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Educator Connecting Technology Educators in Maine

A Publication of the Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine March 2014

A message from the



Michael Richards, Wells-Ogunquit C.S.D.

ill Waterson once said, “Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.” If we used that logic this winter then we might have enough to buy a jumbo sized coffee from Dunkin Donuts. This winter however has been one in which ACTEM has tried to do some different things to be more out there beyond the listserv and the ACTEM conference. So far the results have been favorable and hopefully ACTEM will be able to do more for it’s members. One of the ways ACTEM has been changing what we offer is through our involvement with NEISTE, the New England version of ACTEM, and their webinars. In January, Alan November presented a webinar that drew over 270 participants and February NEISTE presented Michael Graham talking about using Google products to meet the Common Core. In March a couple of vendors TEQ and ProAV will be putting on webinars but April 22nd Dan Ryder and Jeff Bailey, known as the Wicked Decent Learning crew, will be facilitating a webinar. These are definitely worth checking out and you can even view the

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Chris O’Neal to Keynote 27th Annual ACTEM Conference


By Crystal Priest his year’s ACTEM conference will be October 9-10, 2014 at the Augusta Civic Center, the Friday morning keynote speaker is Chris O’Neal. Several ACTEM members have heard Chris speak at various ISTE conferences and thought that he’d be a great keynote for the ACTEM conference.  Michael Richards, ACTEM President says: “When I have heard Chris speak at ISTE conferences, I believe he is straight forward with his thinking and connects dots in a way that makes sense to the audience that he is speaking to that day.” Chris O’Neal is a former elementary and middle school teacher originally teaching in Louisiana, where he received numerous Teacher of the Year honors. After leaving the classroom, Chris was an instructional technology coordinator for the district, overseeing professional development and instructional technology resources. He went on to work at the State Department of Education in Louisiana, where his duties included grant management, policy and planning issues, district support, and legislative work. He took on the role of state director of technology, and his work with the Governor’s Office and the Louisiana Legislature earned him status as an honorary State Senator.

He has been featured as a “Shaper of Our Future” in Converge Magazine, and received the “Making it Happen” award for leaders in the field of education. He is a featured speaker each year at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. Chris serves as a faculty associate for the George Lucas Educational Foundation; provides leadership professional development, content development, and consulting for ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education); serves as a leadership facilitator for SETDA (the U.S. State Educational Technology Directors Association), and conducts educational leadership institutes, workshops, and evaluations for organizations around the world. His primary role as an instructor and instructional designer at the Univer(Cont’d on page 11)

Google Certification Question INSIDE: Trivia BEST Websites & Apps-pages 8-9 PAGE 3 t


Electronic Educator

upcoming events page 12 March 2014


actem Maine Association of Computer Technology Educators of

P.O. Box 187, Gorham, ME 04038 toll free: 866-99-ACTEM voice: 207-222-4353 fax: 207-222-2057

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Michael President Richards

David Vice President Bridges Andrew Treasurer Wallace Deborah Recording Secretary, White Educator of the Year Co-Chair

Gary ACTEM Executive Director Lanoie

Mike SIG Technology Integrationist Arsenault

Dennis NEISTE Treasurer Crowe

Dennis Professional Development Kunces Rachel Electronic Educator Editor Guthrie Crystal MAINEducation Priest Conference Co-chair Jaime Educator of Year Co-Chair Steward Gwenyth MAINEducation Maguire Conference Co-Chair


Upcoming Business Meetings March 10, 2014, May 12, 2014, September 15, 2014 Meetings run from 9 am to noon on Monday mornings in Room 103A/B, first floor, Cross Office Building, Augusta. Remote sites are available for these meetings. Check the ACTEM website for meeting details. 2

Introducing Brightbytes Clarity

Kristen Swanson, Ed.D. Senior Educational Research Leader at BrightBytes e are excited to announce our collaboration with BrightBytes, our trusted partner for analyzing and driving MLTI’s impact on student learning. Through this partnership, all schools and districts will have FREE access to the BrightBytes platform for MLTI participants. What’s the goal of this partnership? MLTI will bring with it incredible volumes of new data around student technology use. BrightBytes will help us translate all of this complex data into meaningful information that will help us make better, metrics-driven program decision. We’re offering the BrightBytes Clarity platform free of charge to analyze and drive the effectiveness of MLTI across all grade levels.


