Sign up for Digital Assessment Series Pt. 2: Transformative Assessments

Our second of three Digital Assessment Series begins Tuesday, November 03. This series is called Transformative Assessment Tools and Strategies, and it will be building off the content from part one (note: you do not need to have taken part 1 to take this).

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We will explore ways in which you can utilize assessments that were previously impossible without technology.  Each week we will learn about a different tool and explore how students can represent their abilities while thinking about how it can be applied in the classroom.

Registration is free and participants can attend face-to-face or virtually.

Click here to learn more and register

#assessment, #blended-learning, #educational-technology

Join WGVU Education for the WGVU & PBS LearningMedia Summit!

PBS Learning Media FlyerJoin WGVU Education for the WGVU & PBS LearningMedia Summit!

November 9 – 4:30 – 6:30 pm

WGVU Studio, 301 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids

Learn how to integrate over 100,000 digital resources set to standards into your classroom for FREE!  Hear what’s new with LearningMedia.  Gain valuable information and training on custom features.  Share ideas/needs with other teachers.  Get your LearningMedia questions answered.

Light snack and dinner included.  Participants will receive LearningMedia gifts and be entered into a drawing for 2 adult round trip Amtrak tickets to Chicago.

Space is limited,  RSVP by contacting Mike Fillman, or call 616-331-6730.

#educational-technology, #media, #video

Free Microsoft Webinar – October 28 – “What’s New In Microsoft Education”


CDWG and Microsoft Education invite you to join a live webinar. Come learn how Microsoft is enabling district administration and educators to collaborate effectively in today’s digital environment and use cloud-based Windows device management tools that is shaping the future of Education. CDWG and Microsoft will also facilitate hands on learning experiences as part of the event.

RSVP today at this link.

Agenda –

  • 10:00 – 10:15 Introduction and Overview
  • 10:15-10:25 Office 365 Education – What’s New?
  • 10:25-10:35 Windows 10 For Education – What does it mean for schools?
  • 10:35-10:45 Microsoft Azure- What is it and how can it help me?
  • 10:45-11:00 Question and Answer

#educational-technology, #microsoft, #webinar

Using Tech With Intention

It is not uncommon for teachers (or schools and districts in some cases) to implement technology without much intention or planning. Another way to put that is people are using tech because they feel like they should, and it may not be tied to effective practice or intended outcomes. This is like trying to capture something while blindfolded, and it leads to problems. I want to explore some of those problems as well as share some ideas on what can be done about them.

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  1. Lack of consistent implementation across classrooms or grade levels, resulting in a varied experience for students and challenges with analyzing effective practices across an organization.
  2. Lack of preparation or training to facilitate, resulting in ineffective implementation.
  3. Lack of alignment with any research-based practice or existing school/district improvement goals.

Some Options for Addressing Problems

  1. Work in grade level or content-area teams to build common tech-related activities into the curriculum. This will help ensure consistency across classrooms and provide a focus / support structure for teachers. (A key difference between effective integration and just messing around is writing it down).
  2. Use a process (collaborative preferably) to determine what should be used for a given objective (Example: MiExcel Hexagon Tool). This will help ensure that the choices can be supported and meet the identified need.
  3. Choose an existing research-based strategy or existing school improvement goal and add a tech element to it (Example: Marzano Strategies). This will help ensure that activities are rooted in effective practice.

Some people may think that these approaches may limit innovation or stymie creativity. To counter that, I argue that innovation most often occurs as an improvement upon something that already exists. If we are intentional about the tech that we choose, we can build from what we know to be effective and maximize our impact without experimenting with students.

#educational-technology, #effective-practice

Are you ConnectED?

ConnectED InitiativeIn June 2013, President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative, designed to enrich K-12 education for every student in America. ConnectED empowers teachers with the best technology and the training to make the most of it, and empowers students through individualized learning and rich, digital content.

The ConnectED initiative, among other things, aims to:

  • Provide educators with support and training in using educational technology to improve student learning
  • Encourage technology companies to develop feature-rich educational devices that are price-competitive with basic textbooks
  • Produce graduates with the 21st century skills they will need to succeed in the workplace.

