Michael Gorman | Southwest Allen County Schools

Name: Michael Gorman (21st Century Tech Blog, @mjgormans)
Organization: Southwest Allen County Schools
Current title: Professional Development Director of 1 to 1 and Digital Learning
Selected accolades: Indiana Teacher of the Year 2010 Semi-Finalist, Southwest Allen County Schools 2010 Teacher of the Year,  Indiana US Air Force  2011 STEM Educator of the Year, Allen County 2011 Excellence In Education Award, Discovery DENny Award 2011


Education is a fantastic place to be! The world of education is being transformed before our eyes, and as educators, we get to take an active role. We will see many changes as classrooms become more student-centered and learning takes on a more active form. Classroom walls will dissolve and the real world will become new place to learn, promoting a new relevance. Through this exciting yet disruptive transformation, the educator will become even more important, providing the essential human element that is so important to the education of a child.


What skill(s) do you feel are most important for today’s students to explore in academic settings (tech or non-tech related)?

Empathy. Technology is one of many tools (though especially important today). But technology cannot replace the human element of teaching.


For a teacher looking to use technology to connect with students, enhance learning or embrace 21st century skills, where do you suggest one begin?

I travel across the country and continually post about ways to infuse 21st century skills and technology into the curriculum. I remind teachers that it is important to look at successful prior lessons and infuse these past successes with technology and 21st century skills.

I often refer to this in my Jukebox to iPod presentation. When looking at this transformation it is obvious that technology made a great idea even better. Teachers must realize that they have a vault of awesome activities that have proven to be successful with students. Many times these perennial gems can be reinvented, mixed, and transformed to bring about a new 21st century lesson that will be even more engaging and applicable to today’s digital learner.

The more I work with teachers, the more I see a need to build a concrete method for updating past lessons. Take a look at Ten Steps to Transforming Past Lessons for 21st Century Learners for more information.


What was your path to your current position?

I actually started in the area of environmental and outdoor education. It seems so similar to today’s technology emphasis on integrating all of the disciplines. Then it was the environment that did the connection… now it is the technology. After environmental education came a start with elementary school…moving to the middle school the last “over 30 years”.

After doing some post grad work at Johns Hopkins I saw a new vision of working with educators. I now facilitate our school district 1-to-1 program and provide professional development on transitioning to a digital learning environment. With this, I have a flexible job that allows me to travel the country consulting in PBL work for BIE (BUCK Institute), digital media for Discovery Education, and digital literacy for Alan November. I am currently also consulting on new educational game and providing some advice to Tech & Learning Magazine and PBS.


Do you have a single lesson plan, curriculum strand, or project that you feel exemplifies effective technology integration – one that you are willing to share with others?

In a recent post entitled, “Engaging Classroom Lessons With Simple One Take Video… Flip Your Classroom…Address Common Core…Incorporate PBL,” I explain how teachers and their students can make a one shot video with no editing, and just one camera. Since it is based on written literacy and 21st century standards it can bring the Common Core into any curricular area.

I created this project to demonstrate that a teacher can facilitate student production of a powerful movie… yet easy to implement. It can be done by somebody with little technology background… yet it can foster growth in student 21st century skill development and the core curriculum.

Kern Kelley | R.S.U. #19

Name: Kern Kelley (Website, blog, @kernkelley)
Organization: R.S.U. #19
Current title: Technology Integrator


It’s become more important than ever for students to be encouraged to explore educational opportunities for themselves. In traditional education, much of the time was spent waiting for the teacher or other students, but technology promises the ability for students to go as far and as fast as they can.

When students teach others they learn a topic more thoroughly than if they received knowledge in a passive state. It’s important that students see teachers actively learning and going through that process ourselves.  I loving bringing students to conferences and exposing them to our learning process.


What is the best part of your job?

Working with the kids, hands down. It always surprises me that it seems like the more accolades and money that an educator earns, the further they seem to be from daily interaction with students.


What was your path to your current position?

I began as a fifth grade teacher and loved it. I integrated technology in almost everything we did as a class and was asked to do the same for the rest of the district. I was hesitant initially because of what I mentioned above, but at every step I have been able to incorporate working directly with students into whatever I do, whether it’s providing professional development for teachers or even going to conferences.

What skill(s) do you feel are most important for today’s students to explore in academic settings (tech or non-tech related)?

Tech should never be the ends in itself, but rather built into some greater educational purpose. The tech skills that students develop should always have a greater purpose. For example (more…)

John Long | School District of Palm Beach County

Name: John Long (iPad pilot project | eMobilize project | Tech Ambassador Program)
Organization: School District of Palm Beach County
Current title: Technology Program Specialist
Selected accolades: 2003 Apple Distinguished Educator, 2008 Finalist Tech & Learning Leader of the Year, 2007 EMA Outstanding Service to Media Award, Dwyer Award nominee



Is there a clear message that you’d like to communicate with readers?

Just because a teacher can use technology does not mean they know how to teach with it. Just because a student can use technology does not mean they know how to learn with it.

Some people focus on student achievement. I focus on teacher and student learning, because when they learn they achieve.

The best method of professional development is through the role of coaching and modeling. Spending time listening, developing, and modeling. Teachers then can see the vision of how technology can impact students. The students then learn that technology is a great tool for learning.


Technology Connects / Technology Divides

An Inquiry Lesson for 7th – 12th Grades

By Ethan Delavan


Students will apply meta-cognition to conduct an inquiry into the effects of technology as a unifying or divisive force in their relationships with others, while critiquing source information and supporting a call to action with visual displays.

Inquiry Question:

Does the technology we’ve created bring us together as a society, or does it push us apart?


Internet research access and digital presentation tools.


Create a digital presentation for your students which demonstrates either that technology pulls us together as a global community or that it tears us apart. Your presentation should model how they might present their own findings. It should be visually engaging, relevant to the age group you are trying to reach and controversial.

For example, you might highlight conclusions from the Kaiser Family Foundation about youth media consumption. Their research found an inverse proportion between hours of media consumption and personal contentedness. Or you might document the work of William Kamkwamba, a rural African youth who used any media he could find to create a hand-­‐built, wind-­‐powered electric generator for his village. (See Resources.) (more…)

Google Earth: search & rescue

Grade level: Grades 6-­8

by Thomas Petra


  • Plan and simulate a search and rescue operation
  • Choose and map a SAR search pattern
  • Compute time travelled using a rate
  • Justify problem solving decisions
  • Determine success of the SAR operation



Students work in groups as emergency responders on a search and rescue mission at sea. After identifying pertinent variables of the situation they become acquainted with U.S. Coast Guard search patterns and procedures. They are given a helicopter and cutter to perform the search but need to take into account each vehicle’s limits. Once the groups have gathered the necessary information they need to decide how to conduct their search using the equipment and data available to them. Google Docs is a great resource to guide and record this exchange.

The SAR patterns are mapped in Google Earth. One path marks the cutter’s search pattern and another for the helicopter. The search vehicles’ speed needs to be used to calculate each turn in the pattern. This is marked in Google Earth with placemarks denoting the time. (more…)

Steven Anderson | Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Name: Steven Anderson (@web20classroom | EdTech blog)
Organization: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
Current title: District Instructional Technologist
Selected accolades: NOW Award Winner, Winner of the 2009 Edublogs Educational Twitterer of the Year, #140Conf Character, ASCD 2011 Conference Scholar (more…)