WHAT IS BRIGHTBYTES? As a company, BrightBytes combines an educational vision for effecting change in schools with the technological expertise of Silicon Valley innovation. The company was founded when Rob Mancabelli, an educational thought leader in search of scalable, innovative solutions for global learning, met Hisham Anwar, a technology leader looking for an opportunity to apply his understanding of online enterprise platforms to a meaningful, mission-driven company. Today, the BrightBytes team continues to attract educational experts, data analysts, researchers and designers with a passion for learning. HOW DOES CLARITY WORK? Clarity uses research-based frameworks to analyze the most important factors that impact student learning. One framework, called CASE, assesses technology’s impact on learning by analyzing Access to tools, teacher and student Skills, factors in the Environment, and how these three combine to shape the Electronic Educator March 2014

overall Classroom. Clarity takes the findings from this analysis and creates beautiful, easy-to-understand infographics that provide recommended action steps to target certain areas. We are thrilled to use Clarity’s insights to analyze and perfect our program! Be on the lookout for more information about BrightBytes Clarity in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out a short video on how Clarity works for more information. review/73355698/140ded9002

Cool2Career Beginning to See Your Digital Future


n May 2, 2014 NESCom and Apple invite Maine Students, Grades 7-12 to a unique day where participants will learn how they can begin to move their enjoyment of video and audio production or digital imagery forward, and begin to see themselves on a pathway from “Cool2Career!” Through their access to Apple devices, students across Maine have rich access to digital production studios for audio (GarageBand - Mac - iOS), video (iMovie - Mac - iOS), and still imagery (iPhoto - Mac - iOS). Cool, eh? Easy to use, and powerful.  Students from across Maine are making great movies and plugging their electric guitars into their MacBook Air or iPad to record and mix their own songs or covers.  Student photographers are collecting, editing, and sharing their still image portfolios with friends and families. And you know what, the Maine students that are doing these things are having fun. But what if a seventh grader or a high school junior began to think that these things they now are doing for fun can, in fact, be the beginning of a pathway to a career?  What if these creative students began to see that they can chart a pathway from cool to career?

Sound interesting? Then please plan on coming to NESCom and learn how you can move your enjoyment of video and audio production or digital imagery forward and begin to see yourself on a pathway from “Cool2Career!” The website for this event is up and running at -Keep checking back for updates, and get ready for registration to open March 6th.  Schools will be able to register in teams of six (one teacher and five students) - plans are still being made around how many teams each school can register.  Capacity for  Cool2Career will be 480, so schools will want to register early! And while you are checking out the web site, take a look at the cool digital stuff going on at NESCom, and begin to think about what you might get a chance to do on this exciting day.

Roger Fuller, New Executive Director of MICDL


he Board and staff are pleased to announce that Dr. Roger Fuller is the MICDL’s next Executive Director. Dr. Fuller is uniquely qualified for the position with his experience and interests in educational innovation, technology, leadership and change. Roger’s most recent work has been as principal since 2000 at Milken Community High School in Los Angeles, California. Roger began his career in Maine in education in the 1970s. Ted Hall, Chair of MICDL, said “We are pleased to welcome Roger back to the Maine community. Maine will benefit from Roger’s enthusiasm and leadership for education and innovative practices.” In 1972, Roger accepted his first position at Lewiston High School. In 1977, he moved to Oak Hill High School

where he worked as a teacher, department chair, and theater coach. During his tenure at Oak Hill, he worked to build one of the first educational intranets in the state of Maine, and was a founding member of MaineNet, a system to create digital links between schools in Maine. As a recipient of the Milken Educator Award in 1993, Dr. Fuller has continued his interest in education innovation, and joined Milken Community High School in 1999, becoming the principal of the school in 2000. Dr. Fuller has a BA in English and MA in English from the University of Maine at Orono. He received his Masters in Education in Educational Psychology from University of Virginia, and Masters in Science in Technology Education from Thomas College. From Antioch University in Ohio, Roger received a PhD in Leadership and Change. Dr. Fuller began his work as Executive Director on January 3, 2014. Roger looks forward to starting this work with MICDL partners and colleagues, and stated “effective digital learning provides a methodology for student and teachers to expand resources, as well as engage in the creation of new learning. An understanding of effective digital learning opens the future to Maine students and to students around the world.”

