.

But I think if someone really has exceptional, let’s say, cinematography; how they film everything is so beautiful, see you can use that the next year when you show the upcoming students, and say, “Now, why did this one win Best Cinematography? Why did this one win Best Sound?”  And all the kids are like “Oh, you know, because we can understand everything that’s being said, and the sound track’s not too loud…”  All those things you collect, all those things - and of course these students walk home with an award for doing something really, really good on a project.

And so we have competitions in my schools with all these digital artifacts, and then we have little awards; and we just get simple trophies and those types of things to give out.

Now, you can see I crossed out here this whole idea of “Audience of One.”  And that is because these kids work hard to produce all these things and now it is time to put them out there for the world to see, in a SAFE way.  So you don’t want to be putting their full name and address and those types of things.

But your school website should have some type of an area where you show off the best of student work.  So you show all the best web shows and podcasts and documentaries and animations and all those things; best writing, best photos… those types of things all should go in some type of Showcase so that these kids can get home and realize their aunt and uncles can come to see it; everybody in the WORLD can come to see it - and they just LOVE that idea of being open to the whole world.  And it is great that way.

And also it is really important to gather what I am calling “Best of” examples - again going back to the awards that are given out for like cinematography and sound and stuff.

But think of it from a teacher’s point of view, not a student’s point of view.  So if you have a teacher working on a great digital product, you want to get like the BEST example from the school so when NEW teachers come in, they can go online and see, “Oh! THAT’S what it means when we were going to do an animation about cell structure!” because you are showing them the best possible one there is.  Don’t show them the cheesy ones - show them the really GOOD stuff, so that the teacher goes, “Okay, we are going to use clay, and we’re going to do it this way; and we’re going to take photos, and it is going to end up being an animation.”  They will get it once they can see those “Best of” examples.

And I also like to survey my students with just a simple little survey, just asking how much they enjoyed these projects, what could we do better, what could we do different; what would they do if they were in our shoes - those types of things.

Because, you know, when I gather them all up and look at them over the summer, when I make all the changes to the curriculum and to the ideas, it’s good to look at them with, well, you know, you have got to kind of weigh it out for how much weight you might put on a student survey because sometimes they might be very opinionated in one way or another; just because student doesn’t like to write they might go, you know, “Way too much writing.” Now, that doesn’t really play out.

But you should look for trends though.  So if all of them are saying, “Oh, the project was just way too long,” you go, “Well, okay, let’s not do a five-minute documentary - let’s do a three-minute documentary.  Those types of things are what you are looking for.

And most importantly, when my teachers go back and take the self-assessment that is on Atomic Learning, this is what I am really looking for, is them to come to me and say, “Mr. Flick, look at where we’re at now.”  And you know, I don’t have access to what their information is, but they voluntarily bring it to me and say, “Look at what has happened to ME! I had no idea what a Wiki was..” or a blog - all these things.  And now their classroom is doing all these things and they can show their results from their self-assessment, and they are very happy with it.

And number one is that the STUDENTS are very happy with being able to acquire 21st Century Skills.  So THEIR self-assessment is way up, that they take on Atomic Learning.

So suddenly, you know, we are seeing these big, huge leaps in one or two years of students now having great 21s Century Skills.  And THAT is what it is all about.

So gather all this body of evidence - because in Step 12 we are going to talk about making just those minor improvements that you need to do to it.

Tech Integration Workshop - Step 10: Continual Professional Development

Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.

Lesson + Action Guide Video:

Once you have watched the video please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.


Updates to these videos:

Transcription of Videos:

Lesson & Action Guide

Hello everyone.  Welcome back to the Tech Integration Workshop here at SchoolTechnology.Org.  My name is Brad Flickinger - and welcome to Step 10 which is “Continual Professional Development.”

This one is going to be another one of the combo videos where we are going to have the lesson as well as the action guide kind of put together all in one.  And you will especially see that near the end of the Steps here, just because so much at the beginning was based on action; there is so much work to do; where now it is more just inspirational-type stuff.  I am going to show you what I am doing and then you can just replicate that in your own school.  So this is what we are going to get here.  There is only one vide on this one here.

Alright, so what I want to start off with is just giving you a taste of the professional development that I offer in my school.  And I offer about anywhere from twenty-five to thirty just topics that go on all the time.  And these kind of change from year to year, but most of them stay the same.  And you will get an idea what they are, and if you have worked with teachers you will agree with what you see here.

And they are in no particular order - but these are what I offer my Building.  And again, they can come Tuesdays before school, Wednesdays after school; I can meet with them one-on-one during planning times - all those things, so that they have these ready to go.

So the first of course being district email.  Because new teachers that move into our district, they need to know how to use the district email because we do so much of our correspondence through that.  So we have a quick little course on how to use our web-based district email and that goes pretty quick.

Now the other thing I really go for right at the beginning is how to use our Atomic Learning subscription, because SO much of the professional development they might want is on Atomic Learning.

