Category Archives: Education

Take Flight: Your First Interview

Earlier today, I chanced upon an email from someone going for their first interview:

I’ve been called for an interview for the instructional technology position. They didn’t ask me to create a presentation or anything in particular. They did say I could bring whatever I would like to share. What are things you have taken to an interview for an educational/instructional technology position?

Having been interviewed many times myself, as well as interviewed candidates for instructional technologists, I took a stab at sharing my suggestions.

See more awesome pics of ants


When interviewing candidates, one question sometimes comes up AFTER the interview of a promising candidate. The question is, “How come they didn’t show us, tell us all the great things they are doing?” When people sit in the hot seat, they forget they aren’t there to just answer questions then be quiet. They’re there to respond as a human being, bringing their full range of intellectual, and spiritual, prowess to bear.

When you walk out of the interview, make sure you’ve found a way to assist the interviewers in understanding how your experiences/skills/aptitudes aligned to the organization’s needs. Leave it all on the table. Don’t just answer the question, answer the question behind the question. The question is just the beginning…flesh out your response. Begin with your experiences, share how it is relevant to the new position, and always respond as if you were in that position already. 

Own it.

Remember, no matter what happens, you can use this as a way to learn more about how to better represent how your skills and experience align to this type of position.

Align Your Abilities to Their Organizational Needs

Take a copy of the job announcement, then turn it into a two-column document (a table). On the left side, but the job announcement description. On the right side, put your relevant experiences, skills and/or knowledge.
Given this is an instructional tech position, make sure you have examples that provide insight into your instructional design. Also, be sure that your professional learning network (PLN) is fresh on your mind. Whether you get hired or not, you’ll learn where you need to grow, how to share.

Showcase Your Work in a Virtual Space

To your question, I like to create a website to showcase my experiences and goals. Rather than a fixed presentation, create a website (new Google Sites is awesome for this, as is OneNote) that showcases how you solved problems, developed solutions. Some of my attempts appear below. While there are many awesome examples out there, make the one that best captures YOU.

Some Terrible Examples

A Handful of Tips

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind that will save you some trouble later:

  • Walk in having already submitted as many letters of recommendation as you can, including ones from your past supervisors. Get those letters every year so you have a handy supply when you need them. I like to put them all in a PDF, as well capture excerpts to feature in an attachment to my resume. Think of it as a “Cliff Notes” for nice stuff others have written about you.
  • Have 3 top insights that you’ve learned from your Professional Learning Network (PLN). Often, folks are asked how they keep current and they stutter. While conferences and magazines are OK, they aren’t where it’s at anymore. Get connected, stay connected and be active online so that the world knows who you are. You’ll find that if the world knows your name, you have increased confidence in sharing with a potential employer.
  • Keep 4-5 tools/apps in your back pocket that you can list off the top of your head. Also, make sure that you know HOW you would introduce those to others during professional learning, as well as how they might be used in the classroom to enhance teaching, learning and/or leading.
  • Be prepared to chat about how you handle unruly folks in workshops, highlight how you connect and collaborate, deal with the unexpected.
  • Add a lesson plan or instructional design item to your virtual space
  • Use a URL shortener that isn’t gobbledygook and tough to spell. I recommend and/or to get one that makes sense ( is easy to remember and share). Still, be sure that you have an easy to way to access the long URL because sometimes these URL shorteners are blocked in school districts.

 One final point: It’s often important to have a closing question, a question that captures the dynamic in the room and reveals your insight. One easy question I like to use is shown below:

What is the process for handling conflict in this organization?

No matter the response, you’ll get an earful of insights from how people look at each other, who they look at, and what is said. Don’t be afraid if the question gets turned back on you, though. Simply share your perspective in a positive way that reflects your willingness and skills at working as part of a team.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

The Road to E2 #road2e2

Update: Be sure to check Periscope info at the bottom of this post for live video, as well as a link to the Photo Album featuring the E2 Conference.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been pinching myself. I can’t quite wrap my head around a simple fact. During the month of March, I’ll be joining awesome educators in Singapore. Hang on, let me look back over that sentence and see what I just wrote.
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to present at a conference at the Downtown Campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio. One of the incredible takeaways was that teachers in Singapore were already learning about the ISTE NETS for teachers, readying themselves for teaching life in America. It blew my mind that educators so far away were preparing to teach in America.


