Showing posts from August, 2019

Before You Hire

"Did you know in New Zealand, they require a professional development organization to share what their effect size is for whatever intervention they happen to be pushing?" That's a pretty sobering thought. It's important to ask questions that assess the effectiveness of any workshop or practice. You can imagine that most strategies we see advocated for today are ineffective and not research-based. 

Did You Know?You can check Corwin's Visible Learning MetaX database to look for strategies that are effective (d => .40).
Some time ago, I began sharing some of the critiques of John Hattie's work here in this blog. My goal was to discover how in the heck schools had missed John Hattie's work (aside from him working in Australia or New Zealand). I couldn't imagine that they had missed that work as I had. 

Some of my searches yielded this write-up at Project Achieve entitled, "Critical Questions to Ask your “Hattie Consultant” Before You Sign the Contra…

MyNotes: Schmoker's Focus - What Works

In reading Mike Schmoker's book, it's easy to see that he has a message aligned to his goal of "simplicity, clarity and priority." In this blog entry, I'll try to capture some of the main ideas.

My Notes Simplicity
Three simple, well-known elements:common curriculumtopics and standards organized by a team of teachers from school/district that is taughtpower standards should be about half of what is contained in our standards documentssound lessons or how we teachauthentic literacypurposeful, argumentative use of reading, writing and talkingWhy Simplicity is importantJim Collins: "Foxes aen't simple; they are 'scattered and diffused, moving on many levels'. That's why they fail. Hedgehogs, with their simple, singular focus, succeed because they commit entirely and exclusively to 'what is essential and ignore the rest.'""“attain piercing clarity about how to produce the best long-term results, and then exer cise the relentless …

MyNotes: Michael Schmoker's Focus on Time-Gobbling EdTech

Over the past few days, as time permits, I've begun reading Michael Schmoker's Focus. I decided to see what Schmoker and ASCD have been promoting the last few years. Of course, I still remember my first impression of Mike Schmoker from when he visited the San Antonio ISD. At that time, I served as a Director of Instructional Technology and Library Services (ITLS as it was known in those days), and I was shocked at what he was suggesting.

It was a simple message that boiled down to, "Technology is not essential, necessary, or relevant in today's classrooms. We need to be focused on what DOES matter, get rid of the unnecessary." His message about what DID matter excluded technology. In one keynote presentation to the assembled principals, assistant principals, and curriculum directors, their bosses, he destroyed much of the momentum instructional technology had tried to achieve.

The Power of Relationships I am grateful that the Technology Integration Lead Teacher (…

Overcoming Two Common Challenges with @Wakelet

Check out my latest blog entry on Wakelet at TCEA's TechNotes may want to see the rest of my series on Wakelet here.

Read the rest of it now
Note: This blog entry is shared from TCEA TechNotes for my own portfolio purposes (see the whole thing online at Due to copyright restrictions imposed, you'll have to head over to TCEA to read the full text of the blog entry.
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

Hostile Takeover San Antonio Schools?

It's not really a question of hostile anymore, is it? In spite of research showing how ineffective charter schools are, politicians and corrupt superintendents are working hard to tear public schools apart. I'm reminded of my time in East Texas when the Anglo teachers had discovered the dark-skinned children flooding their schools. Pilgrim's chicken plants employed Mexican immigrants, and their children were entitled to an education. The problem was, it had to take place next to the blue-eyed, blonde-haired children in East Texas schools like Brice Elementary.
The House Committee on Public Education Interim Report, for example, includes information about charters’ funding advantages over districts; the need for expanded public notice about charter expansion; and charter schools’ ability to exclude certain students. In addition, data from the Legislative Budget Board highlight that charter funding has doubled over five years to about $3 billion. While charters currently en…

