Tech Coach Meeting


I wanted to create some notes from the “smackdown” of 5 minute presentations by our school tech coaches. There was so much great stuff being shared and I was frantically typing to try to log some of the great things that are happening in our schools.

Presentations by Tech Coaches (Junior/Senior High)

  1. Google Glass – this device allows the user to wear the special glasses to take pictures and video.  Google is marketing it as the new iPad. What are the implications for education? It would certainly allow students to learn. Imagine if someone was wearing Google Glass and and narrated their way through a problem or a skill.  It would allow the view to see exactly what the user was seeing as he was recording. No doubt there is no end to the cool things that you could do with Google Glass but at what cost? Jason Perlow (@jperlow) writes an article about the potential hazards of the new technology.
  2. Green Screen Announcements – One tech coach shared how they do a morning broadcast each morning for announcements and prayer. They use professional looking back drops and they report that the students at the school look forward to seeing the morning announcements. The announcements are done live but certain highlights have been pre-recorded. The announcements are viewed in the classroom by the teacher clicking on a desktop icon which leads to a URL and the broadcast is shown using the classroom projector.
  3. Virtual Classrooms – Junior High School – one virtual classroom was created for all three levels (7, 8, 9) of Social Studies. All the students in the school have access to this site. In this virtual space there is a link to separate VC’s for each grade. The content on these sites has been created by the students. For example, some students created a video about the Acadians and have uploaded it to the VC.
  4. Adobe Premiere – show the kids the basics about video creation (eg. Digital story) and give them the autonomy and power to learn, collaborate, and create. As the teacher, you become the facilitator and you definitely don’t have to know everything about the software. The advice: “Don’t be afraid to give up control and let your students fly.”
  5. School Bundle – new interface which will replace our existing SharePoint portal. Based on a user’s role in the school district, you will see different things when you log in. You can also subscribe to specific feeds and calendars.
  6. Tech Coach training site – one of the tech coaches created a collaboration space in which she has uploaded “how to” guides and videos. Many of these tutorials were created by students. Some of the topics: LiveBinders, SharePoint, iPads, Discovery Ed, Google Docs, PowerSchool, etc. This tech coach has created a rubric so that members of her staff can evaluate iPad apps.
  7. High School Announcement Broadcasting – TriCaster system. These systems cost between $5000-$7500 for a basic system. Old office in the library has been turned in to a Broadcasting studio. They use the old RCA cables that were run for TV broadcasting…now the cables run to projectors. The segments are prepared in Comm Tech class before they are broadcast. Friday announcements are done live…the rest of the week is traditional announcements. Advice: get the kids to do the work!
  8. Frontrow – can capture the audio of a lesson. This is relatively new software…just released at ISTE last year. Teacher wears a small microphone which can work on voice command. These sound files can be uploaded to virtual classrooms and we viewed an example in which a teacher uploaded the sound file with a video capture from his smartboard. This happens automatically when the Frontrow software is running. In fact, it integrates with everything which is being shown on the computer/projector. The cost of the software is around $300 and equipment costs are estimated to be about $1900 per classroom. The teacher’s voice is also broadcasted to the class in the same way as an FM system. These are high quality devices that have excellent sound quality.
  9. Dragon Naturally Speaking – voice recognition software…anything that you do on your computer can be controlled with your voice.  “Open Word” was used to open Microsoft Word. The tech coach then talked about the software and everything that she said was captured in Word. There was a little bit of a time lag in the voice recognition but it was fairly accurate.

I hope these notes were useful to you.


About Derek Hatch
Principal in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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