Edtech

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5 Key Elements of an EdTech Portfolio for Educators

5 Key Elements of EdTech Portfolios

5 Key Elements of an EdTech Portfolio for Educators

Having worked in school leadership involved with teacher recruitment, I can say we have an issue with differentiating teachers. When looking at candidates, we have to trust resumes and references reinforced with interviews and gut feelings to make our hiring decision. Despite what you may think, school leaders have few avenues to verify skills, trainings, or abilities beyond what is provided by the candidate. In short, candidates have difficulty proving their skills and employers find it difficult to validating their claims.

5 Key Elements of EdTech Portfolios

There is one area where educators can document their skills and distinguish themselves from others: Educational Technology.

But why focus on EdTech skills? Unlike other pedagogic knowledge or curricular competencies that are non-standardized, EdTech is global. The use of technology to enhance learning works in every school regardless of the operating system they use or the communications system them employ. A school may run the A-Levels when an educator has only worked with the DP. However, the skills used to collaborate with students using Google Drive are the same as those for Office 365.

Further, schools are implementing EdTech more and more each year. In a large portion of international schools, technology usage for learning and communications is a core competency for educators. Schools are seeing the need for developing computational thinking in students, a greater focus on personalized learning, and the balance between student created materials with consumed information. School boards are using EdTech as a measure of their competitiveness and as a recruitment tool. Also, the EdTech market is one of the fastest growing in the world. It is no longer a case of “can educators use technology,” but “how they use it.”

So, how do educators differentiate themselves in their use of EdTech? By creating a portfolio of EdTech skills and accomplishments. Here are the four key elements of a strong EdTech portfolio:

Certifications

Several EdTech companies have certification programs for their products. They vary in depth and quality, but all of them demonstrate functional knowledge of tools and services found in schools. The better ones start with tools knowledge then show how to use them in learning and assessment. Most certifications are free or low cost and come with completion certificates that can be included in a portfolio. Examples of these might be the Microsoft Certified Educator or the Apple Teacher. Educators who hold these certificates show their technical knowledge as well as their commitment to professional development and growth.

EdTech Portfolio - CertificationsRecognitions

Beyond certifications, recognitions are available from EdTech companies and educational organizations. These recognitions evaluate an educator’s skills with technology and offer training, but they also recognize achievement in using EdTech for learning. Many include membership in worldwide professional learning networks at no cost. Examples would include the Seesaw Ambassador Program, Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Certified Educator, and CUE Rockstar. These recognitions demonstrate educators have access to resources and learning networks that can aid colleagues and improve the reputation of the school.

Online Presence

However, certificates and recognitions are tied to products or organizations. A strong EdTech portfolio should include contributions to the overall EdTech community. Educators should show they stay current being active in professional learning networks, reading publications, and engaging in social media. Yet, to truly demonstrate competencies, educators need to contribute and have online presence. They should maintain a Twitter account highlighting their work and the work of others. They should write articles or blog posts describing their successes. And most importantly they should be easily searchable. The most organized educators will keep a blog or website with links to all their materials and networks.

Collection of Learning ActivitiesEdTech Portfolios - Learning Activities

Finally, an excellent EdTech portfolio should demonstrate actual learning activities and the products of learning. Educators should outline what technology they used, how it was used, what lessons were taught, and what learners created through their experience. Notice, I didn’t say “students.” A well-rounded portfolio will show student learning and professional development activities the educator led or helped plan. When showcasing work, educators should include materials and activities rather than planning documents or assessment data. Educators can upload presentations, pictures, videos, or completed work to the same website used to develop online presence. With these examples, a school will get a real sense of the educator’s capacity to use technology for learning and by extension their approach to the classroom.

Fresh content

And one last point: An EdTech portfolio is a fluid entity that should be kept up to date just as an educator would with their personnel records or a CV. Educators should add new posts, new learning activities, fresh tweets, and up-to-date certifications and recognitions on a regular basis. Another simple way to freshen up a portfolio is to choose a new Weebly or WordPress template that will change the colors and backgrounds with no loss of content and minimal work. If an educator fails to update his/her portfolio, it becomes stale and causes more harm than good.

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Acting on the Global EdTech Blueprint – EdCircuit

Acting on the Global EdTech Blueprint - EdCircuit

Acting on the Global EdTech Blueprint
EdCircuit

Acting on the Global EdTech Blueprint - EdCircuit

In this interview with EdCircuit, I talk with Dr. Rod Berger about my work on The Blueprint for Technology in Education and how I hope to provide a roadmap for technology in schools. We discuss FETC 2019 and the entire pre-conference day devoted to elements of The Blueprint, which will include presentations, panels, and strategic planning workshops. This article was originally published in October, 2018.

Click here to read the listen to the full interview.

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Acting on the Global EdTech Blueprint – EdCircuit

Acting on the Global EdTech Blueprint - EdCircuit

Acting on the Global EdTech Blueprint
EdCircuit

Acting on the Global EdTech Blueprint - EdCircuit

In this interview with EdCircuit, I talk with Dr. Rod Berger about my work on The Blueprint for Technology in Education and how I hope to provide a roadmap for technology in schools. We discuss FETC 2019 and the entire pre-conference day devoted to elements of The Blueprint, which will include presentations, panels, and strategic planning workshops. This article was originally published in October, 2018.

Click here to read the listen to the full interview.

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It’s Time to Graduate Beyond STE(A)M and Coding – TIEOnline

It's Time to Graduate Beyond STEM and Coding - TIEOnline

It’s Time to Graduate Beyond STE(A)M and Coding
TIEOnline

It's Time to Graduate Beyond STEM and Coding - TIEOnline

I had the pleasure of writing another article for The International Educator, a worldwide publication for international schools. My article, It’s Time to Graduate Beyond STE(A)M and Coding, discusses the need to focus on problem solving and computational thinking more in school than our current focus on STEM, STEAM, and Coding. This article was originally published in October, 2018.

Click here to read the full article.

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Using Data and Developing Data Systems in International Schools – EARCOS 2018

Using Data and Developing Data Systems in International Schools - 21CLHK 2017

Using Data and Developing Data Systems in International Schools – EARCOS 2018

Using Data and Developing Data Systems in International Schools - EARCOS 2018

[PDF] Using Data and Developing Data Systems in International Schools – EARCOS 2018

In this session, we explore the definition and value of school data, then talk about it uses in data based decision making. The session concludes with a discussion about data system design and workflows. Presented at the EARCOS Conference in Kuala Lumpur, 2018.

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A New Introduction to The EdTech Vlog with Matt Harris, Ed.D.

The EdTech Vlog with Matt Harris, Ed.D.

A New Introduction to The EdTech Vlog with Matt Harris, Ed.D.

  I am about to re-launch The EdTech Vlog with Matt Harris, Ed.D. Check out the new introduction for upcoming videos. The Vlog will talk about EdTech events, tools, and best practices for teaching and leadership with educational technology. Click here to visit The EdTech Vlog with Matt Harris, Ed.D. on Youtube. The post A New Introduction to The EdTech Vlog with Matt Harris, Ed.D. appeared first on Matt Harris, Ed.D. -- International EdTech Specialist.
by Matt Harris, Ed.D. Matt Harris, Ed.D. No Comments

The Blueprint for Technology in Education – TL Talk Radio Podcast

TLTalkRadio

The Blueprint for Technology in Education –
TL Talk Radio Podcast

TLTalkRadio

Season 5: Episode 6 of TL Talk Radio – Matt Harris – Blueprint for Technology in Education

I had the pleasure of being a guest on TL Talk Radio talking about The Blueprint for Technology in Education and our session at FETC. We chat about the value of the Blueprint towards connecting all schools and vendors around a common language for Educational Technology. It was a truly engaging chat about EdTech and some of the influencers that I follow in my work around EdTech consultation.

Listen to my TL Talk Radio podcast episode.

Click here to listen to the TL Talk Radio podcast.

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Cybersecurity and Data Privacy in Schools – EduTechAsia 2018

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy in Schools- EduTechAsia2018 - Matt Harris, Ed.D.

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy in Schools

Cybersecurity and Data Privacy in Schools- EduTechAsia2018 - Matt Harris, Ed.D.

[PDF] Cybersecurity and Data Privacy in Schools – EduTechAsia2018

In this presentation we discuss the key cybersecurity threats and approaches towards mitigation that affect schools. We also talk about data protection requirements in response to the passage of GDPR. This presentation was given at the EduTechAsia 2018 conference in Singapore in October, 2018.

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Not All Screen Time is Junk Food

Screen Time Food Pyramid

Not All Screen Time is Junk Food

From what I have read, screen time is dangerous. According to articles from parents groups, news outlets, and pseudo experts parents need to limit children’s screen time and be wary whenever they have a device in their hands. These articles highlight the numerous dangers of screen time from effects on social development to physical issues and online addiction.Not All Screen Time Is Junk Food

For many parents, they read these articles and see their children on an iPad or a smartphone and they worry. They harken back to their childhoods, which were free from ubiquitous technology, and they conclude their children are being denied critical developmental experiences. They see our schools using devices for learning and they become more concerned. Many parents believe the sum total of time on devices is a major impediment to the children growing up happy and healthy.

In a way, these concerns are valid as excessive screen time, and the wrong type of screen time, can cause many of these problems. However, screen time is central part of modern children’s daily lives.

 

Screen Time is Central to Children’s Lives

Screen time is a key element of the hyper connected world children live in today. Their access to information, entertainment, communication, and now learning is tied more and more to screen time. They need devices to fully experience modern childhood, for better or worse.

The best analogy is that for modern children screen time holds the same level of importance to them as food and water. Just as with food, screen time has incredible value to children, but not all screen time is equal and it needs to be guided by parents.

 

The Value of Screen Time

Children in this hyper connected world must be able to navigate digital tools, use online information, and communicate effectively using multiple media. They must have the experience of using devices for multiple purposes if they are going to be productive after they leave school. They need to quickly and accurately find and use information on the Internet. Further, must develop skills in communication, articulation, and argumentation using online platforms and social media. In short, children have to become productive and effective Digital Citizens.

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media has a number resources and guides on Digital Citizenship and screen time for parents.

Just as food must be eaten regularly to take in the benefits, Digital Citizenship skills are developed through regular practice and experience on a screen. Screen time should not be seen as a deterrent to childhood. There is tangible social, emotional, and academic value with children spending time on devices both at home and at school similar to the nutritional value of high quality food.

 

Not all Screen Time is Equal

As we know, not all food is high quality. Some food is nutritious, meeting our every day needs. Other food is best suited for growth, recovery, and improved health. And there is junk food, which we all know and love because it appeals to our tastes and appetites, but lacks in dietary value. The key with children’s eating is heavy doses of nutritious food, enough health food to meet their needs, and appropriate amounts (and limits) of junk food. And of course, moderating our food intake and not eating to excess is equally as important.Screen Time Food Pyramid

The same holds true for screen time. There are valuable uses of screen time such as creative activities or collaborative work. Screen time can be used for skill development or information access to meet learning needs. And, as with eating, there is the junk food of games and videos. Like food, screen time in each of these areas should be varied. More time should be spent in creative practices than on video games, but all types of screen time have value.

Bronwyn Joy’s Blog, Journeys of the Fabulist, has a detailed explanation of these levels and further reading for parents where she equates screen time to the classic food pyramid.

Similar to food intake that should be moderated, screen time must be moderated for children. It is a parental responsibility to govern the amount of time children spend on their devices and what they are doing on them.

 

Parental Involvement with Screen Time

Rarely would a parent leave their children alone in fully stocked kitchen and tell them to feed themselves. Parents would worry about food choice, over eating, and cuts and burns. Yet, this is the approach parents often take with screen time. They allow their children to sit alone on their devices without supervision or limits.

Like a well-rounded diet, screen time requires parental guidance. Parents should establish guidelines for when devices are being used and how they are used. They should establish limits on the junk food and make sure children spend time doing creative activities, just like eating their vegetables.

However, this cannot be done at without active involvement. Studies have shown that healthy eating habits come when parents eat with their children. This teaches children food choice, pacing, and moderation as well as establishing parental presence in their dietary choices. The same is true for devices. Parents need to model good behavior with their own devices. They need to be involved in the children’s online activities by using the same apps and games. And they should interact with their children using their devices and social media accounts.

By showing presence in screen time activities, children will be less prone to the dangers of device use and will make better choices as they will feel their parents are supervising them at all times.

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Educational Technology Leadership Training for Site Level Leaders – GESS Indonesia 2018

Educational Leadership Training for Site Level Leaders

Educational Technology Leadership Training
for Site Level Leaders

Educational Leadership Training for Site Level Leaders

[PDF]Educational Leadership Training for Site Level Leaders – GESS Indonesia 2018

This presentations outlines the resources and approaches best suited towards creating a roadmap or strategic plan site level leaders in schools or districts in Educational Technology. It was present at the GESS Indonesia conference in Jakarta, Indonesia in September, 2018.

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