2014 Maine STEM Summit March 28th Colby College

By Laurie Larsen, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance: Sponsored by the Maine STEM Collaborative he Summit is the signature event of the Maine STEM Collaborative.  This year, the STEM Summit will be held at Colby College, March 28.  There is no registration fee for attend-



Trivia Question

March Trivia Question

he Google Teacher Academy (GTA) is a free professional development experience designed to help educators from around the globe get the most from innovative technologies. Teachers that attend GTA become Google Certified Teachers. Several educators from Maine have gone through the application process and were selected to attend Google’s Teacher Academy.

Who was the first Maine educator to attend the Google Teacher Academy and become a Google Certified Teacher? Submit your answer at www. by April 15, 2014. All correct answers will be entered to win a $25 Staples Gift Card.

December Trivia Question

Since 1997 ACTEM has been the organizer of the annual MAINEducation conference. In the very early years the conference, then known as Maine Computes, was run by the DOE. In 1987 the DOE transferred the Maine Computes conference to an educational organization based out of Auburn. That organization evolved the conference to what is currently known as MAINEducation and then transferred it to ACTEM in 1997. What was the name of that Auburn educational organization? Correct answer: The Maine Center for Educational Services. The December Trivia question winner is Mike Muir of Auburn Schools.

Electronic Educator March 2014


ence” format, where all of the topics are chosen by the participants on the ing. We would greatly appreciate any same day as the event. donation you or your company or orga- Sessions are typically discussions nization would care to offer.   

The last based on classroom practice and eduSummit was held in 2012 and some 300 cational innovations; or conversations people attended, including K -12 educa- about what’s working or not working in tors, higher education faculty, business a classroom; or a teacher could share a and industry representatives, and others recent project that has worked for them. interested in learning about cutting EdCamps capitalize on the best part of edge STEM education and workforce national, big name conferences -- connecissues in Maine. We anticipate similar tions made and conversations between numbers and diversity of audience this attendees. year. The agenda includes notable Maine EdCamp Maine is a free day of proeducators and business people and is fessional development for teachers, by built on an interactive and active format.  teachers; coffee, breakfast, and lunch are A feature of the March 28 provided thanks to generous donations Maine STEM Summit Colby College will from JumpRope, ACTEM, Waynflete, be a section for exhibits, displays and Baxter Academy, and the Treehouse posters. We are hoping you will attend Institute. Last year, EdCamp Maine had the Summit and visit our exhibits and over 100 educators from Maine, New displays.  You will have an opportunity Hampshire, and Massachusetts from to connect and network with many other all grade levels, pre K through higher educators, organizations and businesses.  ed.  This year, registration numbers are Register now at https://www. higher and it seems like this will be the biggest EdCamp Maine yet.   stem_summit_registration. For more Curious? Bring a friend, a wireless information go to device, your ideas, and your questions to stemsummit. EdCamp Maine this year.  Go to ed See you there! to register or find more information.

EdCamp Maine 2014

By Page Lennig and Sarah Glatz t’s that time of year again - time for EdCamp Maine. On Saturday, March 8th, Waynflete School in Portland will be hosting the 3rd annual EdCamp Maine. EdCamp’s collaborative, interest-driven format encourages dialog from all participants. Everyone will have the opportunity to share or lead a session. The event follows an “unconfer-

I 4

a PieD@F r e f e r p r u o y Would sletter? If so, email glano nce. of this new your prefere g in at st , rg actem.o Electronic Educator March 2014

TechConnectME 2014: Learning 24/7!

Registration is now open! Thursday, March 20th, at Colby College oin us at Colby College as TechConnectME, ACTEM, and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement welcome Elliot Soloway and Cathie Norris. Prominent education researchers, Elliot and Cathie will examine solutions for creating the pedagogical, decision-making, and political frameworks for meeting the needs of 21st century learners in our evolving mobile anytime, anywhere world. Elliot Soloway is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan. For the past 20 years, Elliot has been exploring ways in which computing and communications technologies can support inquiry-based pedagogy in K-12 science classrooms. Past Chair of Special Interest Group: Mobile Technology for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Elliott received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Cathleen Norris is a Regents Professor in the College of Information, Department of Learning Technologies at the University of North Texas. Cathie’s 14 years in K-12 classrooms teaching math and computer science has shaped her university research agenda: helping K-12 teachers move from the 19th century into the 21st century. Cathie has been President of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the leading international organization for technology-minded educators. Elliot and Cathie are regular contributors to THE Journal. Visit their blog Being Mobile. Who should attend? Technology Integrators, Technology Directors, Superintendents, Principals, Special Education Directors, Curriculum Directors, College Faculty, School Board Members, and Local Legislators. TechConnectME is free. Lunch is included. Register at: http://


Special thanks to ACTEM, Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and the Golfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement.

