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Colorado ASCD's Blog

  • 25 Jan 2018 8:30 AM | Lewis (Administrator)

    Integrating technology into today’s classrooms offers students experience and knowledge relevant for today’s working world while simultaneously giving parents confidence that their student is receiving a high-quality education. While new technology can be enthralling for students and staff, it can be unnerving if not properly integrated and supported in the classroom. To properly supply students with a modern education experience, it’s important not to overlook the learning spaces as well.

    When adding new technology to the classroom, first think about the technology itself. What level of support will teachers need to use the technology effectively? What would benefit students the most? What educational technology (Edtech) would move the district towards bettering the educational experience as a whole, and have an end result of student success? Adding technology to a school is a very individualized experience as each district will have their own desires, goals, support systems and needs.

    Once the desired classroom technology has been chosen, the next step must be to focus on the instructional design. One of the very first questions to ask would be, “What does our district want out of instructional technology?” Once you know the skills and competencies you want for your learners and the learning experiences that will help develop those skills, you can begin to integrate specific technology into your plan that will enhance those experiences.

    An equally important question to ask is, “How can our schools effectively integrate the chosen technology into learning spaces?” Each type of Edtech introduced requires a different type of supportive environment. It’s important that school districts don’t build an environment around any one type of technology due to the rapid pace at which Edtech is changing. Rather, each school’s instructional design should fit current needs as well as the changing needs of the foreseeable future to prevent future space issues.

    Not only are aligned instructional practices and technology important, but classroom furniture is an important tool as well. Education is moving away from front-facing, lecture-heavy teaching to a more modern, collaborative, student-centered learning environment focused around relationships. Proper furniture choice becomes vital to the classroom as furniture that is easy to move determines the success of a classroom’s ability to collaborate in different ways. The right environment can allow students to seamlessly move from group to individual work and gives the learner the opportunity to control the time and pace at which they learn. This mobility allows students to create a space that helps them learn best.

    Today’s technology is growing and changing at an incredible pace. For schools, this fact can be both exciting and daunting, leaving questions on how to effectively integrate technology into learning spaces, and what benefits it will have on student learning and the school environment. To properly integrate technology into learning environments, start by focusing on the desired learning experience. Finally, make certain to design supportive spaces that will provide for the experiences and results you seek. Properly integrated and sufficiently supported technology is the key to success.



    Brandon Hillman, ALEP

    MeTEOR Education VP of Sales, East Region

    MeTEOR Education is a leader in instructional design. We keep learning and relationships the focus of our work. We strive to help schools design spaces that allow for effective utilization of today’s technological and instructional needs, while simultaneously creating the flexibility needed to support future Edtech and instructional delivery methods.

    Brandon Hillman is a passionate industry thought leader and education advocate with over eight years of experience in creating High-impact Learning Environments. He has been with MeTEOR Education since 2013 and in that time has worked with districts across the country on transforming their learning environments in a planned, progressive, and programmatic manner. Brandon is an Accredited Learning Environment Planner (ALEP). This is the Association for Learning Environment’s (formally CEFPI) most comprehensive professional program in the educational facility industry. It is therefore the top industry standard for all professionals engaged in planning, designing, operating, maintaining, and equipping learning environments at all levels of education. His greatest joy comes from spending time with his wife Meghan, and their two sons: Easton and Jameson.

  • 9 Jan 2018 4:42 PM | Lewis (Administrator)

    Be Informed, Be Heard

    How can you influence education policy that affects your everyday life as a teacher? 

    If you’re not sure about the answer, there are a number of ways to have your voice heard by education policymakers at the local, state, and national level. One of those ways is to join ASCD’s Educator Advocates program (http://www.ascd.org/public-policy/Educator-Advocates.aspx). As an advocate, you’ll receive an e-newsletter that provides information about federal education policy and politics, opportunities to provide policymakers with your input on education issues, and access to the ASCD Action Center where you can learn about legislation and contact Congressional representatives. To help you understand and carry out your role as an education advocate, ASCD conducts an annual Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy. This year’s event is January 21-23 in Washington, DC. Here’s the link to registration: http://www.ascd.org/conferences/LILA/home.aspx.

    ASCD also develops policy recommendations for the federal, state, and district levels (http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/policy/2017-ASCD-Policy-Recommendations.pdf) as well as policy positions http://www.ascd.org/news-media/ASCD-Policy-Positions/ASCD-Positions.aspx. For 2017, there were recommendations in the areas of ensuring equity, promoting excellence, and supporting educators (http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/policy/2017-ASCD-Policy-Recommendations.pdf) and positions related to standards development and implementation, educating students in a changing world, the whole child, health and learning, closing the achievement gap, and multiple measures of assessment. For questions or more information about education advocacy at ASCD, contact the ASCD Government Relations Team (gr@ascd.org).

    CO ASCD’s efforts to support teacher voice in education decision making include hosting online conversations with policymakers (see Education Issues in Focus at www.coascd.org), conducting policy summits, inviting policymakers and educators to write policy-related blogs or articles for our newsletter, connecting with other organizations in the state that promote education advocacy (for example, Commissioner Anthes’ Teacher Cabinet http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdecomm/teachercabinet), providing information about policy priorities in Colorado (for example, State Board of Education priorities (http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeboard/sbe2017legpriorities), and participating in ASCD education advocacy activities.

    This column will be a regular feature in our quarterly newsletter. We invite you to contribute or respond to the column by writing about how policies have affected your classroom or by sharing your ideas about existing or needed policies. We hope you’ll participate in our other advocacy activities as well. If you would like to play a leadership role by becoming a member of CO ASCD’s Advocacy Committee, please contact Jill Lewis (coascd.president@coascd.org).

  • 25 Oct 2017 8:06 PM | Lewis (Administrator)

    Education Issues in Focus:

    A Conversation with Policymakers was a Success!

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017  

    This Event Featured: 

    Katy Anthes, the Colorado Commissioner of Education

    and David Griffith, ASCD Senior Director of Public Policy

    also, included our guests of distinguished panelists: 

    Policymaker Panelists:

    Jane GoffColorado Board of Education

    Brent KinmanOperations Director, Colorado House Minority Office

    Julie Duvall,  State Director at U.S. Senator Michael Bennet

     Senator Cory Gardner (via pre-recorded video)

    Teacher Panelists:

    Sean WybrantHigh School Teacher (Colorado Springs) and 2017 Colorado Teacher of the Year

    Anita GandhiMiddle School Teacher (Colorado Springs) and Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers 2017 Best of Colorado

    Debra Norby ColgateElementary School Teacher (Salida)

    Colorado Senator Cory Gardner's Pre-recorded Responses to Questions from Education Issues in Focus

    This is a pre-recorded video segment created by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner and his office for CO ASCD's Event, Education Issues in Focus: A Conversation with Policymakers. CO ASCD unfortunately didn’t have success in playing the Senator’s video during the LIVE webinar. This is a video of his pre-recorded responses to the questions posed to panelists, and includes his response to a third question, which CO ASCD also, didn’t have time to get to during the livestream event. A very Special Thank you to Senator Cory Gardner and his staff for their time and participation in this CO ASCD event.

    Thank you! To all who participated in our Education Issues Live Event!

  • 5 Oct 2017 5:22 PM | Lewis (Administrator)

    Education Issues in Focus: A Conversation with Policymakers

    JOIN US Oct 24, 2017 at 6:30 PM for a LIVE ONLINE EVENT on:

    Education Issues in Focus:

    A Conversation with Policymakers

    This event is to facilitate a dialogue between education policymakers and educators regarding education policy and how it impacts the students in the classroom. 

    Tuesday, October 24, 2017  |   6:30–7:30pm

    This Event Features: 

    Katy Anthes, the Colorado Commissioner of Education

    and David Griffith, ASCD Senior Director of Public Policy

    also, including our guests of distinguished panelists: 

    Policymaker Panelists:

    Jane GoffColorado Board of Education

    Brent KinmanOperations Director, Colorado House Minority Office

    Staff Member– Senator Bennet’s Office

    Staff Member– Senator Gardner’s Office

    Teacher Panelists:

    Sean WybrantHigh School Teacher (Colorado Springs) and 2017 Colorado Teacher of the Year

    Anita GandhiMiddle School Teacher (Colorado Springs)

    Debra Norby ColgateElementary School Teacher (Salida)

    Please join us by clicking the link below to be a part of this important conversation.


  • 20 Sep 2017 9:35 PM | Lewis (Administrator)

    Colorado ASCD, the official Colorado State Affiliate of ASCD, is pleased to
    announce its new strategic partnership with Gale, a global leader in
    education, learning, and educational research resources services provider.

    By becoming a CO ASCD Member or Premier Member of CO ASCD, educators from across Colorado will be able to see eBook titles that are available to them
    through the online webpage, and then request a temporary trial access to
    gain access to those titles, through this partnership. Such requests will
    be sent automatically to Gale representatives, so that they can provide
    direct and personalized support to CO ASCD members.

    Gale further supports your professional development and personalized goals
    through offering valuable resources such as:

    • Unlimited Simultaneous Access across entire school or district – Every
    Teacher and Administrator – No limits, No Checkouts, No Maintenance
    • Unlimited downloads, Copy and Pasting, Bookmarking, Printing
    • One-time Purchase – no Annual Subscription (only nominal hosting fee)
    • Google and MS Office Integration – Teachers can collaborate using Google
    Classroom integration, fully editable and sharable content in Google Docs/MS Office OneDrive
    • Full-Text, Customizable, Cross-Searchable PD Library – Designed for
    SCHOOLS – easy and convenient for teachers
    • All Digital Format – Mobile Optimized
    • Tools – Note-Taking, Highlighting, Bookmarking, Citation, Translation,
    Citation, Read Aloud, MP3 Downloading

    Gale is directly supporting the resource development of CO ASCD’s Framework
    2021: A P-20 Vision for Leading and Learning in Colorado by providing
    Colorado ASCD Members and Premier Members a trial access. Also, through
    this partnership Gale is directly supporting CO ASCD’s Framework 2021: A
    P-20 Vision for Leading and Learning in Colorado as we continue developing
    this valuable platform and educational resource.

    We are excited to launch this partnership with Gale and encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about how Gale can contribute to your professional growth and success.

    Gale Professional Development

  • 13 Sep 2017 11:17 AM | Lewis (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Jackson Giesin, our CO ASCD Whole Child Art Contest Winner!

    Jackson Giesin COASCD Whole Child Art Contest Winner Jackson Giesin

    Congratulations, as well, to our runners up 

    Sri Ran Kowtarapu and Bhargav Kowtarapu! 

    Sri Ran Kowtarapu COASCD Whole Child Art ContestSri Ran Kowtarapu

    Bhargav Kowtarapu COASCD Whole Child Art ContestBhargav Kowtarapu

    We would like to thank everyone who participated in and supported this contest.  

  • 12 Sep 2017 4:48 PM | Lewis (Administrator)

    Workshop Description:

    In this dynamic workshop, educators will walk away with an understanding of PBL. They will develop “ready to go” activities and lessons they can use in their schools or classrooms. Attendees will understand how PBL can have a profound effect on helping students see relevancy in their learning. Concepts around energy sources, efficiency, and sustainability are some of the energy related topics used in this workshop. Participants will also have free access to visit Solar City to see the homes, competitors, and energy related technologies.

    Workshop Fee: $45 (includes lunch and materials)

    To Learn More about the Solar Decathlon: https://www.solardecathlon.gov/

    Contact Dr. Havasy at 516-764-0045 or HelpDesk@CSTL.org for more information about the PD workshop or to register for the workshop. 


    Solar Decathlon School Days PowerPoint.pptx

  • 5 Sep 2017 11:36 AM | Lewis (Administrator)

    Historic Places of our Republic:   A Guide to Teaching United States History for K-5 Elementary School Teachers and Parents

    Teacher and historian Ken Scoville introduces a unique, new approach to teaching history for elementary school teachers and parents. Through the use of interactive technologies such as Google Earth and YouTube, students can travel to historic places in our nation today to discover the past and learn about our representative democracy, our Republic. Included is a guiding framework, links to key historic places, starting with the National Mall, online resources, and supplemental reading suggestions. This is a complete guide for K-5 elementary school teachers and parents that balances the use of traditional print resources with 21st century technology. This book explains how to become a guide for your students in the classroom or your children at home. Your students and children will understand why the United States is the nation it is today and the responsibilities of citizenship.

    • Discover “Why the United States is the Nation it is Today” by visiting the National Mall via the Internet or in person.
    • Use 21st century technology such as Google Earth and YouTube to travel to historic places with your students and children.
    • Included is a guiding framework, links to key historic places (starting with the National Mall), online resources, and supplemental reading suggestions.

    Historic Places of the Republic, is available through Amazon.com and also allows a "look inside" preview.

    Click here to go to the book now, on Amazon!

    *This is a paid advertisement. Paid advertisements help COASCD fund programing.  

  • 28 Aug 2017 12:28 PM | Lewis (Administrator)

    August 29: Please Join ASCD and its Title II coalition partners for a National Day of Action in Support of Title II Funding!

    We need every voice!

    Join us on August 29 for a National Day of Action to advocate for full funding for Title II in the Every Student Succeeds Act. Nearly every district receives Title II funding to support the recruitment, preparation, development and retention of excellent teachers and leaders, but the funding for Title II is in danger of being eliminated. The elimination-or significant reduction- of Title II funding would have significant and negative impacts on teachers, school leaders, principals, and the students they serve.
    Three Simple Ways to Advocate for Title II Funding on August 29

    1. Sign up for our Thunderclap

    A Thunderclap is a social media tool to amplify a message. To participate in our Thunderclap, go to http://thndr.me/lMppSy<http://sendgrid.thunderclap.it/wf/click?upn=YDBP6RK3mvJEJxxpkIniqIgXJdiItQ-2BXuua7nscy87k-3D_cNCEmz06J3tf6xqEweWdaqKN3Qw0LSp7EbcWjfHo4NX1MvjwUknqcg1QWN62-2B7AmNwTwZMnZIwXuUBARCJokZTzqRG9-2Fz5LjXahjVuJrC74Ov8rbvgIlluOD0wVEVNqb0Pl2tJsGmbTXzHYRaRTHtzeYyC4NvKOE8UYhY3xtKkuiPUjfWKwq87rSWaj5j1tAp1Xg36sP1ntMcfiYeiY-2BN7uxuUzILk1WZhA60cBein4-3D> and use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up. On August 29th at exactly 10am ET, the tool will post an identical message in support of Title II funding to all of the supporters' accounts, amplifying our message to all of their followers and friends.

    2. Send a prewritten letter to Congress

    Use our easy advocacy tool to send this pre-written letter<http://p2a.co/AJXrvB3> to Congress about the importance of Title II, Part A of ESSA, which is critical to providing professional development for school leaders.

    3. Tweet using #TitleIIA @[Senators and Reps]

    Here are some sample tweets you can use:

    * #TitleIIA is critical for school leaders and principals to do their jobs effectively, cuts threaten this ability
    * Millions of school leaders depend on #TitleIIA to improve schools and instruction in the classroom
    * #ESSA allows states to use 3% of #TitleIIA funds for PD for principals, cutting decreases the chances to seize this opportunity
    * The quality of teaching and leadership in schools are the two most significant in-school factors tied to student achievement. #TitleIIA
    * #TitleIIA supports increased student academic achievement by promoting strategies that will positively affect educator effectiveness.
    * Educators and students deserve schools led by great principals. Tell Congress to maintain school leadership funding through #TitleIIA
    * Students and teachers need great principals to thrive-Tell Congress: Don't cut school leadership funding! #TitleIIA
    * Without great principals, we won't have great schools. Tell Congress to maintain school leadership funding! #TitleIIA
    * Educators: Join us in telling Congress not to cut school leadership funding! #TitleIIA

    We hope you can join us and educators from around the country on August 29th to support professional development and Title II funding. Check out all of the Title II information and resources at www.ascd.org/TitleII<http://www.ascd.org/TitleII> to get involved in the National Day of Action and to support PD.

    David Griffith * Senior Director of Government Relations

    1703 N. Beauregard Street * Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
    P (703) 575-5621 * M (571) 245-9677 * F (703) 575-5486 * www.ascd.org<http://www.ascd.org/>

  • 24 Aug 2017 12:22 PM | Lewis (Administrator)

    ASCD Stands Against Racism and Racial Segregation


    Over the past week, my heart was broken as we were reminded once again that hate and racism still infect many of our fellow citizens, in far too many places. For nearly 75 years, ASCD has taken a stand against racism and racial segregation, spoken out against acts of censorship, and defended human and civil rights. As educators, parents, and protectors of children, we must condemn the acts of hate and violence that occurred last week in Charlottesville, Va., and call on all leaders and educators to take a stand against white supremacy and intolerance.

    At the core of ASCD's mission is a strong commitment to ensure that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Hate has no place in America's communities and schools, and, as educators, we have a responsibility to help instill civility and empathy in the next generation of citizens, both in the United States and around the world.

    This week ASCD has reflected on last weekend's events and has listened to the needs of educators who work with students every day. As you head back to your classrooms now and in the coming weeks, we want to support you as you prepare to facilitate potentially tough discussions about the state of our country and current events involving race and hate. For decades, our authors and contributors to Educational Leadership magazine have often addressed tough topics like racism, so we have compiled a list of resources http://inservice.ascd.org/resources-for-addressing-racism-and-hatred-in-the-classroom/ that can serve as a starting point for your in-school discussions. More resources can be found on Twitter and other social media using the hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculum https://twitter.com/search?q=%23CharlottesvilleCurriculum&src=tyah.

    Click and share Resources for Addressing Racism and Hatred in the Classroom http://inservice.ascd.org/resources-for-addressing-racism-and-hatred-in-the-classroom/

    Thank you for being an ASCD community member, and thank you for the hard work you do every day to provide a high-quality education to all students as well as forge a more hopeful future for them.


    Deb Delisle 
    ASCD Executive Director and CEO

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