technotes banner header
Texas Computer Education Association Newsletter
April 26, 2011
 
In This Issue
Actions Taken by the Board of Directors
Technology Integration Process
ISTE Conference 2011 in Philadelphia
Recommended iOS App Lists
Upcoming Events
Quick Links for the Classroom
Actions Taken by the Board of Directors

The TCEA Board of Directors met in regular session on April 15-16, 2011 and took the following actions:

  • Approved keeping the convention in Austin through 2018
  • Approved a revised registration fee structure for convention to assist districts in these difficult economic times
  • Approved live audio streaming of future board meetings held at the TCEA offices
  • Approved a date change for the area budget process
  • Approved investing current financial reserves in short-term CDs 
  • Approved the Green Ribbon Schools program to be provided to members.
The board will convene again July 24-27, 2011 in Galveston for its annual retreat and planning meeting.
Technology Integration Process

Tech IntegrationAll teachers should be integrating technology into their curriculum now. But technology integration is sometimes an illusive target. What thought process should they follow as they work to more effectively integrate technology into the core subject areas? How can they ensure that the technology selected is the best fit for that particular lesson? How can teachers include differentiation in both process and product with the technology chosen?  

 

Let's look at the thought process that a TCEA member, Rebecca Cooper, a U.S. History teacher at The Kinkaid School, went through as she brainstormed ways to integrate technology into her curriculum. Rebecca first began with what her students needed to know and be able to do for the year and then broke those skills and content down into lesson units. She crafted an essential question or theme for the year that would tie all of the units together; this theme was "What does it mean to be an American?" She decided to have the students write an essay at the beginning of the year answering the question. Their final exam essay question would be the same question, with them illustrating their answer with examples they learned throughout the year. This would provide a way for the students to see how much they had learned.    

 

Rebecca next looked at some of the typical lesson pieces that would come in each unit of study, such as vocabulary development, primary source documents, and timelines of events. She looked for ways that technology could reinforce the learning of those pieces and better engage students. She thought carefully about the best tool for each need. She chose to have students use PicLits to take a photo and place vocabulary words or descriptors over the picture for historical events, places, and people. She selected Prezi to use in creating timelines of events. She liked Prezi because students could get away from the "death by PowerPoint" slideshows that they had created in the past.  

 

To address the complex vocabulary of many primary source documents, Rebecca decided to us Wordle as an introduction to the texts. She would create Wordles of the documents and then ask students to determine their main ideas. She also hoped that this tool would help students better use context clues to figure out word meanings. In addition, she would have the students create their own Wordles looking at famous events through the eyes of two different participants and asking them to compare and contrast the main ideas of their viewpoints.  

 

To tap into student interest of technology in their daily lives, she made plans to create a Ning online social network to simulate the Constitutional Convention. Each student would be assigned to be a delegate and have to create a profile based upon this historical figure. The students could then role-play debates, discussions, and even vote on key constitutional issues within the "cyber convention." Finally, she decided to have students keep a continuous Google Map trip of all of the events studied for the year, presenting their "History Virtual Field Trip" in May as a culminating project. She believed that this would help students to tie the events together and not view them so much as happening in isolation.  

 

This thoughtful process ensured that the technology supported the learning and was not just something "added on." The goal was to make students more engaged and to hopefully master the content more easily. Ideally, it would also allow them to see the entire year as a connected whole instead of disjointed units. What process do you use to integrate technology into your curriculum?

 

Rebecca Cooper is an eighth grade U.S. History teacher and dean at The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas.  

ISTE Conference 2011 in Philadelphia
Join us in Philadelphia June 26-29 at the 2011 ISTE Conference and discover how educators around the globe are using innovative learning and teaching technologies to help students unlock their potential. Because we have a special relationship with ISTE as an affiliate, you can register for ISTE's conference at the lowest rate all the way up until May 1.

 ISTE 2011 Conference Logo

ISTE's Annual Conference & Exposition (formerly the National Educational Computing Conference, NECC) offers something for everyone: teachers, teacher educators, curriculum specialists, technology coordinators, and administrators. Choose from more than 600 immersive, interactive sessions and 125 workshops, network at informal lounges and caf�s, and browse a private showing of the newest innovations from more than 500 top ed tech vendors around the globe. Experience hands-on the way technology and the latest digital innovations are transforming learning and teaching, and meet face-to-face with educators worldwide who share your passion!

Recommended iOS App Lists

TCEA provides a list of recommended apps for both the iPad and the iPod touch/iPhone. This list is sorted by subject area and includes both free and for fee apps. It is updated regularly. The iPad list is available here and the iPod touch/iPhone list is here

Upcoming Events
"Leading with the iPad" workshop - May 4. This session goes beyond "cool apps" and discusses how campus and district leaders can use the iPad to be more effective and efficient in their jobs. Attendees will learn how to manage classroom implementations of these devices. They will practice using apps to project and will see what peripheral devices can and should be used with the iPad. ($125 for members; $155 for non-members)

"Lunch and Learn: Tech Camps" webinar - May 4. Grab your lunch and join us as we discuss how to run successful technology camps for students over the summer to extend learning.

"iTeach, iLearn: iPad in the Classroom" workshop - May 5. This workshop takes you beyond "cool apps" for the iPad to how to best use the mobile device in the classroom for authentic learning. Participants may bring their own iPads or register to use one of TCEA's and then develop an entire integrated lesson on a particular TEK or topic. The lesson will include a variety of resources, all of which can be accessed on the iPad, that focus on the differentiation of learning, both process and product, for each student. ($125 for members; $155 for non-members)

"Thinkfinity Train the Trainer Certification" workshop - May 5-6.

This two day session is designed for educators who would like to become Thinkfinity Field Trainers to train end users. (Free to members; $30 for non-members)

 

"Implementing an Effective Research Process for Your Campus" workshop - May 6. The research process has changed based on 21st century skills and tools. This workshop will provide participants with a strategy to implement an improved research process on their campuses successfully. ($125 for members; $155 for non-members) 

 

Can't attend a webinar at the time it is given? Register and receive a link to the recorded version that you may watch any time you wish! 

Quick Links for the Classroom 

Calculation Nation Online Math Games 


Free Google SketchUp Pro Licenses 


Google Tools from A to Z

Solar System Scope 


TCEA Job Board 


Texas Excellence in Technology List 


Thinkfinity Resources 

Join Our Mailing List
technotes banner footer