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Jun 21 2019 - 09:06 AM
TC EdTech Design Event - Connecting Educators, Researchers, and Technologies August 4th, 2016


Stirring Excitement

About a week before the event (July 26, 2016), Design Event hosts sent participants a detailed email that included a request for their bio and event logistics. 

The email also encouraged participants to respond to the following prompt: 

How do you judge educational technologies for adoption at your institution?

We shared their answers on a wall in the reception area of the Learning Theater prior to the start of the event:


These are the responses we received: 

…the main criteria is how it will it advance the learning of my students.  The technology adopted should enhance and support the learning in the classroom.  Additionally, we strongly feel that technology should not be used for "technology's sake" and that the technology should not overshadow the curriculum for that class.

-- James De Francesco


1.        What is it supposed to accomplish for my students and/or teachers or overall school community?

2.        How will it enhance student literacy & numeracy with an eye towards skill acquisition and reinforcement for what they need to succeed academically now & later in college and life

3.        Is it affordable?

4.        What is its track record?

5.        What kind of support is built in and for how long?

-- Ron Link


1.     Review specifications and determine if reasonable match for our needs/objectives; Repeat review and match with leadership team and determine key user groups for further exploration.

2.     Investigate performance outcomes of technology with vendor (procurement & IT)

3.     Engage users in discussion of their needs and experimentation with technology

4.     Compare similar technologies

5.     Explore use of same and similar technologies with peer institutions

6.     Consider immediate and long term costs. Is this sustainable.

7.     Consider installation needs and consultant resources, if any.

8.     Consider training needs of our team and timeline.

9.     Formal proposal through shared governance structure

10.  Formal procurement process

-- Belinda Miles


I do care most about how it can be used to improve organizational structures and interpersonal interactions.

-- Melinda Karp


…faculty maintain a level of autonomy and discretion in choosing whether or not to adopt a new technology in the classroom.  We don’t have a campus-wide or university-wide policy, but are interested in exploring more opportunities for risk-mitigated adoption of new edtech.

-- Seema Shah


I consider technologies that are relatively easy to implement, fit with other initiatives, and can be used in support of multiple content areas.

-- Cassie Freeman


Educational technologies at P-TECH need to be flexible to accommodate our worlds of preparing students for high school, college, and industry simultaneously. Thus, the educational technologies need to have the flexibility to allow access to faculty and staff, parents, students, and our liaisons from college and industry. 

-- Rashid Davis


1. Robustness of how the technology accomplishes what it purports to do

2. Reliability/Quality

3. Support availability

4. Financial strength of the technology company

5. Management

6. Cost

--  Adele Bovard


At WCC we introduce new technologies via the Center for Teaching and Learning. These ideas are then presented through the academic technology committee of the Faculty Senate for adoption.

 -- Dana Wilke


Any educational programs or activities must have a strong evidence base.    We are also welcoming of pilot projects to gain the evidence that might benefit our school and others.

Our school is interested in developing creators not consumers of technology, another factor in judging what to use.  This year we are partnering with TEALS, a Microsoft based computer science organization, NAF for technology curriculum and Google for use of Google Expeditions.

-- Barbara McKeon


The school has a committee of Assistant Principals and Department Chairs that meet monthly with the Principal to discuss possible enhancements to instruction in the classroom.  These enhancements may include technology, professional development for faculty and staff, and/or other resources that contribute to preparing our scholars for 21st century teaching and learning.  We judge the viability of technology adoption at the school by consensus of the leadership team.

-- Edward Tom


To give participants a further sense of what they could expect from the event, they were directed to this vialogue: 

Days prior to the event (August 2, 2016), participants were sent a reminder email containing all of the above information. 

1. Welcome

Event Purpose

Teachers College recently launched TCEdTech, an initiative focused on ensuring that the technology reaching our nation's teachers and students effectively supports learning outcomes. As part of this initiative, we plan to build a network of schools, educators, and researchers to support the selection and assessment of learning technologies.

As we think through what it would take to build such a network, we want input as to how we can meaningfully connect our academic researchers with the classrooms these technologies are meant to serve.

Learn more about TCEdTech here.


Event groups and members

The hosts of this design event were Drs. Gary Natriello and Hui Soo Chae. 

For the majority of the event, participants were sectioned into the following groups. 