So if they want to learn how to do a podcast they can go to the Workshop there.  If they want to learn how to do a Wiki; Workshop.  If they wan to do… you know, all those types of things.  Blogging; go see the blogging workshop.

So it just saves up so much of my time that I don’t have to sit there and meet one-on-one with all these teachers to cover the same subject.  Now there are some things that obviously are not covered by the Atomic Learning subscription, like my district email.  So I have to do that one-on-one.  And other things, though, I send them right into here.  Especially the “How to find an answer to a Tech question” - so that they can solve their own problems very quickly and easily.  So that works out great that way.

We spend a lot of time to make sure that our teachers understand, know and embed 21st Century Skills.  And we do that with a lot of mixture of different things.  We want to make sure that there are 21st Century Skills being taught all the time in their classes.

We spend time on making sure that they have a nice classroom website that is informative and fresh and current and not getting stale.  We want it always to be updated all the time.  So we work on how a classroom website should be, as well as being able to use Google Docs.

For most of this I send them right back into Atomic Learning but there are a few things that are particular to our Building and how we share things within our Google Docs.  And they need to know how to get in, use it, share it, print it - all those types of things.  And that is what we cover in a couple of quick lessons.

We have SMART boards in our classrooms; they are a type of interactive whiteboard.  So of course they need to know how to use the technology that comes in their classroom.  So we have some SMART board basics as well as advanced things - so how to REALLY use their interactive whiteboard effectively in their classroom.

We REALLY like using Google Earth at our schools.  So anyone new coming into our Building who doesn’t understand how to use Google Earth, we give them a nice little refresher course on this, and again then send them back into Atomic Learning for some more particular “How to use it in the classroom;” how to use Google Earth that way.

Ah, using ePals:  Now we love it when our classrooms connect with other classrooms all across the country and all across the world; and they can Skype to each other, and just exchange emails, comment on each other’s blogs.  And so teachers need to know how to get into ePals, how to search for another classroom and how to communicate using the ePals platform.

Now, again, every one of our classrooms comes with a document camera so teachers have got to know how to use their document camera in their classroom.  And it’s funny because when people first come in and they maybe have not used a document camera before - a new teacher - they are like, “Oh, do I really want to have this?”  And then you check back in two months later, after they have been trained, and they are like, “Oh no, this is the BEST thing I have ever had in my classroom!”  They just LOVE document cameras!

And also our classrooms come with a sound system that have both a wireless mic and then a landured mic that goes on them; and they need to know how to use that system effectively so that when they play a video off their computer, that it plays through the whole sound system; or put a DVD in and it plays through it, as well as the microphones in the room.  So they need to have an understanding of that.

And then also we share what we think are the best websites for - depending on what Grade you are talking about or what subject - but, you know, Math websites, Social Studies.  You know, if you are studying all about Columbus; “Well here is a great website…” - and so we keep track of that on a bookmark, social bookmarking-type website so that we all know and share what the best websites are.  So we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time we start taking out a subject every year.

And now let’s kind of finish off with this one here.  And many of you are sitting back going, “Okay, those are some really great things - but how do you get teachers to do it?  How do you get teachers to show up and to take these things?

Well, I am really fortunate in being in a fantastic school where the teachers just WANT to do it.  But I have been in other schools where it has been like pulling teeth sometimes, to get teachers to come and take professional development when it comes to technology.

And so I have a little one-word answer for you here - and that is “Bribe!”  And when I work with administrators, we all agree that money is going to be spent on technology in a Building. All the time.  Even if you are broke right now, I mean, money does come.  Technology money comes the way of buildings and schools all the time.  And it might take a couple of years - but essentially you get it.

And then what we tell administrators is, “Since you are going to have it, you spend it where it is going to be used.”  And you know it is going go be used if someone is taking professional development.  So it is kind of a bribe.  But let’s see you take all these classes.  Well of course, when it comes time to buy a classroom set of flip video cameras, well they are going to go to YOU because you have proven that you use 21st Century Skills and you have done all the other things, and you have a classroom website.  And you need this kind of stuff.  And that goes for all the kinds of things like document cameras and SMART boards and all those kinds of things - put the resources where they will be used.

This isn’t about spreading it out evenly among all the people.  If you have got people that are refusing to learn technology, then you just can’t be dumping technology in their classroom.  And I would rather use a carrot than a stick; so it is just great that when administrators come in and they already planned for the future, and they know that they want to get let’s say a digital camera for every classroom, so they can do that.  And then they might say, “Okay, once you have built your classroom website, and that’s up and running and you have had it going for three months, and I can see that your blog is always up-to-date, then you will get a digital camera.  Because then you can use it to add more photos to your classroom website.”

So make sure the bribes tie in with what you want to do there.  I wish there was an easier way that I could do it for you - but that is how I have done it in the past.

