Category Archives: EdTech News


Conf-to-create-smallOn Wednesday, 10/22, MattieByrd McHold and I headed out to Gillette Stadium for the Massachusetts Computer Using Educator’s 2014 Confidence to Create conference.

My overall takeaways:
1) MassCUE knows how to run events. The whole environment was super well organized and had a very positive, fun vibe.
2) We absolutely need to get a Makerbot 3D printer here at Williston. The applications are phenomenal across many disciplines as are the ways they can transform a class.
3) I want to try using Minecraft in my classes. I saw some great ways it could be used in Algebra 2 and have some theories about projects I could run using the system in my Multivariable Calculus classes.
4) Librarians should run the world.
5) I need to encourage more play in my classes.
6) The #MassCUE2014 hashtag is a great way to get LOTS of info on the conference.

Our journey started with a smooth drive through the rain which was nicely devoid of any traffic, which seemed weird since we were heading to a massive stadium.

Registration was easy, even though we both had to get our materials reprinted. Up a few sets of escalators we found ourselves in the heart of the stadium surrounded by an incredibly long column of edtech vendors. For the first time of many, we checked the map and decided to go catch the second half of the keynote speaker, Steve Gross. Our walk took us outside between the East and West sections of the stadium, which gave us a great view of the field!

Steve Gross’ presentation on the importance of play was very smooth, optimistically animated, and well worth attending. I’d love to see his Life is Good Kids Foundation in action.

Next we headed down to the student showcase are where we saw a really strong presentation on 3D printing in the robotics classroom. The HS presenters were poised and excited to share what they had learned and built.

We then made the fun walk over to another area where we sat in on the second half of a presentation covering how to use Minecraft in the classroom. The immediate applications are super fun to consider. The speaker was engaging and gave a great overview of the ways the system could be used in many different areas, from history to mathematics to design.

Next, we stopped by and saw a presentation by a MS librarian, Laura Gardner (@LibratianMsG), on how to leverage social media in libraries. She had some great ways to promote the library and reading in general!

MattieByrd and I then headed to a presentation on effective ways to implement a 1:1 program. The speaker, Justin Reich (@bjfr), was spectacular. His message was clear, his presentation was smooth, and he presented a clear path for a successful 1:1 program implementation:

  • Define a vision
  • Be the example of the lead learner
  • Support teacher development
  • Support teacher to teacher learning
  • Plan for scale
  • Celebrate faculty
  • Assess progress towards your vision

MattieByrd and I then enjoyed a very nice lunch, which was preceded by an unexpected surprise on our walk to the dining area, a view (from a distance) of the Patriots practicing!

We left the conference energized and excited to continue our edtech work at Williston!

Gradebook Presentation

Happy summer, Williston!

I’ve linked below to my presentation on gradebooks from closing meetings. I hope that our conversation helped you think about how you grade and why you make the choices that you do. Please continue this conversation with each other and feel free to reach out with questions about your specific gradebook circumstances.

More to come on Veracross in a few weeks!




Navigating the world of educational technology can be daunting. With so many paths to choose from and ladders to learn how to climb, it’s quite easy to become lost and frustrated. When the educational technology world looks something like this:

XKCD Online Communities V2.0
XKCD Online Communities V2.0

…it’s no wonder many people are intimidated.

My #1 goal is to make your educational technology life easier. 

On this site I will be sharing success stories, compiling a database of helpful articles, and posting best practices. I aim to meet you where you are and give you imminently practical ways you can integrate technology effectively into your classroom tomorrow, next semester, and for years to come.

I would like to hear from you when you:
1) Want to learn more: Are you not sure where to go with a particular tool? Have you heard of something you’d like to try, but don’t know where to start? Contact me.
2) Get frustrated: Right when you start to feel the beginning wave of frustration, reach out. I love solving EdTech problems.
3) Any time you want to reach out!

I’m very excited to get to work!


– Josh