This last week I had the opportunity to attend the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) conference.  While there, I met a couple of my favorite tech people and even had the opportunity to speak personally to them.  I know it sounds kind of strange, but these are people I follow on social media and guess what…they are REAL people!  It was exciting for me to meet them in person as I’ve been following them on social media, accessing their websites, and reading their blogs for some time.


One of my favorite places to go for resources is  Monica Burns is the founder of ClassTechTips.  I arrived early to Monica’s session at the ASCD conference and was one of only two people in the room with her at that time.  She was very willing to engage in conversation with me, so I took advantage to ask her several questions about technology use in the classroom.  Monica’s biggest mantra is TASKS BEFORE APPS.  She stressed the importance of always identifying your learning goal and to have a plan before using any app with students.  Here is an excerpt from one of her blog posts:  I use the phrase tasks before apps when I visit schools and work with teachers. Remember, you will want to identify your learning goal first and then figure out is this app is the best choice for helping students demonstrate their understanding of content. (“3 Digital Storytelling Activities with Toontastic 3D” January 21, 2107)


Monica stressed the importance of making a plan.  As I taught in 3 different classrooms this week (I was introducing a new storytelling app to each classroom), I used a phrase from Monica:  “MAKE A PLAN” before even looking at the app with students.  I talked with the teachers and the students about the importance of creating a story map or some sort of graphic organizer or writing out a script before even beginning a project on the storytelling app.  This kind of advice is true no matter what sort of creation app or website may be used in the classroom.  Always have a learning goal in mind along with a plan!  As one of the students pointed out to me just today, “Mrs. Koenen, when you tell us to Make A Plan, that spells MAP.  We can remember before we use an app to always MAP….Make A Plan!”


I wanted to share some of my learning with you and to reassure you that I am here to support you as technology is integrated into your classroom!