Thursday, December 12, 2013

Technology Integration - Seeing What Tech Use Could Look Like with Technology Integration Matrix

One of the biggest hurdles many of our staff members encounter in the use of technology in the classroom centers around the idea that they aren't even sure what technology integration might look like.

This isn't in relation to the tools they can use.  While most of them probably could name a few of the tools that are available to them, the bigger struggle is actually envisioning how the tool can be put into instructional practice to yield an educationally relevant outcome.  Essentially, if our teachers could see the technology in action in a classroom, being used by real students and teachers for real educational tasks, they could begin to imagine how they might use these tools.

The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) may provide some assistance in helping educators to see what is even possible through the use of technology in the classroom.  The TIM, created by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, provides a database of searchable, sortable videos that allow viewers to see technology in action in the classroom.  The beauty of the resource is that the videos can be searched and sorted by grade level, tools used, and subject.  They are also classified on two key scales -- Characteristics in the Learning Environment, and Levels of Technology Integration.  While we do not use this language within our district, the Characteristics in the Learning Environment can fairly easily be translated into Danielson language, and the Levels of Technology Integration can easily be fitted to the SAMR framework (Substitution covering the lowest two categories, Entry and Adoption).

We truly encourage you to take a deeper look at this resource.  It is ripe for use at PLCs, staff meetings, and even for collegial learning sessions in your building.  Videos are short, focused, and can generally create some sort of reaction from educators about the value the technology provides.  It is an excellent way to start thinking about what is possible as the technology makes its way into your classroom(s).

The resource is available here:  http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/matrix.php

This video introduces the Technology Integration Matrix and might be valuable as a starting point to help introduce staff members to the tool.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Easier Access to SMART Notebook Gallery Files from a PC

For the educators who utilize the SMART Notebook software on a PC across our district, good news!  The SMART Notebook Galleries, which have been missing in action on some PCs, have been centrally relocated to make them more accessible to all SDW Teachers and Staff.

You can now find the SMART Notebook Galleries by following these directions:


For those of you who prefer a video tutorial or would like the link to the help site where this information is located, click here.