So that is kind of a review of the continual professional development that goes on in my building week after week, month after month during the school year, so that they are always staying on top of this.  And they might take a course like on Google Docs with me in the beginning of the year, and then they might again take a couple of refresher classes on Atomic Learning just before they need to teach a lesson - those kinds of things.  So it really is interesting to see how it all comes together.

Technology Integration Workshop - Step 9: Embed Digital Artifacts in Lessons

Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video. Lesson Video: Action Guide Video: Once you have watched both videos please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.

Resources: Technology Integration Worksheet

Updates to these videos:

Transcription of Videos


Welcome back everyone to the Tech Integration Workshop here at SchoolTechnology.Org.  My name is Brad Flickinger, and this is Step 9 - Embed Digital Artifacts into Lessons.

Now, since the beginning we have been working on my K-T-E-C System that I use all the time with my teachers in the buildings that I work with; and that is you Know 21st Century Schools; then T is for Train them; E is for Embed them, and then C is for Check on them.

So finally we are at the “Embed” phase where we are going to embed 21st Century skills into the lessons all around us.

Now, to be able to really kind of explain that I want to show you the lessons that come out of my Elementary School.  At first you might be thinking, “Yes, but I teach at a High School or a Middle School.”  Well kind of use it as a platform for where you might be able to go.  So if I can do it at Elementary school, surely you can do deeper, stronger, more at Middle and High School levels.  It is just to give you an idea of what is happening here.

So here is the system or the schedule that I follow, all the way from kindergarten to Fifth Grade - and I will explain each one of them to you.

Essentially these are not fixed.  They can change from year to year, depending on what the technological needs of our students are.  So let’s start at kindergarten.  So in Kindergarten they start by really learning how to use a computer properly, which means really using, knowing how to use their mouse to click, to drag, to select - those types of things.  So we do a LOT of digital drawing with them.

And in this case they are doing an alphabet and they are writing out… they are on the letter C.  So this is really early in the stage of being able to do this book.

So you can see he has got a car, a cookie and a cake.  And here is another shot of a different student here.  And they are REALLY getting good at how to use the mouse.  Their mousing skills are clicking, and changing colors, and all those things - fantastic! These kids, by the time they are done kindergarten, have got the skills.

Which moves us into First Grade, where we start using documents; Microsoft Word - they can type text, select text, change it, move it around - all those types of things.  By the time they are done First Grade they can do INCREDIBLE things with documents.  So much so that look at this guy here - he’s relaxing a little bit there with his document all done!

But we felt, as a school, that being able to manipulate news documents is one of these skills for academics, and as far as the rest of their life too.  So we start off REALLY young for them to be able to be familiar with using a word processor.

From there, in Second Grade they get really good at being able to make presentations or slide shows.  So in this case they are working on an insect slide show.  And being able to stand in front of their peers or classmates, and present that information.

And you will notice this one doesn’t have bullet points on it; this one is really using imagery really well.  We are not teaching kids to stand up in front of their classmates and read all the bullet points that are on the slide show. No, they have got to be able to PRESENT great information - and they get really good at that in Second Grade - because they do it for the rest of their life, basically.

In Third Grade the students work on a book; an actual tangible book that we get printed out.  So they work on… of course this is REALLY tied in to their classroom; all of these things are - you know, the insects, the letters, the alphabet - all those things are tied back to their classroom.  In this case they talk about everything they learn all throughout the year.  They make different chapters in their book and then finally, in the spring, we print that all up.  So that is what they work on here.

So you can see that it has been great that they had the experience with both the slide show and the word processor to come back on for their book project here.

Fourth Grade they do their own podcast; so they do all the research, the writing, the sound effects - all those things; the recording of it and editing, so that everyone comes out of there with a podcast.  And there is a LOT of work goes into this.  You talk about the 21st Century Skill of researching information fluency - they do a LOT of that in Fourth Grade.  So they can get that all done.  And of course they are making documents and doing all those things.

So here they are recording their podcasts out in the Media Center.

And then finally, in Fifth Grade, each student makes their own documentary about a subject.  So, again, it is a lot of research, a lot of writing, a lot of the planning; you know, it is months of the planning work before they ever really get to the stage where they are shooting the video here in the classroom, and those types of things.  And they will narrate their documentary and do all those great types of things.

So that gives you a kind of a glimpse of what is happening in my building.  And it comes down to these three Steps that I use.  So first off (oh, I like that sound effect there - that little effect of it coming across there) we pick a lesson.  And that is what we kind of did in Step 8; you look at all the different lessons there and you pick a lesson.

And then we complete a work sheet.  And then the Action Guide part to this Lesson, this Lesson 9, you will see that worksheet and you will see how I work through it with the teachers.

And then three, it is kind of teach and repeat.  So we just pick the lesson, do the worksheet, teach and repeat.  And we just go through that three-step recipe that is GREAT for embedding 21st Century Skills into your lessons.

