Here’s what’s happening.

Music Cues

A teacher, previously averse to new tech tools, installed iTunes and added my collection of Music Cues to it. She’s planning on using a few to start up, then adding more as she gets more comfortable.

That exact story has happened at least 8 times this month and I’m thrilled about it.


EdTech Tip

EdTech Tip Graphic9.001

This video, I’ll be honest, took most of a workday to shoot and edit, but that included Googling color schemes and building a graphic in Keynote (thanks to @jcorippo for that idea).

I sent that to every teacher in the district and got no less than 40 replies (Ten percent of the staff); they all began with “Oh, you’re the new Tech Coach! Can you…”

  • Show me how to use SubText?
  • Install iTunes on my computer?
  • Fix my printer?
  • Put the email icon on my desktop?
  • Demo a lesson on effective research strategies for my seniors?

Attacking all those questions with the same earnest optimistic kindness is vital for my credibility as a teacher coach.

Sure, I have to differentiate my role from a Computer Technician at least once a day, but every time, the conversation leads to a firmer understanding of what I can do for that teacher.

Subtext and NewsELA Can Hold Hands

A teacher wants to have students use NewsELA articles in the Subtext reader for iPad, but she has a full-time classload and wants somebody to figure it out for her.


Little did she know, that’s exactly the kind of thing that I do.

Here’s what I told her:

  1. Save the NewsELA article as a PDF and put it in your Google Drive. (There’s a Chrome Extension that I use for that.)
  2. On the iPad, open Google Drive and open that PDF (like you’re reading it).
  3. In the top right, tap the three dots and select OPEN IN…
  4. Choose Subtext.

In case any of y’all are interested.

Google Drive Training

Google Drive Logo

After describing cloud storage to one teacher, she insisted I come back and get her whole department on a shared folder. That meeting was helpful for three reasons:

  1. I can talk about Google Drive all day, speaking faster and faster with increasingly frantic hand gestures until I’m standing on the desk and shouting, “Real-time collaboration!”
  2. They were simultaneously discussing RTI plans, parent conferences, and the upcoming staff meeting, all while I walked them through how stuff works.
    It reminded me that not all teachers will sit quietly and follow along like we’re at a CUE conference.
    I’m on their prep period on their turf; I’ll be thankful for the time I get.
  3. One of my goals for the year is to make “disciples” at each campus; teachers who are willing to try/see new stuff and would be down for me to hijack their class for a period and do a demo. This posse definitely fits that description.

If I’m honest, I do miss the classroom. I chalk that up to the discomfort that one feels in any new position, especially one like this. I’ve essentially changed fields, but I can still daily look through the window at a job I loved and at which, I performed… better than average.

La Cucina Matematica


John Stevens and I do some Math/Tech consulting on weekends and holidays, and recently launched a website to that end.

We both share a fear of becoming shameless self-promoters who take schools’ tax dollars and don’t actually help students directly. So we’re both careful about how often we self-promote.

Check out the site. If your district has some leftover Title I money that expires this month (as ours does), we’d love to come visit and talk shop with your math teachers about how to build student creativity and problem-solving.

The “Move It!” Chrome Extension

I’m not frantically pacing a classroom anymore, I’m at a desk around 30% of the time. And I don’t wanna get fat.


This pops up every n minutes and won’t go away until I click DONE.

My office-mates needed little convincing that I was an odd duck, but declaring “Ten large arm circles! Let’s go, Cheryl!” sealed my fate.

I'll be the most ripped Tech Coach in the biz... though there isn't much competition.

I’ll be the most ripped Tech Coach in the biz… though there isn’t much competition.

~Matt “Wall Squat! Twenty Seconds!” Vaudrey