Digital Portfolio

In an effort to communicate ways in which technology can be integrated into the classroom and share what I’ve learned in my masters program at Johns Hopkins, I give you my Digital Portfolio 🙂 This portfolio address the ISTE Standards for Teachers.  The artifacts are evidence of how that standard was or can be met.  Hopefully it provides other educators with ideas for how they can meet these standards in their own classroom. By no means are these artifacts the ONLY way these standards can be met, but feel free to adapt and improve the ideas I’ve provided and make them your own!

Digital Portfolio

Elon & Infographics

Elon Musk is a business magnate, engineer and inventor. He is the founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors.  His daring dream of rocket recycling and reusability is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. On July 28th, 2016, SpaceX engineers  successfully conducted a full duration engine test firing of a 156-foot-tall rocket. Click here to read the full article on SpaceX.

Elon Musk is an absolute inspiration. I am fascinated with him and the way in which he approaches the world. He does things that others say he cannot. He challenges the status quo and finds solutions to problems that no one else even contemplates tackling. My “Elon Admiration” only intensified when my school leader (principal), Casey, introduced our back to school professional development with discussing Elon Musk and SpaceX. Follow up Reading: Current News on Tesla.

I think the infographic below accurately depicts Elon Musk’s life, but also marries the goal and purpose of my blog which is to incorporate technology effectively. An infographic is a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data. Infographics are everywhere these days because our brain craves these visuals.  Merging words with graphics helps imprint the information on our brain. Students can create their own infographics too using sites like Infogr.amPiktochart, or Venngage






Cool Tool in Education


“There’s an app for that.” Thanks to Apple, this phrase is a commonality today.  These powerful, handy, ultraportable personal-sized computers have rapidly found their way into nearly every facet of daily life.  Answers are literally at the tip of our fingertips in mere seconds and it appears that Vanilla Ice’s wise words of, “If you got a problem, yo I’ll solve it” has become a reality thanks to technology improving exponentially. In fact, the number of available apps is so extensive that you can find an app to help you with just about anything at all.  It seems as if everyone from your five-year-old cousin to your 90-year-old grandma has an iPhone and if you don’t have some sort of smartphone at all, then you’re completely out of the loop, off the grid, and so ancient you might as well go back to Bedrock.

More than 1.75 billion people in 2014 used a smartphone and that number is only on the rise.  If that many people, worldwide, are using smartphones, then why aren’t we teaching with smartphones and tablets in all classrooms? Many schools are, but my school is not.  How are we supposed to get our students “college and career ready” if we are not preparing them to use the tools they will use on a daily basis in college and in their career?  We’ve implemented the common core, with rigorous question sets, and are beginning to take the PARCC assessment, but my classroom of 30 low income students, still sit through class without iPads to learn on. Yes, I know, they are expensive, but they ARE what the students need in order to be ready for their future.   My students come from families that don’t have Internet access in their homes nor do they even have computers.  So when they go to take the PARCC test on the computer this year, they are at an extreme disadvantage.  They barely know how to type on the computer and even though they have been exposed to the computer in school, a few hours a week is not enough.

How many successful companies still manage payroll or keep paper files versus electronically?  Very few, if any.  Paper and pencil are still necessary, but they are not the epicenter of learning.  Teachers are being trained and educated on how to educate in the digital era, but we are not being provided with the platforms and tools needed to apply this knowledge!  It perplexes me.  Therefore, it is evident that each student in my class needs an iPad, laptop, Chromebook, or tablet to learn on everyday.  With these “cool tools” we will be able to access thousands of apps, many even for free.   Engaging the students will be a thing of the past.  Creating meaningful learning to help them become college and career ready won’t even be discussed.  Being able to use a computer or tablet effectively to create, share, explore, research, publish, and connect WILL give them the skills they need for the future as a 21st century learner!

Still not convinced that a full class set of tablets or laptops is what my class needs?  Then let’s talk resources.  According to Ben Johnson and his article, “Paper and Pencil Curriculum: How Much do you Rely on it?” we know some ballpark numbers, on average, for how much schools spend on paper.  “Let’s say that in a school of 100 teachers, each teacher gets a 50-ream allotment. Each ream holds 500 sheets, so per teacher, that would be 25,000 pieces of paper. In a class of 30 students that is 833 pieces of paper per student per year. This would mean at a school of 100 teachers, that school would use 250,000 piece of paper annually. With that, a school like this would spend approximately $7,500 per year on printing on this paper and paper itself costs $25,000, not to mention costs of copy toner and service agreements. So, I’m thinking that every school could use an extra $30,000 to $50,000.” (Johnson, B. (2011, February 23).  With the use of tablets in the classroom, books could be digital as well.  Not only would this save paper, but it would save space! Closets are filled with textbooks, shelves are stacked, and space is limited.

So what do you say? Let’s bring education to life!  Interactive technology makes learning more engaging and memorable.  Say goodbye to homework getting lost is a sea of papers and students missing assignments.  Let’s say hello to collaboration.  Hello to equal opportunities for all children, whether they have a computer at home or not.  Let’s get connected.  Let’s revolutionize the way we teach.  Embrace technology, educate for the future, think outside the box, innovate, investigate, and research; do it all on a laptop or tablet.

“The global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014. eMarketer expects smartphone adoption to continue on a fast-paced trajectory through 2017,”


Johnson, B. (2011, February 23). Paper and Pencil Curriculum: How Much Do You Rely on It? Retrieved February 11, 2015, from


The New ISTE Standards for Students (2016)

ISTE Standards for Students, 2016 – click here to download the new standards.

The ISTE conference was held in Denver from June 26th to the 29th to refresh the standards for students.  714 people from 52 countries (including 295 students) participated in the effort to refresh the ISTE Standards.  The voices of those nearly 300 students are perhaps the most innovative part of the 2016 student standards. After all, when empowering students emerged as a core theme in the refresh, ISTE knew that it could not release the 2016 standards without getting students’ input! Many people thought the standards from 2007 were still relevant, however, ISTE saw a need for the standards to reflect not only the current state of education, but also and its future.

Here’s why these standards are more appropriate: 

  1. Empowered students are prepared for the future.
  2. Human life is no longer solely digital or physical – it’s a hybrid.
  3. It’s about the teaching, not the tools.
  4. Being a global citizen is no longer optional.
  5. Students care about their lives and learning, and the role of technology within both.


Why High Techspectations?

This is the post excerpt.

Elon Musk. Thomas Edison. Steve Jobs. Alexander Graham Bell. Mark Zuckerberg. Albert Einstein. The Wright Brothers. Bill Gates. Marie Curie

What do all these people have in common? According to writer for the New Yorker andbestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell, innovators, pioneers, and trailblazers are all “obsessive characters.” They fixate on questions or issues and incessantly work to solve it. He says, “They take something that had been a feature of a closed, marginalized community and they make it accessible to everyone else.”innovation

Innovation is the process of creating something new that makes life better. Innovation is impossible without passion. Innovators see the world differently.

As educators, we are all innovators. Being innovative in our planning, implementation and reflection must become “part of the job” no matter what. Technology is redefining every aspect of the world today. Acording to EdTech magazine, “The technologies of tomorrow are already being tested in classrooms today, laying the seeds for the future of how students could learn.” Read the full article here.

Follow up ReadingClick here to read the Big Think article on leaders and innovators taking risks, the fear of failure, and “disruptive innovation.”

*This blog serves as a place for me to share information, articles, apps, websites, activities, suggestions, questions, photos, and basically anything related to the education world and technology in the classroom.