Technology Teacher.ME 2014


By David Trask oin us this summer for the 2014 TechnologyTeacher.ME conference. This year marks the 12th year of the conference (formerly known as NELS and FOSSed). Join your colleagues at Gould Academy in the beautiful western mountains of Maine for 3 days of handson learning, networking, and just plain fun.  Get in-depth and spend time learning and experimenting with different ideas and technologies for your school or classroom.  TechnologyTeacher.ME broke new ground last summer offering fantastic sessions in all areas of school technology including the first sessions on the new MLTI deployment for both

Apple and HP devices. This year, with a year of the new MLTI deployment under our belt, we’re excited to offer even more exciting sessions around the MLTI devices as well as new and emerging technologies for education.  Casper Suite, iPad deployment, MacBook Air deployment and management, HP device management, Web based student response tools, Web based presentation tools, EBackPack, Google Apps, forensics, virtualization, teaching with tablets....and SO MUCH MORE.  You are encouraged to submit session ideas, or even pitch an idea that you’d like to present.  TechnologyTeacher.ME is drive by YOU the let us know what you want to learn more about and then plan to attend!   Other info:  Prices are expected to remain the same as last year....$395 for overnight and $355 for day participants (off-campus)  Everything included... meals, lodging and the conference.  Date is set for the week of June 30 to July 2nd.  

ACTEM Mini-Conference

February vacation week offers Professional Development he Mini-Conference featured 3-hour sessions similar to what Thursdays at MAINEducation looks like. Attendees were able to customize their day by choosing two 3-hour in depth workshop sessions on topics of their choice ranging from iPads to Google Apps and the Common Core. Workshop Sessions included, “Everything About Explain Everything” from Sarah Glatz, the Technology Integration Specialist at RSU #57. A versatile, easy-to-use iPad App for teachers and students to create dynamic presentations using a variety of media, “Getting the Most out of your MLTI iPad” from Jonathan Pratt (Foxcroft Academy) & Andy Wallace (South Portland Schools), which (Con’t on page 10)


Electronic Educator March 2014


Google Certified Teachers


s early at 2006 Maine had their first Google Certified Teacher (GCT), Kern Kelley, who went to Mountain View, CA to be in the very first class. By 2008, Alice Barr, Cheryl Oakes, and Sarah Sutter joined the ranks in NYC. In 2009 Richard Byrne was added to the group in Washington DC. Bob Sprankle was in the NYC 2011 class which was also taught by Kern Kelly’s students. Most recently, in 2013 Mike Arsenault attended the Google Teacher Academy in Chicago. The Google Certified Teacher (GCT) program is a Google 20% idea. Google allows its employees to use up to 20% of their work week at Google to pursue special projects. The GCT program has grown from a small cadre of teachers to world wide phenomenon. HOW TO BECOME A GCT: The application includes short answer questions and a video. The original one minute video must be on one of the following topics: “Motivation and Learning”, “Classroom Innovation,” or “Positive Change in My Community.” Be as creative as you like, but make sure to follow copyright laws. The Google Education Web page for educators has been updated very recently. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Google Certified Teacher, information is available at 6 index.html THEN: Approximately 50 innovative educators from around the world are selected to attend each GTA based on the merits of their online application. Of particular interest are educators who actively provide mentoring or training for other teachers. BIG DAY OF TRAINING: All GCT’s must provide transportation and lodging, but once you get to the venue, Google provides the rest, food, training and motivational speakers, collaboration with others, an exhausting day of events and celebrations. FINALLY, THE TRAINING NEVER ENDS! Once you leave the face to face, you are enrolled in an online community. All GTC’s create their own Google Project that will be carried out in the next few months to a year. The intent is that all GTC’s will continue to share, create and innovate with others! Online google certified teachers remain in a network with daily announcements, collaboration and ideas from around the world.

Maine’s Google Certified Teachers

KERN KELLY GCT MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA ‘06 Kern Kelley has been providing technology support for educators for over ten Electronic Educator March 2014

years. He started his career as an elementary teacher at the Parawai School in New Zealand and is presently the Director of Education Technology in central Maine at Regional School Unit #19.  Kern has conducted professional development at district, state and national levels. He has always loved working with students with a special focus on having them teach others. He believes strongly that when students teach others, the experience gives them more than just learning the content. He feels that technology has become one of the best mediums for this to happen. He has been a Google Certified Teacher since 2008.  Kern is also the 2013 ACTEM Educator of the year.

