I partner with organizations in helping to understand the changing nature of learning by working together in long-term, embedded professional development that prepares us all for our future, not our past.





W00T! It’s been a long time in coming but for us (Kim and I) this is a big announcement.

COETAIL is coming to the U.S.!

We have recently partnered with Heritage Institute to offer continuing education credits through Antioch University Seattle. Antioch University credits are acceptable in most states for re-certification and in most school districts for salary enhancement.

This means that U.S. based teachers can now take COETAIL and receive credit!

This works out nicely here in Washington State, for example, as teachers need 15 quarter credits every 5 years to maintain their certification. This means teachers can participate in COETAIL and they would fulfill the requirement needed for re-certification in the state as well as potential movement on the pay scale.

For the past couple of years, we have had U.S. based teachers ask us if they could take the COETAIL program for this reason and starting this September you can!

Before you rush over to register for the September cohort, there are some things you need to know about the program:

CIRCLE-RGB-300pxWe ask you to commit to the entire 5 course program. COETAIL is a journey not a one-off course.

CIRCLE-RGB-300pxCOETAIL focuses on educators reflecting on their own practice in their own classroom with whatever technology they have available to them. You don’t write papers…you write reflective blog posts. Head over to the COETAIL home page to see what COETAIL assignments look like.

CIRCLE-RGB-300pxPrepare yourself for what the participants have coined as the “COETAIL Effect”. Participants on their own without permission from the instructors (the nerve of them!) started writing down what the COETAIL Effect meant to them. Here are a few:

So far the COETAIL effect for me is the result of actually practicing what I hope will happen with my students; having lived it, it becomes possible to lead others along the path. It also means taking a safe leap of faith and being released from old routines and paradigms as I interact with a different set of assumptions and values. The old reality is still there, it just is sharing space with new possibilities, and yes, it looks different. Despite the vague longing for change that I have felt for several years, this shift was not possible on my own. ~Mary Carley

The COETAIL Effect is the result of the process through which educators learn about, engage with, reflect upon, and share experiences with innovative, divergent techniques of technology integration in the classroom.  Indicators of the COETAIL Effect include:  a raised awareness of the role of technology, both present and future, in our own and in our students’ lives; a changed perspective in which traditional assumptions about teaching and learning are actively challenged; a connectedness with like-minded educators across the globe; and ultimately, an ever-expanding enthusiasm over the limitless possibilities for learning that technological advances and applications provide. ~ Beth Marinucci

This COETAIL program broadens my horizon and stimulates my interests. What I learned from this course came alive especially after attending the GAFE Middle East Summit this week. It has definitely changed my attitude toward teaching and learning, as we are living in a “connected world” and with technology that advances our opportunities to collaborate and work together. ~ Devita Villanueva

I will just add a couple more quotes from a recent feedback survey from those that just finished Course 2. These participants are just approaching the halfway mark in the program:

It’s been awesome. I’m continuing to learn so much. The recommended readings are great, because it gives us background knowledge and ideas for where to look elsewhere. They’ve been very useful.

I really like the Wordpress format. I appreciate that we are learning new skills as we submit and share with others.

I think that the expectations and time are very reasonable and realistic for working and completing a course.

The collaborative approach.
The course overview and layout (I like being able to mark each unit when completed).
The video tutorials.
The feedback from instructors and coaches.
The extra week built into Course 2 for Spring Break.
The blog flexibility of topics.

The videos and examples on the weekly assignment posts make it very easy to understand.

register-buttonThe 742 members have published over 12,500 blog posts and over 10,000 comments. Sharing all their learning, resources, lesson plans and projects freely to the world under a creative commons license (a program requirement).

So…if this sounds like it might interest you, you can now head over to the registration page, read more about the program there and then sign up for September!

If September doesn’t work for you, no problem! We’ll be starting another cohort in February 2015. Simply sign up for our mailing list below and you’ll be updated when new cohorts are running.

Local Cohorts

We also offer “Local Cohorts” to schools/districts that can get 25 teachers to commit to the program. If you want more information on these cohorts please contact me.