    RFK Junior High School

    Joann Agnitti

    Ellen Meier    
    Seema Shah
    James De Francesco


    North Shore High School

    Brian Sweeting
    Melinda Karp
    Belinda Miles
    Edward Tom
    Barbara McKeon


    Springfield Elementary

    Chingfu Lan
    Rashid Davis
    Ron LInk
    Cassie Friedman

    GreendaleGrizzly.jpgGreendale Community College

    Susan Fuhrman
    Kim Kefgen
    Joshua Solomon
    Adele Bovard
    Dana Wilkie

Attendee Bios


Joann Agnitti

Product Manager, EdLab, Teachers

Joann is fond of wild ideas and making them happen. She's a product manager at EdLab where she's held court for nearly 9 years. A graduate of Teachers College's Counseling Psychology program, Joann's understanding of human emotions influences her approach to product development and helps her gain deep insights when interviewing users. When not promoting Edlab's wide array of learning applications and services to the greater education community, Joann can be found making endless wedding boards on Pinterest and watching the latest hotness on Netflix.


bovard.pngAdele Bovard

Deputy Superintendent, Syosset Schools

Adele has served in education for over thirty five years as a classroom teacher, principal of elementary and secondary buildings, Superintendent of Dansville and Webster Schools, Deputy Superintendent of Rochester City  Schools before taking the role of Deputy Superintendent of Syosset Central  Schools.


Adele's experiences in education underscore a firm belief  that all students deserve  equal opportunities for a quality education. She is known for her work  in teacher  development, academic systems, increased graduation rates, and digital transformation initiatives. Most recently, her work in Rochester  City Schools supported a digital transformation platform connecting instructional information and management and curriculum planning with  the expressed  mission" to create an educational culture that empowers students to succeed  in the learning process  by utilizing technology as a support for learners  to become prepared for college, career and life."


Adele is a product of Long Island public schools and is delighted to return "home" to work  in

Syosset. She is eager to bring  her leadership experience with classroom  technologies to the ongoing work  in Syosset.

 Rashid Ferrod DavisDavis.png

Founding Principal, P-TECH

Rashid Ferrod Davis is the Founding Principal of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) who has more  than 20 years of experience working in the New York City Department of Education as a teacher, assistant  principal, and, most  recently, the Principal of Bronx  Engineering and Technology Academy (BETA). P-TECH is the first of what is now a network of more  than 60 grades  9-14 schools across Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, New York and Texas.


Davis has been invited to the White House and participated in a brainstorming session on High School Redesign  with  Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Department of Education; Seth Harris, Acting Secretary of the Department of Labor; James Kvaal, Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy  Council; and Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council from  where the 100 Million Dollar Race to the Top High School Redesign Grant  generated. Davis has also been invited to the White House and participated in a brainstorming session with  national leaders on STEM schools.


Davis is a graduate of Morehouse College with advanced degrees  from Pace University, Teachers College, Columbia University, and Fordham University.


francesco.pngJames De Francesco 

Principal, Berta R. Dreyfus Intermediate School

James De Francesco has been the principal of Dreyfus Intermediate School since 2015. Prior positions in education included Assistant Principal and math teacher/coach at IS2 and math teacher at MS390. Earlier roles focused  on budget analysis and property management. James holds  an M.S. in School Administration and Supervision from  Bank Street  College of Education, an M.S. in Mathematics Education from Brooklyn College, an M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from New York University, and B.S. in Psychology from Fordham University.


Cassie.pngCassie Freeman

Adjunct Professor, Teachers College

Cassie Freeman is a researcher and adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her primary research interests are mathematics teaching and learning and the use of higher order thinking skills in the classroom. Specifically, she researches  teachers' understanding of children's thinking and the ways that language and gesture can be used to promote higher order thinking skills. Currently, Cassie is evaluating two educational technologies for their use in math teaching and learning.


fuhrman.pngSusan Fuhrman

President, Teachers College

Susan Fuhrman is the tenth President of Teachers College, Columbia University, joining the College in August 2006. She is the founding Director and Chair of the Management Committee of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), and served as President  of the National Academy of Education. She previously served as Dean of the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education, where she was the school's George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education. Dr. Fuhrman received her bachelor's and master's degrees in history from Northwestern University in Chicago, and a Ph.D. in political science and education from Teachers College, Columbia University.