How has becoming a Google Certified Teacher affected your life?


Cheryl Oakes GCT - NYC ‘08 nce I attended the Google Teacher Academy and became a GCT, I was motivated to continue sharing my knowledge with others. Soon after, I returned to the classroom and began working with High School special education students. Immediately, I put into practice a variety of google tools for my students. The tools were all about leveling the playing field for students. I continued to write blog posts about what was happening in my classroom for students. In the summer of 2011 I received an email for Lorraine Yurshanksky who had read my blog post Special Needs Students using Collaborative Google Apps and asked if I would consider being filmed as part of Google demonstrating how their tools work. The rest is history, and I always say, “you never know who will read your blog post.” com/watch?v=CyRQJBBVI7g ALICE BARR GCT - NYC ‘08 I saw great value to teaching and learning once I understood the power of the Google Apps suite. Along with the 2

other tech integrators, we started teaching and learning with other interested teachers. There were only 4 tools, Mail, Calendar, Docs (now Drive) and Sites. In 2009 we rolled out the tools to students and staff but used them without Gmail. We learned a great deal about what not to do. We also migrated our websites and worked with the community to make the information we put out relevant and instructional. ln the fall of 2010 we rolled out to the entire staff and by the spring of 2011 we officially moved all staff to Gmail. Students started using Gmail in the fall of 2012. Google Apps for Education has made a major difference in the way we work in our district. SARAH SUTTER GCT - NYC ‘08 A 17 year veteran high school art teacher and former technology integrator, Sarah Sutter currently teaches at The American School in Japan (ASIJ) in Tokyo. A former MLTI Teacher Leader at Wiscasset High School, Sarah spent much of her day helping other teachers integrate open source arts and social media technology across all curricular areas. Sarah is also a Google Certified Teacher, and was the administrator for her school’s Google Apps for Education and Moodle server. She has presented at conferences including Educon in Philadelphia, the K12 Online Conference, MLTI Summer Tech in Castine, EARCOS in Bangkok, Thailand, and the Japan ASCD in Tokyo. Sarah has also taught photography and digital imaging at the University of Maine in Augusta for 5 years, and several MEd courses at UMaine. Sarah holds an MFA from Lesley University in Digital Photography and Video, an MEd in IT from UMaine, and holds a BA in English from Wesleyan University. RICHARD BYRNE GCT WASHINGTON DC ‘09 Richard is a former high school social studies teacher best known for developing the Free Technology for Teachers blog. He taught for eight and a half years at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, ME. Richard believes that when used correctly, technol-

ogy has the power to improve student engagement and student achievement. He also believe that technology gives teachers the ability to form powerful, global, professional learning communities. He is a five-time winner of the Edublogs Award for Best Resource Sharing Blog which is read by an audience of more than 58,000 daily subscribers (current as of December, 2013). BOB SPRANKLE GCT - NYC ‘11 Bob Sprankle is a Technology Integrator for grades K-4 in Wells, Maine. Bob is also a key member of Seedlings. Seedlings, is a trio of 3 Maine Educators that grew out of a State Technology Initiative, SEED (Spreading Educator to Educator Developments). When the initiative lost its funding, Alice Barr, Bob Sprankle and Cheryl Oakes were not ready to stop collaborating. Thus SEEDLINGS was formed as an ongoing conversation for teachers by teachers, you can listen to all the SEEDLINGS archives at: wordpress/?page_id=508 MIKE ARSENAULT GCT - CHI 13 Our district made the switch to Google Apps for Education three years ago. This switch has increased the amount of collaboration within the district dramatically. For me Google tools are all about collaboration and that was my biggest takeaway from attending the Google Teacher Academy in Chicago. They refer to the day of training at GTA as “drinking from a firehose”. The connections and collaboration that started in Chicago have not stopped. Being connected to this incredible group of educators has changed everything for me. Having access to the GCT listserv and GTACHI Google+ community has been a game changer for me professionally. I have access to some of the greatest educational minds in the world and I’m still drinking from that firehose. Pictured on page 6: left to right, Kern Kelley, Sarah Sutter, Cheryl Oakes and Alice Barr. Pictured at right: Richard Bryne (top to bottom), Bob Sprankle, Michael Arsenault Electronic Educator March 2014



learning connections

How to Select the Best Websites and Apps to Meet Your Students’