Exciting times for COETAIL!


We are starting a new completely online cohort in a few weeks. Time and space are running out if you want to be a part of it.

Here are the details:

What COETAIL means to  Vivian Chow a soon to be graduate of the program.
What COETAIL means to Vivian Chow a soon to be graduate of the program.

Course Overview
Course 1: Feb. 3 – March 16
Course 2: March 24 – May 11 (1 week spring break)
Course 3: Sept. 8 – Oct. 19 (No summer courses!)
Course 4: Oct. 27 – Dec. 14 (1 week fall break)
Course 5: Jan. 26 – May 10, 2015 (Final Project)

SUNY Credit Option
We have proudly worked with State University of New York – Buffalo State since 2009 and will once again be offering the option to take COETAIL for graduate credit towards a Master’s Degree or a Certificate of Educational Technology
(This option is for International Teachers only).

What’s the Cost
We continue to receive positive feedback from COETAIL graduates on the price of the program with 95% of graduates telling us the time and money were well spent!

Space is limited!
Space is limited and every online cohort we have had has filled up. Reserve your spot today and don’t miss out on a learning journey that will truly transform your classroom, your students and the way you look at learning.

How time flies as the miles pile up. I have just passed the halfway point of a crazy two months of traveling and presenting. Yes….From the end of September to the end of November I will have flown 70,000 miles and yes….all of it in economy (because I know you were wondering).

It has been a tired, fun, exhausting, passionate time and now that I’m somewhere over the North Pole on my to Seoul, Korea to start course 4 of COETAIL, I finally have time to think about what my learning has been and reflect on this journey.

ICS Addis Ababa – COETAIL

It was great to return to Ethiopia where things continue to move at an incredible rate within the country. I was there for a week to kick off course 3 of COETAIL and while there was asked by the Administration if I would help them bring the Learning2 conference to Africa. I’m exciting to announce that Learning2 Africa will be held September 18-20 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on the campus of the International Community School. You’ll be hearing more about this for sure here on the blog. We believe this is the first ever educational technology focused conference on the continent and definitely the first geared towards international schools.

glassGoogle Apps Summit South Korea

Jim Sill and team put on another great Google Apps Summit in South Korea. It was very well attended and I got to finally try on a pair of Google Glasses. Mind blowing cool.

Learning 2.013 in Singapore

Another amazing Learning2 conference this year in Singapore. This conference continues to change and evolve and re-event what a conference experience should be. I find it so interesting that this conference and it’s different formats have been HUGELY successful over the last 7 years yet no conference has tried to replicate it. I have been to a lot of conferences but none that push the boundaries of participants expectations, learning, and community building like this one.

ITEC Keynote

I had the great pleasure of keynoting the Iowa Technology Educators Conference in Des Moines. As the second day keynote I saw it as my job to motivate and spark passion in the conference goers to make this conference matter to them and their schools when they went back to the classroom. We’ll have to wait for the survey results to see if I hit my mark.

It was also great to chat with Scott McLeod again. A great guy doing great things in the state of Iowa.

ISTurin 50% Anniversary Celebration

I was honored to be asked to keynote the 50% anniversary of the International School Turin in Turin, Italy. I had a great time with the staff and the keynote went well. Best part was an hour talk to the high school students challenging them to create their digital profiles now. To be creative, to tell the world they exist and to matter. Still love talking and working with students.

What’s my big take away?

Throughout all this travel and experiences I have to say my biggest takeaway is just how amazing of a time we live in. As I said in my keynotes, we are living in a time where science-fiction is meeting reality. Flying cars by 2020, self-driving cars by 2017, watches that we can talk to and talk to us, glasses that give us information instantly when we need it and space travel becoming a common thing. Just the fact that I leave Iowa and 18 hours later can be in Italy is amazing…it really is.

We are so lucky to be living in this time period….and it’s just getting started. What about 3D printing, medical advances, and the global connections that will continue to change our way of thinking. The world is changing at an amazing pace and most of it, I would argue, for the better.

