Category Archives: Texas

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

Upcoming #SATX Free Digital Transition Event 01/18/18

The Learning Counsel is organizing this event for area school leaders. They are offering the 6th edition of their Digital Education – Special Report online – Systems Leadership versus the Classroom. The conversation is definitely worth having and Leilani does an awesome job of facilitating the dialogue.

Digital Transition Discussion
Free for Educators – Bring your Team
San Antonio Meeting
Thursday, January 18th – 8:00am to 2:00pm

San Antonio, Tx

Attend for a Day of Discussion
on the Next Stage of School Transformation
As the ever-louder voice of data intrudes and transforms at every level of the education enterprise, school leaders and teachers need understanding. 
LeiLani’s morning briefing will show the latest data on outside consumer pressure, research on market dynamics and more.  Based on your role in schools or districts, you can expect important and practical professional development including:
Leading – Having a “Systems Mentality”
Planning – New “Scale” for Education Analytics and Leadership
Tech Directing –  Integration, Device & Network Impacts
Teaching – New Roles, New Opportunities
The next phase in the change continuum for schools is a new incursion of data from software, including the intersection of technology with redesigning the physical environment, and more.  
This event helps you make sense of where it is all going
* Basic training on digital analytics, new leadership for schools, and defining the “coding universe.”
* Free print copy of the latest Special Report on “Systems Leadership versus the Classroom”
Come to discuss how changing technologies are bringing interesting new possibilities for teachers:
Digital Learning Travel Planner
Data Analyst
Social-Emotional Leader
Experience Manager
Activity Learning Specialist
…and more.
Group networking and discussion throughout the day.
Meeting begins at 8am.
Free to attend for Ed Execs, Tech Staff, Teachers and all team members involved in this transition.

Breakfast and lunch included.

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

Oops. Another 39 #Txed Schools Suffer Data Breach #cybersecurity

Do you have kids enrolled in a school district? It wouldn’t hurt to ask that district, “How are you safeguarding my child’s personally identifiable information (PII)?” A good follow-up would be, “How are you requiring third party solution providers protect my child’s information?”

Note that the Security Notice about a Data Breach affecting THIRTY-NINE school districts appears in the “What’s New?” section. Not exactly the best way to publicize the information, right?

The information should be in a school or district policy and procedure. Why? There are a great variety of data breaches every day. Some involve the school or district due to a mistake (e.g. “We sent someone we thought was the IRS staff records. Oops.” or perhaps “We published decrypted student PII on one of our web servers by accident. Oops.”

Image Source: Available online 12/4/2017

Texas Data Breach Affects THIRTY-NINE DISTRICTS

Officials say a Texas Department of Agriculture employee’s computer was attacked through malicious ransomware on Oct. 26, with the attack affecting more than 700 students. Personal information that may have been exposed includes names, Social Security numbers, home addresses, birth dates and personal phone numbers.
The Texas Department of Agriculture oversees school breakfast and lunch programs, which is why school districts were affected. (Source)

The Texas Department of Agriculture notified the following 39 districts:

“There’s not any evidence that we have that the information that might have been compromised was ever misused,” they had the nerve to proclaim. Really?

Texas Dept of Ag’s Incomplete Recommendations
Of course, in light of this, they recommend these actions to the students AND staff of the NINE school districts, again putting the burden of protection on the individuals rather than taking it on themselves. We need a better system:

  • Contact three major credit bureaus and 
  • Activate a fraud alert for the ransomware attack

My Recommendations for Next Steps to the Nine Affected Districts
Here are the steps (in order) I recommend staff and parents of students take immediately to mitigate the identity theft that is sure to follow.