ou just received a classroom set of iPads and can’t wait to start using them to help your students meet the Common Core literacy standards. You soon realize, however, that there are hundreds of apps that claim to meet literacy learning goals. Finding the right apps can be a daunting task for busy teachers. And while there are a handful of websites that can help teachers find appropriate apps (see “Sites for Vetting Apps”), it is still important to do your homework. Because no site or app is perfect for all classrooms, I’ve put together criteria you should consider before using an app with your students. Curriculum connection. Just because an app looks fun or is engaging, it does not mean that it will meet your classroom learning goals. Always ask yourself if the app or website provides opportunities to directly meet your goals. Age appropriate. Some apps claim they can adjust to meet students at their zone of proximal development— where they are challenged just enough. Others say they can assess students and place them at their appropriate developmental level. Test-drive the app to make sure these claims are true. Also find out if you can turn features on and off and whether users can choose their levels. Types of skills. Does the app focus on “drill and practice,” or does it develop creativity, innovative thinking, and problem-solving skills? While the latter is higher on Bloom’s Taxonomy, there are times when teachers may want to reinforce learning ideas.

Collaboration. Decide if you want students to work together or individually. If you are looking for apps that allow

Sites for Vetting Apps Check out these sites, which allow educators to search by theme, grade level, standards, and content, to find a list of vetted apps for your classroom:

Graphite (by Common Sense Media) |

EdSurge | classroom-needs

collaboration, find out if they provide opportunities for users to create knowledge together rather than just commenting on each other’s work.

Levels. It is important to look at the different ways students can use apps to show their work and learn new ideas. Some tools allow students to level up to attain more challenging tasks. For example, a media-generating tool might allow students to begin with a simple photo slide show and progress to adding narration, text, music, and hyperlinks. Students should be able to get the help they need but also progress at their own pace. Look for tools that represent content in different ways and also allow students to express their understanding in multiple ways.

Self-awareness. While not all apps focus on self-awareness, it is helpful if the tool develops self-confidence. Does the app provide opportunities for students to develop empathy and make safe, kind, and positive emotional connections with others? Tech skills. Be cognizant of the technology skills required to use the app. Does the app allow students to meet ISTE Standards? Ethics and safety. While many digital resources are targeted at children, not all of them—even those that claim to be educational—consider ethical or safety issues. Apps should remind students about online privacy when it prompts them to post something, moderate conversations, and invite parents to participate. Above all, the app should provide safeguards for privacy.

Engagement and enhancement. The app should draw students into the learning environment in a fun and motivating way while helping them focus on their learning. But motivation is not a big enough reason to use an app. Ultimately, engagement fades if there is not another purpose. The tool should also allow students to do something they couldn’t without the technology, and it should help them learn more deeply or differently.

By Liz Keren-Kolb Copyright © 2014, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l),, All rights reserved.


36 Learning & Leading with Technology | Electronic Educator March 2014

December/January 2013–14

learning connections



Feedback. The tool should offer feedback when students progress to higher levels or create new projects. The feedback should be immediate and let users find help if they need it. Ease of use. Apps should be fairly intuitive. If students have to constantly ask the teacher for help, then the app is probably too difficult for them. Navigation options, such as saving, getting help, and finding the homepage, should be obvious and easy to find, and users should be able to maneuver around with little to no outside help. Access. Consider how many different ways users can access the app. It’s best if students can use it from multiple platforms, such as tablets, laptops, e-readers, and smartphones. Cost. While we all prefer great resources that are free, it is important to remember that sometimes it might be best to pay for something that could create quality learning experiences for the students. Data collection. Is the app able to collect data from users, such as how often and when students access it, as well as monitor students’ progress? National curriculum connection. Some teachers may find it important to directly link national curriculum with the resource, while others may not need a direct link. Find out if the app connects directly or indirectly with Common Core curriculum. Updates. It’s essential to know how often the app is updated because curriculum changes quickly. There is also a better chance that the software will be less “glitchy” if it is frequently updated.