Soon,  I’ll be joining the team of Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE) at the fabled E2 Conference in (here it comes again), Singapore. I’m deeply honored to be among those chosen (about 300 or so educators from all over). 
Check out the rest of the folks going:

Over the last year, I’ve served with John Bimmerle as a Microsoft Innovative Education (MIE) Fellow. For me, the work has been about responding to the questions and needs of others, working to build an online community where Texas MIE folks can connect. Are you using Microsoft tools? Join the TCEA MIE Facebook group and connect.

As I reflect on the journey that has brought me to this point, I can’t help but be grateful for any work that empowers me to connect and assist others on such a grand scale.


“How many service centers are there in Texas?” my Dad asked me once. I explained to him that there were 20 across Texas. He was impressed. “So, you are one of 20 to 40 people around Texas who help teachers use computers in their classrooms?” I replied in the affirmative. Now, I can imagine his pride if I told him, there’s only one in the world, and that I’m headed to Singapore with their support. He would be overjoyed and excited for me. It is a feeling I often have when I reflect on my own children going places and doing things beyond my understanding.

When I reflect on the path to this point, I can’t help but express how grateful I am to fellow educators who have assisted me. I know I’m grateful to TCEA’s leadership team (you know who you are), my teammates, to Microsoft partners like Maria, Robyn, Jennifer, and Ginelle. It seems so easy to say I’m grateful. The words are insufficient to express my sense of appreciation.

What Am I Looking Forward To the Most?

While the appeal of traveling 22+ hours in a plane is excitement enough (wait, you probably don’t know I stocked up on Audible books and ebooks so I will be doing one of the things I love best–reading), what really has me jazzed is learning about MakeCode and Minecraft: Education Edition.

What are you taking with you on the plane trip? For those of you that are curious, I have no doubt that thousands of zombies are going to die on my journey to Singapore in The Mountain Man series. If that gets boring, I may switch to Battle Mage. Or, perhaps, B.V. Larson‘s Steel World and Dust World books.

I wish I hadn’t rushed through Terry Mancour’s awesome Spellmonger series (it’s truly hilarious and awesome). Ok, I also wished that I was listening to Jonathan Moeller‘s stuff, but I read/listen to it when it comes out. I have too many ebooks to mention loaded up on Amazon or side-loaded into my phone. In fact, you’d think the only reason I was traveling to Singapore was to listen to all the great books (ok, you caught me!).

Like any other adult learner, I want to learn about something that’s relevant to my work. In a few months, I’ll be guiding other educators through Minecraft: Education Edition, and knowing how to do the coding will be immensely helpful. Of course, I had planned to learn it on my own, but now, I will have the chance to learn it from Stephen Reid (founder of Immersive Minds), whom I mention in many of my MEE sessions. I’ll also get a chance to meet folks like Mark Grundel.

Keep in Touch via Periscope and Photos Album

If you’re wondering what I’m doing in Singapore, please stay tuned to my Twitter account! I’ll be sharing links, audio interviews and more via Periscope.

Here’s the channel:

Or just go to and search on #tceamge2

Looking for Photos? Check out this Photo Album!

Finally, if you’re looking for resources, allow me to share some:

View this page online at or go direct

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Be Android Safe on the Web

Wondering how to secure Android phone communications? You’ll want to read this blog entry!

Be sure to visit the TCEA TechNotes blog to read this entry.

“Did you know 15.2M text messages are sent every minute?” I asked my wife at evening meal. “That’s almost as many emails as our dear daughter sent the weekend after she got a smartphone!” As we laughed to ourselves, the niggling question of who sees those communications tugged at me. How easy is it to hack SMS/text messages? I often worry someone will grab my smartphone and send text messages/emails that are inappropriate. In a previous blog entry, Safeguard Your Android, I shared how to rely on a virtual private network (VPN) to protect communications. Increasingly, you must secure your communications (e.g. email, text messages, voice calls, where you go online). In this blog entry, we will explore how to better achieve security.

Did You Know?At the bottom of this blog entry, you’ll find a nifty infographic showing what sorts of data 3.7M people put online every minute. 103M spam emails are sent every minute. 527K photos are shared via Snapchat.

Why Do I need to Secure My Communications?

“If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear,” goes the saying. That isn’t exactly true. Consider this scenario:

You send an accidental text or email, announcing that you will be at the beach this weekend. Perhaps you go to the beach, and post pictures on social media. When you return to your home, you realize you’ve been robbed.