So I will see you in the Action Guide part and we will talk about how YOU are going to do it.

Action Guide

Alright, welcome to the Action Guide for Step 9 for “Embedding Digital Artifacts into Lessons.

Now, here I am; I am in the actual worksheet that I use when I brainstorm with teachers.  I will have a link to this in the Resource Section on this page here.  But let’s just zoom in and take a look at what we have got here.

So here I am; I have X’d out the teacher’s name here - but this is for Fifth Grade; Social Studies is the subject matter we are on for last year.  And they have already gone through the Introduction of 21st Century Skills where I sit down with them and I show them things, and they have also watched certain videos on Atomic Learning.  So they understand what 21st Century Skills are.

So the digital artifacts: From those previous Steps that we have done earlier on in this workshop; you know, that YOU picked the digital artifacts.  YOU are the expert on 21st Century Skills, so YOU picked the artifacts. So in this case my Fifth Grade students made documentary films.  And so we have got that.

So this teacher here, she had a lesson that she called “Understanding the Causes of the American Revolution.”  That is what she wanted me to kind of take on in my Computer Class.

So we have an Objective here; and then the Summary. What we are going to do is replace the final test and report that she used to do (kind of a science fair-type thing); we are going to do it with the documentary.  So this is going to be a longer-type project.

Let me just scroll down a little bit here.  So here is my 21st Century Skills Brainstorming.  So we sat down and we just said, “Okay, Creativity and Innovation - what are we doing to do there?”  Well, we have got to write script; they have got to do it in the perspective of the story.  So there will be sets and costumes and things; very creative, very innovate - great!

Communication, collaboration: they are going to work in teams; they are in change roles, they have got Google Docs so they can be at home and they can still collaborate on items.

Digital Citizenship, Research and Information Fluency - you can see all these things.  And we started to type in; we just used this as a “Fill in the blank worksheet.”  You know, she was giving me ideas, I had ideas - and we just kind of put it in there.

And then we decided, “Well who is going to do what here? Roles and Responsibility.”  Well, the Principal is going to present the Award at the Premier, so we have got her to do that.  And the Media Tech; I am going to take care of the research skills, all the computer lab time for script writing, editing and that kind of thing.  We have a District Tech person that is going to come in and make sure that we have all of the up-to-date… that our flip video cameras all sync in and everything.  So we are going to check on that.

And the teacher is going to teach the lessons, like they have always done.  But I am in the background; I have got the support happening in my computer lab for a lot of the work time.  So teaching kind of happens with the teacher, but in the work, the assignment stuff happens with me.

And then our Librarian is going to have books on display for check-out, all about the American Revolution.

So we looked into some needs that we might have for this.  We have got some training for the teacher, training for the students; hardware, we’ve got all that… software - got it.  Prerequisite skills for our students - we’ve got all that.  And, yes, I think everything… we have got the Rubric; we sat down and worked on a rubric together and got all that taken care of.

And we are scheduled and we are ready to do it!  And we have got a basic schedule to how it all works out.  So that is what my worksheet looks like.  And by the time you’re done, you have got a 21st Century embedded lesson. It’s ready to go!  It’s got the skills all embedded in it!

Now, I know you might be thinking, “But my teacher doesn’t know how to do a documentary /doesn’t know how to do podcast / doesn’t know how to use PowerPoint - those type of things.”  Well, I hate to kind of be … keep going back to the same thing; but you know, I use Atomic Learning for all that thing.

So here I am logged into Atomic Learning.  And let’s say you are in First Grade in my Building, which is where we use word processing.  So, okay, I am just going to go here in the Application area and I am just going to find Microsoft Word.  Go down here… it might be under “Word” or it might be under “Microsoft.”  There we go. Word.  Go into there.  And then what versions of Word?  Well, we’ve got 2003 in my Building.  And we are only PC in my Building.  So we go there.  So I think that is all I am going to do.  So I am going to find all the tutorials for Word 2003.

And there we go!  There they are!  And we open that up.  So we’ve got Intermediate, Intro, Advanced and Newsletter, Workshop, Members.  There they all are.  So we go “Introduction.”  Look at ALL these Intro videos!  Now there’s fifty videos in here on the Introduction to Microsoft Word 2003.

It’s all ready to go!  They just need to figure what they want to do and how they are going to do it.  The students log into here, the students follow this.  It saves you time.

And I keep going back to this:  You want to save time - this is the thing you need to have here, is Atomic Learning.  It is one of the BEST things I have found for my work as a Tech Integration Specialist.

So that is how you get all the skills to both your students and your teachers, as well as yourself.  So when you are ready to take that on… and when I said “Documentary,” there is a whole movie-making guide in here on how to make movies; there is all the stuff for podcasting as well as how to use Audacity or Garage Band - whichever one you are going to use for your podcasting.  That is all in here, step-by-step on how to do it.

And let’s take a quick look at what these are; let’s go in the “Using the Task Pane.” It is only forty seconds there.

“Another feature in Word is the Task Pane.  To turn the Task Pane on you can click…”

There you go!  That’s my Word right there, ready to go!

Alright, so that concludes the Action Guide thing.  So meet with your teachers and fill up these worksheets so that you are ready.  Get it all scheduled into their teaching schedules so that you have got this ready to go!

Tech Integration Workshop - Step 8: Gather Lesson Ideas

Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.

Lesson + Action Guide Video:

Once you have watched the video please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.

Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.


Updates to these videos:

Transcription of Videos:

Lesson & Action Guide

Hello everyone, and welcome finally to Step 8 which is “Gather Lesson Ideas” of the Tech Integration Workshop here at SchoolTechnology.Org.  My name is Brad Flickinger - and let’s get right into it!

But before I do, this is kind of a bit of a hybrid type lesson because I am going to put together the lesson part and the assignment part all into one mix-up right here. And you will see why - because I will talk a little bit about what I do, and then I’ll talk a little about what you should do.  And it only kind of works for this Step.  You’ll get an idea what we’re doing here!

Alright!  First part I want to REALLY get clear here is PLEASE do not work in isolation when it comes to you and the technology for your building and integration, and 21st Century Skills.  It will drive you crazy, okay?  Don’t try to be a little “island of technology in the sea of your school!”  You want to DEFINITELY work with your teachers!

So what I do is I put aside some time, to be able to come into their classrooms, help them out a little bit, work with their students, work with them, talk to them about what they are covering and how they like to teach things.  It gives you that connection so that in Step 9 when you go to embed these 21st Century Skills into  the lessons you will get their style, you will get their kids.

And that only happens by going in and interacting with the teacher AND the students to see what is going on.  And you will be surprised - because you will be like, “Oh, I really kind of see this different style here. That would be really good for my projects I want to do with presentation software,” or “Oh, I see these kids are really like this - and that would be great when I want to incorporate spreadsheets into it.”  Maybe you are covering the Math department and you want to go in and see the things there, and you can go see and, “Oh, we can do graphs, we can do charts…” - all those great things.

So, interact with your teachers and observe what is going on in their classrooms.  And make sure - well actually probably don’t call it an “observation” because that sounds very “Administrator-ish!” - just tell them you want to come by and see what is going on.

And what I like to see is how the students actually interact back with the teachers, and get a feel for what they are capable of. Because sometimes, if you just see them in the computer lab, they are only doing one type of thing and you don’t really see what they are capable of. And you can say, “You know what? I can really push these little Third Graders to do bigger and better things because I have seen what they have done in their classroom.”  Those types of things you will learn.

And once you have done those observations, then it is time, like I do, I sit down with my teachers one-on-one to kind of discuss what I want to do, as the Tech person, and what they have.  And usually at the time they bring out their curriculum map for the whole year; they lay it out and say, “Well is this is what I cover in August, and September and October…” - so you get an idea.

And you can point to something and say, “Okay, here I see that you teach about Russia, right here.  Well that is about the time I want to be able to teach the students how to use podcasting AND Google Earth - so how about I take some of that from you and I do like the Geography section, and then they can do some of the History of Russia, those types of things. We will make it into a podcast, and I can get that back to you and you can grade that and maybe we can replace this little Quiz area right here?”

And then you’re working together!  That’s perfect! That is how you can take some workload from them and at the same time you get that classroom connection that you so desperately need because, I mean, if you just teach them podcasting without the classroom connection, there is not really any BANG behind it, and there is certainly not even the grading and those type of things - where THIS finally the kids get it because it is coming at them from all these different angles and it has purpose behind it.  And teaching without purpose behind it is USELESS.  So put some purpose behind it.

And then I also like to work with the whole Department.  So I might meet with the Third Grade team or the English Department or Math Department in the older Grades, so that you get an idea and can say, “Oh, you’re covering Math. Okay, I can work into my spreadsheets these types of things during this month here…”

And then you get that nice little mingling.  Because you are going to need this type of information for Step 9.

So watch your teachers; meet with your teachers - and then what you are going to be surprised is how great it all comes together when you have done all these Steps because, you know, here are some students with their teacher going, “Hey look!  We’re studying the Renaissance.  We’ll check out our Renaissance Blog that we did in Computer class that matches what you’re doing in here!  And here’s some Artwork here, and here’s our comments on the Renaissance Art.  And here’s our comments on Leonardo da Vinci; and here’s a blog about him...”  All those things.

Everybody gets connected - and THAT’S what you are looking for.

So do those things for Step 8, like I said:  Watch your teachers, meet with your teachers.  And then in Step 9  we will be able to put all those ideas together.  And try to get any bits and pieces of information you can, like their curriculum maps and those types of things so that for Step 9 you are well ready to go on.