Languages. By using resources with multiple language options, you’ll create a better learning environment for all students. Find out if the app has more than one language. If it does, it might allow parents of English language learners to help their children even if they aren’t proficient in English. Equity. This is often overlooked when evaluating an app. Digital inequality runs along gender, economic, racial, and cultural lines. When evaluating an app or tool, check to see if there is only a male narrator or whether women are stereotyped as less intelligent. Does there seem to be a bias toward one racial group? Do you notice any glaring stereotypes that you do not want to reinforce? Culturally relevant pedagogy. Using students’ everyday culture in the classroom can be a bridge to help the home-to-school connection. Look for apps that provide ways for students to connect with their cultural backgrounds. For example, a geography app might allow users to select the region where they live, choose the local dialect, and pick a particular song that has personal meaning to them. No app is perfect, but some are a better fit than others. Before selecting an app—or any educational technology tool—rank the above categories according to your learning goals. Then rate and review apps to find those that are the best fit for your classroom. —Liz Keren-Kolb is a clinical assistant professor at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She previously worked as a social studies and computer technology teacher as well as a technology coordinator and technology integration specialist. She has written three books about using cell phones in the classroom.


K-12 Internet

Resource Center

K12IRC.ORG Over 2,100 carefully selected and annotated links will provide you with the tools you need to Information create exciting, topical lesson plans and Resources for the K-12 and curriculum. Like community an Instructional Resource Center in the real world, you will find...

 a solid foundation for

supporting standards and assessment practices,

 classroom projects, lessons,

units, field trips, extended studies, and international databases in almost every subject and across subjects,

 ideas & resources to integrate media into your curriculum,

 tips for school, family, industry, and community partnerships,

 tools for planning and

managing your environment,

 professional development and publishing opportunities.

The K-12 Instructional Resource Center is chockfull of the best-ofbreed resources for designing, implementing, and refreshing lesson plans and curriculum. Create a great resource? And now it needs a new home on the Internet? Check out our new, free archiving service. (Check the link below for details.)

Your One-Stop Resource For Curriculum And Professional Development. is a not-for-profit resource, maintained by Dr. Bonnie Tenenbaum.

Copyright © 2014 , ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), 1.800.336.5191 (U.S. & Canada) or 1.541.302.3777 (Int’l),, All rights reserved.

December/January 2013–14 |Electronic Learning & Leading with Technology Educator March37 2014 9

ACTEM Mini-Conference (Con’t from page 5)

was a general overview session is for new and intermediate iPad users to learn how to navigate their iPad, customize it, discover and enjoy already-made content, and to create new content, all with a focus on teaching and learning. Also offered was “Where is the Technology in Common Core?” by Jaime Steward, from RSU #74, K-12, “Automate your classroom with Google Tools “ with Mike Arsenault from Yarmouth Schools & Kern Kelley from RSU #19, “Enhance Your Classroom Using Google Drive” with Alice Barr & Cathy Wolinsky from Yarmouth Schools, and “Even More Classroom Tools Using Google Calendar and Sites” with Mike Arsenault & Alice Barr, from Yarmouth Schools, and finally, “Empowering Students with Presentation, Blogger, YouTube and More” with Cathy Wolinsky from Yarmouth Schools & Kern Kelley from RSU #19

Pizza & Technology


n Friday, January 31st 12 individuals from 6 different school districts came together at Wells-Ogunquit CSD Central Office for a York County Pizza Afternoon. Those who arrived shared a common theme of finding out do others who do the same thing I do run in to the same issues and can they help me be better at what I do? After everyone introduced themselves, people used a document to list the items they wanted to discuss. Once the ideas were put on the docu10

ment then the conversations started. Conversations covered a lot of different topics that people run into daily. Some people discussed network management, others discussed MLTI, and while others discussed Chromebooks. Some of the technology directors got together and traded notes lamenting on how people have gone around trying to solve problems and minimizing potential road blocks on projects down

the road. The time just seem to fly by as people were trying to be helpful as possible or share ideas to make life easier. One of the questions at the end of the session was, “Is this just a one time deal or will this be on-going?” The feeling in the room was that this type of a session is needed and hopefully we can continue this on a regular basis. Electronic Educator March 2014

Working together is better than working separately. If you are a network manager, technician or a technology director within York County and would like to be on the mailing list about the next session please email Update:A second “Pizza & Technology Meeting” is scheduled for March 4th for Cumberland county. This meeting is billed as “A meeting for School

Techies about techie stuff with FREE pizza, snacks and drinks sponsored by ACTEM. Join us for a discussion/sharing session of challenges and solutions to issues facing school technology staff today.” ACTEM is hoping to schedule more tech sessions in other areas of the state in the future.