#EdTech House of Cards: We're Only Human

Read this Forbes piece, Two News Stories From Abroad Suggest American Education Is On The Wrong Track? It coincides with some of the other exciting stuff I've been reading (i.e. Hattie, Schmoker) on certain points:
Still, cognitive science has revealed certain principles that underlie the basic human learning process. For example, it’s well established that, especially when students don’t know much about a topic, the most effective pedagogical approach is explicit instruction—having the teacher directly provide basic information. In spite of our best efforts to overcome our built-in programming, how we're wired or setup, it appears that we are stuck with how we approach learning. And, this means that approaches that involve throwing students into learning may need rethinking:
...educators say explicit instruction not only fails to provide children with meaningful knowledge and skills, it also renders them bored and miserable. Rather than having the teacher talk, the argument …

A @Wakelet Collection: Exploring Hattie Strategies

In this blog entry, I'll share my Wakelet on Exploring John Hattie's Effect Sizes and Instructional Strategies. I've been curious about it due to my work, and written a few blog entries about it. The more I read, the less certain I am about what I know works, especially in conjunction with technology, in the classroom. A part of me also recognizes the problems with Hattie's work, but I don't know if my reluctance to fully embrace Hattie's work is based on the problems with his research OR my own reservations about letting go of many years of research and work relevant to technology.

By the way, wouldn't you like to see Wakelet get new features that make it more usable? Check out my suggested list of improvements for Wakelet and share the link with them!
ABOUT WAKELET Want to learn more about Wakelet? Check out this blog entry, Twitter Takeaways: Wakelet for Content Curation. It's a great place to start, unless you want to jump straight into my Wakelet …

Don't Be So Translational with Tech like @Wakelet

Last week, I must have been on a Wakelet craze, since I found myself writing blog entries about this exciting new tool. Part of the excitement came from my chat with Misbah at Wakelet, but also, the work of Kristin who shared a video on how she is setting up templates in Wakelet.

Making Connections A part of my excitement also stems from trying to make connections between Hattie highlighted instructional strategies (that result in accelerated learning for students at d > .40). In my own work, it feels a bit like we're abandoning, as Dr. Sonny Magana might describe it, T1-Translational technology use.

But if we're abandoning tool focused uses (e.g. "This is Wakelet, here's how to use it and isn't it just peachy?") and trying for more transformational (T2) or transcendental (T3) uses, what does that look like?

Translational Tech Use? How does Dr. Sonny Magana define translational tech use, or T1? Here's my summary of T1:
This involves using technology to…

Updates and Changes

For the longest time, I've relied on the dynamic view template for this blog. It was less fuss than the previous ones. Still, each time I visited Around the Corner, I found myself wondering, "Where's the world map showing all the visitors and where they are from?" Google's Blogger dashboard just wasn't getting the job done, but I decided to leave it alone.

The Google View The Google view of the blog stats is, well, kinda boring. It looks like this:

While this looks awesome, I found myself missing the globe and my Statcounter overview. More importantly, while Google's stats view appears to highlight where people are from, I have NO idea where exactly in the U.S. people are coming from or what IP address or anything like that.

Back to Statcounter and Globes If you're wondering what Statcounter looks like on the backend, it's a rich source of data. For example, Statcount has an awesome visitor map that you can look at full screen:

Isn't that cool…

Back to Basics: Lamenting EdTech's Demise

The September, 2019 issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership publication has Mike Schmoker beating the drum again. What about? How we're wasting our time and effort in average classrooms chasing after the novel instead of relying on known, research-based strategies.

Mike Schmoker says:
When I tour schools and classrooms with on-site administrators, we never lament the possible absence of instructional technology, personalized-learning strategies, or other popular (but largely unproven) "innovations." (Source: ASCD)
Gee, I have to revise that sentence. Put another way (because that HAS to be the most awkward sentence ever), Mike Schmoker says:
The absence of popular innovations in today's classrooms never saddens me. Those unproven innovations include instructional technology, personalized-learning strategies and others. (Revision of Mike Schmoker's writing, how bold is that) For him, it is a matter of research, not passion:

We note the paucity of authentic read…

Q&A: How To Save Space on My Computer Hard Drive

Early Saturday morning, I received this question via email:
Running low on space on my laptop. I've already backed everything up to my hard drive, but I was wondering if there were programs or a way to look at like what are the big ticket space eaters on my computer so I can delete line by line? Or anything like that you recommend? Thanks! Wow, this is a question I've had to answer for myself many times on Windows devices. Here's what I shared with this person:

Several steps you can take:

1) WISE Disk Cleaner

WISE Disk Cleaner will clean hard drive. It works great; I use it all the time. However, as great as it is, if your data is being taken up by your own data, you will find the next program below helpful

2) See your hard drive in visual way with WinDirStat

You can use this free program to see what files are taking up the most space on your hard drive. Watch this short video.