Thank you very much!

Tech Integration Workshop - Step 7: Present the School Technology Plan

Note: Do not do this lesson until you have watched the Watch First video.
Lesson Video:
Action Guide Video:

Once you have watched both videos please complete this step in the Workshop Checklist.
Return to the Table of Contents for the Technology Integration Workshop.
Updates to these videos:
Transcription of Videos

The Lesson

Welcome back everyone to Step 7 of the Tech Integration Workshop here at SchoolTechnology.Org.  My name is Brad Flickinger, and it is an absolute pleasure to be back with you to work on this Step - which is one of the most critical Steps in the whole process. And it is entitled “Present the School Technology Plan.”

Alright, let’s get right into it.  Now, as you remember from before, we talked about four speed bumps that really slow things down as far as bringing technology and 21st Century skills into our schools and buildings - and they were Time, People, Having a System that Works, and Finding Cost-Effective, I guess, solutions to the technology and 21st Century skill ideas in your building.

Now, I think we have nailed down two of those.  I think as far as what we are doing here, in collaborating and working together, with the Google Groups, and sharing ideas and comments, I think we have finally found a system that works for all of us - because we all come from different needs, different districts, different limitations - but I think working together in an idea like this I think is a good system for sharing all of the successes as well as failures, and fixes, and those types of things.  So this is finally working.  It works for me - and I hope it works for you. Now, as far as money - same type of thing:  we are able to share those things that are working great in our building.  So we are not out there trying things for the first time and working on trying to get good return on our investments.  I think using the hardware that we talked about, the software that we talked about, the subscription services that are mentioned - these have all been tried and tested in buildings, so I think we can get beyond wasting our money.

So those I think are really taken care of.  So let’s move on to Time and People.  Alright.

So, this really should be happening at a Staff Meeting.  And your Administrator, which is usually a Principal, should step up and say “Okay staff, today we are talking about the School Technology Plan - and for that I have put Brad in charge of that.”  - you know, I am the Media Specialist or the Media Tech Specialist for my building.  So they introduce YOU as the person who is going to be in charge of it.

And that is really important.  This is critical to the success of this; is that everybody in the room will be like, “Oh, Brad has now been put in charge of this.  It’s part of Brad’s job.”  And everyone wants to support you when it’s your job; they don’t want you getting in trouble or anything like that.  And really it SHOULD be your job, to bring 21st Century skills into your building.

So take it for what it is: this is the, I guess, legitimate reason that you are there, to help these students with their technology.

So that introduction has happened; you can now step up in front of them because it is all up to you.  And we have bee working on getting ready for this point for the last however many weeks you have been in this process.  So we have been reading books, watching and listening to podcasts, and contributing to Nings, and seeing what other people are doing, and asking questions, and getting answers.  This has been critical up until this point because you are ready; your brain is full of 21st Century skills ideas and concepts.  So this is now your time to shine.

Alright, so the great thing is, as you present this Plan (and sometimes you might be sitting down working with them; other times you have got a PowerPoint or something behind you) keep everything dead simple.  So when you show it to them, it is a one-page Plan:  “This is what we are going to do.  Here  are the responsibilities for kind of who does what.  And some goals…” those types of things.  So keep it to that one page.  They will love you and support you for this.

So when they see it they are not scared away; they are like, “Oh, okay, this is what we’ve got to do”.  If you put down a thirty-two-page document, they are going to be like, “Wow, how are we going to do this?” - but no, just a one-page plan; everybody can get on board.

Now, you will have your naysayers and… remember how we said people can get in the way?  I want you to shift, every time something comes up, shift always back to the focus on skills and students, and never technology.  Because they might be like, “I don’t know how to use a Mac; you know, I’ve never used a Mac.”  Well that is not the important thing.  What we are going to always focus on are skills.

And they will then, I guess, be able to ease into it a little bit better, when they are like… you can say, “I’m not talking about the Mac.  What I’m talking about is creativity.  And we are going to use, in Sixth Grade this year, we are going to use little flip video cameras for each student to make a video book report for the younger kids in Elementary School to see” - something like that.

You go back to the skills of what the students are doing and just say, “Don’t worry about how it’s done on a Mac. I’m here to help with all of those things.  And I can model-teach if you want me to.  I can take it over for the first three or four times so that you can see how it is all done; and then you, when you’re comfortable, you can take it over.”  You just really, I guess, pull all the worries away; put them onto your shoulders - and focus back on the skills and the students all the time.

Now, I want to conclude this Step on what I do with my teachers.  And the important thing here is you want to remove excuses.  So since the Administrator has brought up the idea that this will be on their Assessment when they meet annually or semi-annually with their Administrator, that these 6 simple questions about 21st Century skills will be on their Assessment, they have all kind of sat up and they are listening to this, okay?   And what you want to do is you want to remove excuses, so that they will realize in their brains and their minds that they really have none.

So this is what I do:  I have an “Open Clinic” every Tuesday morning.  I arrive early at school, I open up my door to my Lab and you can just drop in; you know, bring your coffee, come on down and we will talk about whatever you need to talk about.

And I have had teachers come and say, you know, “Brad, my printer’s not working at home - what do I got to do?”  Well, we talk about it.  Or they come in and they say, “You know, I tried this in my class and suddenly the kids brought up an idea of a Wiki” - and they are like, “What is Wiki?”  And then we look at what a Wiki is, and we show them those types of things.  You know, anything!  And it is just a drop-in; come in for five minutes, come in for the whole forty-five minutes that I’m there before school starts - you can do whatever.

Now, sometimes you might have to wait in line because three or four people show up; and other times a whole Grade team will show up - they will be like, “Okay!” Suddenly Eighth Grade is showing up, or the whole English Department is showing up because they want to do Blogs - let’s talk about how to do Blogs. So that’s great.

I also offer on Wednesdays after school just one-on-one training.  And I am also available for training any time they have a planning period that I also have a planning period - so I can also work with them that way.  So really Tuesdays and Wednesdays, you can get most of all your Tech needs solved.

Of course, like I said, I have a Computer Lab; I work as the Tech Teacher in my building; so everything I want to coordinate in my Computer Lab connects back to the classroom.  So rather than going to the students and saying, “Okay kids, let’s learn how to do bullet points in a word processor…” - no!  no, no, no!  It is like, “You’re studying insects in your class, right?” and they are all like, “Yeah! Yeah, Mr. Flick, we are.” “Okay, well let’s go into a word processor and I am going to show you how we can present all of the different parts of an insect that’s in a really cool way.”  And they are going to do bullet points - but it is connected to their classroom curriculum.

And the teachers will love you for that.  And especially when you are saying, “I’m will teach this part if you want to teach that part” - because it takes things off their plate.  So they are like, “Okay, can you cover Ancient China on these couple of aspects here?” “Sure - give me the curriculum that you want; we’ll cover those and we will do a blog about it or we will do a podcast about it.” - something like that.

And we set goals together; and I ask the Administrator, so that we kind of conclude this staff meeting saying (and I will be talking at the beginning of most staff meetings just for a few minutes to kind of give you an update of what is happening) and when I do those updates it is mostly a “Brag session”.  So I might go up there and say, “Okay, all the Fourth Grade teachers have made their own websites - so let’s go take a look at those” - and just show how great the websites look.  Or, “This team was able to do a blog with their students - let’s go take a look at their blogs right now; let’s take a quick look at what these students are blogging about, because they have just read Romeo and Juliet and they have written a blog about their feelings about that Shakespeare book”, you know?

So it is just a time for the teachers to sit back going, “Oh, other teachers are doing it!” - it is kind of leading with the carrot rather than the stick, saying, “Well, you know, we’re doing great things in these other Grades - let’s all jump on board and let’s support our students.”

And remember, you are always focusing on the skills the students are doing, and not on, “Well, here is a new video camera with fourteen buttons on it that I will explain each button and what they do!”  No, you don’t want that.  Simple is always better.

And let’s now get into the Action Guide for this Step.

The Action Guide

Welcome to the Action Guide for Step 7, which is “Present the School Technology Plan.” My name is Brad Flickinger, with - and let’s get right into some of these Action Items.

Now, I have discovered a new Ning that I really like, so I think you should go join this Ning as well as the other ones that I have had you join.  This one is called “The Future of Education” and it is a fantastic Ning.  Let me just click on “Members” to show you how big this one is.

Yes, 4,226 members - this is absolutely amazing, as far as it is a big, huge group of people here.  And I have been following the Blog and the Forum in here and I really like the things that I see.  So go ahead and request to join that one; I think you are really going to get a lot out of it.

Alright, let’s go on to some other items here.  Let’s go into Atomic Learning.  I hope by this time you are a subscriber to Atomic Learning because a lot of the work that we do is using their, I guess, curriculum.

So I am in Atomic Learning right now, and I am in the “21st Century Skills Section” right here.   And a really good place for you to go, and to recommend to your teachers to go, is this “Teacher Assessment for 21st Century Skills.”

And I am going to open this up to kind of let you know how this works. Alright, so it is a step-by-step assessment that will take you through.  And like it says here, it takes about 20 to 35 minutes - it is a lot of questions - but it will really break down those 21st Century Skills so that you can get a really good idea of the areas that you need to work on, as well as what your teachers need to work on.  And this is a great place to go to.

So go ahead and get this set up for your teachers and have them take this assessment because you need to know where you are starting so that you know where you need to go.

So that is all I am going to say about that one, because it is absolutely amazing.  Let me go back to the Home here, and to 21st Century Skills. And you should take it as well, so that you know what you are asking your teachers to do.

There is also a Skills Assessment for students. So if you have a large enough Atomic Learning subscription for both your staff and students, I always make my students take it as well.

And then we have spent a lot of time last time we were together, I recommended that you go into this “Skills Concept” area and look at any videos that kind of get your interest, as well as a couple that I assigned you to look at.

And now let’s also look at “21st Century Skills Projects.”  So if you are looking for something to do in your school as part of your School Technology Plan; as part of the Curriculum that you want to do, to get 21st Century Skills into your school, this is a great starting-off place, because you can open up… each of these skills has different lessons inside of it.  So I am in, “Communication Collaboration;” there is one on “Comic Science,” “Cyber Bullying,” “What’s For Breakfast”…  And it tells whether it is for a PC or a Mac.  And you just need to go into it.

Like let’s look at this: “Myth and Law We Share.”  I am going to open that up. And you can just go in here and go ahead and do the preview of what this project looks like.  And that will give you an idea of whether or not you are going to want to use it with your students.


The Swiss psychotherapist, Marie-Louise von France, studied the world’s folklore searching for, in her own words, “A golden thread by which, for all our ethnic and other differences, we humans might be wisely led through the shifting labyrinth of time.”

Alright, I am going to close that - but you get an idea.  So it shows you what this project is all about, as well as this little description up in the beginning here.  This is really for students in Grade 9 to 12.  They are going to use presentation and a word processor.  And this one has been formatted for a Mac.

And look at this description here; it tells you everything you need to know about that project.  So go in there and find some great projects!  We have been talking about what you want as your, I guess, digital artifacts for your students to produce, to prove they have 21st Century skills.  Well, here they are; they are just laid out here for you to take advantage of.  So that is another great thing that I like using here.

And let me go finally back into 21st Century Skills and give you the last part of this assignment. So go into those projects as well as “Tech Integration Projects;” if you just want to learn how to bring a word processor in; or processing, presentation software - those types of things - you can use these Tech Integration Projects.

And then also there are lots of Workshops.  So if you need a Workshop on How to Blog, or a Workshop on Making Wikis with PBworks, it is all right in here.  And this is really your professional development for your teachers as well.  They want to know how to do a Wiki?  You send them in there!  They want to know how to do podcasting?  You just send them to there.

So you can see why this subscription is good for what we do as the Tech Integration Specialists, or the Tech people of our buildings, because a lot of this work is already done and we don’t have to spend the hours of our own time.

Remember how we wanted the system that didn’t waste our time and waste their time?  Well this is something that does that for both of us - because they can use this any time they want.

So those are your assignments.  Get heavy into the “21st Century Skills” section of Atomic Learning, and take everything you can out of it.  So it will be really great that way.

Alright, let’s move on to the other parts because I only have ten minutes on each one of these videos.

So, into our reading here.  21st Century Skills; you should have read the entire Part 2 Section.  It was quite large.  And what I really want to touch on here is that incredible… because this comes with a DVD - so the video on SARS; so the students that got together from all over the Globe, came and worked together on projects.  It blew me away when I saw that!  I had to bring my wife in from the other room, and my teenage kids; “Come - you’ve got to see what these kids are doing on this SARS project!”  And we watched it again!

So that really got me thinking about this whole section we read.  So I was always able to refer back to it, just as they did in here, and say, “This is why it worked.  And this is some of the challenges that were faced” and these types of things.

But that is a prime example of students using 21st Century Skills.  And so I hope you enjoyed that section as much as I did!

Go ahead and go to our Google Group.  Let’s really get that Forum going.  I know that, since I am just making these videos, that it hasn’t started to take off yet.  But I hope that we use it as kind of our own Book Club type of an idea, and share ideas of things that we have found in here.

Look at this one here:  “The amount of time busy managers have for mentoring and guiding employees is quickly diminishing.  Time goals, project plans and workload, and just-in-time learning must all be self-managed.”

You know, I can’t help but… what we are doing right here; this “just-in-time-learning.” If I need to learn how to do something I just go and ask a question here, like “Find an answer to a tech question.”  I just do, “Just-in-time-learning;” “How to make a Wiki” - those types of things.

So, brilliant book!  I hope you are enjoying it, as well as the other books that I had you get at the beginning of this whole workshop.

So just be, I guess, the smartest person when it comes to 21st Century Skills in your building, so you are the brains behind all this!

Alright, a couple of other things on the list here.  Definitely you should have been prepared and given that staff meeting on presenting the School Technology Plan to your school. You should have this open time for teachers to meet with you.  And also scheduled time, so that you are always available to help them with their 21st Century Skills.

And then lastly, I have ask the Principal to be able to have just a few minutes at each staff meeting to kind of brag about the great things that you are seeing students and teachers doing in your building, because that will really help bring people along.  That will be the carrot you can dangle in front of them so that they are motivated to take more and more of this on.

So there are all the assignments for the Action Guide.  And I will see you in Step 8.