Tracking your movements need not result in theft. Instead, you may be the target of advertising.

There are numerous ways you can be tracked on the internet. Whenever you browse the net, you are being tracked by the use of browser cookies.
Cookies are the reason why, after you check out a new iPhone case on Amazon, you are repeatedly hit with website ads for phone cases wherever you go. Ad networks save cookies to your computer’s hard drive and then display ads based on the items you have browsed in online stores or searched for on Google. (Source: Pixel Privacy)
Whether you wish to or not, securing your communications is critical to digital citizenship. More importantly, protecting your sensitive data (and that of your students) can prevent problems before they arise.

Tip #1 – Two-Factor Authentication

secureWhen I first began using two-factor authentication, it was a pain. I just couldn’t pick up my phone, login to Facebook or Gmail on my computer. Instead, I had to start up my Authentication app. Now, two years later, I am grateful for the added security. About six months ago, someone tried to break into my Gmail account. Without two-factor authentication, I fear I would have been hacked. If you use Google Suites, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, you may find it worthwhile to protect yourself with the Google Authenticator app.

Did You Know?You can use a site like Have I Been Pwnd? to find out if a login (your email address) has been hacked. You can also double-check to see if a password you use is up a brute force attack with the How Secure is Your Password? website.

You may also want to take an extra step. What if your phone is stolen or lost? If someone is able to make it pass your fingerprint authentication, they can use the Authenticator app to login to your various services. On Android, it’s possible to assign a pass code to apps you choose. Even if someone has your phone unlocked in their hand, they will have to work hard to get past your pass code for individual apps. People often ask to look at my Android phone. Before, I was a little nervous about letting them look at it. Now, I can hand it over and know people will be unable to get into sensitive apps by accident. You can use BitDefender Mobile’s App Lock to assign a pass code to each app (shown above). Apps:

Tip #2 – Minimize Your Internet Tracks

Everything we do online is tracked. Forget that at your peril. While it’s one thing to have the government looking over your shoulder (not really), a more immediate threat includes hackers and vendors trying to seize your information. Use a virtual private network (VPN), and one of the browsers below to achieve some measure of anonymity (it may foil online retailers and hackers but not necessarily the FBI): Apps:

  • Firefox Focus: This app works well to block cookies and advertisements. You aren’t anonymous while using it, but it works great to block ads and keep your mobile browser light. Use it with a VPN.
  • Duck Duck Go: This search app doesn’t track your searches on the web. Use it with a VPN.
  • Orbot: This app has a built in The Onion Router (TOR) browser, and will work to keep your internet travels anonymous as possible. Use it with a VPN to achieve higher level of protection.

Tip #3 – Protect Your Text Messages

“What’s the username and password to Netflix?” asked my daughter a few weeks ago. Since my text messages enjoy end to end encryption, I have no problem sharing confidential, sensitive information via text message. However, I would never dream of doing this using the standard SMS/Text message app on any device. Instead, take advantage of one of the apps below. The best one right now is Signal. On Android, you can use Signal for both encrypted and unsecured text messaging. Your friends who use Signal will connect securely with you, while others who are not using it will not. No matter what tool you use for text encryption, consider using the Secure Space Encryptor (SSE) app or website to encrypt text messages (and email). This will protect your messages with AES-256 level of encryption. Apps:

  1. End to end text and audio encryption with Signal, WhatsApp, or Voxer
  2. Encrypt your text messages using SSE or web encryption

Tip #4 – Guard Your Email

“With over 200 billion emails sent and received by almost 3 billion people throughout the world each day, accessible anywhere at any time by almost anyone, email inboxes present a big target,” says JJ Rosen. You should be encrypting your email whenever possible, whether you are on your computer or your Android device. You don’t have to be a professional cryptographer to use tools like SecureGmail (Watch video), Virtru Email Encryption (Watch video) or the Paranoia Text Encryptor website. Another approach you can take is to rely on a tool like ProtonMail (based in Switzerland) or Tutanota (based in Germany). Both offer secure apps that allow you to send encrypted emails to others. For example, Protonmail comes with a pass code login. This protects strangers from accessing your email app. When composing an email, you can set a password to encrypt messages for non-ProtonMail users. You can then share the encryption password with the email recipient through a phone call or text message (not email though). When they receive the email, they use the password to decrypt your email message. What a relief to know your confidential emails are encrypted while sitting in a friend’s inbox. Another neat feature is you can set message expiration to a number of hours or days. That’s pretty amazing! Apps:


Some may see these efforts to secure communications as so much cloak-n-dagger games for grownups. Let’s not forget that identity theft costs $16 billion dollars affecting 15.4 million people. I urge you to take every precaution possible. Only after taking proper precautions will you truly have nothing to fear. Once you have done all you can, you have nothing to fear.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Tips to Protect Your Android Phone

Wondering how to safeguard your Android phone? You’ll want to read this blog entry!

Be sure to visit the TCEA TechNotes blog to read this entry.

Did this holiday season leave you with an Android device in your hands? If so, you’re not the only one. “Between them, Android and iOS accounted for 99.6 percent of all smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016,” says James Vincent (Gartner as cited in The Verge). “Of the 432 million smartphones sold in the last quarter [2016], 352 million ran Android (81.7 percent) and 77 million ran iOS (17.9 percent).”According to Google, as cited by MacRumors, over two billion Android devices are in use around the world. Unfortunately, more Android devices means more opportunities for malware and hacking. Join me as we explore some of the apps that can protect you from malware, hackers, and intrusion. Don’t be afraid to pass these tips to your children/students as they begin to explore the wild, wild world of Android. After all, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD/BYOT) initiatives are ever-increasing in schools.

Note: One handy app that I used to get a list of all the apps on my Android phone is List My Apps. This app makes it simple to get your Android app list emailed to you with links.

#1- Anti-Malware Tool

While there are many anti-malware tools in the Google Play store, not all are safe. For example, some anti-malware tools may masquerade as helpful tools to capture your sensitive data. With an Android device, just like the Windows operating system, you may put yourself at risk without anti-malware tools. Tom’s Guide provides a list of tools. My favorite one, though, is BitDefender Mobile Security for $15 a year. The app offers a host of features, making sure you don’t let malware install itself or hitch a ride on existing apps. You can lock individual apps to prevent others from opening them; useful if you lose your phone while it is unlocked. This is quite important, especially if you decide to take foolish advantage of third party apps (e.g. GetJar) not approved in the Google Play store.

Did You Know?If you lose your phone, you can use Android’s Find My Device feature to locate it via GPS or remotely wipe the information on it. Wow! To turn that on, go to your phone’s Settings, then Google then Security. If you have not done so already, make sure to get the Find My Device app. Setup is a snap.

#2- Protecting Your Camera and Microphone Access

Did you know that the camera and microphone on your device can be activated remotely? Worse, once activated, you can be spied upon.

Researchers have discovered a design flaw in Android that can be used to remotely capture screenshots or record audio… without the user’s knowledge or consent. (Source)

Two apps that I use on my Android phone to protect against this include Camera Blocker and Microphone Block Free. Each offers a free version that will allow you to flip the ON/OFF switch on your camera or microphone. You can turn these off when you need to snap a picture or answer your phone.

#3- Prevent Robo Spam Calls

Finding yourself receiving an unending stream of robocalls and spam? Give Hiya a try. It features “spam detection and call blocking capabilities.” These help you “avoid unwanted and dangerous calls.” This app has blocked countless calls to my mobile phone. On Android, Hiya pops up with caller ID to let me know who is calling. This allows me to decide if I want to waste my time responding. For phone numbers not in the Hiya database, I have the option of adding new numbers.

Hiya Call Block Security identifies the calls you want to take and blocks the numbers and texts you want to avoid. Hiya is free (no ads!), and is incredibly easy to use. It offers the ability to block calls, blacklist unwanted phone numbers and SMS text messages, reverse phone search incoming call information, and receive spam alerts.

The best way to win an argument with a telemarketer or spammer is to avoid it. Younger phone users may not know how to say “no.” Get them Hiya so they can avoid a data-compromising conversation.

#4 – Virtual Private Network (VPN)

If you are using public WiFi, make sure to get a virtual private network (VPN) solution. You can find a great overview of why you should use a VPN over at Pixel Privacy. Here’s why a VPN is such a great idea:

A laptop and mobile device user visits her favorite coffee shop, connecting to the free Wi-Fi hotspot to access the internet. She uses the unprotected hotspot to pay bills, do her banking and shop on Amazon. Meanwhile, a quiet young man sits in the corner, sipping his latte and monitoring her internet connection, stealing valuable personal and business information.

Packet sniffing happens all the time. Use a free solution like Opera VPN or a subscription service like Private Internet Access (PIA).

#5- Password Manager

Keeping track of a million passwords can be quite a hassle. Two tools I have found helpful include Secure Space Encryptor (SSE) and/or KeePassDroid. Both work on your mobile phone. You can keep track of your usernames and generate more complex passwords than “password” or “dragon.” In future Android-related blog entries, we’ll take a look at additional tools you can use to safeguard your data.  

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Q&A with a CTO: Striving for Balance

A few weeks ago, I received a Twitter DM from a colleague in another state. After going back-n-forth in Twitter DMs, I decided to explore the topic as a full blown blog entry. Here’s the lead for the TCEA Technotes blog entry that just came out earlier this week:

Dear TCEA Responds:

I am a new CTO/Tech Director and love this article at TCEA’s Technotes blog (First Things First). I need to better understand how my staff works. A part of that involves tracking their work to better understand the organization as you recommend. We have the break fix tracking software. I’m thinking more of something project oriented and time tracking. My concern is my coaches are spending too much time on fixing broken equipment and not enough on curriculum support. My network and hardware specialists may be spending too much time waiting for things to go down, if that makes sense. Do you have any software recommendations for doing that?
Thanks, Mike

Dear Mike:

Thanks for the wonderful feedback about the First Things First blog entry. Now, on to your question, What’s the best way to track your staff’s work?  Several approaches can work. Before we jump into those, it’s worth asking the question, “What will you do with the data you gather about your staff’s work tasks?”

If you want to read the rest of my response, you’ll want to read the complete blog entry.

Dear TCEA Responds:

I am a new CTO/Tech Director and love this article at TCEA’s Technotes blog (First Things First). I need to better understand how my staff works. A part of that involves tracking their work to better understand the organization as you recommend. We have the break fix tracking software. I’m thinking more of something project oriented and time tracking. My concern is my coaches are spending too much time on fixing broken equipment and not enough on curriculum support. My network and hardware specialists may be spending too much time waiting for things to go down, if that makes sense. Do you have any software recommendations for doing that? Thanks, Mike

Dear Mike:

Thanks for the wonderful feedback about the First Things First blog entry. Now, on to your question, What’s the best way to track your staff’s work? Several approaches can work. Before we jump into those, it’s worth asking the question, “What will you do with the data you gather about your staff’s work tasks?” You need to ask that question. You can’t tell your end users (e.g. teachers, principals, central office staff) that your team needs to focus only on completing work orders. That would send the wrong message about your department’s customer service. You can provide valuable data and information to your stakeholders. Valuable information about their own practices can help them make connections about their own needs. It will also make it easier for your to provide informed customer service.

Providing the Best Customer Service

As a new CTO, put the following strategies in place. The strategies may better address the needs of those you serve. These strategies are multi-faceted and can help you overcome the challenges of a beginning CTO.

Strategy #1 – Implement a Single Point of Contact

tcea respondsEstablishing a single point of contact, such as an online system, eliminates the confusion that results from incoming phone calls or in-the-hallway interruptions. The main benefit is that it ensures prompt access for the end user, anytime and anywhere. This solution should meet the following criteria:

  • Work on a variety of devices, including iOS/Android devices
  • Allow for the end user to check the status of their problem
  • Email-to-ticket conversion
  • Active Directory and LDAP authentication
  • Auto ticket routing
  • Parent/child ticket mapping
  • Balancing/re-assigning tickets
  • Graphs and reporting
  • Ability to rank the importance of incoming calls
  • Make it easy to set up types or categories of work orders that are understandable to end users

A few possible solutions widely used in Texas school districts include:

Of course, you can also take advantage of free solutions, such as Google Forms and/or Microsoft Forms.

Strategy #2 – Differentiate Between Jobs

If your instructional technologists, a.k.a. digital coaches, are performing technical support, why are technicians needed? Or if technicians are serving as digital coaches impacting instruction, the district is wasting critical funding. While it’s nice to have a jack-of-all trades staff member, you need to remember that the more specialized your team members are, the better it is for your district. Instructional technologists and technicians should train together, learn new technologies, and be able to solve problems. When you do this, you are growing future CTOs. But if a significant amount of time is spent with crossover duties, then you are under or over paying someone. Here is one example document aligned to Texas objectives: tcea responds Below is another example from Beaverton Public Schools (Oregon-based): tcea responds These charts establish a clear separation of the work to be done and better define the job roles. Communicate this information to all stakeholders. Sharing this information on social media, at superintendent’s cabinet and principals’ meetings, can speed this process.

Strategy #3 – Clarify Expectations for Response Times

Defining job roles is insufficient. In addition, you need to set up a service level agreement (SLA). This agreement lets everyone know what is critical and what is not. Without an SLA in place, you will have technicians running from one campus to district office, then back again. Is a computer lab top priority at the high school or is the superintendent’s locked iPad top priority? tcea responds

Final Thoughts

As you plan, remember the cardinal principle of your work: relationships matter. Move forward with care, building and deepening relationships as you go. Cut loose those on your team who refuse to embrace better customer service for those you serve. Be transparent about what you do, and revisit those SLAs. Be fearless in holding yourself accountable and make it safe for your team to hold themselves accountable.  

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

AL DíA: The Value of an Education

In the Huffington Post piece, Has higher education lost the battle of public perception?, a question is asked that some already have answered. “No,” said a 10K student district superintendent, to my great disappointment, “our kids need to look at other opportunities aside from college.”

Part of what made America’s world leadership possible is that higher education provided a safety valve that prepared millions of Americans for the change from a manufacturing to a post-industrial global economy.

As America evolves, there is no single straight or even clear path toward the future. Some Americans have been left behind, economic disparity has grown, and a growing split between economic classes – represented by the chasm between the rhetoric and reality in the current national tax plans – are persistent issues. It may be that higher education has lost the battle over the language that describes what its colleges and universities do in this hyper-charged partisan environment.

Yes, higher education has lost the battle of public perception. Getting a college degree, including graduate degrees, may become harder and tougher for middle class families. This is true as the Republican tax code sets out to slay tuition waivers and scholarship options that affect my own children.

Of my family of three (Mom, Dad, and I), I am the first to earn a Master’s degree.
In my wife’s family, she was the first generation to earn a Master’s degree.
In my family (two kids, my wife and I), my children hope to earn a graduate degree, if not a doctorate, before entering the workforce.

Without scholarships, tuition waivers, not one of us would have made it. That is, “but for the grace of Government, we would be mucking it out with America’s forgotten.” No doubt, we’d have voted for Trump, fallen for his lies and those of the Republican administration.

Thank goodness, I went to college. I can usually see a lie coming.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

AL DíA: STEM Tools, DIY Projects and More

Wow, I had a lot of fun putting this blog entry together on a subject that is near and dear to many people’s hearts. I was trying for a blog entry about STEM toys, but failed miserably. Instead, I stumbled on a treasure trove of STEM DIY projects in Pinterest. A second grade teacher in San Angelo, Tx had hinted that such troves were the source of her STEM awesomeness.

Here’s the excerpt where I share that story in the blog entry, along with a kazillion DIY ideas in Pinterest for STEM Projects:

“Where did you get your idea for that project?” I asked a second grade teacher who was sharing a STEM project at a San Angelo, Tx TCEA area conference. “Pinterest!” she replied with a smile. “I find most of my ideas there.”

You can also find a STEM Awesomeness Padlet featuring lots of great ideas online. I’ll be adding to it over time.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Thirteen Insights for CTOs

Ok, I’m sure you are just dying to know what I’ve written about that Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), Technology Directors/Coordinators need to know about. I’m particularly pleased because this series enabled me to tap into my actual experiences as a Director of Technology for a 10K student school district. These were all published at TCEA TechNotes’ blog.

Wait, did you really just write about 20 blog entries? Actually, I wrote about 10 more that were classified as CTO/CIO but I didn’t include them here. You can read them online yourself.

CTO Related

  1. Tracking Digital Coaches and Technicians – Scheduled for 12/20/17 publication
  2. Strategizing Your BYOD Implementation
  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4
  • When Disaster Strikes Series:
    1. Part 1: Insights One and Two
    2. Part 2: Insights Three through Five
    3. Part 3 – The Game
    4.  Heat Sensitive: Server Room Temperature Gauges
  • Time and Attendance Tracking
  • Securing Data in the Cloud 
  • Digital Fax Solutions 
  • Saving High School Seniors’ Digital Work 
  • Keys to the Kingdom 
  • Grants and Tech Planning 
  • Video Surveillance Solutions 
  • Choosing an Online Payment System 
  • When People Fail Technology: Digital Evidence Search 
  • Surviving a Leadership Transition
  •  I can’t wait to write a few more blog entries on this subject. Time just ran out on me this year.  Sigh.

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    AL DíA: STEM Innovators VIP Breakfast

    On January 5, 2018, there will be a STEM Innovators VIP Breakfast in San Antonio, Tx. If you are free, you may want to attend. Here’s the full text of the invitation:

    I’d like to invite you to attend the STEM Innovators-in-Training Experience VIP Coffee & Conversation on January 5, 2018 from 8:00 – 9:30 am at Sunset Station, 1174 E. Commerce St., San Antonio, TX 78205. The VIP event aims to strengthen the STEM ecosystem in the region by bringing community members from all industry sectors together to share ideas and best practices to maximize our collective impact in helping students engage in, love and learn from STEM education opportunities. Time permitting, stay to observe the STEM Innovators-in-Training Experience in action.

    Making the STEM ecosystem stronger certainly seems like a worthy goal. And, the event is FREE.

    Register for this free event at “SAN ANTONIO” from the dropdown menu Don’t forget to invite colleagues, partners and friends that might be interested as well!

    The event also supports students:

    Join Ten80’s team of STEM professionals, regional leaders and professionals in a one-day version of the STEM Innovators-in-Training Challenge.

    On event day, students attend workshops that focus on content & skills related to one of the three critical aspects of innovation: the engineering process, enterprise process and leadership.  They come back together to share lessons learned and to begin collaborating with one another in the challenges posed in each workshop. The challenges overlap so students will be stronger if they work together.

    All students that attend the Experience are invited to continue working on their ideas through the Student Innovators-in-Training Challenge or Community Leadership Challenge.  Students earn prizes tailored to each challenge such as mentoring and/or cash awards to work on their ideas.

     Learn more here

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

    My GoogleEDU and MicrosoftEDU Blog Entry Roundup

    Over at TCEA TechNotes blog this year, I’ve written quite a few blog entries. Are any of you reading them?

    My total blog entries at TCEA are at 232 (although that will change since I have a third part in my series on When Disaster Strikes pending review and scheduling for publication). I wrote 134 of those 232 during 2017. I had hoped to write 365, but webinars, F2F workshops kept me having fun in different ways. Oh well. That will be my 2018 New Year’s Resolution (prob not).

    For fun, I thought I’d take a look back and list all the 2017 blog entries I’ve written relevant to Google and Microsoft.

    Alas, it is a war replete with the sweet aroma of constant growth. Both Google and Microsoft distinguished themselves in adding new features in response to educator demand. Neither suite of tools is perfect, though some will argue the point.

    Now, before you claim I’m partisan to one over the other, remember that I am both a Google Certified Trainer and a Microsoft Certified Master Trainer. As such, I get to see the best (and worst) of both ecosystems. Both Google and Microsoft are working hard to ensure school districts have the very best they can offer in tools and skills.

    More important than the efforts of profit-earning organizations, are the communities of educators who work tirelessly to make all this technology usable in the classroom. I salute my fellow GCTs, MIEs, MIEEs, and others.

    In the spirit of recapping my 2017 year, here is a list of all my TCEA blog entries that address Google and Microsoft. Ok, coming back to write this sentence after listing all the blog entries. Wow, I wrote 72 blog entries featuring Google and Microsoft. That’s a chunk of the total blog entries (134) that I wrote all year. That’s 54% of my blog entries were about Google and Microsoft.

    Disclaimer: Hey, before you whip out a calculator, this is “evening math” at the end of a long work day. Some blog entries were counted twice since they featured both Google and Microsoft content. No big deal, but that means some of my percents may be off. Oh well. I don’t really care if I’m off a few points. I know, terrible attitude. Call me a curmudgeon.


    In case you’re curious (I know I was), here’s the total count:

    •  Google: Regarding Google Suites for Education, I wrote 26 of the 50 Google-centric blog entries published at TCEA. That’s 19% of the total blog entries I wrote or roughly half of all blog entries written this year (134) that were included in the 2017 Google Blog Roundup.
    • Microsoft: For Microsoft, I wrote 46 total for the 2017 school year. That’s 34% of total blog entries written.

    Ok, I’m not a math whiz. I hope I got the percentages right. Still, I’m amazed at the quantity and diversity of these. For example, I’d predict that my favorite Microsoft blog entries were about OneDrive, Minecraft, and OneNote. Yes, these three are my top favorite tools.

    If I had time, I’d organize these for you more prettily, but for that, you’ll just have to visit the TCEA TechNotes blog and check out the 2017 Blog Roundup for Google and Microsoft. Those will be due out by the end of the year. In the meantime, I hope you find something interesting to read below. I can honestly say that my colleagues wrote better Google related blog entries than I.

    Note: I’ve highlighted my favorite blog entries. Special thanks to TCEA for giving me a platform to share my insights and takeaways.

    Microsoft Blog Entries (46)

    1. Fantastic Voyage: Minecraft Lesson Planning
    2. Five Steps to Game-based Learning
    3. Open Resources for Math and Science
    4. Minecraftian Strategies with Marzano
    5. Improved Teaching with Microsoft
    6. Forms Smackdown: Google vs Microsoft
    7. Ten Ways to Customize Microsoft Classroom 
    8. Using OneDrive to Backup Your iOS Camera 
    9. Engaging Learners with MS Forms 
    10. Five OneDrive Tips You Can’t Live Without 
    11. Designing Minecraft Spaces 
    12. Multimedia ELL Assessment 
    13. Minecraft: Education Edition Tutorial Videos 
    14. Visualizing Our Understanding with Graphic Organizers 
    15. Seven Keys to Blended Learning 
    16. Gamifying OneNote Learning 
    17. Podcasting with Microsoft Sway
    18. Shifting the Conversation: Basic Tech Skills 
    19. No More Death by Powerpoint 
    20. Transform Learning with Text to Speech
    21. Get Organized: Productivity Tips for OneNote 
    22. Creating Worlds of Tomorrow 
    23.  It’s Microsoft Morphing Time
    24. Moviemaker is Dead; Long Live Story Remix
    25. Windows 10 Tips & Tricks
    26. Enhancing Parental Access with OneNote Class Notebook
    27. Remix the 5E Model with PBL and Technology 
    28. Farewell, Hello Enhanced OneNote, Forms, etc.
    29. Microsoft Classroom Assignments 
    30. Virtual Space Construction Workers 
    31. Saving High School Seniors’ Work  
    32. Collaborative Projects in PBL
    33. Securing Data in Cloud Storage
    34. Tablet Trek: Tablets in the Classroom
    35. New Powerpoint Translator Makes Captioning Possible 
    36. Get Current on Tech Learning  
    37. Teaching Digital Media
    38. Checklists: Scaffolding Metacognitive Awareness 
    39. HyperNotes? Use Hyperdocs with OneNote
    40. Creative Commons: Make OER Simple 
    41. TCEA’s New Minecraft Certification Course (Level 1)
    42. Windows 10 Fall Creators Update: Moviemaker Lives 
    43. Creating Six-Word Memoirs 
    44. MS Office Goes Chrome, er, Android 
    45. Twitter Takeaways: OneNote Class Notebook — Scheduled for publication 12/12/17
    46. Our 2017 Microsoft Resource Roundup — Scheduled for publication 12/27/17

    Google (26)

    1. New Chromebook Features
    2. Free G Suite Curriculum 
    3. Forms Smackdown: Google vs Microsoft
    4.  Beautify and Protect Your Virtual Home: Google Chrome
    5. Transform Learning with Text to Speech
    6. Phishing Attack: Evil Google Email
    7. Connect with Google Certified Administrators 
    8. Podcasting Resources
    9. Saving High School Seniors’ Work   
    10. Managing All Your Email
    11. New Google Sites ePortfolios 
    12.  Securing Data in Cloud Storage
    13. Tablet Trek: Tablets in the Classroom
    14. Get Current on Tech Learning 
    15. Research Tools for Young Learners  
    16. Teaching Digital Media 
    17. Empower Learners with Hyperdocs 
    18. Checklists: Scaffolding Metacognitive Awareness
    19. Hyperdrawings with Joli Boucher 
    20. Creative Commons: Make OER Simple 
    21. Math Tools for Chrome 
    22. Digital Whiteboard Solutions 
    23. Provide Custom Email Updates for Parent Communications 
    24. Three Tips for Google Suites Updates
    25. Twitter Takeaways: Five Google Tips 
    26. Animated GIFs: Education in Motion

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure