I have had the awesome privilege of working with a cohort of educators from the American International School, Riyhad – more affectionally know as  AIS-R!  It’s been an amazing learning journey with this group of people. Two years and five courses later, they should be incredibly proud of themselves for finishing the complete COETAIL program. I will certainly miss reading their posts and getting sneak peaks into their learning environments.

Course 5 Final Projects

In case you missed them (I’ve been tweeting all the AIS-R final projects for the past couple of days) here are just a few of the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious projects from this cohort!


Amy and Tara teamed up to create the Maker Kids: DIY STEAM project. Not only are both of their final reflection posts full of tips and insightful ideas, both videos are worth taking the time to watch. This project shows how easily learning can be documented and just how students can visualise their progress and reflect on their learning.

The quality of Sean’s project video is phenomenal and very inclusive. While sharing the behind the scenes work, you’ll also hear from the various people involved in the creation of #thisismyschool – you also need to check out the #thisismyschool video as well! His final project reflection post is worth taking time to read as well!

Google sites is a powerful tool especially when it is used to communicate and collaborate student learning. Lindsay and Miriam worked together to do something new, relevant and FUN with their Seniors! (Click on each of their names to read more in-depth about pulling everything together for this project)


Andrew and Mavis partnered together to have HS students organise, share and reflect on their learning through ePortfolios. The partnership of Tech Coach and HS Counsellor was extremely successful – check out Mavis’s reflections on the highs and lows of undertaking such a project!


Another fabulous Science project –  Valya’s Virtual Science Fair project highlights the blend of traditional with virtual and demonstrates how easily you can integrate authentic technology use across curriculum areas. Evidence of student learning is very clear.

If you’ve ever wondered about flipping your classroom, then this next video is a MUST watch.  Craig’s Experiment with Flipped Classroom lets you be a “fly on the wall” in his math class as he “flips the learning” for his students. His final reflection post details his thoughts on his personal learning journey.

WARNING: This video contains the super-cute factor of G1s talking about their learning!  Dema and her Grade 1 students do a fantastic job of showing the world that not only can younger students use technology in purposeful and meaningful ways, they can also articulate why using technology helps them learn!

Disha took her Grade 4’s Persuasive Essays to a whole new level with digital storytelling. In her video, she shares the stages of the project including some the challenges and what was done to overcome those challenges.


Community Engagement


Building your online PLN from scratch is no easy task – and many struggle with this, especially in the beginning when you’re not even sure what the purpose for using twitter, or G+ or even pinterest is!
Being willing to take a risk is a definite requirement for growing a PLN but the rewards can be incredibly impressive. The fantastic posts above show just what community engagement can look like in Course 5.


And that’s a wrap for the AIS-R cohort!










What to do with Your Blog after COETAIL

We often get asked what COETAIL graduates should do with their COETAIL blog. That, dear COETAIL friends is completely up to you! The blog is yours, the data is yours. You have admin rights to your blog and so with that, you have full control over what you do with the content on it. Here are the options that you have.

Option 1: Keep Blogging

It’s that simple….you’re blog has become part of your digital footprint. Google has found it and if you search for yourself you’ll find your blog. So If you would like to keep blogging…or if you don’t want to blog anymore but you would like the blog to be part of your digital footprint, then just leave it how it is. I do recommend checking on it from time to time as we are constantly making updates to themes, the website, etc and that sometimes messes with the layout and design of your blog. If we ever shut COETAIL down then we will do our best to notify you so you have time to export your data. So please do your best to make sure the email address associated with your account is up to date.

Option 2: Export to your existing blog or to a new blog

Export OptionMany COETAILers have a personal blog or a professional blog already and really don’t want “another blog”. No problem! Simply go to Tools – Export in your dashboard. From there you can download all your posts, pages, comments and then import them into any other blogging program. After that you can have us delete your blog, archive your blog or leave it. Totally up to you. We highly recommend not deleting your blog as other people have linked to your content and blog posts and if you delete your blog those links become broken…but it’s up to you what you do.

Option 3: Delete completely

Simply contact Jeff  (jeff[at] with your username and the URL to your blog and he’ll delete everything about you on the COETAIL site. It will be like you were never a COETAILer.  🙁
As much as we hope this doesn’t happen there are times when people want/need to disappear and we honour and respect that. It’s your data.

Those are your “after I complete COETAIL” options. Basically you control your data and what you do with it, where you put it, or how you use it, is completely up to you. We’re just here to support you and give you a platform to learn and make connections.


Image Attribution: Standard License Adobe Stock Creative Cloud

Peer Feedback Requirements

Can you believe it? We’re almost done!
One last task to complete ….. giving peer feedback.

Below are all of the AIS-R cohort’s Course 5 blog posts with Final Project Videos embedded.
Pull up a chair, grab a drink and settle in to watch some inspiring projects from your peers! Choose ones that interest you, ones that pique your curiosity or even ones at a vastly different level to you – you never know what ideas it might spark in you!

Feedback Process & Requirements


Between April 23 – May 5th please watch a minimum of five (5) – maximum of ten (10) videos and provide feedback for each Final Project Video on the
Peer Feedback Form (fill out for each video you watch.)

Your assessment of their work will be anonymous and they will receive the feedback on their grading spreadsheet. Likewise, you will receive the anonymous peer feedback on your grading spreadsheet.

Important Dates to Note

  • The anonymous peer feedback you receive from your peers will be pasted to your grading spreadsheet between May 5 – May 10th
  • Your Final Grade for Course 5 will be posted on your gradesheet at the same time
  • As long as all of your work has been submitted, after May 10th you will receive one last email from me with your Final COETAIL Grade for the entire course and your COETAIL Certificate of Completion


Feedback Image Attribution:  Licensed under purchased Adobe Stock Creative Cloud

The End is Near!

License Purchased: AdobeStock93681620

License Purchased: AdobeStock93681620

1 Week Left!

Our Official Course End date is May 7th, 2017 BUT all of your work is due on April 23rd, 2017.
This means you have only 1 week left to publish a total of four (4) posts on your blog:

  • Introduction to your Final Project (Required topic)
  • 1 Blog post (Topic of your own choice)
  • Community Engagement Post (Required topic – must include documented evidence & reflection)
  • Final Project/Reflection Post (Required topic – must include embedded 10 minute video and your written final project reflection)

Sharing Your Final Project

After you complete your final project video, embed it in a reflective blog post and publish it, please fill out the details on the form below. This helps to automatically have your work (blog post) show up on our cohort blog (in the sidebar) when it is time for the Peer Feedback Process (which will begin after April 23).  The Peer Feedback Process (with instructions) will be shared via email and a blog post on April 22.

Not to Freak You Out but …

Hi awesome AIS-R COETAILers,

Not to freak you out but …

…the due date is looming. Everything is due on April 23. 


At this point you should have:

  • Chosen your project/topic and checked it against the rubric
  • Started to implement, collect/document student learning evidence and reflect (via blogging) your project. This may lead some tweeking of your project, which is both more than okay and expected.
  • Started to address the community engagement component of Course 5. Remember, community engagement does not have to directly relate to your project, but should be focused on developing your post-COETAIL PLN.
  • Added and linked any blogs you have written on your grade sheet.

Other suggested ideas:

  • Watch (at least) a couple of previous cohort’s Course 5 final videos. I can’t stress this enough, it will only take about half an hour (of time well spent) and it will give you an idea of the video content expectation we have for your final project video.  We’ve linked quality examples for you to watch here (under the Beyond Augmentation tab) and here (at the end of Course 4).
  • Do some backward planning. You all know creating a video takes more than just a couple of hours. How much time do you want to be dedicated to the creation phase? And know that you will also be writing your final blog post and your community engagement post at the same time. (anyone else feel empathy for their students right now?)
  • Get some feedback. Getting feedback from other people (COETAIL-friends, strangers on Twitter, people you work with, your kids!) will help you. And it will also give you something to reflect on when the time comes.
  • There is no such thing as too many artifacts. Don’t forget to be documenting like crazy. Take pictures. Take quick videos of the kids. Do a feedback survey and keep that. You want as much evidence of learning as you can find

Also, those of you that are blogging may have noticed less feedback from me. I mentioned at the beginning of this course that this would happen. But if you really want feedback right away or have a question, do reach out. I know you can do this without me, but I am here to help you any way I can.

Community Engagement Posts

The Community Engagement Post is often referred to as the hardest post of ALL COETAIL to complete. That’s generally because takes a lot longer to write than your average blog post. And it requires evidence, as well as deep thought about building, growing and contributing to a PLN.

I want to remind you that this post is about …

  • how you are building/growing a PLN that works for you (beyond COETAIL), and more importantly
  • how/what you are contributing to that PLN (beyond COETAIL)

It isn’t about …

  • how BIG your PLN is
  • to see if you’ve been engaged with “thousands” of people
  • isolated tweets, G+ posts, blog posts done because of COETAIL requirements (although it may have started out that way!)

Since there’s no commenting required for Course 5, you may have missed these posts from fellow cohort members.

These post authors share how much they are getting from their PLN but also what and how they are contributing to their PLN to help maintain and grow their community engagement beyond COETAIL.  Awesome!



This is Definitely Worth Considering AIS-R Cohort!

Announcing a New and Exciting Partnership

It is with great excitement that we write to you today to tell you about a new and exciting partnership to benefit COETAILers past, present and future.

We have worked with the Google for Education Team to bring an exciting new partnership to COETAILers. A partnership that will allow COETAIL graduates priority access to apply to the Google for Education Certified Trainer (GET) program and future COETAILers to complete the COETAIL program and at the same time earn their Google for Education Certified Trainer credentials.

We are so excited that Google for Education chose to partner with COETAIL. COETAIL has always strived to be a leader in supporting educators in authentically and purposefully integrating technology into the classroom. The rigor and reflective nature of COETAIL and the GET program have many overlapping objectives and outcomes making this partnership one that will benefit COETAILers past, present, and future.

Aligned Mission

COETAIL and Google for Education Certified Trainer program

Foster a network of globally connected educators

Support members in authentically and purposefully integrating technology into their classroom and the school as a whole

Support members in being seen as technology leader within their school

Help create a culture of ongoing, sustainable, professional development program for all educators

If you are a COETAIL graduate and are interested in becoming a Google for Education Certified Trainer please fill out this form by Thursday, March 9.

If you know someone who might be interested in completing COETAIL and the Google for Education Certified Trainer certification, please feel forward this email and have them fill out this form as well.

In the coming weeks, as we finalize the partnership we will be sending another email with specifics of what will be required for past, present and future COETAILs to earn their Google for Education Certified Trainer credentials. For now, sign up to become a Certified Trainer and forward this opportunity to fellow educators who might be interested in completing COETAIL featuring Google for Education Certified Trainer.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thank you

Jeff, Kim and the Google for Education Team

Welcome to Course 5!

Flickr photo shared by amypalko under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-SA ) license

You made it to the last and final course of the CoETaIL program! I’m very excited to be on this final leg of your CoETaIL journey with you!

Course 5 Overview

As mentioned a number of times, Course 5 is very different than the rest of the courses. Here’s how:

  • This course runs the entire semester, from February 5th – May 7th.
  • All assignments for this course must be published/uploaded by April 23rd, 2017.
  • You don’t have readings and commenting every week!
  • Between April 23 – May 5th, you’ll be leaving peer feedback on final projects (we’ll share more about this later on in the course)

Course 5 has three main components:

  • Blogging
  • Community Engagement
  • Final Project

Since you’re already familiar with the blogging aspect, the important thing to know is that you’ll only need to write 4 posts for this course, instead of the usual 6. If you’d like to write more, that’s great! (Check out Week 3 for more details.)

The Community Engagement element builds upon the commenting you’ve been doing in the previous four courses, and asks you to extend your reach beyond just commenting on COETAIL (and other) blogs. (Check out Week 4 for more details.)

The final project allows you to apply everything we’ve been discussing in the previous four courses in your classroom. You will take at least one of the project ideas you developed at the end of Course 4 and actually teach it, reflect on it, and get student feedback over the course of this semester. As you’re teaching, reflecting and hearing from students, you’ll be recording samples for your final project presentation (to be shared online by the end of this course). (Check out Week 2, 5 and 6 for more details.)

As you work through each of these components, please make sure to include the links on your grading spreadsheet so I can keep up with your work.
Prior to final grading, I’ll be grading/giving feedback in three rounds (just as I have done in past courses) any work completed by February 22; March 25; & April 22.
Final Grades & Peer Feedback will be released between May 7 – May 12, 2017.

All assignments for this course are due are due on April 23rd. This gives you time to complete everything before the other participants watch your finished final product video.

Some Tips

flickr photo shared by @superamit under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC ) license

  • Start by browsing/reading all the units. Or at least the rubrics  It says “Week 1” or “Week 6” because the machine likes it that way, but you can work through them at your own pace. And I think if you take some time, explore all the resources, the rubrics and the requirements now it may save some uneasiness about what is expected of you.
  • Perhaps think about doing some backwards planning, in terms of timing. April 23 sounds far away, but it will come quicker than you think and you don’t want to be writing four blog posts and completing a final 10 minute video all around the week ending April 23rd!
  • Networking: Lurker to Leader: The community engagement requirements asks you to build your online PLN. Think about what tribe you want to be a part of after COETAIL and get in there sooner rather than later.
  • Don’t worry if things don’t go to plan. We know theoretically that it’s okay to fail. But I find teachers in particular hate when we mess up. But if you don’t mess up, you don’t have anything to reflect on.  So celebrates mistakes and be honest in your sharing!
  • Ask for feedback and ask for help. There is the Course 5 Google+ community. The hundreds of COETAILers on Twitter who remember being in your shoes. Use your blog to ask for feedback. But don’t feel like you have to work in isolation.

Communication between me and you

As course 5 is different, the way I communicate with you may be a little different. There may be fewer posts on this page. We won’t have the same weekly conversations in your blog comments. But do let me know via the gradesheet if you have posted something new so I know to check your blog. Do check back here to see what I have posted. As always, you can send me an email too!

And finally….always feel free to reach out for help or when you need someone to geekily cheer a win with you. I’m so excited to see what you do next!

And It’s Week 6!

We’ve reached week 6! Remember this is time for you to catch up on any missed work for Course 4 and to wrap up your Course 4 final project.  Course 4 “officially” ends on Thursday, November 3 but you all remember about the secret extension right?

By now you should have:

  • read and completed all readings in “Week 5″ in Course 4 under “My Courses”
  • written 5 blog posts and 5 comments
  • recorded the URL of the post and comments you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet in the Course 4 tab
  • Begun your final project for Course 4 – again, different from previous courses, this one is designed to help you start thinking about your Course 5 project (coming up soon!)

Course 4 Final Project

As you prepare your Course 4 project, you’ll want to think about how you’re moving towards redefinition. The ultimate goal will be for you to actually teach this project next semester, so thinking about practicalities is also important. As you develop ideas and sketch them out in your Course 4 final project blog post, try to include as many details as possible – not only so that you are thinking through each idea, but also so that you can get quality feedback from other COETAILers. The purpose of this final project is to give yourself time to think through several options and get feedback, so it’s certainly worth taking some time to really flesh out a few different ideas.

Don’t forget, there are two options for the Course 4 final project.  Here’s a few key things to remember for your Reflection/ Final Project blog post:

  • Writing about one idea? Your blog post must include a UbD Unit Planner and include the answers to the four (4) questions listed under the Option 1 tab
  • Writing about two to three ideas?  You don’t have to include a UbD Unit Planner BUT your blog post must include the answers to the seven (7) questions listed under the Option 2 tab for each idea

Final Project Collaboration

You are more than welcome to collaborate with another COETAILer on your final project. However, please remember that your actual blog posts (in Course 4 and Course 5) along with your Course 5 final project must be individual.  Please let me know (if you haven’t already) that you are considering a collaborative project and it’s rough outline PLUS who that collaborative project is with.

Preparing for Blogging in Course 5

It’s worth mentioning that there will not be weekly question prompts in Course 5. You’ve had lots of great practice with blogging, and the prompts are there to help you if you’re not sure what to write. Now that you’re almost finished with COETAIL, your topics for your blog posts in Course 5 will be up to you. This will be a great opportunity to take your blogging practice and really make it personal – you can choose to focus on your Course 5 project, or you can share learning that’s happening in your classroom, or you can write about whatever interests you (use your reader for inspiration and include links in your blog post). Hopefully after Course 5 finishes, you’ll stick with the blogging as a way to reflect on your own learning – one of the perks of COETAIL is that you get to keep your blog as an alumni!
There are NO commenting requirements for Course 5.

Looking ahead to Course 5 – Project Examples

One way we love to inspire you is to showcase some of the fabulous Course 5 Final Projects that other cohorts have created.  We may have shared these before, but here they are again, just in case you haven’t had time to check some of them out yet.

The Online5 Cohort is currently in the process of finishing up their Course 5 Final Projects.  This post highlights some of the fantastic projects that have been shared so far.

The Online4 Cohort has finished their Course 5 final projects in April last year. Here is a list of their Course 5 Final projects.

It’s really well worth investing time watching some of these awesome final projects!

You can see lots of others on the COETAIL site, and join the Course 5 Google+ community to see what other COETAILers are talking and thinking about.

Image Attributions:
Calendar Reminder:  Own Image
Lego Cowboy: by Reiterlied shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license


Welcome to Week 4!

By now you should have:

  • read and completed all readings in “Week 3″ in Course 4 under “My Courses
  • written 3 blog posts and 3 comments
  • recorded the URL of the post and comments you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet in the Course 4 tab
  • had a read through the details of the final project for Course 4
    This final project is different from previous courses as it’s designed to help you start thinking about your Course 5 project. Each of the options has specific requirements that must be included so make sure you understand what they are.

Blog Posts from Round #1

I really enjoyed and appreciated reading the in-depth, honest and personal reflections of the Weeks 1-3 topics.  Especially interesting was were people thought they were in relation to integrating technology – SAMR and why they thought they were there.  Several of you saw the potential of where you are now as focal points for what to aim for in your Course 5 Final Project.  Brilliant! I’m sure that you’ve realised that we keep referring to the Course 5 Final Project A LOT in Course 4!

A few blog posts that particularly resonated with me are:

  • Laurie’s roadtrip analogy struck a chord with a few of you (judging by the comments). Getting lost and/or having breakdowns along the way is so relatable for all of us – worth a read if you haven’t already seen/read it!
  • Mavis shares her new role and reflections/ponderings in her blog post, Walking a New Path. Her post highlights the somewhat cyclic nature of where we may find ourselves on the SAMR model depending on what we are doing and/or who we are doing it with.
  • Tara reflected on herself using the ISTE Student Standards in  Not Quite There Yet – something I’ve not seen anyone do before – also worth checking out if you haven’t seen it/read it already.
  • Reading about project, problem, and challenge based learning had Pamela thinking about her Course 5 project, embracing it yet sharing her honest reservations at the same time.

The Future of Learning?

There is much to explore in this area and many different perspectives. Of course we’ve all heard about the many ways that our current school system is failing our students, and back in Course 1 we looked at some big ideas for re-imagining what school could be, This week we will explore some learning strategies that are becoming more and more popular and may have an impact on the way we think about schools. As an introduction, you might enjoy this RSA Animate: Re-Imagining Work (I think you’ll be able to make the comparison to schools quite easily):


The idea of badges is not new, but the development of digital badges, allowing verification, tracking and recognition across schools and universities has become quite a hot topic (and very polarizing). For an overview of (as they claim) everything you need to know about badges in the classroom, check this article from The Journal.

HASTAC also has a great introduction:

We’ve developed badges for COETAIL recently, so it will be interesting to hear your thoughts on the concept – would you put a COETAIL badge on your website?


Massively Open Online Courses –  What happens when universities start “giving away” their content (taught by their professors)? What happens when students can design the perfect program of instruction from outstanding universities, without paying for anything, and receive a verified digital badge as evidence of completion? Or is this isolated learning environment doomed to failure?

Definitely check out a few of the links in the opening section of this blog post. But be warned, you can get lost for hours/days/weeks in them!

 Global Collaboration

Working in international schools we know the value of understanding different cultures, and how our experience living in different countries may change our own perspectives on the world, but what if you never left your home country? The concept of connecting students to their peers in different countries, to learn, collaborate and create together is one way that teachers are helping students develop those cross-cultural skills that are often quite common in international schools. If you’re interested in starting one of these projects, you might find Kim’s posts on global collaboration helpful.

One of the most well-known examples of these kinds of projects is Flat Connections (formerly Flat Classroom Projects), managed by Julie Lindsay. Here are some student-produced globally collaborative service projects proposed:


Now that you’ve experienced the majority of the COETAIL program, hopefully you’re getting a good feel for connectivism. If you’re ready to start implementing some elements of connectivism in your classroom, here’s a great introduction to what that could look like:

Having Trouble Leaving a Comment?

Linked to our issue with our ‘delightful’ unwanted spammers is this brief but equally frustrating message that I know a few of you are getting as you try to leave comments for your fellow AIS-R colleagues and/or other Coetail bloggers …..


Of course I can’t share with you what the “spammy words” are but I can share with you the following things that could potentially get your comment identified as spam.

  • Acronyms – (I know, they are so prevalent in Education! But avoid using them if you can!)
  • Words in capitals for emphasis – (our anti-spam plugins don’t like it when you “shout”)
  • More than two (2) hyperlinks in your comment – (typical spammer technique)
  • Posting too many comments to Coetail blogs in a short space of time – (don’t leave your commenting to do all at once!)

Tried all these things BUT it still won’t let you post that comment?

Here’s what you can do next:  Copy your comment into an email to the blog author (usually a fellow AIS-R colleague). Make sure you cc me in the email and send it. (If it’s outside AIS-R and you don’t know/can’t find the author’s email, just email me so I see the comment content)

On your GradeSheet add the following:

  • In the Name of Blog space, paste hyperlink the post you wanted to comment on.
  • In the Comment URL space, type “emailed author & Chrissy”
  • Add the date posted (like you usually do)

I’ll be able to grade/give feedback on your comment because I’ve seen the content and will know the post that you are talking about.