A final program you can run that is similar to WISE Disk Cleaner is Bleachbit.

3) Bleachbit

If you…

A @Wakelet Collection: Knowledge Management

A lot of people still don't know what "knowledge management" is. Before I can share how great it is to have technology to support it, I have to explain to people what the benefits are. Sometimes, I don't explain and just do knowledge management. Over time, people notice that I always have access to meeting notes, documents and other institutional knowledge. That's when they realize, "Whoa, how does Miguel keep track of all this information?"
What is Knowledge Management?"Knowledge management is a discipline that promotes an integrated approach to identifying, capturing, evaluating, retrieving, and sharing all of an enterprise's information assets. These assets may include databases, documents, policies, procedures, and previously un-captured expertise and experience in individual workers" (Source).
In the early days, knowledge management technology wasn't so easy to implement. Now, of course, it's child's play. But that still d…

A @Wakelet Collection: Reciprocal Teaching

Not familiar with this 30 year old, research-based reading comprehension (& math) strategy that John Hattie has ascertained has an effect size of .74, which means, it can accelerate student growth by 1.5 to two years in just ONE year? Well, you need to pay attention! 

My first introduction to this strategy was WAY back when I was about 27 years old in Edgewood ISD. I was working as an Accelerated Instruction and Technology (AIT) teacher, which was really where my career got started. The next year, I became the Campus Technology Coordinator and started working hard to provide professional learning opportunities for all my colleagues in the area of technology.
This Wakelet captures SOME of the amazing resources I've found for Reciprocal Teaching. Of course, if you really want to adopt this strategy for use in your K-12 environment, check out TCEA's empowerED program. We (since I am one of the facilitators) can get your campus or district started.

If you're not familiar …

A @Wakelet Collection: Blended Learning

Familiar with blended learning? Over the past few years, I've had the opportunity to facilitate workshops on blended learning, including one webinar for Waco ISD. What fun! I think that one was called "Detours to Blended Learning." This particular Wakelet, I created as a way to make accessing my session resources a lot easier. It's hard to imagine anything easier than a Google Sites, but I was just having too much fun making Wakelets.

If you're not familiar with Wakelet, it's a terrific content curation app that I have written about several times. In this blog entry, I'll share my Wakelet on Blended Learning in the Classroom.
By the way, wouldn't you like to see Wakelet get new features that make it more usable? Check out my suggested list of improvements for Wakelet and share the link with them!

ABOUT WAKELET Want to learn more about Wakelet? Check out this blog entry, Twitter Takeaways: Wakelet for Content Curation. It's a great place to start, …

Hattie and Magana: Strange Bedfellows for Technology Innovation

After following John Hattie's work down the rabbit hole, I purchased a copy of Dr. Sonny Magana's book, Disrupting Classroom Technology. The book outlines the need for educational frameworks, and offers a three-tiered model. Let's take a quick look.

Of course, I'm still learning and working through my shock about Hattie's points regarding Problem-Based Learning, which has an effect size of .35 and fails to accelerate student growth in one calendar year.

Dr. Sonny Magana's T3 Framework for Innovation So what are the three tiers of Dr. Mangana's T3? The three tiers include:

Here's my quick summary, imperfect as it probably is:

T1: Translational Tech Use: This involves using technology to improve efficiency or accuracy, and/or increase quantity or quality.  This tier focuses on Automation and Consumption. It seems equivalent to Substitution and Augmentation in the SAMR model. As you can imagine, the tools-heavy focus that characterizes the typical presentatio…