If you’ve not investigated the ConnectED Initiative since it was announced, it’s worth a re-visit.   Many large Information technology companies have pledged free software and resources for schools, teachers and students.

Each of those categories have information on how you can request and receive free and low cost resources just by asking.

#adobe, #connected, #educational-technology, #microsoft, #software, #teaching

You’re Invited to edCampGR 2015!

edcampgrWe want your brainpower!

Educators, Teachers, Specialists, and College Students lend me your browser window for just a moment. We can hardly believe that the 5th edCampGR is just around the corner!
The BEST education professional learning event in GR will be on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at Kent Innovation High on the campus of Kent ISD.
To register and attend for free, visit: – Oh, and there is a free lunch too!
Are you new to edCampGR or want more information? Read on!

What is edCampGR?

edCamps are about meeting interesting people, talking about what you want to talk about, and listening to what you’re interested in. Subjects of discussion have ranged from classroom management, student engagement, integrating technology, helping students with disabilities and world domination. (No, there wasn’t a talk on the last thing, rather how we can change education systems from within!)  You see, the talks are not set beforehand, it’s you, the attendees, who give edCampGR direction and content. We’ve even applied for SCECHs, so you can get some PD hours for your next re-certification. Nice, huh?

What’s the format?

Talks are 50 minutes long, with ten minutes in between. You’re welcome to sit in on a conversation or hang out in the many comfortable collaboration areas and talk; it’s all the same with us. If you facilitate a talk, we don’t care how you run it – so long as you don’t get us in trouble! Give a monologue, a Q&A or a round table; it’s your topic, your presentation, your audience. If people didn’t want to spend 50 minutes on your topic, they wouldn’t be there.

Don’t know what to talk about?

Certainly you have some relatively unique experiences. What do you do that you think is awesome? What’s something in your classroom you’ve done that you’re proud of? It doesn’t matter if the height of your accomplishment is making to the end of the week without pulling your hair out; if people are interested, they will show up at your talk. If they aren’t interested, they will probably attend one of the other talks during that time slot.  Edcamps are all about finding what interests you.

But I’m not an expert!

Sure you are! If you know the first thing about a subject, you know more than people who don’t. And, yes, people who know more than you will probably attend your talk. Interact with them; you both have something to learn from each other. Chances are, if you’re both really interested in a subject, you’ll find yourselves looking for each other in the open areas of the school, later.

But perhaps you’re… Shy?

That’s fine. Come on in, take a look around and get a feel for things. Sit in on the talk which interests you or hang around in the open spaces and network with other people. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to talk about something later. You never really know, and that’s the awesome part of an edCamp.

How can you help?

Please help us connect with you and your colleagues, friends, and others in your circle of influence. Share the event info and registration link, and interact with us here:

Twitter: @edcampgr


It’s Free! – click here and share with your contacts


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the event?
I’d love to have you attend and learn with us. Make sure to sign up today, tell your friends, and plan to learn more than your brain can handle! We’re looking forward to meeting you!
Ron – @ronhoutman
Chief Cat Herder and edCampGR coordinator

#edcamp, #educational-technology, #professional-development, #teaching

Shift Mich: Learn and Contribute


July is a month in which the education world gets sleepy. Most people are either not working or are taking vacation, so the action is limited. It is an ideal time to explore some new ideas or share some of what you are doing. Shift Mich is a recently formed educational concept/group which seeks, in their words, to “empower educators to innovate their teacher practices…”. Go to the Shift Mich site to explore more (note that this is still in its infancy so the content is somewhat limited).

Why You Should Care:

1. Learn how some other teachers are shifting their instruction to reach students (link to Practices page)

2. View statewide conferences, workshops, and other learning opportunities in one place (link to Events page)

3. Submit an article about what you or someone you know is doing. It doesn’t have to be something mind-blowing; just something that is different and effective. (link to Submission page)

As you continue your summer, think about how you could learn from or contribute to Shift Mich. At the very least, consider what new methods you can introduce to increase your impact as an educator.

#educational-technology, #kent-isd