Showing posts from April, 2016

Lesson Planning: 5E Model + Technology

While lesson plans may have fallen out of favor in some districts, replaced by online curriculum management systems, the lesson planning process still represents an excellent opportunity for collaborative planning and development. When the opportunity presents itself for co-planning, it’s important to have a common framework for lessons that enlists the expertise of classroom teachers and campus curriculum guides. One popular approach to lesson planning is the 5E Model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate). Let’s explore 5E and how it might look when enhanced with technology.

Read the rest of this blog entry online at 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

Promethean Lunch & Learn

You are cordially invited to attend a Promethean Lunch & Learn at ESC-20 this coming Wednesday, April 27 from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM (this will take place after Curriculum Forum so time may vary by a few minutes). 

The topic will be Four Strategies to Get Kids Thinking (based on Marzano's Effective Strategies for Teaching and Learning). Bring a smartphone or other mobile device, join us for lunch, pretend you were the student in a digital classroom, and have fun! 

Registration is free but required at

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

Three Strategies to Create InfoGraphics for the Art-Challenged @tcea @tltechlive

Special thanks to Peggy Reimers for inspiring this blog post with her TCEA Lunch & Learn Webinar, Engage Learners with Infographics:

My blog post, which speaks to my experiences as an art-challenged youth (and adult), appears at the TCEA blog. Here's an excerpt:

I don’t remember how it happened or what I was working on, but the “F” in Art on my kindergarten report card painted its own picture. And that “painting” hangs on my mental wall of shame, a constant reminder that I am terrible at art. In fact, we probably all need to be a little more conscious of grading policies that are letter-focused and their negative effect...

Then, I explore a bit about the grading injustices we have all encountered in our lives. After that, I reference Peggy Reimers and share the 3 strategies:
Strategy 1: Voice and Choice
Strategy 2: Start with a specific topic
Strategy 3: Use easy tools

They seem pretty obvious, but it's what comes after each strategy that is pure gold...not because I wrote …

Save Websites to Your @OneNoteEDU Notebook Quickly! @msonenote @onenotec

Wouldn’t it be powerful if you, as a teacher or educator, could bookmark content on the web and then have it automatically archived for student viewing in a Microsoft OneNote notebook? When I did that earlier today, the process worked like magic! And all you need is your free Microsoft OneNote account, a free Diigo for Educators account, and a free If This Then That ( account. Note: Do you have a OneNote Notebook for students set up? For the purposes of this blog entry, let’s call it “World History – First Period” without quotes. Inside that Notebook, create a Section called “Resources,” which is where your new web page links will be saved when you bookmark them using Diigo. Step 1 – Create accounts, if you don’t already have them. Create your free Diigo for Education Account.Create your free account.OneNote, available at no-cost, requires a Microsoft account. If you don’t have one already, you can always set one up for free.Read the rest of this blog entry at TCEA.o…

Let's Land This Ship

Hurtling through space, on a journey towards a new Earth, supplies running low, tempers frayed, technology failing, innovating with old equipment nigh impossible...that's not a vision of "the journey is worth the trouble." When we embark on a journey of discovery, the discovery we long for as human beings is the end of the journey. Whether that end be joyous, a welcome reunion, a fiery death, ending is what we long for.

Maybe, we need to change that.

When we are caught in an endless loop, avoiding endless pursuit of the bored and uninterested in technology on the shores of Acheron. The bored and uninterested in technology suck the blood of technologists who sought to engage them with professional learning opportunities, promising a new world. Instead, we need to celebrate the opportunity for interaction.

Ryan Bretag quotes Walt Disney, and the encouragement for schools is implied:
As Walt Disney said,
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep…

Encrypted File Systems (EncFS)

What a fascinating read (if you're into protecting your confidential files on your computer) about the EncFS (encrypted file system) in this blog entry, Using EncFS with Dropbox.

