MSET Innovates & Educates ~ December 2013 Edition

Advancing excellence in learning and teaching through innovative and effective uses of technology.

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Warm wishes for a happy holiday season!

Your MSET Executive Board hopes that you are enjoying the season and that the excitement of the holidays has permeated the teaching, leading, and learning happening in your schools. Our holiday wish for you is to embrace each moment and continue to work to engage our learners and help them build rich 21st century connections. Join us for an MSET holiday Appy Hour Twitter Chat on December 18th at 8pm!  #mset_md

This month we will be looking to highlight classrooms, schools, or districts around the state who are embracing 21st century teaching and learning strategies to promote student achievement or professional development.  We want to hear from you!  Share your successes in our Digital Learning Showcase

The holidays are a time to reflect on the past year and MSET's Educator & Leader Awards offer our members the chance to reflect on and recognize colleagues who are doing amazing things for education in Maryland. Show your appreciation by submitting a nomination this week. 

Warm wishes for a magical season!

Catherine Poling
President MSET
MSET Online
MSET Online

Register now for Common Ground 2014

Learn.  Grow.  Share.  Join education colleagues from across the state and surrounding areas for the third annual Common Ground, Maryland's top professional development event of the year. Thought-provoking speakers, inspiring sessions and demonstrations of the latest products and services will provide you the 21st century know-how you need.

Together, twelve non-profit educational organizations are focused on creating an unforgettable learning experience rich in innovative ideas, best practices and sharing what works.  Don’t miss this opportunity to join your fellow educators and be teaching, leading, and learning in the digital age!

Common Ground will be held in Ocean City, MD in the Ocean City Convention Center on Thursday, May 1st and Friday, May 2nd.

Quality Instruction ~ Quality Leadership ~ Quality Schools

21st Century Teaching and Learning, 21st Century Leadership, and Systems, Processes, & Programs for Quality Schools


December Appy Hour Twitter Chat
December 18th at 8pm

Join us on Twitter to share apps that enhance 21st Century Learning and Teaching
Hashtag #MSET_md

Pre-Register HERE to let us know you are participating! 
(We will send you a reminder on the 18th)



Award Opportunities

Know an Educator who is a leader of 21st century teaching and learning and think that they should be recognized?  Then submit their name below

Educator and Leader award nominations are due December 13th

Are you a 21st Century Educator?
Tell us about your 21st Century Classroom!



For more than 30 years, ISTE has continued to grow as an organization and evolve alongside the ever-changing landscapes of education and technology. Over the past year, we've embarked on a strategic rebranding initiative that required taking an in-depth look at who we serve, what we do and why our work matters. We began with a board and staff study session last September and then assembled a branding task force made up of stakeholders representing our diverse audiences in January. The task force helped guide our efforts to define ISTE's vision and mission, which the board unanimously adopted in February. 

Our newly refined brand positioning has driven our exploration of brand properties and the development of our new brand visuals. Most importantly, it’s directing our strategic planning and all that we do.

Our vision 
The vision of ISTE is a world where all learners thrive, achieve and contribute.

Educators who are making 21st Century Teaching and Learning Happen!

Featured Member: Matthew Tack

21st Century Learning & Teaching

               The first question that I always ask people who are motivated to make a the shift to a student centered classroom is, “Do you really remember the specifics of what you learned in elementary school,  middle school,  high school, how to use the scientific method,  generals of the Civil War?”.  For most people the answer is no, and not because they are not valuable pieces of information, but the value of those skills, processes, and concepts might not be applicable to their current daily lives.  The way that we locate information has changed, not the skills and thought processes it takes to locate this information.  If I have a question on something, just give me access to the internet and five minutes and I can most likely find an answer.  Ten years ago it might have taken me a trip to the library, call home, etc… Imagine what tech savvy students feel like sitting in a classroom where they have a similar train of thought and much deeper knowledge of technological resources then we do!
               The next question that I ask is, “Do you really need to teach your students something that they could look up on the internet?”   As educators we owe it to our students to keep up with what is happening in the world, current trends, and what the students that we teach are interested in.  We need to adjust to their needs, not have them adjust to ours by teaching them, and possibly ourselves, how to formulate research questions, how to identify and use reliable research portals, and how to convey and transfer their learning to represent their mastery of content with or without technology.  It is about the process, not the means!  These children want to do, let them go, learn, apply, master, and transfer their learning.  You will see a world of difference in student engagement, ownership of learning, discipline problems, and a plethora of other things.   Washington County Public Schools Superintendent, Clayton Wilcox, often refers to technology as a “force multiplier” meaning that, among other things, it allows teachers and students the option to move at a faster pace, use of multiple modalities, open of a vast amount of creativity for both teacher and student, and so on… 
A common misconception is that ‘21st century learning & teaching’ is synonymous with technology.  21st century learning and teaching are a set of skills and processes.  They are a state of mind, actions, movement, etc... that do not necessarily require technology.  Are you giving your students the opportunity to be creative, collaborate, critically think, and communicate their thoughts and ideas, as stated by the Project for 21st Century Skills, in a way that makes sense to them every day?  If so, do you really need the technology to allow your students to perform with those skills?  Does it matter in the end how they show mastery and transfer of content?  Some students might want to put together a simple PowerPoint, website, model, podcast, and other products.  Here is an example of how it looks like in an elementary setting: .
               I once heard someone say that we went to school to acquire a job, and students today are going to school to create jobs.  How do we prepare students for things that we do not understand or even exist yet?  Project Based Learning, Flipped Classrooms, Harkness (Exeter) Method, Coalition of Essential Schools Protocols…there is no one way of teaching the students of tomorrow but there are many ways to let them take ownership of what they do.  What values do you want to guide your classroom around?  What is your current teaching style?  If you have technology, did you transform your current teaching style or just simply transfer what you used to do and it just looks different? 

Matthew Tack is a 5th grade Magnet Teacher at Fountaindale Elementary School for the Arts and Academic Excellence in Washington County. He is the 2012 Washington County MSET Technology Award Winner and a 2013 WCPS Teacher of the Year Finalist. To learn more about Matt, please visit Contact Matt at or


MSET Digital Learning Showcase

MSET is pleased to recognize Jared Wastler for supporting connecting Maryland educators through his work with Maryland EdChat (#mdedchat). Maryland EdChat is a weekly chat on Twitter where educators discuss issues facing education. The chat occurs every Tuesday at 8PM EST. All you need to do is login on Twitter and search for #mdedchat. Respond and discuss by writing your tweet and include the hashtag #mdedchat.

Making Innovation Happen!

Celebrating and sharing 21st Century Learning!


David Warrenfeltz
Fountaindale School for Arts and Academic Excellence
Washington County

Electronic Discussions

In my classroom, we also use electronic discussion in all subject areas. We use a few different resources for these discussions. One of my student’s favorite apps to use for electronic discussions is Socrative. Below is an image from a literature circle discussion. After posting our responses, students voted on whose response they felt had the most text support to defend their thinking. This app enables students to vote through the app and see the results live!
We also use the discussion feature on My Big Campus participate in discussions. Recently, my third graders paired up with a “technology buddy” to teach first graders how to appropriately participate in electronic discussions.

Tools, Tips, & News to Use

We need your voice to guide our work!
 One click is all it takes!


MSET has committed to providing resources and networks that will directly help you in achieving your goals. We plan to host Digital Learning Showcases where we focus resources, highlight great things happening across the state, and facilitating networking opportunities. Please help us guide our topics for the year ahead. 

Please share your interests/needs by completing our Poll in our MSET Facebook Group.  If you are not already a member, please click on Request to Join:

Mark Your Calendar:



The conference for IT Pros supporting education.

Date:  May 6-7
Location: The Conference and Training Center at IU 13,
               1020 New Holland Ave, Lancaster, PA 17601

Registration cost: Early Registration $250. After Feb. $300

Tech Talk Live focuses on the day-to-day issues that technology professionals face in the educational environment. On-target sessions address topics relevant to:
·         System Administrators
·         Network Administrators
·         Desktop Support Technicians
·         Application Developers
·         Technology Leadership


 App Corner

Use IPads in your classroom?  
Check out these useful apps!

Free Apps:
Corkulous – App that can be used a variety of ways such as note taking, graphic organizing, use images, etc…  It looks like a big pin board!

Penultimate – Works in conjunction with Evernote.  Gives you the capability to draw, graph, note taking, etc…

Kindle – Students can sign into their own account to read books electronically, or a teacher can sign into their own account and download a book up to 5 different devices.

Audible – You can get some free books read to your students or it can work while your students follow along using a paper back text or a kindle version.  Works well especially with ASP students.

Project Noah - Allows user to document plants and animals in their area and share with other “Citizen Scientists” as well as actual biologists.
Water Quality - Guides the user through a Water Quality test of streams or other bodies of water.  Allows the user to document and upload their findings to a database.

Must Have IPad Apps 2013!


Have an App that you use and want to try?  
Email to be featured!



Recommended Hashtags to Follow:


Great Blogs to Read:

Digital Project-Based Learning: 7 Tools for Student Collaboration

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