Karp.pngMelinda Karp

Assistant Director, Community College Research Center, Teachers College

Melinda Karp is Assistant Director of the Community College Research Center at Teachers College. She leads CCRC's work on advising, institutional reform, and rethinking how to support community college students. Karp regularly keynotes professional meetings and events and comments in media outlets including NPR, The New York Times, and Inside Higher Ed. Her reports and articles have been published in journals such as the Teachers College Record, New Directions for Community Colleges, and Community College Review.


Karp holds a BS in human development and family  studies from Cornell University; an MA in sociology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a PhD in sociology and education from Columbia University.


kefgen.pngKim Kefgen

Head of Public Services, Gottesman Libraries, Teachers College

Kim Kefgen leads the services  team and education program at the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College.  Before coming to TC, she was the Director of the Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence at Columbia Business School where she worked closely with the Dean's Office on teaching and curriculum development, and led the initiative for effective and appropriate adoption of new technologies for successful  teaching. She also worked in New York as a professional theater producer, director and stage manager for over fifteen years, and is a proud mother of a rising fourth grader. As a parent, she is currently a part of her daughter's School Leadership Team and a former PA Executive Board member. Ms. Kefgen holds a BFA in Theatre from Otterbein College, an M.A. in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, and an M.B.A. from  Columbia University.


lan.pngChing-Fu Lan

Principal Researcher, EdLab, Teachers College

Ching-Fu Lan is an educator, maker, interactive technologist, and researcher. He is also a member of EdLab and is involved in several grant-funded projects that allow him to bring  together his expertise in democratic education and Edlab's commitment to the future of learning  with advanced technologies. As an experienced qualitative researcher and educator who works  extensively with K -12 and adult learners on social issues and new media, Ching-Fu appreciates the human-centered focus of design thinking to foster creativity, and has used this approach in workshops for educators to create innovative solutions to various problems. Combining these experiences with  his latest interests in maker technologies and the Internet of Things, Ching-Fu  passionately explores creative experience of everyday invention and the emerging trend of the democratization of invention. Ching-Fu holds a M.S.Ed. from University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in education from Teachers College, Columbia University.


link.pngRon Link

Principal, TAPCo Public School of the Arts

Ron has been the Principal of TAPCo Public School of the Arts for the past four years in the Bronx. This 6-12 school community utilizes STEAM to foster high achievement in core content areas and provide students opportunities for deeper exploration of the performing and visual arts. Interdisciplinary essential questions enable students to recognize, analyze  and appreciate the connections between Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. TAPCo was recently listed in U.S. News & World Report's Best High Schools in America, and featured on Pix 11 and in the What's Working section of the Huffington Post for 100% of students attending college with over $5M in scholarship and grant offerings from all the schools to which they applied.


In 2016, Community of Unity recognized Ron with their SONG award for his service to his school community. In 2012, Ron received the Lehman Urban Transformative Education Award which honors the work of educators who make outstanding contributions to urban education. Ron's past work  in refractive surgery education has been featured in the New York Times, on 20/20 & WebMD. Ron has an M.Ed in Education Leadership from Columbia Teachers College through the Summer  Principals Academy (SPA). This past July, Ron was a panelist  for SPA New Orleans New School Design presentations.


McKEon.pngBarbara McKeon

Head of School, Broome Street Academy

Dr. McKeon's career has focused on serving the needs of the most vulnerable populations. She has written numerous articles and spoken extensively on topics in education including restorative justice, improving school culture and inspiring leadership, most recently as a Keynote Speaker for the Affinity Teaching  Alliance  in England. Dr. McKeon serves on two Mayoral  committees in New York City focused on reducing the pipeline to prison for minority students and on building Community Schools. She is the grandmother of 4, a clown, a fitness instructor and appears in the Guinness Book of World Records!


