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Castilleja DAT Portfolio

This page of videos and links to other web pages shows some of the instructional technology resources I have created to support my students and other teachers. I do this kind of work in addition to my actual job of being a 9th and 10th grade English teacher. I would love to devote myself full-time to conducting trainings, developing resources, and sharing best practices and research. I am passionate about this subject because I believe the highest purpose of technology in education is to help students acquire enduring attitudes of seeing themselves as bold creators and as resilient learners.  Please also see below for initiatives that I would suggest to Castilleja.

Here is a video I made for Castilleja to highlight some different ways my students and I use technology to communicate and create. By June, I will have made six conference presentations in the last 18 months on these and other topics.

TouchCast is a video authoring app. I made this TouchCast to give teachers ideas about how they might use it for projects. I'm now one of a dozen teachers TouchCast has asked to be educational ambassadors. 

I created this screencast to show my students how to film a particular style of TouchCast video. It reinforced what we had practiced in class. 

Here is a link to a resource page I made to support teachers using the Thinglink app. It includes everything you need to make various projects, as well as subject-specific project ideas.

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I created a portfolio template website in Google Sites for students to archive and share highlights of their accomplishments. This video shows some of the work students did in the fall on their portfolios, and you can see the many resource videos I made to help them use Google Sites. 

This page of my materials has student and administrator evaluations, and it shows how I give feedback, assignments, and instruction using technology. 

Here is my general resources page. Creating and curating resources like these lets me easily direct ideas, apps, and instructions to teachers and students.

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Possible Initiatives for Castilleja

Below are some specific initiatives that I would propose for Castilleja. While they might or might not move forward, I think they help show how I see technology being used to foster key objectives like engagement with the local and global community, students perceiving themselves as creators of media, and collaboration with peers and others. 

Digital portfolio program

Students are increasingly creating work that be documented and shared in a digital portfolio, so why not take one or two examples from each class and activity every semester and put them in a website? See my overview of the concept in the video to the left, my overview of students' work above, and my Castilleja "rough draft" of a portfolio template here, including some sample content in the first year class, including the Global Investigator Trip. 



  1. Archives student work

  2. Enables sharing with friends, family, etc.

  3. Gives occasion for reflection

  4. Helps students practice creating a professional web presence

Video announcements

Once a week, have a team of students create a TouchCast video with announcements and upcoming events, and include interactive photos, websites, maps, etc. relating to the events. Teachers play the short video in class, and it can be shared with the community on the website. See example newscasts to the left. 


  1. The student newscasters gain experience curating, producing, and presenting video news

  2. Students see their peers creating a real-world resource on a weekly basis

  3. The short weekly videos help keep the Castilleja community informed

Getting from 100 to 60

Sheryl Sandberg writes about how women often feel they must meet 100 percent of the qualifications in order to apply for a job while men will often apply when they only meet 60 percent. What if we designed experiences for girls around altering this mindset? For example, we could intentionally only prepare a class 60 % for a technology task, then give them a heuristic procedure to follow:

  • Experiment, fail, repeat

  • Network with peers

  • Find outside resources

  • Seek advice from mentors

  • Iterate and persevere

  • Reflect on and appreciate progress


If Castilleja girls graduate with repeated experiences of succeeding when they know they were only partially prepared for challenging experiences, they will be armed with crucial resilience and boldness. 

Student technology assembly presentations

Strong student work involving technology can be showcased once or twice a year in an assembly. Students speak briefly about the video, website, program, interactive image, or other creation, then show it. Doing this celebrates their work and serves as a peer role model for everyone. See girls presenting their projects in the video to the left. My favorite quote: "It's absolutely incredible to see that this is what math is. Math is an actual thing. Math is something you can hold in your hand, and that to me was never real."


  1. Celebration of student work

  2. Role model for peers of what is possible

  3. Opportunity to highlight interdisciplinary work and projects that reflect community engagement, global experiences, and other key Castilleja traits

Technology and learning research project

Mueller and Oppenheimer's study indicates that taking notes in class on paper is more effective for conceptual learning than taking notes on a laptop. For a 1-1 iPad school, though, this raises the question of how taking notes by hand in an app like Notability compares to the other two modes. This question seems like a great opportunity for advanced students in statistics or another class to read and understand the original study, then design and conduct a new study of their own. They could write to or Skype with the original authors and get questions answered, and they could submit their study for publication. 


  1. Students engage with real-world concerns and create real-world answers

  2. An opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration (English, History, Mathematics, Science)

  3. Potential to have findings accepted for publication in some form


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