President’s Message (Continued from Cover)

archives of any webinar that you may have missed. In addition to the webinars, ACTEM hosted a mini conference on February 18th at South Portland HS. We had a great crew of presenters talking about Common Core, using the iPads, and using Google products in the classroom. The renovated South Portland High School was a great site to host this event. Next year we need to look at the calendar to generate more interest from central and northern Maine as I’m confident there is an interest in such an event. Another event ACTEM has gotten of the ground is the Pizza Luncheon for computer technicians. We have had two of them, one in York County and one in Cumberland County. Both events brought people together and it was a great time for networking, discussing common issues, solving some problems, hopefully making connections beyond the luncheon, and not to mention sharing some food and enjoyment. If this is something you would like to bring your way please email Gary Lanoie or myself and we can help you get an event like this off the ground. Hopefully these new initiatives will continue and grow. ACTEM is always open to new ideas in line with our mission so if there is something more you would like to see from ACTEM please let Gary or myself now. The last item I want to throw out is the call for presenters for ACTEM14. Based on the talents that I know are out there, I hope you consider presenting at this year’s conference. It is a shame that we don’t promote the great things we do day-to-day more often but this year’s conference is one venue you can use to start that promotion! Look for more information on the ACTEM website. Hopefully this spring will bring us new things to be optimistic about with new growth around us.

Would your prefer a PDF of this newsletter? If so, email glanoie@, stating your preference.


ACTEM sponsored a MLTI III Cisco workshop over February vacation. The workshop, lead by Trey Bachner of Portland Schools, helped schools learn how to re-deploy their MLTI III Cisco wireless network gear. Chris O’Neal Keynote (Continued from Cover)

sity of Virginia (UVA) is second only to raising a teenaged daughter who is now a senior in high school! Elaine Bartley, SAD #4 Director of Curriculum, went to grad school with Chris at UVA and says “he is a dedicated educator with a passion for making learning alive and fun. Also, he’s an educational technology explorer and geek with a great sense of humor.”     Dennis Crowe, Gorham’s Director of Technology -  “We have all come to the realization that building administrator support is extremely important to the success of the use of educational technology in the classroom. Chris O’Neal provides real information for building

principals and other school administrators around the use of technology in the classroom. Chris speaks simply and in English, so anybody can understand him! I’m hoping to have ALL my school administrators attend ACTEM 2014.” From all reports, he should be an interesting and informative addition to this year›s ACTEM conference!

Electronic Educator March 2014



actem Maine


PERMIT NO. 305 Portland ME

Association of Computer Technology Educators of

P.O. Box 187 Gorham, ME 04038

LEADING FUTURE LEARNING 2014 Sponsored by MassCUE and EdTechTeacher, March 6-7, 2014, Hogan Center, College of the Holy Cross 1 College St., Worcester, MA EDCAMP MAINE Saturday, March 8, 2014, Waynflete School , Portland, ME MOOSETECH March 14, 2014 Ridge View Community School Dexter, ME TECHCONNECTME 2014: LEARNING 24/7 Thursday, March 20, 2014, Colby College, Waterville, ME techconnect2014/ 2014 MAINE STEM SUMMIT Friday, March 28, 2014, Colby College, Waterville, ME NEW ENGLAND 1:1 SUMMIT Friday, April 11, at 9:00 AM - Saturday, April 12, at 4:30 PM (EDT) Burlington Public

Upcoming Events Schools EdTech Team, Burlington, MA VERMONT 1:1 SCHOOL CONFERENCE Tuesday, April 8, 2014 Lake Morey Resort, VT https://sites. GIRLS STEM SUMMIT-EAST April 26, 2014, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA girls-stem-summit-east COOL2CAREER Friday, May 2, 2014 New England School of Communications of Husson University , 1 College Circle, Bangor, ME TECH FORUM BOSTON: Insight & Innovation for Technology Leaders Friday, May 2, 2014, Newton Marriott, 2345 Commonwealth Ave., Newton, MA 02466, http://www.

boston14 EDCAMP BOSTON Saturday, May 3, 2014, Microsoft, 1 Cambridge Center Cambridge, MA 
 MLTI STUDENT CONFERENCE Thursday, May 22, 2014, University of Maine - Orono SUMMER TECH INSTITUTE June 23-27, 2014 Belfast, ME ISTE 2014, Saturday-Tuesday June 28-July 1, 2014 Atlanta, GA https:// glance/ TECHNOLOGYTEACHER.ME CONFERENCE Monday-Wednesday June 30 - July 2nd Gould Academy, Bethel, ME ACTEM 2014, Thursday & Friday, October 9-10, 2014, Augusta, ME


The quarterly publication of ACTEM, the Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine.


The quarterly publication of ACTEM, the Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine.