Holt Think: Ed, Creativity, Tech, Administration


Posts tagged with "education"

Personality Driven Instructional Technology Integration

While in a session on the Paperless Classroom presented by two teachers Cynthia Coones and Jody Velde from White Oaks ISD at the LearnED at TCEA 2014, I was struck by the idea that even now, technology integration, at least right now in the schools, is strongly dependent on the personality of the educators and not dependent on the type of technology.

These two teachers demonstrated quite well how they were able to go to an almost paperless workflow in their classrooms. The arguments they made FOR using the technology made sense and everyone in the room could understand the advantages. Yet, they stated over and over during their presentation, that even when they showed their colleagues the advantages of using tools like Google Docs to cut down on making copies, and taking papers home, and student loss of work, that many of their peers were still left unconvinced and did nothing to move towards integration technology in lessons.

You could lead a horse to water it seemed, but you could;t make them turn on the computer. They stated that the excuses that they heard were the exact same excuses we all hear when trying to convince colleagues that they really need to use technology with their students. Time, effort, time, effort, not needed…blah blah blah.

That got me wondering if there were specific teacher personality types that were more willing to adapt to change compared to those that didn’t like change. Could we as change agents use that knowledge to better focus training based on who we knew would adopt the technology and those that would not?

I once took an education management class and the professor showed us a bell curve. I remember him saying that if we ever became principals that those teachers that lay beyond the first standard deviation on either side are either lost causes or 100% behind you: They will either do everything you want , or do nothing you want, depending on where on the chart they fell. “Worry about the ones between the mean and the 1st standard deviation” he said. “They are ones that are waiting to be convinced one way or another.”

That is kind of how I feel about technology users in schools. Those at the far end of the bell curve are probably lost causes or true followers. We need to focus on the center dwellers.

How can we use personality type to maximize our training and thus our technology adoption?

A study in 1995 by Smith found that teachers that were creative, analytical, logical and imaginative to institutive/thinking were more likely to quickly adopt to new teaching techniques and using technology. On the other hand, practical, introverts, people that say they are “realistic” are more likely not to adopt technology with their students.

The study went on to state "For effective training, educators need to design programs for pre- and in-service teachers that include descriptions of how different personalities can best use technology with diverse students. Those individuals more inclined to use technology may be identified to work in interdisciplinary teams with others who are less inclined to use the newer technologies. Identification with individualized instruction may successfully reduce anxieties often experienced by some novice teachers.

A 2003 study found that, using the Meyers Briggs personality test, that “intuitive/thinking types of personalities were more likely to use technology in teaching while the sensory/feeling types were the least likely.”

I think that we as trainers rarely if ever take into account the personality type of the teachers we are training. So often we have to be like McDonald’s; getting as many customers through the drive thru in as little amount of time as possible.

As recently as this March, Rhonda Christensen from the University of North Texas presented on “Relationships Between Teacher Personality Type and Technology Integration Indicators” at the SITE2014 conference. Her conclusion:

"It appears that judging personality preferences might be the least accepting of technology innovations while teachers with perceiving preferences more likely to embrace technology sooner. It makes sense when you read the general characteristics of people who select either the judging or perceiving preference trait. The judging trait tends to prefer more structure while the people who tend toward the perceiving characteristics tend to have a more flexible and adaptable lifestyle.
Regardless of personality type, the teachers seem to prefer an electronic textbook for their students but prefer a traditional paper textbook for themselves. Smith, Munday and Windham (1995) found that NT (intuition/thinking) type personalities were more likely to teach with technology while SF (sensing/feeling) types were least likely to embrace technology.

The current research study found similar results for the three technology integration measures. This study partially supported the Katz (1992) findings in which extroverted and sensing types were more willing to use technology. This study clearly supported that extrovert types were much more likely to accept and use technology. However, this study found the opposite for the sensing/intuition in which teachers who reported the intuition trait were more likely to report higher levels of technology integration.
Those who are planning and implementing professional development may find that measuring personality attributes as well as learning styles of teachers may enhance the usefulness of their training.”

I think that we as professional developers, might start thinking a bit more about the trainees, and less about the training if we want to make lasting impacts.

10 uses for a teacher blog. What can you use a blog for? Here are ten possible uses. From the series: 10 in 10 from EPISD.

Ten Uses for a Classroom Blog Part 2. From the web series: “10 in 10” where we look at ten topics in ten minutes.

Find Your Passion With These 8 Thought-Provoking Questions

From the article:

In the end, simplicity is best. What is your sentence? is a question designed to help you distill purpose and passion to its essence by formulating a single sentence that sums up who you are and what, above all, you aim to achieve. It’s a favorite question of To Sell is Human author Daniel Pink, who acknowledges in his book Drive that it can be traced back to the journalist and pioneering Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce. While visiting John F. Kennedy early in his presidency, Luce expressed concern that Kennedy might be in danger of trying to do too much, thereby losing focus. She told him “a great man is a sentence”—meaning that a leader with a clear and strong purpose could be summed up in a single line (e.g., “Abraham Lincoln preserved the union and freed the slaves.”).

Click on title to go to article

Hudson ISD - Message From the Superintendent

The cracks in the dam are beginning to show up after decades of over testing:

From the Link


HISD has embraced a “New Vision” for the district.
This vision will focus on 5 key goals:
(1) digital learning,
(2) 21st century learning standards (academic and career),
(3) multiple forms of assessment,
(4) accountability that is not focused on one state test, and
(5) transforming our school into a 21st century learning organization.

We will no longer purchase banners or plaques that imply we are a state recognized or exemplary campus based on one state mandated test! Parents will not see STAAR worksheets or test preparation materials. Teachers will not be referencing the tests in their classrooms. Rigor, purpose, interest, talent, creativity, problem solving, innovation, real-world application, digital access, collaboration will transform classrooms into centers that promote students owning their learning rather than learning for a test!

What about “the test”? It has not disappeared, it is now on steroids! During the 82nd Legislative Session, the state assessment system, TAKS, was retired and STAAR was born for grades 3-8. STAAR is elevated to 15 End-of-Course (EOC) exams for high school students, with 15% of the test score impacting the student’s course grade. These new tests are not basic knowledge skills tests. They are designed to measure college readiness for all students. Ironically, colleges and universities never consider these tests as part of the admissions requirements. Colleges, as well as the business community, continue to report our students are not prepared to enter either pathway. Students are lacking work ethics, technical skills, problem solving, collaboration, inquiry skills, research, etc. Why is the state increasing the focus on this state test when the past reflects the tests were not preparing our students for the future?

Sadly, these tests have become punitive instruments to evaluate teachers, campuses, districts without consideration of available resources, children’s interests or talents, the impact of poverty on closing academic gaps and the real world demands critical to the nation’s economy. Campuses and districts have been designated as low performing based on the performance of one sub-group on one test (math, reading, science, writing, OR social studies) in one grade level. That same sub-group could have performed extremely well in another subject area in that same grade, having no impact on the campus/district rating. All other sub-groups in other grades could have achieved exemplary performance, yet the campus would retain the rating of that “weakest link”! Voucher legislation that will be proposed during the next legislative session will be greatly influenced by the misrepresentation of these tests and ratings on our schools.

Hudson ISD will continue to expect students to meet the state standards; however, the state assessment will no longer drive our curriculum or instruction. We have not lowered our student expectations; we have changed the focus, a quality education for the 21st century. We are asking the community to support this new direction. The quality of our schools should be based on the many varied accomplishments of our students and the exemplary programs provided by our exemplary staff, not a state accountability rating based on state assessments administered prior to the end of the school year. Our accountability should be determined by our local communities, not the state or federal government. Our vision has become the HISD mission - to “foster a community of life-long learners by providing an environment that builds self-worth, integrity, and respect for diversity while striving for academic and social excellence!”

Mary Ann Whiteker


Blended Learning Infographic

Blended Learning Infographic

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

Free Offer to Five Readers: 180 Questions free for a review

I have a free offer for five of my readers:
If you agree to write a review of 180 Questions, I will shoot you a code for a free download of the book.

Some caveats:
It is Ibook Only, so it only works in iBook for IOS and Mac. Sorry, no ePub version.

Once you write your review, you need to let me know so I can reblog it. Don’t feel that you have to give a glowing review. Feel free to write whatever you think about it. (I am confident that you will like it.)

Click on the title to get the description.

Once the five codes are gone, they are gone. First come first serve.

You can leave me a message here, or hit me up on twitter @timholt2007

Dear Apple: Time to bring iChat Back

Dear Apple,
It is time to bring iChat back.
For those of you unfamiliar with iChat, when Apple released OSX.2 twelve years ago (can you believe it?), it also released a new video/audio messaging system that was to challenge Skype. It came free with every computer.

I suppose not a lot of people used it to its full potential. Apple has a history of deleting unused or underused features (see the latest versions of iWork, and of course RIP iWeb, and iDVD both of which were ahead of their time).

The reason that Apple needs to bring back iChat, or at least the feature set of iChat into its current FaceTime / iMessage video system is this:

iChat had some awesome features that even NOW are not available in the free versions of Skype or Google Hangouts. These included:

Text chat: You could carry out a multi-point text conversation. I know, everyone can do that now, but 12 years ago, that was unheard of.

You could have an audio chat. No big deal, we call that phone calls. But you could call up anyone from your computer and start an audio chat if the text chat was not enough, all without switching programs. Voice over IP for the masses.

If the text and audio were not enough, you could then create a video chat. Again, we are all in the same program, iChat. All of these things are without changing programs.

If talking to a single person were not enough, you could then have a multi-point video connections ( I know, Hangouts has this ability.) Up to 4 connections could be on a conference at a time, and using some nifty video and audio compression techniques, there was little or no lag time even on the crappiest connection.

But to me, the pièce de résistance from iChat was this:
iChat had an amazingly easy way to share files with the other users; You simply dragged and dropped files into the video chat screen and whatever you dropped could be seen by all the users in the chat. Movies, audio files, PDF files, Keynotes, documents, whatever. Wanted to share a video? Drop it into the chat. Want to share a PDF file? Drop it into the video window (which was called the theater). I do believe you could even record the video connection as well. Yes, Skype and others can do that now, but iChat had them all beat to the punch. Even now, the Skype method is more clunky than the drag and drop method of iChat.

When Apple dropped iChat, it replaced it with FaceTime. And while FaceTime is nice for a point A to point B conversation, it is only a single connection. There is no text chat. For that, you have to use Messenger. There is no multipoint connection. There is no screen sharing. There is no file sharing. In order to do those things, you need multiple programs, AND the person on the other side needs multiple programs as well.

Google hangouts or webinar programs such as Blackboard Collaborate are the closest thing now there is to the old iChat. Google allows 6 simultaneous connections and also allows screen sharing.

iChat, was way ahead of its time, and probably most people did not use it to it’s full ability.
But now that Apple is touting “Desktop class” processing on it’s phones and iPads, it is time to bring desktop video conferencing capabilities back.

Time for FaceTime to learn a few tricks from it’s grandfather iChat.

Are you listening Apple?

Science Fair 2.0: Let's Bring the Science Fair into the 21st Century

From the article:

Looking for some really good ideas from teachers that are currently running very successful science fairs? We’ve captured a few of the conversations that are happening on the MSP2 social network. You can contact any of our “guest speakers” by posting a comment on their MSP2 wall.

In addition, we’ve highlighted some resources that will provide other great ideas for you and your students. Please add to the list if you have other resources that have been helpful to you. Click on NSDL Login in the upper right hand corner of this page and register so you can share your knowledge with other teachers!

If you want substantiated justification for making your students participate in science fairs, have a look at the NSDL Strand Map Service. These maps illustrate connections between concepts and across grade levels. Several contexts are associated with science fair including Nature of Science, Nature of Technologyand Habits of Mind. An image of the middle grades (6-8) only part of the Scientific Investigations map appears below. This map is one of sevne under the heading Nature of Science. Clicking on a concept within the maps will show NSDL resources relevant to the concept, as well as information about related AAAS Project 2061 Benchmarks and National Science Education Standards. Move the pink box in the lower right hand corner of the page to see the grades 6-8 learning goals.

Associated articles:

Science Fair 2.0 from NPR Science Fridays
“The science fair is a nearly century-old right of passage for students. What role does the traditional science fair play in the digital age? How can these competitions be reworked to include broader participation and encourage students, and teachers, to explore hands-on learning?”

Totally Awesome Science Fair Planning Guide

Letter sent to my PLN: Please Consider Presenting Virtually at miniCAST

Last week, I sent this letter to members of my Professional Learning Network.
You are part of that, so I am posting here for everyone. The offer stands. Please consider presenting. —TBH

Dear PLN member,

On Saturday, September 27, 2014, the Science Teachers Association of Texas (Region 19) will host a one day science and technology conference called miniCAST 2014.

( Here is more info about it: http://minicastelpaso.wikispaces.com/Event+Homepage )

We are expecting about 500 educators this year from all over west Texas and southern New Mexico.

One of the strands we are having this year is a “Virtual Strand” when presenters do not have to actually have to be in El Paso to present, but still can present. (We understand that not very one can run to El Paso on a moment’s notice, although we do have electricity and running water, contrary to popular opinion!)

I know that you all have something to share, and it would be a great treat for the educators in the El Paso area to be able to meet you, even if it is through Skype or a webinar setting.

Wont you please consider presenting at miniCAST 2014, in El Paso? It should only take an hour or so (unless you want to present multiple times) and I know that teachers out here will be very grateful.

The topics are wide open, even if it does have a “science theme.” Any kind of technology will work.

Here is the link to the Call for Presenters: http://minicastelpaso.wikispaces.com/Call+for+Presenters

(Also, if you could let your PLN know about this opportunity, that would be most appreciated. )

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at timholt@me.com

I really hope that you can participate in miniCAST even if you cannot be here physically. I cannot offer anything more than thanks for helping out, but rest assured that your help will be multiplied many times.

Thanks again for your help.


Here is an article about presenting virtually.

Education Malpractice Part 2: Time to Call out the Fake Science Teachers in Oklahoma

Earlier this year, I wrote about how we need to start calling out “science teachers” that don’t understand or even believe that what they are teaching is correct. The title of the article was "EDUCATIONAL MALPRACTICE: TIME TO CALL OUT THE FAKE SCIENCE TEACHERS"

Essentially, I said that if you do not think evolution is a real thing, and if you teach Biology, then you are committing educational malpractice.

As follow up to that article, a survey that came out this week of science teachers in Oklahoma that showed a significant number of them simply did not understand evolution.

The survey showed:

  • 25 percent strongly or somewhat agree with the statement, “Scientific evidence indicates that dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time in the past.”
  • 36.8 percent strongly or somewhat disagree with the statement, “Complex structures such as the eye could have been formed by evolution.”
  • 40.8 percent strongly or somewhat agree with the statement, “‘Survival of the fittest’ means basically that ‘only the strong survive’.”
  • 17.1 percent strongly or somewhat disagree with the statement, “The earth is old enough for evolution to have occurred.” (And, 3.9 percent were “undecided.”)
  • 32.9 percent strongly or somewhat agree with the statement, “Evolution is a total random process.”

We cannot say we are professionals if we don’t even understand what we are teaching. Evolution is one of the fundamentals of science. A lack of understanding of a fundamental of science is like having a mechanic that does not understand how an engine works, or a football coach that does not know what an offense is.

As the authors of the study say:

"As teachers are critical determiners of the quality of classroom instruction, it is vital that they be capable of making professionally responsible instructional and curricular decisions. For biology teachers to make such decisions about evolution, they must possess a thorough knowledge of evolutionary theory and its powerful role in the discipline of biology.

Second, when teachers hold science misconceptions, they may critically impede student conceptual development of scientific explanations. Teachers with misconception-laced subject knowledge will convey inaccurate or incomplete ideas to their students, resulting in a less than accurate biological evolution education, likely fraught with errors…. Therefore, teachers may be a primary factor in the acquisition, propagation and perpetuation of students’ biological evolution-related misconceptions.”

We have got to call these teachers out and we have got to either educate them or get them out of the classroom. Come on Oklahoma. Lead the way!

Here is the entire survey and its results:

180 Questions Back on Sale

After being offline for more than six months, my book “180 Questions: Daily Reflections for Educators and Their PLCs" This book is a series of reflective questions and conversation starters that anyone can use.

Currently, readers all over the world have downloaded this book, having been purchased on every continent except Antarctica. And the price of 99 cents USD is pretty easy to swallow.

Each question is designed to get educators thinking about education issues that affect them and their students. Each question is followed by a “deeper dig” into the question that allows the reader to see the question from a broader perspective.

Among other things, educators can use this book to:

  • Plan Professional development
  • Break the ice at meetings
  • Use a self reflection tool
  • Use as a conversation starter for groups who have stopped talking
  • Jump off point for deeper conversations
  • Use as summer DIY PD
  • Administrators can use it to get teachers to begin to question practices on their campus
  • Begin conversations about larger education topics
  • Use as staff meeting ice breakers
  • Education Bloggers can use the book as a series of topics starters if they have writer’s block
  • Get teachers thinking about big picture ideas in education beyond the walls of their classroom

Here is a little video about the books:

Of course, your milage will vary. The book is not designed to be read from page 1 to the end. Use the questions that mean the most. Save the others for when they will be appropriate.

The book has received positive reviews:

Kevin Honeycutt said: “Tim Holt is the kind of technology thinker who cuts through the fog like a laser beam. He gets right to what good can come from the invention, innovation or practice. Tim’s sense of humor and willingness to ask the bigger, harder questions give him a unique and useful voice in the field of educational technology. In this book Tim assembles nuggets of useable, inspirational insights and lets them unfold daily for busy practitioners. As you unveil these moments of wisdom daily and allow them to feed your imagination you’ll connect with other minds in other places who are working alongside you in the “eduverse.”

Dean Mantz wrote: “In this iBook Tim focuses on Professional Learning Networks as a source for professional development beyond that offered within one’s own school district. While defining the how, who, what, and where Tim asks questions that challenges his readers to think and reflect on how they would answer each one. I truly appreciate reading material that challenges you to think and reflect upon your own classroom instruction pedagogy, personal learning approaches all while encompassing material that addresses different learning styles. Tim Holt use if imagery with little text allows for one to mentally picture themselves in that setting or easily understand the point being made by the question at hand. To go along with the visual engagement was the integration of video clips ranging from educators talking about the benefits they found from reaching out and connecting with other educators on a global scale to statements by some of the best education thinkers of our generation.”

Here is an interview about the book in Edudemic.

Andrea Keller wrote: “The creativeness of this book includes interactive links, short quotes, meaningful questions that provoke a conversation, videos, and QR codes. This allows not only opportunities to extend learning but offer other ideas to use in the classroom or school. I have noticed that in my online Professional Learning Community many people are more apt to answer tough questions put out by other educators. When it comes to face to face PLC’s we are not as forth coming. This book presents enough questions to have a daily reflection of school through six different categories. These questions don’t just focus on the big questions about school, but also how parents, students, and community perceive school. We are looking for ways to engage in conversation. We are looking for ways to share our ideas and opinions over various topics.”

If you have 99 cents, I would appreciate you giving this book a look. I know that it only works on iOS and Mac devices, and my next book will have a different model of distribution.

I think you in advance for purchasing my book.

180 Questions is 99 cents in the iTunes Bookstore