Friday, May 26, 2017

Analyze the Results: Spring 2017 Technology Profile Data Reports Available

The response to the Spring 2017 Staff Technology Survey was once again overwhelming with 758 staff members completing the survey.  Thank you!

This data, which is available in the SDW Staff Tech Survey Data Center, is meaningful and useful in many ways, from planning professional learning opportunities (at the building and district levels) to determining what technology skills and beliefs our staff already hold. Spring data is important because it helps us determine what professional learning steps moved the needle, and where we need to focus for the upcoming year.

It also helps us to look at trends of professional practice and professional beliefs about the use of tech.

Using The Data

Leaders across the district will find this data informative and useful. With sections that focus on culture, learning preferences, skills, dispositions, and SDW-specific tools, there is a lot we can take from the data in the reports.  This video demonstrates where you can find some of this data in the report.

Comparing the Data

Laying out reports side-by-side to compare data is one way of comparing data. While we are working on some new ways to look at the data in the future, we have created a Google Sheet that you can easily type data into to make side-by-side comparisons over time.

The Technology Survey Growth Template Google Sheet is available here. Make a copy, enter your data and start determining your building's data story.

Finally, below you can see the SDW District Data Story in the infographic below. This may give you another comparison to determine how your building is doing compared to the district

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Saved in a "Flash"-Puffin Academy App

As a teacher, you brainstorm a lesson plan, find a great resource for your students, test it on your teacher iPad to make sure it works...and it doesn't :( We have all been there.
We have come a long way with technology in terms of iPads now being able to access much of the web content teachers would like. Websites have changed over to html5, making them mobile compatible. Yet, some still sit in Flash versions, ever awaiting the mobile browser capabilities.  Well, there may be a solution for you.

Puffin Academy is a Mobile Flash Browser for K-12 students, parents, and teachers that enables Adobe Flash based educational websites on the iOS platform/iPads. Puffin Academy always enforces site filtering by only allowing whitelisted educational websites. Many sites are already listed for students to use, like Scholastic Study Jams or Pearson's eBooks. All students have Puffin Academy app in Self Service for download. From there, students can access flash-based websites. 

However, in order for students to have access to many of the flash-based sites that you may want to use, a member of the ITC team needs to add and publish the content. You can do that by submitting the site here ( Once you have submitted your request, you will be notified when it is published and accessible by your students through the app. 
*In addition, as the teacher, you should check the functionality of the site through the Puffin Browser App to see if it works properly (some do not). Teachers can download the Puffin Academy app via the App store on your iPad.  
Directions on how to navigate students through the app can be found here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Participate in a Free Book Creator Webinar This Summer

The beauty of Book Creator, one of our core apps in the School District of Waukesha, is that it is dead simple to use.  The strength of Book Creator, though, is that it is so widely adaptable to a wide range of projects, uses, age and grade levels, and subject matter.
If you have not used Book Creator yet, it is a platform that allows the creator to compile a variety of media types (text, images, drawings, videos, and audio) onto a page to form an eBook.

However, don't let the term eBook limit you. Students across our district are using it to recount their take-away messages and lessons from field trips, to build a glossary of key vocabulary terms, to compile resources and record their thinking in digital thoughtful logs, to write stories and share them with others, to dig into text and demonstrate their analysis of that text, to create graphic novels, and more. This is happening at our earliest grade levels and extending up from there.

As with anything that is simple to use and widely adaptable, learning to USE the tool is not the tough part. The tough part is being imaginative enough to finding new and interesting ways to use that tool. And that's where hearing what others are doing with the tool can be powerful.

Book Creator has announced a Summer 2017 Book Creator Webinar series for teachers. These hands-on trainings may be just the spark and inspiration you need to start exploring how you can more creatively use Book Creator in your classroom next year.

Here is the lineup for this summer:

  • Using Book Creator in a One iPad Classroom  (June 7 - 1:00 PM)
    • We have more than one iPad in our classrooms, but this webinar will focus on collaborative projects with Book Creator and demonstrate combine different books (from different students) into a single book
  • Checking for Understanding with Book Creator (June 30 - 12:00 PM)
    • An exploration of how students can use Book Creator to show what they know and how teachers can offer feedback
  • Creating eBooks to Document Field Trips and Special Events (July 17 - 2:00 PM)
    •  From capturing media during an event, to structuring a book to include reflection, and generating an authentic audience for student writers, this webinar will share ways to help students record special events int he classroom
  • Creating Comics in the Classroom (August 15 - 3:00 PM)
    • This webinar will demonstrate how to use the comics features in Book Creator to have students creating comics in the classroom, and the presenter will share ideas for how to use this text type in the classroom as well.
If you are interested in exploring these webinars (they are free, after all!), visit the Book Creator Webinars page and get more details on how to attend.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

TDP 101 &; 102 &; 103...

This past week a record setting 26 participants, showcasing 33 completed classes gathered to share their learning!

One of the things that the ITC team has been able to develop and make available to staff over the past two years are the Self-Paced TDP Technology Classes. These are professional learning courses designed to fit the busy lives of staff by delivering opportunities to learn wherever staff members are, on demand.  In addition, it showcases the possibilities of blended learning that could be made possible to our students using Blackboard. There are currently seven active classes with additional offerings in the planning stages. These classes have been taken over 100 times since September to meet staff needs for professional development! Classes can be taken for Viterbo credit or audit and help meet new teacher credit requirements.

Each month, when the completion showcase is held (the only face-to-face component of the class), we are amazed by the willingness of staff to share their discoveries as they navigated the classes. Fabulous conversations are held, ideas exchanged, new friends and collaborators made, and an overall "I can do this..." attitude shared. It is impressive to see the growth in our staff's ability to learn in an online environment and to direct their own growth. The wealth of learning and ideas shared is a fabulous enhancement to the actual class content. We truly learn from each other and walk away with additional ideas for implementation in our own instruction!

Consider registering for a Technology TDP class and continue your learning this summer! We hope to have you join us at an upcoming showcase session!

Begin your new adventure here: