Showing posts from February, 2014

A Case Study - Ardent ISD: Lessons Learned in #BYOTchat Implementation

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to actual school districts (is there an Ardent ISD? Hmm) is purely coincidental and unintentional. This story is fictional.
Just yesterday it seems, Ardent school district launched it's own Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) program. The implementation began with high hopes as technology infrastructure was augmented to provide support, costs ranging into the $500,000 range. However, two years later, the hopes school administrators had that BYOT would transform teaching, learning and leading are fading.

Although BYOT can be slow to take-off, how can we "monitor and adjust" a BYOT Program? This blog entry takes a fictional story of Ardent ISD and suggests some approaches.

Some just in time feedback:
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Device-Agnostic State Assessments: Dream or Soon to Be Reality? TestNAV, iStation and iPads and/or Chromebooks

When will the state education agencies (SEA) stop telling school districts what equipment to use for state assessments and tutorials, and instead, ask, "What equipment do school districts have and how can we run our assessments/tutorials on that?" It's time for the tail to stop wagging the dog.
The SEA and/or whomever setups these contracts with assessment vendors needs to stop letting them tell us what hardware/software we need to support. Support HTML5, and you get iPads working. Eliminate Java, and it will work on both iPad and Chromebooks. Why aren't these assessments and tutorial software able to just be web-based?

Or put another way, when will SEAs SEE (pun intended) the possibilities of encouraging high stakes assessment vendors like Pearson to create products that work on devices such as Linux laptops/desktops, Chromebooks, iPads, mobile phones, etc.?

The time for device agnostic state assessments has come!
As iPads and Chromebooks begin to find their wa…

Gone Fishin'

Taking  a break from blogging for awhile...take care! Be back later when I've done some learning!

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

#Chromebook Comparison Chart via @mlowak

"We're thinking about getting Chromebooks for teachers," a principal shared with me recently. Wow, how exciting, I thought...waiting for the next question.
"Which Chromebook should we get?" he asked. When I spoke to my teammates, one of them, Marguerite Lowak (@mlowak) immediately started compiling information available and came up with the following Chromebook Comparison chart. What a thrill to see a great Chromebook Comparison like this...I immediately wanted to share the chart.

Blatant Advertising #moodle

Published Articles/Blog Entries I've Written About Moodle (or that refer to it):How to Manage Your District's Online Learning Opportunities (Education World)5 Essential Technology Tools for Administrators (Education World)Doing the Moodle MamboMoodle Habitudes: Constructing Online Learning EnvironmentsBook Review - Moodle 1.9: E-Learning Course Development by William RiceWhy Moodle? A few reasons culled from around the Web using GoogleMoodle-izing Your Education Enterprise (to appear in Education World 03/2009) - View draft copy
Moodle Tips Series:
Moodle Tips Roundup - a list of tips I've picked up in my Moodle journey. Here's the list:
Session Cookies - Have more than one moodle on your server? here's how to keep them from fighting over the cookies!Copying Content from One Course to Another - A walkthrough of how to import content from one course to another. Saves time and energy to do it this way!Adding a Photo Gallery - Walks through adding a photo gallery to your…

A Flaming Sword - Kicking Myself Out of the Garden

Image's probably going to be a lot more porous, but for now, I'm trying to separate my personal Twitter account (@mguhlin) from my work (@ectechhornet).

Disclaimer: No, I haven't been told, counseled, asked or anything like that. My work has been wonderfully supportive and kind to grant me "faux rock star status," bless their hearts. I'm doing it for my own sanity. :-) But separating it all is harder than I imagined. It's tough because many of the recipes, habits I've built, Twitter lists (you try rebuilding a Twitter list with lots of people in it!!), and other stuff makes it tough. That's why I'm writing this blog entry...if you are in an organization, separate out your personal and work accounts now, when your followings are small rather than later.

Here's how I shared it with a colleague (slightly edited):
When people search on "DistrictName" or "DistrictName ISD," I don't want my personal content t…

Removing the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt - GoogleApps for Education

Every few weeks, someone asks the same question I did so long ago--Is GoogleApps for Education really safe to use in K-12 education? This blog entry shares some ideas about that.

Creativity Frightens Me

When I read statements like Harold Jarche's below, I confess to a bit of helpless despair:
First of all, learn real skills, not just how to make it in an organization. Artists first learn the skills of their field. Learn how to code, bake, or some other defined skill. Master it, and then start breaking the rules. This is the Picasso approach. “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” [attributed]. In this quote, he encourages us to learn real skills. Do those skills include writing? They must...I guess I need to get creative.

The second half of that first sentence hurts--not just how to make it in an organization. You know, I get that. That's why an education has been valuable. How many times have I seen some young degreed person walk into a job and take over from someone who has a wealth of experience? Of course, I'm referring to department sales jobs at Burlington Coat Factory, JC Penney, and other places.

How long before teachers get pushed out …

Avoid the Quest for the Best: Playing and Learning for Fun

When at work, one of the profound challenges I face is remembering to have fun. It's so easy, especially as "a boss," to get serious about the work. When I get to present at conferences, I rekindle the enjoyment of learning something and then sharing it with others.

A few years ago, I was listening to an NPR broadcast sharing about people playing the violin. Some folks dropped it after awhile because, while they enjoyed the experience, found they would never be the best. That quest for the best, well, it's a will-sapper.

That's why I so enjoyed Angela's blog entry and the points she makes in this section about rediscovering the love of what we do:
We ought to be in a constant awareness of amateur in what we do professionally.
The moment we lose our amatuer-ism, when we try to position ourselves as experts, we lose the pure love of what we do and start to drink our own Kool-aid.
When working with your team, take a few moments to celebrate your own amateur stat…

SchoolCIO - 7 tips for avoiding tech-implementation failure

Here are the 7 Tips, but you'll want to read the full version at the site linked above!

Contact other districts and find out what’s been done previously. Do a mock walkthrough of the technology implementation and detail the steps.Consult with stakeholders prior to scheduling—when possible.Notify stakeholders using different methodsDevelop a fallback plan if it all goes poorly.Make it easy to receive stakeholder feedback on the tech implementation.Shut down the old technology.Read the full article online at SchoolCIO.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Exploring @Hubic - An Alternative to Dropbox

It's easy to pass up 25gigs of free storage, especially when I already have 16gigs free on Dropbox, 20 gigs on GoogleDrive in addition to the free storage they provide. Still, I decided to sign up for a free Hubic account because it's kept in France, which is where my primary email provider ( is.

Why did I take my business out of the U.S.? Well, that's a 3-letter answer--NSA.

That aside, some features I immediately noticed that Hubic is missing:
selective synceasy app-based move files around from folder to folder (no problem on the web though)image previewssharing files ("publish") for longer than 5, 10, or 30 day increments they provide (this is a biggie for me since I often use Dropbox for podcast storage sharing, both videos/audio). Some features that I do like: Nice web interfaceAuto-upload camera images to storageCross-platform for the most part, esp on Android and iOSLinux version is in beta, so I hope it will get going.

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Podcast: #tcea14 Raw Retrospective with @timholt2007 @Kenya75 @duncanbilingual @slaleman

In this retrospective on TCEA 2014 State Conference, Tim Holt, Wendy Sanders, Jake Duncan, Scott Laleman and some annoying monotone voice explore the main topics of life and technology in schools.

We start with a discussion of what we were seeing at TCEA, and swiftly move from technology fads to the message we wish every curriculum superintendent/director/grand poohbah would take to heart.

Listen to Podcast

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

#tcea14 Take-Aways and Podcasts (Updated 02/09/14)

Whew, what an exciting week chock-full of learning, sharing and growing. I'm also foot-sore, but that, thankfully, has gone away. In the meantime, I'm finding myself trying to organize all the great stuff I ran into at TCEA14, not to mention all the stuff I recorded. That's what appears below...and I'll be adding to it. I hope you'll add to the resources available in the comments!

At the conversation pictured below, Tim Holt called me the "podcast king."

Simply, I was trying to capture as much content to take back with me to my school district. I didn't quite realize how much I'd managed to capture--a total of 19 podcasts--with my obsolete iRiver T10 audio recorder, though!! Let that be a lesson to those of you who think all the great stuff in the world has to happen with the latest and greatest technology.

From Scott Laleman:
My biggest takeaways were from the conversations I had with others. Today was a perfect example. As I walked in out of the …