She is currently Head of School at Broome Street Academy, a high school for homeless  and foster care children in New York City.


meier.pngEllen Meier

Professor/Director, Center for Technology and School Change, Teachers College

Dr. Ellen Meier directs the Center for Technology and School Change, serves on the faculty of the Department in Mathematics, Science, and Technology, and supervises the Technology Specialist Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is also Co-Chair of the Technology, Policy, and Practices Council  for the New York State Department of Education, and a co-editor of the AACE journal, Current Issues in Technology and Teacher Education. The Center  for Technology and School Change researches  high-need urban schools using technology as a transformative tool  to create more engaging, authentic learning environments. Over the past several years, Dr. Meier has used design-based research to identify and refine key elements of a professional development approach based on learning theories about  the use of technology. The resulting model, Innovating Instruction, is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.


Miles.pngBelinda S. Miles

President, Westchester Community College

As president of Westchester Community College (WCC), Dr. Belinda S. Miles presides over the largest college in Westchester County, New York serving more than 26,000 students annually.  Since her arrival  in January  2015, Dr. Miles' leadership has resulted in increased graduation rates, the largest  graduating class in the institution's 70 year history, and membership in Achieving the Dream-- the national reform network of community colleges committed to improving student success. WCC is SUNY's first federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution. Prior to joining Westchester Community College, Dr. Miles served as provost and executive vice president of Access, Learning, and Success at Cuyahoga Community College  with oversight of four campuses and multiple extension sites serving  60,000 students in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio area.


Dr. Miles holds a B.A. in political science from  York College City University of New York (CUNY), a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Organization and Leadership Development from Columbia University Teachers College.



Seema B. Shah

Director of Technology and Innovation Initiatives, LaGuardia Community College

Seema B. Shah is the Director of Technology and Innovation Initiatives at LaGuardia Community College, working to increase educational and professional opportunities for students and faculty looking to enter  New York City's thriving technology sector. Prior to this role, she founded Urban Strategies & Solutions LLC, a strategic advisory firm that consulted with a range of nonprofit, government, academic and public entities around urban technology projects. Seema earned her Masters from Milano, The New School University and her Bachelor's from Barnard College, Columbia University.


solomon.pngJoshua Solomon

Principal, Business of Sports School

Joshua Solomon has been the principal of the Business of Sports School since 2008. Prior roles included Acting Executive Director of the Young Women's Leadership League and Assistant Principal and teacher at the East-West School of International Studies. He was a Cahn Fellow at Teachers College in 2013. Josh is a board member of the Japan Society and a trustee of Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Teachers College, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Harvard University.


sweeting.pngBrian Sweeting

Innovation Fellow, EdLab, Teachers College

Brian is an Innovation Fellow at Edlab, where he manages stories about how technology is changing the way we learn. Whether brainstorming with a creative team, nitpicking copy edits, or getting lost in analytics, he relishes the process of creating and sharing thoughtful pieces on what we're learning about our digital selves.


tom.pngEdward Tom

Founding Principal, Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics High School

Edward Tom is the founder and Principal of  the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics High School (BCSM), a small, no-excuses college preparatory high school in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx. After five years  as a high school mathematics teacher at Norman Thomas  High School and the Manhattan Center  for Science and Mathematics, Mr.  Tom  rose  to become a District Mathematics  Staff  Developer for  grades 5-8  in Community School District 6 in upper Manhattan.  In 2002, Mr. Tom became Regional Instructional Supervisor for  high school mathematics, serving 32 Bronx High Schools in  Region One. In 2005 he founded the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics High School (BCSM).


Mr. Tom received a B.S. in business marketing management from Binghamton University, an M.S. in multicultural urban education from the College of  Mount Saint  Vincent, and School District Administration (SDA) and School Administration and Supervision (SAS) certifications from  CUNY - Baruch College's Aspiring Leaders Program. In 2011, Mr. Tom completed a fellowship at Columbia University's Teacher's College.


Currently, Mr. Tom serves as a member of the Principals' Advisory Committee for the Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning - New York City Department of Education and a member of the Chancellor's Fellowship. In the Spring 2016, Mr. Tom is participating in the Columbia Coaching Certification Program in order to offer executive coaching support to Principals throughout New York City, America and the world in order to expand the pool of highly trained transformational school leaders.


Dana.pngDana Wilkie

Associate Dean of Adjunct Services, Professional Development, Academic Operations, Westchester Community College

Dr. Wilkie, Associate Dean of Adjunct Services. Professional Development & Academic Operations oversees the hiring and onboarding processes of Adjunct Faculty. In addition. she oversees  the Faculty/Professional Development in collaboration with  the Center for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Wilkie has implemented the Faculty Resource Center (FRC) to promote teaching excellence for student success in alignment with  the College's  mission. The goal of the FRC is to provide a central location for full-time and part-time faculty to explore, to find collaborators and colleagues across the disciplines, and to learn and collaborate new ideas, emerging technologies,and promising practices. She also collaborates with faculty to develop effective online and blended courses. In addition, she is in the process of implementing a faculty driven Online Education Committee and quality assurance measures for online course development through Quality Matters (QM) peer­ based course review. After becoming QM certified, she plans to implement QM training opportunities for faculty.


natriello.pngGary Natriello

Professor, Teachers College

Gary Natriello is the Ruth L. Gottesman Professor in Educational Research and Professor of Sociology and Education in the Department of Human Development at Teachers College, Columbia University. Professor Natriello directs the Gottesman Libraries and is the executive editor of the Teachers College Record. Professor Natriello is the co-author of several  books,  including Schooling Disadvantaged Children: Racing Against Catastrophe, and From Cashbox to Classroom. Recent articles include: Online  Assessment and Diverse Learners, High Stakes Testing and Teaching to the Test, The Future of Learning and Emerging Discovery Networks, and Networked Learning.


Professor Natriello holds an A.B. in English from Princeton University, an A.M. in Sociology from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Sociology of Education from Stanford University.


chae.pngHui Soo Chae 

Senior Director of Research, Development, and Strategy, Gottesman Libraries, Teachers College

Hui Soo Chae is the Senior Director Research, Development, and Strategy for the EdLab and the Gottesman Libraries. In that capacity he leads the software development, product development, consulting, and publishing initiatives. Dr. Chae has led the development of a number of learning applications, including the Vialogues ( video discussion tool. His publishing initiatives have included development of the mobile publishing platform for the New Learning Times ( He has also pioneered an accelerated model to speed the delivery of educational consulting services to diverse clients, including HBO, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Peterson  Foundation, and the Rock and Roll Forever  Foundation. Dr. Chae's research has focused on the examination of the educational experiences of minority youth using critical theory, the creation of in-school and out-of-school learning opportunities, and the development of online venues for learning. Dr. Chae holds  an A.B. degree in Public Policy and an M.A.T. from Brown University and an Ed.D. from Teachers College.


4. Shared Exploration

School artifact analysis

Duration: 30 minutes for activity, 15 minutes for debrief

At the beginning of this activity, participants received a very important letter addressed to someone in their school. While the exact content of the letters differed by group, the purpose of each was the same: to extend an opportunity to that school to participate in research surrounding an educational technology. Copies of these artifacts can be found with their corresponding school in the share-out sections of this activity.

After discussing the letter within their groups, participants then moved on to the "exhibit area" that housed informational booths about each of the schools. Information included demographic makeup of students, test score statistics, funding insights, and extracurricular clubs and activities.

Starting at their own school's booth, groups listed challenges their school might face when implementing edtech and challenges they might face when conducting research on edtech. Once they finished, groups received 10 star stickers and were instructed to visit the whiteboards in the space and star the challenges that resonated. 

At the conclusion of this activity, Event hosts debriefed on notable challenges, recurring themes, and other points of interest brought up as a result of the exercise. 

P1040575.JPG P1040573.JPG


Kennedy Wildcats

                                                                                                 August 4, 2016




Mr. Edward Cutlip

Physical Education Department

Robert F. Kennedy Junior High School

Anytown, USA




Dear Ed:


It has been a long while since we have seen you at Teachers College so I am pleased to have an occasion to renew contact.  I am writing to you to share an opportunity for Robert F. Kennedy Junior High School to participate in the continuing development of an interactive game to promote healthy eating among young adolescents. 


Creature 101 is an interactive virtual world game that uses “creature care” as the game motif and draws its educational content from the middle school nutrition science curriculum. The game is a collaborative effort between the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College and Stottler Henke Inc., CA through a NIH-SBIR grant. It targets middle school children and adolescents with the intention of promoting healthy eating and physical activity behaviors through science inquiry lessons presented as mini-games, slideshows, interactive dialogues, creature care, etc.


Creature 101 has undergone an initial evaluation in New York City public middle schools to assess its feasibility for use in classrooms and its impact on students.  Based on the results of this initial evaluation and revisions to the game, we are now seeking schools for a second round evaluation.  I hope that this is something that may be of interest to you and your colleagues.  I will be calling in the next week to discuss this project.




Isobel Contento

Mary Schwartz Rose Professor of Nutrition and Education

Download a copy of this letter 




North Shore Lions

                                                                                               August 4, 2016


Mr. Ron Duvall, Principal

North Shore High School

Evanston, Illinois


Dear Mr. Duvall:


I am writing to you today to invite you to participate in an exciting new research opportunity for your school that builds on your existing Blackboard Learning Management System.  As a long-time Blackboard client, you may have enjoyed the enhanced record keeping facilities provided by Blackboard to deliver personalized learning experiences for your students.


The Networked Education Database Project is the result of a partnership of Blackboard and the EdLab at Teachers College, Columbia University.  The project will pioneer a new approach to gathering data on the impact of educational programs by using a custom Blackboard building block to collect research data on students and teachers at Blackboard schools and then sending that data without school, student, or teacher identifying information to a central research server at Columbia.  The resulting dataset will be used to investigate a range of educational issues of interest to educators such as yourself and the results of the research will be shared with you and the leaders of other participating schools.


The Networked Education Database Project has the potential to enhance and accelerate educational research while minimizing the burden of data gathering on schools, teachers, and students.  I look forward to speaking with you personally about this project and will contact you in the next few days.



Mathew Pittinsky

Blackboard and Teachers College

Download a copy of this letter



Springfield Purple Pumas

---------- Email message ----------
From: <>
Date: Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 8:10 AM
Subject: Class Dojo
To: Principal Skinner <>



Hey-Diddly-Ho Principal Skinner!


I am writing to express my concern with what seems to be the inconsistent use of educational technology at Springfield Elementary.  As you know we have two children at Springfield, Todd in the fourth grade with Ms. Krabappel and Rod in the third grade with Miss. Hoover.


As third grade parents, we have been invited by Ms. Hoover to join her Class DoJo system. This system lets us keep track of things that are going on with Rod and the class. Unfortunately, Ms. Krabappel is not using Class DoJo so we have much less access to developments with Todd and his class. 


We think that all classes at Springfield should be using Class DoJo so parents can be connected to things that are going on with their children and their classes. We hope that you can get Class DoJo for all the teachers at Springfield and make sure that they use it to keep parents informed.


Please let us know if this is possible and, if so, how soon we might have Class DoJo for Todd’s class.



Ned Flanders


PS – I have attached an article describing how Class DoJo is using research from Stanford that might be useful to you. 

Download a copy of this letter


PumaResearch.JPG  PumaEdtech.JPG

Greendale Grizzlies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           4 August 2016





Dean Craig Pelton

Greendale Community College

Greendale Country, Colorado


Dear Dean Pelton:


I hope that you remember me from our earlier meetings to review the copier and printer needs at Greendale.  We have enjoyed our working relationship with you and our earlier relationship with Russell Borchert.


I am writing to you today to introduce you to an entirely new service that we can provide the education sector.  The service is called Xerox Ignite, and we think it will change education.  Ignite is a printing, scanning, and scoring system for hand marked assessments and tests that also manages the data and produces personalized assessments and reports.  Ignite supports the current natural flow of documents in classrooms and it supports individualized and personalized learning.  Ignite was developed for teachers by teachers.


I am reaching out to you at Greendale as one of our long-time customers to see if you might be interested in participating in a college-level trial of Ignite.  Ignite was originally developed with an elementary school partner, and it has since been extended successfully to secondary schools.  We believe that Ignite also has great potential to support learning at the college level and we want to offer you an early opportunity to help develop it for your campus.  The sales team and research team are partnering in this outreach, and if you are interested, we would like to set up a meeting to discuss the next steps.  I will call you later this week to follow up.




Charles Roberts

Mountain Sales Division Representative

Download a copy of this letter


Grizzlyedtech.JPG    Grizzlyresearch.JPG

7. Design & Build


Duration: 40 minutes (combined with Prototype Playground)

After hearing the one barrier and solution from each lunch group, school groups then set upon to devise a comprehensive solution that would address all four in the form of a metaphorical (and tangible) prototype.  

"Design a system that fosters school and teacher participation in education technology research." 

Groups were given a large blue piece of paper on which to sketch their prototype. At the same time, the radiant wall that served as a backdrop to the event (and doubled as the brainstorm bank) was wheeled back to reveal the tools participants would be using to build their system solution. 


Prototype Playground

Duration: 40 minutes (combined with Blueprint)

A veritable pantheon of creation awaited participants in the newly revealed "auditorium" space. 

Building materials included:

The goal of this activity was to move from theory to action, for participants to walk away with the sense that the solution(s) they created were a step towards real progress in TC's mission to create a network of schools and universities to engage in research surrounding education technologies. 



Additional Resources

Event Playlist

It seems our music choices for the day struck the right chord with many of you! To those who wanted the event playlist, here's our energizing mix for optimal innovation.


Star Trek Beyond Soundtrack



The Shins - New Slang

The Shins - The Celibate Life

The Shins - Turn on Me

The Shins - Spilt Needles

The Shins - Girl Sailor

The Shins - A Comet Appears

The Shins - Pink Bullets

The Shins - We Will Become Silhouettes

The Shins - Caring is Creepy


Shared Exploration

Jimmy Buffet - Changes in Latitude

Gladys Knight & The Pips - Midnight Train to Georgia

Jimmy Buffet - Come Monday

The Isley Brothers - This Old Heart of Mine

Jimmy Buffet - Margaritaville

Lady Gaga - Just Dance

Stevie Wonder - You Are the Sunshine of My Life

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - The Tracks of My Tears

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - Ooo Baby Baby

Jimmy Buffet - It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

Ariana Grande & The Weeknd - Love Me Harder

Ben E. King - Stand by Me

Billy Joel - The River of Dreams

Boyz II Men - Water Runs Dry

Boyz II Men - Hold Me Up

The Doobie Brothers - What a Fool Believes

Dwight Yoakam - A Thousand Miles From Nowhere



Niki Taylor - Syracuse

Sources - Memories

Dexter Morgan - Zero

Dave Mitz & Sacha M - Skyland

Catmer - Tictac

Alex Marx & Nostalgik - Feeling My Soul

Damian William - Dangerous

Emelyanov - Remember Piano



Ed Sheeran - Photograph

Coldplay - Everglow

Jackson Browne - In the Shape of a Heart

James Blunt - You’re Beautiful

Sam Smith - Stay With Me

DNCE - Cake by the Ocean

Toni Braxton - Another Sad Love Song

Michael Cavanaugh - Let My Love Open the Door

Charlie Puth - As You Are

Kenny Chesney - Setting the World on Fire

Marlon Roudette - When the Beat Drops Out

Tim McGraw - Humble and Kind



Jesse Colin Young - Ridgetop

Richard Marx - When You Loved Me

Gregory Abbott - Shake You Down

The Goo Goo Dolls - Sympathy

Barenaked Ladies - You Run Away

Ryan Adams - Two

The Fray - Over My Head

Snow Patrol - Just Say Yes

Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weinberg - Tell Me to My Face

Coldplay - Speed of Sound

Curtis Mayfield - Move on Up

Luther Vandross - Never Too Much



Jimmy Buffet - Oldest Surfer On The Beach

Tracy Chapman - Change

Tom Petty - Crawling Back to You

Paul Simon - Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

Crosby, Stills & Nash - Wasted On The Way

Grateful Dead - Ripple

Eagles - Love Will Keep Us Alive

End Credits

It took a village to put this event together. We would like to thank the following people for their guidance, feedback, hard work, participation, and support. 

ETO End Credits.jpg

2. Icebreaker

Bolder Than a 4th Grader

Duration: 30 minutes

Before beginning this activity, participants watched the following video:

Then, within their groups, they responded to the prompt, "An educational technology I wish I could have in my school is..." and were reminded to be bolder than the 4th graders in the  video. 

After each group member shared an idea, groups identified the best (or a synthesis of the best) by name and described it. 

The ideation was followed by a large group share-out. 

Kennedy Wildcats

Idea: School-wide, instant communication network that provides anonymity among participants. 


North Shore Lions

Idea: Virtual reality field trips that provide multi-sensory experiences. 


Springfield Purple Pumas

Idea: 3D math app that makes the abstract tangible. 


Greendale Grizzlies

Idea: Adaptive language learning app


5. Brainstorm

50 Ideas in 7 Minutes

Duration: 7 minutes


Our standard rules for brainstorming are to...

1. Be wild

2. Be brief

3. Don't judge

4. Go for quantity

5. Build on ideas of others


What systems, practices, infrastructure, and/or incentives can we put in place to foster school and teacher participation in educational technology research? 


1) Provide technology to teachers
2) Give tablets to teachers
3) Provide onsite coaching to teachers
4) Make the activities relevant to the curriculum
5) Create cross-disciplinary research teams
6) Obtain funding to support participation
7) Give teachers time to participate
8) Establish an innovation lab in schools
9) Ask teachers to contribute to the project
10) Create no judgment zones
11) Offer parent workshops
12) Forge community partnerships
13) Decouple the activities from accountability
14) Encourage collaboration between students and teachers
15) Find corporate sponsors
16) Compensate for teacher time
17) Determine the fit/misfit with the current tech environment in schools
18) Provide freebies
19) Provide equity in the companies
20) Showcase teacher work
21) Connect the work to group learning
22) Research what teachers want
23) Secure government funding for experimentation
24) Build capacity for teachers
25) Secure funding to ensure projects can be completed
26) Create a reality show
27) Plan for sustainability as technology changes
28) Broaden the definitions of outcomes
29) Align missions with technology
30) Have students present findings
31) Have parents present findings
32) Celebrate successes
33) Work with students to build applications
34) Create a system for sharing findings
35) Be sure to create an escape clause
36) Have clear data security policies
37) Leverage and recognize TC Alumni participation
38) Align the activities with broader school improvement plans
39) Broaden the dissemination of these activities and findings
40) Make policy changes to support education tech research
41) Be specific about goals
42) Focus on generalizability
43) Train teachers to do this work
44) Transform teacher education
45) Provide gourmet box lunches
46) Make the activities meaningful to individuals
47) Form partnerships with schools
48) Form partnerships with foundations
49) Align activities with the Learning Sciences
50) Create a research "velvet rope"
51) Inform developers of this work
52) Get informed consent
53) Assess the impact of these activities
54) Copyright everything
55) Define "counterfactual"


8. Share-out

Kennedy Wildcats

The TC Highway Feedback Loop


Watch Wildcat representative Seema explain her group's system:

North Shore Lions

The Jungle Gym


Watch Lion representative Belinda explain her group's system:

Springfield Purple Pumas

The Ever-Changing Pipeline


Watch Puma representative Cassie explain her group's system (and try not to get dizzy!):

Greendale Grizzlies

The Drumbeat of Innovation


Watch Grizzly representative Adele explain her group's system:

3. Goals

Problem Statement

Duration: 10 minutes

Participants watched a problem statement video that set the stage for the day's events.

Event hosts defined the five main goals of the event as follows:

1 - Collaboratively generating ideas

2 - to establish a community network of school and university partners

3 - that will support the selection and assessment of learning technologies

4 - by serving as sites for testing their effectiveness

5 - and advising developers on use and value. 

6. Lunch & Synthesis

One barrier for TC

Duration: 50 minutes

Each group member took a small sticker letter, A-D, and placed it on their name tags. Then they assembled into their new letter groups for lunch and discussion. Lunch took place in the "cafeteria."

Midway through lunch, Event hosts came around to each table and asked groups to,"Identify one significant barrier to conducting education technology research that TC should address." 

Groups sketched a solution to their barrier on a giant "napkin" provided. 

At the end of lunch, participants reconvened into their original school groups and a member from each lunch group shared the barrier and solution they had discussed. 


Group A

Problem: Sustainability

Solution: Create a pipeline to ensure that when leadership turnover occurs, an informed replacement will slide in seamlessly. 


Group B

Problem: Difficult to assess tech

Solution: Evaluation rubric for edtech


Group C

Problem: How do you know if the tech meets students' needs?

Solution: Figure out a way to establish credibility and rationale


Group D

Problem: Resource equity

Solution: Teachers should be equipped with pedagogies and tech that facilitate deep learning to help students succeed. Teacher PD is not enough, it will require a shift in the way we think about tech integration in teaching and learning. 


|By: Panisuan Chasinga|830 Reads