  1. Setup an encrypted email (e.g. ProtonMail) for financial accounts. Don’t just use your Yahoo/Gmail account. Keep that for common use, but rely on your encrypted account for financial transactions.
  2. Create an Online Social Security account. Create the account before the bad guys do. 
  3. Freeze your credit reports to prevent new accounts. It may prevent others from opening new accounts in your name (or your child’s name) unless thieves have a special PIN#. These approaches aren’t foolproof but they do help. Credit Freeze sites:
  1. Equifax Credit Freeze Site
  2. TransUnion ($10)
  3. Experian ($10)
  •  Sign up for Identity Theft Alert: Fill out this form to notify the credit agencies of potential identity theft. 
  • Check your credit frequently. Annual Credit Reports provides a free service, but you may need to pay to get that more often.
  • Switch from debit cards to protected credit cards. Make a decision to NOT use your debit card or write print checks with your routing and account # on them.  
  • File tax return early. If you don’t do it, they will.
  • Get alerts via your bank mobile app for all transactions. I love knowing when funds come out of my bank account. Even if it’s my wife buying me a gift for my birthday.
  • Add a password or pin# to all bank account transactions. It takes an instant, but without it, it may be difficult for folks to access your accounts. And, of course, change these. 
  • Get more than one form of ID, such as passport, passport card, and driver’s license. You never know when you will have to prove you are who you say you are.
  • Setup 2-factor authentication (view overview) for all email, cloud storage, digital accounts.  Use secure passwords. You can use a free password manager (e.g. Keepass) or pay for one.
  • Get anti-ransomware software for your computer.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working on public networks with your computer or phone. My favorite VPN for computers, including Chromebooks, is Private Internet Access ($40 annually). For mobile phones, you can use a free Opera VPN.
  • And, don’t forget you need to protect your mobile phone. Read this fantastic article from Harvard Business Review.

    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

    Texas STEM News

    Thanks to for a roundup of STEM projects schools are jumping into. Here’s the list (click district title to access the source):

    Bryan ISD:
    Watch video

    Crosby ISD:
    Students from Charles R. Drew Elementary in Crosby ISD made the trek across the region to learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) principles at iFLY in Katy.

    Killeen ISD:
    The STEM Academy is a program for sixth through eighth graders who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. See more

    Little Elm ISD: 

    STEM should be available for kindergarteners through fifth-graders…after the first year of STEM in fourth and fifth grades, a review will take place in 2019-20.  Then in 2020-21, STEM would be implemented into second and third grades. After another year of review, STEM could be fully in place for kindergarten through fifth grade by 2022-23.

    Temple ISD:
    Temple ISD relies primarily on three models of blended learning to support its one to one Chromebook initiative (ok, this isn’t about STEM necessarily):

    • Station rotation involves a mini-lesson, which might actually be taught in a homework assignment or online video to be viewed before class, followed by moving between multiple stations in the classroom, each geared toward a different learning style, such as written, visual, or kinetic. 
    • Flipped learning involves students watching a video lecture before class and then doing what would more traditionally be considered homework at school. The theory behind flipped learning is that students benefit more from their teacher’s presence when they are doing difficult assignments than when they are passively learning from a lecture. In a flipped classroom, the interaction between student and teacher focuses on helping the student understand how to apply the lecture and being available to answer questions.
    • At home online learning can take the form of recorded lectures or graphic video presentations, sometimes with a quiz at the end, or quiz questions scattered throughout the presentation so that the student has to demonstrate an understanding the past 90 seconds or so before they watch the remainder of the video.

    Women in Science Endeavors (WISE) in Amarillo:
    Women in Science Endeavors (WISE) is an annual science, technology, engineering and math conference for 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls in the Amarillo area. The girls participate in a series of hands-on workshops led by female presenters in STEM fields. 

    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

    Don’t Mess with Google Classroom

    Check out this upcoming conference featuring Kasey Bell, Alice Keeler, and, of course, other Texas presenters (proposals sought) on Oct 27 in Richardson, Tx

    It’s fascinating to see how rich and diverse the Google Suites for Education Texas ecosystem has become, with dozens of awesome presenters/innovators multiplying, as well as pushing the Google message out to every educator. Is the G Suites for Education Texas bubble about to pop? I don’t know, but it’s fun to see how many learning opportunities for Google there are now! 

    Find out more about the conference details, which I’ve shamelessly (wait, does that count as “messing?”) stolen from Kasey Bell’s blog entry on the topic below:

    You can get all the details on our Don’t Mess with Google Classroom Conference website:

    What to Expect

    The conference will kick-off with an opening keynote from Alice Keeler, followed by awesome breakout sessions on Google Classroom and G Suite for Education. I, Kasey Bell, will wrap up the conference with a closing keynote. We promise a full day of learning with engaging presenters. Walk away with new lesson ideas, tips, and tricks, and amazing resources for your classroom.

    The conference will be held at the Region 10 Education Service Center in Richardson, Texas, which is about 15 miles north of Dallas. Not from the area? No worries! Texas is a great place to visit with two major airports, tons of things to do, and a whole lot of charm!

    *Call for Presenters*

    Come share your expertise at the conference! If your presentation is selected, you will receive FREE registration! Please submit your proposal by June 30, 2017. Selected presenters will be notified by August 15, 2017.
    Our focus is Google Classroom. Presentations will be approximately 45 minutes in length and must showcase ways to integrate Google Classroom and other Google tools.

    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

    Texas Virtual School Network #Grant

    Note: This blog entry originally published at

    Are you a public rural school or open-enrollment charter? Then you may want to review the eligibility requirements for a new Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) grant. The grant will be available in the summer of 2017 with the online application, negotiation, and award processes taking place during that time. All awards will be done by mid-August 2017.

    How to Indicate Your Interest

    If you are interested in applying for the grant, be sure to complete the required task and budget templates. When complete, return to by 5:00 p.m. CST, April 24, 2017. You will be asked to provide primary contact information, a proposed timeline, and a budget. The latter two most follow the supplied templates for each item.

    Eligibility Requirements

    Rural schools must meet three criteria. The first is that they designate staff for “key student-support roles.” The second is that they set student expectations and readiness. The third criteria is that the rural school or open-enrollment charter completes the Statewide Course Catalog Public School District and Open-Enrollment Charter School Agreement.

    Funding Priorities

    Has your rural school not participated in TxVSN before? The Texas Education Agency (TEA) seeks to give you first priority! Second priority will be given to schools who previously participated but no longer take part and now wish to renew their participation. Third priority will be given to currently participating TxVSN schools who seek to expand their involvement.

    Funding Uses

    Funding can be used to achieve the following:
    1. For internet-connected students (at home, school, or both) who are selected to complete TxVSN courses, 60% of grant funds can be used to pay for their enrollment costs.
    2. For students who may need devices (e.g. laptop, mobile hotspot) to connect to participate in TxVSN, 20% of grant funds can be used to pay the costs of needed technology.
    3. For teacher(s) and/or counselor(s) who will provide additional student support beyond their current assignment and serve as student mentors, 20% of grant funds may be used to provide supplemental pay.
    4. For schools who may need funds to cover costs of TxVSN catalog courses for fall and spring of the 2017-2018 school year and summer 2018.

    Find Out More

    Would you like to know more? Be sure to visit the web site for more information. TEA, TXVSN Central Operations, and Education Service Center (ESC) TXVSN Liaison staff can help and inform you throughout the application process.

    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

    Call for Proposals – Adobe Academy 2017 #txed #edtech #adobe

    Are you an Adobe expert? Consider sharing some of your expertise with others at the TCEA 2017 Adobe Academy (June 20-21, 2017). The call for proposals is open now for innovators like you!

    I invite you to present at the TCEA 2017 Adobe Academy where you can help other educators benefit from your experiences, whether your session ranges from beginner to intermediate and/or advanced.

    The TCEA 2017 Adobe Academy Call for Proposals is open now through May 12, 2017. We hope you will be among the many who present, and/or learn, at the Academy! Don’t wait until the last minute….

    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