Authentic, Personalized Learning: Pre- and Post-Technology (A Case Study)

I recently worked with a few teachers on a service-learning project they had designed for their students. As we talked about the purpose and design of the project, I was brought back to my sophomore year of high school- and one of the school assignments that had a huge impact on who I am today.

I was fifteen, and I had just read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. In response to the reading, we were told … Read the rest

Challenge-Based Professional Development: Iron Chef at ISTE 2013

Members of the ISTE Young Educator Network

Connect, collaborate, create. We hear these words over and over, and we are constantly telling educators that these are the skills their students need to succeed in their futures. However, how often do we, as teacher trainers, provide professional development that resembles the lecture model that we are so desperately trying to eliminate?

After having conversations with other members of the ISTE Young Educator Network, a few of my colleagues and I decided … Read the rest

Mobile Reach Podcast: Adam Bellow, EduClipper, 1-to-1 iPads, and the Ed Tech Challenge

I was lucky to participate in the Mobile Reach podcast tonight (hosted by the fantastic educators Sue Gorman and David Freeburg) with fellow ISTE Outstanding Young Educators Adam Bellow (2011) and Caroline Haebig (2012). Adam talked about his transition into entrepreneurship with his app EduClipper (seriously- check it out if you haven’t yet!), Caroline talked about her work with a 1-to-1 iPad roll-out, and I talked about my work building challenge-based, blended learning professional development workshops for teachers (the … Read the rest

Encouraging the Conversation: Strategic Integration of Technology

The first time I held a workshop on Google Docs, three people showed up. The second time I held a workshop, five people showed up. The third time I held a workshop, two people showed up. Months later, I still couldn’t increase my numbers to more than ten participants- in a district of almost 450 employees.

I didn’t understand it. I wasn’t exactly Sir Ken Robinson, but I definitely had more than five people in the audience when I spoke … Read the rest


You can’t Change the World from an Island

I didn’t go to the ASU/GSV Education Innovation Summit, but I wish I would have, just so I could have heard Andy Kessler’s closing keynote. I followed the conversation on Twitter, and I read articles that reacted to his speech– which allegedly created a dichotomy between teachers and technology. I loved the reaction from Betsy Corcoran, CEO of EdSurge, who wrote: “Technologists–or aging former financial analysts–who try to bully either teachers (or for that matter, parents) into thinking … Read the rest

Guest Post: How Does Technology Support Formative Assessment?


This guest post was written by Nathan Mielke, the data coordinator and instructional technology integrator for the Germantown School District in Wisconsin. We started talking about formative assessment a few months ago after I noticed one of his posts on Twitter- my school district is currently running an action research learning team with Shirley Clarke, so I’ve been particularly interested in ways to increase the efficiency of giving feedback during the learning process. In this post, Nathan talks Read the rest

My Core Beliefs: Why I Stay in Education and Why I Focus on Education Technology

My superintendent gave me homework a few weeks ago- she asked me to consider what my “core beliefs” about education are, and why I continue to work in public education. Maybe I miss having homework (haha), but I decided to write down my thoughts.


I work in public education because I am passionate about the belief that every student deserves a quality, free education, and that opportunity shouldn’t be dependent on the family a child was born into.

I … Read the rest

Podcast Interview with Concordia EdTech- Talking about how Technology Supports Pedagogy!

My first podcast interview went live today! Thanks Concordia EdTech for hosting me (and if you haven’t checked them out yet, you should- they’ve interviewed some really interesting people, and I feel honored to be a part of their work!).

In the interview, I talk about one of the projects I am currently working on, how technology can support pedagogy, and how Google Apps can improve efficiency/effectiveness.

Let’s Stop Talking about Teaching with Technology, and Start Talking about Teaching

My new goal is to stop talking about education technology.

Those that know me might be confused by this. I’ve built my career around education technology. My job is to help teachers integrate technology into their classrooms. In my current job, and my previous role as an educator, I’ve learned about (and used) learning management systems, flipped classroom methods, e-portfolios, personal learning networks, collaboration tools, and behavior management software. I am constantly exploring digital tools and resources, creating tutorials and
Read the rest

AutoCrat: The Greatest Google Mail Merge Script of All Time

I’m not exaggerating.

Check this out:

  • Users fill out a form online
  • The data from each user merges into an individual Google Doc (from a template)
  • Those Google Docs (you can also choose to make PDFs) are organized in a folder in Google Drive
  • You can automatically send an email with those attached PDFs or Docs
  • This can happen when you run the script or as soon as the user submits the form.

I can think of a million uses … Read the rest