Month: September 2017

The New ISTE Standards for Students

by Jen Hervada, Lionville Middle School Instructional Coach

ISTE (The International Society for Technology in Education) first released its student standards in 1998 under the name National Educational Technology Standards (NETS). Since then, the non-profit organization has updated the standards two more times to reflect the changing needs and expectations of our world.  The most recent change to the student standards was in June 2016 after input from people all over the world.

The new ISTE Standards for Students highlight skills that students need to be successful in the 21st Century.  The 7 standards include :

  1. Knowledge Constructor – Students as Knowledge Constructors allow students to explore, discover and use their own sources as part of their research on a particular subject.
  2. Innovative Designer – As Innovator Designers, students identify and solve problems using their own creative solutions.
  3. Computational Thinker – Computational Thinkers breakdown problems into components and analyze data sets.
  4. Creative Communicator – Creative Communicators share their message using various types of multimedia.  
  5. Global Collaborator – Global Communicators reach out to others outside the classroom for resources, work together on projects or solve problems because working with a group produces better outcomes than working alone.   
  6. Empowered Learner – Students as Empowered Learners take responsibility for their learning and ask for feedback from others, build networks to personalize their learning.  
  7. Digital Citizen – Digital Citizens manage their digital footprint, respect themselves and others and accurately use online resources.   

The video below is a great way to explain the standards to students using Flocabulary, which helps students use rap as a way to remember key concepts, terms or vocabulary.  The benefits of Flocabulary is students’ break down large chunks of information and create a rap to share and show their knowledge of any subject.


Monday Mentions: App-Smashing a Third Grade Research Project

by Nicole Stulak, DASD K-5 Instructional Coach

Today’s Monday Mentions” features East Ward Elementary third grade teacher, Jodi Turkelson. Ms. Turkelson used her content class to utilize educational technology tools to create an App-Smashed, interactive project that was developed in conjunction with EW Library Media Specialist, Claudia Carosella.

Ms. Turkelson taught her third-grade students research skills as they learned about the Northeast Region of the United States as part of their social studies content class.  Through a combination of digital and print resources, pairs of students began to put together the meaningful pieces of what would become their Landmark Research Project. Once their research, careful reading, note taking of main ideas and summarizing was complete… the edtech magic was ready to begin!

Students summarized the main points of their Landmark research into a script that would be used with the Tellagami App. Their Tellagami avatar would  “speak”  what the students record and each student pair searched for an image of their landmark FREE for use in the classroom. Together, the image would become the backdrop to a 30 second “Gami” speech about their Landmark.  The students utilized their Google Drive to save their final Tellagami videos, which they turned into QR Codes with the Google url. The creative Landmark content created by the third-grade students could now be accessed by anyone who scanned their QR codes on the US map on display in their hallway.

Purposeful technology integration combined with content area standards, curricular objectives, collaboration, and engagement IS possible with our young learners!

If you want to learn more about integrating technology with curriculum and standards, or have a project you would like to transform, reach out to your Instructional Coach to set up a collaborative meeting.


QR Codes link to Tellagami videos about Northeast landmarks


Tech Tip Tuesday: Googlfy Your Classroom

by Khristina Hunt, Downingtown West Instructional Coach

Bethany Petty is a full-time high school social studies teacher who writes a blog called Teaching with Technology.  Today’s tech tip comes from her blog post called “10 Ways to Googlfy Your Classroom ” that includes real examples of how she uses Google in her own classroom.

Check out her post and the resources that she has included!


Monday Mentions: QR Codes & Google for a Different Back-to-School Night Experience

by Sara Brosious, Downingtown East Instructional Coach

East World Language Teachers, Michelle Podolak (Spanish) and Connie Dyer (French) elevated their Back-to-School Night experience with a technological spin.

The two colleagues provided parents a QR (quick response) Code that linked to a Google Form. This process automated the traditional information collection worksheet or index card.  The teachers also presented two other possible ways to access the online form; one option linked the form to Schoology and the other choice was to complete a paper version of the form.

During the back-to-school night sessions, the range of comfort with the QR codes and forms varied depending on the parent.  It was amazing to see how some parents refused to quit and push through technology setbacks and how others gave up quickly.  The teachers used the parent experience of pushing beyond comfort zones with technology as an analogy for the boundary-expanding that occurs when students learn world language in a digitally rich environment.

The colleagues collaborated with their instructional coach prior to Back-to-School night, and with each other for a professional development experience that met the teachers at their level and comfort with technology integration.  The organic peer coaching that occurred during this meeting resulted not only one teacher learning and growing but two.

Do you know a teacher, administrator or staff member who is doing something awesome with technology? Let us know at


Food for Thought Friday: Making Students Accountable for Missing Work

by Kristie Burk, DASD Coordinator of Cyber and Blended Learning

As educators, we all have different ways to address missing work from students.  Thank you to Carol Warren, Curriculum Leader for the Counseling Department, for sharing this blog post from Catlin Tucker about making students email their parents about missing work.

Tucker is a Google Certified Innovator, best-selling author, international trainer, and frequent Edtech speaker, who currently teaches ELA in Sonoma County where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2010.

In her post, Tucker says that she makes students with missing work write their parents an email to explain why they have not completed the work they were assigned. They must CC her on the email, use the formal business letter format, and propose a specific action plan to catch up on their work.

“This strategy is so simple but so effective! Students are rarely asked to take ownership of and responsibility for their work. Typically, a parent does not realize there is a problem until a zero is entered into a gradebook or report cards are mailed home. Requiring students to… take responsibility for their work at various check-points …creates an incentive for students to prioritize their school work. This strategy also takes the responsibility off of the teacher, who is typically the person tasked with reaching out to the parents when there is an issue.” – Catlin Tucker, ELA teacher.

It’s an interesting idea worth thinking about!


Try Something New This Month

Sara Brosious, Downingtown East High School Instructional Coachfear

I’m so excited to be back supporting teachers to integrate technology into their lessons.  I hope that you all had a wonderful summer and that your first days with your new kiddos are going well.  Today I want to share a secret to becoming a more tech savvy ed-technician and manager of an effective, connected classroom.  It’s attitude.  A fearless, positive attitude.

Successful tech innovators are our teachers that are willing to explore and try something new.   

Yes, tech can be overwhelming at times, and tech fails happen.  Even with challenges the strongest tech  innovators stay calm and keep trying despite setbacks.   

Go ahead, do it, start exploring a new tech tool.  Pick just one thing that you can do this month to grow your technology integration.  

If you need help and support with ideas, planning or implementation, book a session or two or three with an instructional coach.  Plan ahead and be ready to adapt and be amazed.