To put it as plainly as possible, this solution does the following:
works on Linux, Mac and Windows. Encrypts data on your computerMakes it easy to encrypt data that you put in a folder that syncs (gets sent) to cloud storage solutions like Dropbox, etc. Clear as mud? Try reading this:
Do you store sensitive files on Dropbox or another cloud storage service? Encrypt them with EncFS for Linux, an encrypting file system that transparently encrypts and decrypts each individual file with your encryption key. There’s also an experimental Windows build. EncFS works differently from a TrueCrypt container, which stores your encrypted files in a single large file. Instead, EncFS creates separate files for each file you add. It works better with cloud storage services that would re-upload the entire TrueCrypt…

MyNotes - Listening to Jonathan Maberry #zombies #rotandruin

"A writer, writes." How funny. Those are the same words I share with my children, both of whom are aspiring writers. Jonathan Maberry attributes them to Ray Bradbury, an author he met in school thanks to his school librarian (librarians swooned when he said this!).

When my daughter tweeted that Jonathan Maberrywould be in San Antonio this past Saturday at the Library Palooza 2013, I had a chilling moment of dread.

After all, Maberry has written some of my favorite zombie books, no matter that I hadn't read them until recently.
Note: I regret that I missed the first 15 minutes or so of Jonathan's presentation since I was recording this with my iPad and when I switched from Recorder Plus HD app to AudioNotes to take notes, unfortunately, the apps fought each other for control. AudioNotes simply turned off Recorder Plus...this is normal and I should have noticed it sooner. Ah well.View picture gallery
My Notes:
Disclaimer: Please forgive typos...I was typing this on my iPa…

Organize Your BYOT Classroom

"How do I get started?" It's a question that many teachers ask when considering Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT). It flows from a lack of awareness of what others are already doing in classrooms. As a technology director, the most challenging aspect of my job isn't the technical stuff...rather, it's helping people overcome the limitations they set upon themselves and others. It's easy to look at the completed product others have produced and say, "That's too hard. I can't do that."

In this article, I'd like to share 5 tips for organizing your BYOT classroom. The challenge isn't the technology, but rather, the limits you've accepted for the kind of person you want to be. And, if you accept those limitations, you will--not may, not probably, but you will--deny yourself, your colleagues and your students the benefits of being someone who transcends the limitations. Aren't you ready for a bowl of transcendence? I know I am!


Pulling Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps - Paraeducators in K-12

Doug "Blue Skunk" Johnson really hit a nerve when I read his post on, The lost souls of technology training. This is the part that sang out to me:
Paras fall into the category I call the lost souls of technology training - those folks who need basic tech skills, but don't get much attention from our department. We do a pretty good job with kids, teachers, and even the teachable administrators, but some groups have just been left to wander in technology limbo. Paraprofessionals, or para-educators as I once was told served as the preferred term, are one of the toughest groups to get to. Here's why: In Texas schools, paraprofessionals aren't allowed to attend workshops after work hours unless they are doing so for their own edification and it's unrelated to their job. If they do attend something, they must be compensated.

Think about that.

If I'm a paraprofessional, and I attend a workshop that occurs after-hours that could positively impact the work I do whe…

My Notes - 6 Essentials for Writing Workshop

Note: The following are my notes about the writing workshop I attended one day facilitated by Elizabeth Martin. Any errors, incomplete thoughts, failures to cite appropriately are mine. 

My Notes:
1. Starts off the day sharing least 4-5, if not more about a variety of topic. The purpose of this, I think, is to "prime the pump" for participants.
2. Ms. Martin passed out a small, fit in composition notebook half of a manila folder and instructed us to title it "Library of Ideas." The purpose of this is folder is for participants to jot down  stories brought to mind by Ms. Martin's. This worked for me, since the story she shared about her first few weeks at college reminded me of my time at MSU and the time before classes started. Another example is calling Dad for help or rescue.
3. We all have stories to tell. Avoid summarizing and instead put yourself in as a character in the story.

4. Tell stories at your table. Participants shared their stories th…

CTO's Role - Sharing Silent Successes

"As an IT leader, your successes are silent and your failures are publicized." A few weeks ago, Eric Scheninger posted a quote I immediately shared with folks at home and work:

"@NMHS_Principal: - Tell your story as it happens, take pictures of kids doing great work when observing, blog about successes #PAESSPCHAT"
As a technology director, it's easy to blog or share about what you and/or your Instructional Technology team members are doing. After all, they work directly with students and staff, making it easy to create digital stories that can be shared. But what about the people in the shadows who do so much awesome work but seldom get recognized?

For a CTO, the work these unknown do-ers engage in does mean the difference between success and failure for the organization. Those jobs can include any of the following:
Hanging up wireless access pointsSetting up computersNetwork device or infrastructure configuration design/setupProviding end-user trouble-shooting…

Feminism - Seeking Justice #yesallwomen @arguhlin

Sitting in the audience at the movie theatre, an audience I hadn't really noticed was mostly female, my 17 year old self slipped lower in my chair. The movie was The Accused, and if you saw it, you probably know why I started to feel that males are lower than bottom-dwelling slugs, if only while watching the movie:
The Accused is a 1988 American drama film starring Kelly McGillis and Jodie Foster, directed by Jonathan Kaplan and written by Tom Topor. Loosely based on the real-life gang rape of Cheryl Araujo that occurred at Big Dan's Bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on March 6, 1983, this film was one of the first Hollywood films to deal with rape in a direct manner, and led to other films (including TV films and shows) on the subject. Jodie Foster, for her portrayal as Sarah Tobias, earned the Academy Award for Best Actress.... Source: Wikipedia The film, which I was totally unprepared for as a sheltered young man at seventeen (you know, you don't realize how "shel…

The Road Less Travelled - Voucher Wars

“The mission of the public education system of this state is to ensure that all Texas children have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and fully participate now and in the future in the social, economic, and educational opportunities of our state and nation.” [TEC Sec. 4.001]Source: Dealing with School Vouchers Growing up, I attended private Catholic schools. The effects of Catholic education on my life can't be overstated. For example, consider these long-lasting changes:
Praying for deliverance from strict, ruler-wielding nuns helped me develop a healthy respect for clergy, especially nuns. One of my favorite movies is Lilies of the Field, showing how one can play with humor with people who have committed their lives to the service of others.My wardrobe usually falls into "uniform" type dress. I like to wear the same shirts and pants, and if they are all alike, I'm OK with that. It definitely prepared me for a life of uniformi…

Stop Pretending List - Revisiting Someone Else's List #makeschooldifferent

I stumbled on Jay Greenlinger's blog earlier today and bookmarked his blog to revisit and subscribe via In his blog entry on 5 Things We Have to Stop Pretending, he writes the following:

1. Teachers should be completely in charge of student learning.
2. Technology is the answer to our problems. (Yes, I am a Tech Director)
3. Large scale testing provides us meaningful information about a student, classroom, or school.
4. We need to have an adopted curriculum in order to have a coherent curriculum.
5. Change in pedagogy and curriculum can be incremental.

I immediately had a knee-jerk reaction because I read these as assertions of what Jay supported. Then, a moment later, I realized, he meant the opposite of what was written:
Teachers should NOT be in charge of student learning. Instead, students could be.Technology is NOT the answer to our problems, but probably should be a significant part of MOST solutions.Large scale testing does NOT provide us with meaningful informat…

Why We CAN Get Along

"The attitude of “why can’t we all just get along?” has no place in the academic community: validity of arguments come from questioning and the constant, rigorous challenge of debate."Source:Geoff Cain's blog entry on Siemens and DownesIn exploring the academic disagreements between George Siemens and Stephen Downes (I regret I found the kerfluffle boring, a sure sign of my roots in practicality or at least, shallow thinking), Geoff makes the point shared at the top of this blog entry. 

There's no reason why debates and disagreements can't be civil, but I know that the more violent and flowery language that is used, the more interesting reading it is. Consider this excerpt from an engaging piece by Carol Morgan:
Elections have consequences and unfortunately those consequences are leading to the death knell for Texas’ public education system. Texans have thrown away their right to a public education system (which is guaranteed by the Texas Constitution) because the…

Collaborative Curation: @Diigo Triumphant

Content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. 
Source: Wikipedia Looking for the right content curation tool to organize and maximize your own learning, as well as make content easily accessible to others? There are now many tools that we can take advantage of. In the early days, we relied on social bookmarking tools like, and others. Many of us also adopted Evernote--before they shut down their RSS feed feature for Notebooks, added complexity upon simplicity, making it cumbersome--and a host of other curation tools that allowed us to collect, organize, then share.

Over the last month or so, I have been using OneNote as a content notebook. Here's how I do it:

1) On Mobile and/or computer, I bookmark an item using Diigo for Education or Read It Later's Pocket. I'm increasingly going back to Diigo because it allows me to bookmark items, creating an RSS feed from …