Online 9 Cohort Finishes Strong!

It was a busy 18 months but so proud of our Online 9 cohort participants who have completed COETAIL journey. Your learning and growth really shows through your Course 5 projects and through your blog posts for all five courses. I have to say it’s been a learning experience for me to be with you throughout the process. I’ve gained new perspectives and ideas through your experiences and reflections, expanded my own PLN, and have a whole new set of resources and examples to share with others. I know you all will continue your journeys in learning and growth and hope you might consider joining a future COETAIL 2 cohort or find some courses that meet your needs at Eduro Learning. No matter the direction you go from here, I encourage you to stay connected, continue to expand your PLN and find ways to build on what you’ve learned so far. I look forward to see where you go from here!


Made with Padlet

Finishing up Course 5

image by PIRO4D via Pixabay

A reminder that the due date of December 2 for your Course 5 Project is a hard deadline as it needs to be ready for other participants to provide Peer Feedback the week of December 3 – 9.

For Course 5 you need to complete the following…

Blog Post #1: Intro to Final Project
Blog Post #2: In Process (Your Choice for Topic)
Blog Post #3: Community Engagement
Course 5 Project video embedded in > Blog Post #4: Reflection on Course 5 Project by December 2
December 3- 9 Peer Feedback provided on your final presentation (see Week 2/Grading tab)
December 9 Course Ends!

Final Project Video

You should have already been planning for your project video and we’ve provided the expectations and lots of resources in the “Understanding the Course 5 Final Project” and  “Creating Your Video” sections of our COETAIL blog. Please refer to these sections  but important points to keep in mind….

*The video should be 10 minutes long. If you submit a video longer than 10 minutes you’ll be asked to re-edit and re-submit it. Remember you’ll be able to include additional information in your blog post about your final project. 

*Your video should address the following questions…

  1. What were your goals for your lesson/project (Standards)?
  2. What tools did you use? Why did you choose this/these tools for this/these task(s)?
  3. How did you go about introducing your lesson/project?
  4. How did the students react? Include actual samples of student reflection (video, images, etc).
  5. What was the outcome? Did you meet your goals?
  6. Evidence of learning? Remember to include student evidence like video, images, reflections.
  7. What would you do differently next time? What did you learn? (Reflection)
  8. How do/did you plan to share this with your colleagues?
  9. What was your greatest learning in this course?
  10. Did this implementation meet the definition of Redefinition?

Your video must demonstrate your understandings from Course 3, including:

  • Presentation Zen – if incorporating slides in your video, you must demonstrate effective design & avoid reading what is on the screen.
  • Creative Commons images and media, properly cited
  • Telling a story

Here are suggestions for what to include and what to do

  • Samples of work
  • Explain the level of transformation and how you demonstrate it
  • At the end “If you want to try this, here’s what I’d recommend, here’s what I learned”
  • Student feedback about the project & their experience
  • Explanation of tools used and why
  • What creative type of presentation style can you use? (Like the TAS example was modeled after Common Craft and mirrored the style of the students’ projects)
  • Instead of saying everything you think you did “ok”, focus on the things you did really well and explain why
  • Highlight successful differentiation strategies
  • Identify the target audience for the students

Please review “Sharing Your Final Project” for details on how to share your video and how you’ll give and receive feedback on Course 5 project videos. I’ll do more reminders about this next week.

Almost There!

As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns as you finish up your work for Course 5. I’m really looking forward to watching your videos and reading your posts and reflecting on the learning and growth that you’ve experienced in the last year and a half.

Community Engagement & Timeline for Course 5

image by rawpixel via Pixabay

Community Engagement

The pedagogical foundations and culture of COETAIL are all connected to community and it is natural that this is a focus for action and reflection in Course 5.

According to the Community Engagement rubric

Throughout this program we have asked you to be involved in the COETAIL community via blog posts, comments and group discussions. It is time for you to continue to build your own PLN in the spaces that interest you most, as well as contributing to the existing COETAIL community.

In course 5 we expect you to continue on your own to stay involved in the COETAIL community while building your own PLN in other spaces. Therefore, although you may choose to continue commenting on COETAIL blogs, you must also do more than that.

As I referred to in my previous post, this consists of…

  1. Communication: Find a social network/online space in which you can communicate and share in order to build a PLN.
  2. Consistency: Demonstrate a sustained level of engagement throughout Course 5
  3. Reflection: Culminating blog post describing and reflecting how you have created/developed your PLN/community (with evidence!)

For examples and ideas of how this might look for you see the rubric and Week 4: Commenting & Extending Your Reach. If you still need ideas, reach out to our Online 9 cohort to see what you might organize with others.

image by JESHOOTScom via Pixabay


As I also mentioned in my previous post, the time frame for Course 5 is different from the first four courses and the only set deadline is November 25th, when ALL elements of Course 5 are technically due. However, it’s obvious by the requirements that there are pieces that need to be done or in progress way before November 25th. So based on what needs to get done, I’ve created a recommended timeline.

September 10: Course Starts
September 30  Blog Post #1: Intro to Final Project
October 28 Blog Post #2: In Process (Your Choice for Topic)
November 11 Planning for Project video should be started by now
November 25
Course 5 Project video DUE and embedded in
Blog Post #3: Community Engagement DUE
Blog Post #4: Reflection on Course 5 Project DUE
November 26 -December 2 Peer Feedback provided on your final presentation (see Week 2/Grading tab)
December 2 Course Ends!

Throughout the course time frame, I will be checking in and am happy to schedule individual and group video chats. As always, feel free to contact me any time with questions, concerns and accomplishments!

Let Course 5 Begin!

image by MikesPhotos via Pixabay

You’re well rested from a fantastic summer break, rejuvenated by an awesome start to the new school year and ready to tackle a final project. The finish is within reach and I’m excited to be a part of this culminating project of your COETAIL experience.

Course Overview

Course 5 is different from the first four COETAIL courses in it’s time frame and expectations.

Time Frame

First, it is over a much longer period, September 10 – December 2. However, this time can go really fast! All work must be submitted for this course by November 25th. The last week (November 25th – December 2nd) of the course is for you to watch other cohort members’ videos and provide feedback. It’s very important for you to know that there is no room for any extensions beyond November 25th so please manage your time and commitment to your final course assignments carefully.

The 3 Components

Your grade for this course is based on your application of what you have learned in your own classroom or working environment, your blog posts, and your own reflection and involvement in the COETAIL community.

Blog Posts (25%) (total of 4)

You are not required to post to your blog every week as in the other courses. However, as many of you have found throughout the other courses, blogging can be a great way to record and reflect on your progress as your project develops. You are only required to log 4 posts, including one about your final project during this course. (see Week 3: Ideas for Blog Posts for more information. FYI – There are requirements for 3 of the 4 posts)

COETAIL Community Involvement (25%)

Throughout this program we have asked you to be involved in the COETAIL community via blog posts, comments and group discussions. It is time for you to continue to build your own PLN in the spaces that interest you most, as well as contributing to the existing COETAIL community.

  1. Communication: Find a social network/online space in which you can communicate and share in order to build a PLN
  2. Consistency: Demonstrate a sustained level of engagement throughout Course 5
  3. Reflection: Culminating blog post describing and reflecting how you have created/developed your PLN/community.

Implementation of Learning and Final Presentation (50%)

The most important part of Course 5 is to take your work and reflections from the previous four courses and put it into practice. You’ll be rebuilding or enhancing a unit with your new knowledge and experience relating to technology integration and innovation. (see Week 2: Final Project In Depth for more details)

Independent within a Supportive Community

You’ve got a lot of freedom in this course to work in a way that meets your needs and interests but with some specific expectations. However, you have a lot of support from our Online 9 Cohort and beyond.  Continue to use your PLN as you work through this course. Ask each other questions, use the #COETAIL hashtag on Twitter, jump into the Google+ community that’s over 500 members strong. You can always reach out to anyone in the COETAIL community for help. Of course, I’m always available (email, Skype, Google Hangout, Twitter, etc) and so are the Awesome Coetail Coaches.

Let’s Get Course 5 Going!

So here’s a recommended “To Do” list for this week…

  1. Mark November 25th on your calendar as the deadline to have all Course 5 work finished. (Set as many reminders as you need!)
  2. Review the requirements for Course 5 (Weeks 1, 2 and 3) and note any questions you have or clarifications you need.
  3. Review your Course 5 project proposal(s) from Course 4. What will you take forward? What might you change? (This will set you up for one of your required blog post topics and get your formulating your plan)

I’ll be checking in along the way and looking forward to seeing what develops over the next few months!

Course 4: Final Project

image by TeroVesalainen via Pixabay

Wow! It’s time to wrap up Course 4 and plan for Course 5 – although you’re going to get a well deserved break before we start Course 5 in September. You’ve got plenty to do so I’m going to keep this post short and to the point. Course 4 has been digging in deeper about the effective use of technology for teaching and learning and to get you thinking about what you might do for your Course 5 project (although you are not limited to a topic from Course 4!). As you put together your plan for Option 1 or some ideas you are considering for Option 2, please review the Course 4 Final Project expectations and rubric. Overall, make sure you’ve completed and linked in the following items in your grade sheet…

  • One blog post for each week of the course plus one blog post reflecting on your final project (6 posts)
  • A final project embedded into your last blog post for Course 4
  • One comment for each week of the course (for a total of 5 comments)
  • GET: Completed Trainer video & application (Note: If you have not completed these or any other components for the GET, please work on getting them done before we start Course 5 in September 2018)

All course work should be completed by April 29 and I will finish with assessment and feedback and notify you of your final grade by May 6.

I’ll email more about Course 5 later but for those who want to look ahead, you can look over the Course 5 Expectations.

Have a great week and I look forward to reading about all your ideas and plans for Course 5!

Week 5: What is a Technology Rich Classroom?

image by Wokandapix via Pixabay

ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How can we maximize the potential of technology devices in a classroom environment?

Another big question for educators these days! And as you see from this week’s readings having access to technology and devices involves a lot of considerations including management, usage and balance. And with lots of news, research and variety of perspectives about kids and technology, educators must be prepared to justify how they use technology to support and enhance teaching and learning. There are many resources to guide teachers about how to manage devices….here are a few…

Classroom Management Tips for the Technology Rich Classroom (Edutopia)

5 Classroom Management Tips for Technology Integration (Mind/Shift)

And it’s also important to consider not only the benefits when using technology, but also the challenges…

The Pros and Cons of Technology (Edudemic)
How Much Screen Time? That’s the Wrong Question (Edutopia)

There’s even debate on if technology is even making an impact in student learning….

5 Problems with Technology in the Classroom (Teach Thought)
School technology struggles to make an impact (BBC)

And how do we combine traditional (effective) teaching strategies with technology? Larry Cuban asks in Technology “Disrupting” Teaching,  “Have the new technologies used by schools and in classrooms altered the practice of teaching and learning? While Kerry Gallagher (in EdSurge) explains “Why Effective Digital Learning Shouldn’t Disrupt Traditional Teaching Techniques”

And do the devices we provide in schools make a difference? Kim Cofino leads an online discussion asking “Why are we building 1:1 programs with laptops when kids are using mobile devices?” (Laptop Learning Curve) (blog post and video OR listen to it as a podcast here)

Lots of things to consider as educators….but also consider this perspective from this student

Course 4 Progress Check
We are wrapping up Course 4 in the next few weeks and by April 22 you should have

  • 5 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 5 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.

Week 4: The Future (is Now?)

image by dtavres via Pixabay

Essential Question: What is the future of education?

What a question! This week’s topic led me back to one of my favorite posts I wrote when I was a COETAIL participant five years ago (“Tomorrowland”) where I felt like I really started to recognize and articulate the shift I had made in my mindset about education. (And I reflected on my own 10 year old self being skeptical about the technological changes that could happen in my lifetime….boy was I wrong!)

This topic also reminded me of this video and although it is almost six years old, I find myself watching it at least once a year and thinking about, in my opinion and based on my experience, what progress has been made, what potential we have, and what challenges remain in education.

Although some of our readings for this week could be considered ‘dated’, perhaps some of these ideas were ahead of their time. Maybe some ideas have developed more fully than others; found a place in education. What were considered ‘innovations’ in the past might now be common practice or their time was short lived. Here are some additional resources based on our topics from this week…

Check out Jeff Utecht’s Shifting Our Schools recent podcast: Episode 43: It’s All About the Badges.

“…a conversation with Doug Belshaw from the UK. Doug has made his way from the classroom to being involved in multiple different projects including the Open Badge Alliance. A great conversation about digital badges and the future of where they are going.”

Global Collaboration
There are lots of resources out there about global collaboration but if it seems a bit overwhelming, here are a few resources with the basics

7 Steps to Starting a Global Collaboration Project (ISTE)
ISTE Global Collaboration Network
Collaborative Learning Spaces: Classrooms That Connect to the World (Edutopia)

A Recent Development: The Emergence of AR and VR in Education
And something that’s been gaining attention in education in the last few years…AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality)…and its potential impact on teaching and learning.

Virtual Reality: The Next Generation Of Education, Learning and Training (Forbes)
10 Reasons To Use Virtual Reality In The Classroom
Real Uses of Virtual Reality in Education: How Schools are Using VR

Course 4 Check for Week 4
By April 15 you should have

  • 4 blog post completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
  • 4 comments completed and listed on your grading spreadsheet
    • You are welcome to comment outside the cohort, but please continue to read and comment within it as well.

If you are working toward GET certification, make sure you are working towards or have already completed the Level 2 Google Certified Educator exam, as well as the Trainer Exam. (More details about the COETAIL/GET Requirements here.)


The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities.” – Stephen Hawking

“The challenge of the unknown future is so much more exciting than the stories of the accomplished past.” – Simon Sinek

Week 3: The Present

image by Skitterphoto via Pixabay

This week we are exploring emerging innovations (or re-invigoration) of the learning frameworks reverse (aka flipped) instruction, game-based learning and play based learning. As with all ‘buzzword’ initiatives in education, we must take some time and investigate what these types of learning frameworks entail and how they are applied appropriately and effectively. I’ve seen many examples of them used in very innovative ways that engage and motivate learners, I’ve also seen them applied in simplistic, superficial ways that, in some cases, created even more work for the teachers and the students and/or the focus on learning was lost or diluted. I think of the SAMR model when considering these (and any) frameworks. Is this type of instruction just a substitution or augmentation of a traditional, teacher-centered method? Or is the learning experience being modified or redefined for the benefit of the student? Has it taken on a life of its own through a variety of interpretations and re-iterations? Is the variation innovative or burdensome for students? Whichever learning framework you choose to explore, please consider how it is defined and how it can applied to enhance learning for our students.

Here are a few videos and additional resources you might consider in your exploration…

Reverse (flipped) instruction

Jon Bergmann’s site  (pioneer of Flipped Learning)
10 Pros and Cons for a Flipped Classroom

Simplifying Flipped Learning (Jon Bergmann)

Game-Based Learning and Gamification

The Difference Between Gamification And Game-Based Learning
Gamification, Game-based Learning, Serious Games: Any Difference? 




Play-Based Learning (not just for the little ones!)

Play in education: the role and importance of creative learning
Institute of Play
Playtime Isn’t Just for Preschoolers—Teenagers Need It, Too


Week 2: The Past (aka Back to the Future)

image by geralt via Pixabay

Course 4 Final Project

I know we’ve just started Course 4, but it’s never too early to review the Course 4 Final Project information. The main focus of this final project is to start making some decisions about the topic for your Course 5 project which will be done in the fall (September – December 2018). You may already know what you want to do or still need some inspiration. Either way, your final project for Course 4 will be your opportunity to share your ideas.

“X”-Based Learning

The Essential Questions for this week…
Does project-based, problem-based and/or challenge-based learning have a place in your classroom? What hurdles do you need to overcome to make it work in your school/classroom?

First of all, we have to sort out what these types of learning frameworks are. How are they related? How are they different? In terms of educational buzzwords, these (among other learning frameworks) can be easily be used interchangeably and applied misleadingly.

Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning vs. X-BL (Edutopia)

What’s the Difference Between Project- and Challenge-Based Learning, Anyway? (EdSurge)

And why would we focus on these in a unit called “The Past”? Aren’t these frameworks for learning the big buzzwords in education these days? Well, there have been educators advocating for these types of learning frameworks for YEARS! One educator referred to in this week’s readings is Seymour Papert whose theory of constructionism was influenced by Jean Piaget (a standard for all education students for his work in child development).

Lego Honors Seymour Pappert


In turn, Mitch Resnick of the MIT Media Lab (think Scratch coding and LEGO Mindstorms) talks about the influence Seymour Papert has had on his work, including his recent book Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play. This companion site includes a long list of influence for the book including many educators and innovators from the past and present.

(For an overview of the book, see the article “A Case for Lifelong Kindergarten” from Mind/Shift)

Kindergarten For Our Whole Lives | Mitchel Resnick (TEDx Talks)

So why the big buzz around these not-so-new ideas about learning? I think you have to consider about the influence of the growing abundance of digital devices and resources and how they are impacting the world our students are experiencing and the potential for these digital tools to support and enhance these types of learning frameworks.  

The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.     –Seymour Papert

Course 4 Begins: What is Technology Integration?

image by Wokandapix via Pixabay

Course 4 Technology: A Catalyst for Learning

Is it Course 4 already?! As you read the description of this course you’ll notice it covers a variety of topics related to technology integration in teaching and learning which will help you start developing ideas for your Course 5 Project (Fall 2018).

Course description
Research based best practice for the embedded use of technology for learning will be shared and practiced. The focus will be on the habits that provide students with the ability to use technology for its greatest learning advantage. The best use of laptop computers, tablets, etc will be addressed as embedded tools to foster optimum learning of the curriculum. The optimal use of communication tools such as podcasts, blogs, social-networks, Google Docs, and videos will be addressed with tips for management and strategies to promote maximum learning in classroom.

But we must start with the Essential Questions in Week 1: What is technology integration and does it work? What is your definition?

It can seem like a simple question, but from my experience with COETAIL and as an eLearning/Ed Tech/Innovation/ICT coach over the past 6 years, there are a variety of perspectives on what ‘tech interaction’ is, who should integrate tech, when it should be integrated and how, and how we measure its effectiveness in teaching and learning. Many frameworks have been developed over the years regarding the integration of technology including SAMR, TPACK, TIM and more recently T3 Framework (which I first learned of from Sara’s Course 1 blog post here).

Which framework should we use? That is something for you to explore this week! I look forward to reading about your perspectives on ‘tech integration’ and what tools or frameworks you use for some self-assessment.

I’ll leave with a few additional resources you might like to explore…

Really? It’s My Job to Teach Technology? (Jeff Utecht)
Making It Work: Structuring Technology-Rich Learning (Kim Cofino)
Administrative Walk-Throughs in a Tech Rich Classroom (podcast episode with Jeff Utecht on Shifting Our Schools)
The Laptop Learning Curve  (podcast episode with Kim Cofino on Shifting Our Schools)
And because the title caught my attention (but content is very relevant!)… Peering Past the Pixie Dust of Technology (Jill Hobson)