However, when I look at education I’m not sure where it’s going. Is it keeping up? Is it transforming like the world around it? If it is…..I don’t see it. If it isn’t then where does that leave us? 99% of all schools in America will have Internet access the greatest resources known to man by 2018 and yet it hasn’t changed the way we think about education or educating. The Internet is the greatest app on any device. By itself it allows new learning opportunities that we couldn’t and still can’t imagine possible. Yet very few classrooms, fewer schools, and even fewer districts are really looking at how this single resource transforms learning in amazing ways.

Something has to give right? I mean the educational system at some point needs to adapt to society’s norms correct? If it doesn’t where does that leave us? I understand that education is conservative. I understand that education is slow to change. But the world has changed I’m experiencing it first hand from conversations on airplanes with business leaders (yes….they fly economy too…I know right?…who is in business class?) and global workers, to just what I observe in the corners of the world I have been so lucky to visit. We need to do better for our students because the world that they are going into is incredibly awesome and my hope is they’ll be ready to take full advantage of it.

CIRCLE-RGB-100pxI am pretty excited to talk about the new redesigned site that we launched a few weeks ago now on the COETAIL (Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy) site. Head on over and take a look and see what you think.

This has been a fun project to work on with our developer Foliovision. Websites have always been a hobby of mine and looking back on it, it was designing websites that got me into technology in the first place. Check out my first ever website…I actually got paid to make this. They bought the software I made the site. Man…that is the original era of the animated .gif! 🙂

Anyway…it’s crazy to look back to where web design was in 2001 and where it is now. Man how times have changed!

A couple of things to check out:

  • Infinite scroll: Scroll to the bottom of the blog posts coming from the community and 8 more load automatically. With Google Reader going away many of our participants have turned to this new front page as a replacement which is leading to more cross-commenting between our cohorts.
  • Site Wide Tags: This has been around for awhile but we brought it to the front to help participants understand how tags work and how you can use them when you’re looking for information across the site for a specific topic.
  • Responsive Design: This is where the web is heading and what I love is that you can look at the site on any size device and the theme auto adjusts and looks great on any size screen.


Most of all we keep the community first and foremost on the site. It’s about creating connections and moving teachers along a path to understanding true technology integration. The program continues to grow and we continue to, I think, make it better. Kim and I are excited where all this is going and excited about the changes we are seeing in the participants, in their classrooms, and the impact this program has had on whole schools around the world.

We do have a new cohort starting in February and like the rest it’s filling up fast if you are interested.

2013 is upon us and even though we are 26 days into the new year, I have made very little time to reflect openly here on the blog about the past and what the future might hold.

When we moved to Saudi Arabia in 2002 and bought a car, I learned quickly that you can not drive looking in your rearview mirror. Driving in Saudi has one rule…your job is to look where you are going not to watch what is going on behind you. In fact the rearview mirror becomes more of a distraction than a safety device.

I have been thinking about that a lot lately as I look back over this past year. It is great to look back and reflect on what you have done, what has worked and what has failed, however if we try to drive by looking behind us we will not be very successful. Reflecting is a good thing and it can help us understand where we have come from but if we try to drive by using our rear view mirror by only reflecting and not looking forward, we will crash. The “good ole days” are behind us and what “might be” stands in front of us. We cannot go back in time (yet) so we must reflect on the past and then focus on the future.

This past year was an incredible journey as I made the transition in June from full time educator to full time consultant. A scary but exciting jump; one that has allowed me to do what I feel in my heart is what I am supposed to be doing at this moment in time.

Looking in the rear view mirror:

Failures of 2012:

Reach Version 2:
The goal was to have the second version of Reach out in August. I thought I would have all this time after moving back to Seattle to spend updating the book. Somehow I forgot just how much time and energy goes into moving….you would think doing it every three to four years I would remember! Honestly it has only been since about November that we have felt settled into our new lives here in the States. So the second version of Reach never happened and at this point might never happen.

Another Book:
I had dreams of not only finishing a second version of Reach but of publishing another book that is rolling around in my head. I tried to tell myself that I needed to finish Reach first…yet honestly I don’t think my heart was really in redoing Reach and so this “Other Book” never even got started. But it is still rolling around and maybe I’ll make time this year to write it….maybe not.

More Blogging:
I had all these ideas about all these blog posts that I was going to be able to write and yet my blogging never really did pick up. Oh well….

2012 Accomplishments

Ran my first half marathon
This past July I finally ran my first half marathon. Over the past two years now I have watched in awe as my wife ran more halves than I can remember, a marathon and a 50K (31 miles). So to finally run my first half was a great accomplishment…although I could have done without my wife running backwards in front of me. 🙂

The COETAIL program continues to grow and expand in International Schools across the world. This summer, Kim Cofino and I started a partnership creating COETAIL LLP. This will allow us to expand the program, bringing on other instructors and ultimately serve more schools. I’m excited as the program continues to evolve, spread, and produce educators who have a deeper understanding of technology and its use in the educational environment. The COETAIL community just surpased 300 members and will surpase 400 by the end of the year. If you haven’t checked it out I encourage you to do so.

Ninja Program
The Ninja program continues to amaze me. With over 1000 educators who now have access to the files and stories of how people are taking it, changing it, using it, and contributing to it- I’m just blown away. I have had offers to monetize the program…but this is my way to give back and as long as I can afford it, I will keep it free for all to take, use, and mash-up.

Moving to Seattle
Anytime you uproot your entire life, it’s pretty much chaos….to do it every 3 to 4 years just makes my wife and I crazy I guess. We are loving living in downtown Seattle, spending time with family and friends and looking forward a little bit….can I just say a full season of Mariners baseball!

Looking Forward:

If someone would have told me in June that by December I would be booking conferences, and schools a full year in advance, I would have laughed and said in my dreams. But the gigs keep coming and the calendar is filling up fast. I love teaching, pushing myself, and how every school and situation is different, therefore having to constantly innovate and think what is best for a particular school or audience. It’s teaching teachers and right now that is where my heart is at.

Everytime I think we have started to hit the end of the road with the COETAIL program another cohort starts up. Just last week I visited Korea to start a cohort at Seoul Foreign School. In about a week’s time our Online Cohort will start up with well over 60 people registered. Kim’s numbers at YIS are looking great and we have cohorts starting in Vietnam and Bangkok as well. Our first out of Asia cohort started this year as well in Ethiopia of all places. So the expantion continues.

Ninja Program
Some big ideas moving forward with this program that have me really excited. Stay tuned…but I think you’ll like them. 🙂

GAFE Class
I am excited to be launching the Google Apps For Education Class for all Educators. International Educators can take it for SUNY Graduate credits and US Educators can take it for a certificate of completion. An 8 week course that not only teaches you about each app and how to use it with students, but also forces you to create a lesson or unit to implement in your classroom using Google Apps. Teachers have been asking for the course so I’m excited to get it started.

More Running/Living Healthy
I’m continuing to run and workout and just live a healthy and balanced life. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can go back to running barefoot or in my five finger shoes. I love the time I get to spend with my wife running…and who wouldn’t with views like this. Seattle really is a great place to live and I am excited to take full advantage of it as we continue to make our home here.

As for education and technology, well there are a lot of people making predictions on where this is all going and where education is going in general. In fact, over the past couple of years I have made predictions based on what I was seeing. It is a slow train but a train that is definitely headed into a more digital world. We’re at the point now where the questions are changing.

It’s not a matter of IF we will have digital textbooks but when they will become the norm.
It’s not a question of should students have a digital device, but when will every student have one, two or even three.

Of course this is the easy stuff because it is just stuff. This is the way society is moving and education is being dragged along whether it wants to be or not.

The hard questions and changes about the purpose of education, the pedagogy behind learning in a connected environment, and exactly what should students be learning today are questions that we will continue to struggle with. We know we need more science majors, we know we need more students interested in engineering, computer science and innovation. We know those are where the jobs are at and where they are being created. Yet at the same time, I wonder how many teachers K-12 are taking time from their ‘curriculum’ to discuss major events such as the Mars Rover landing, what we are learning from it, and just how amazing this whole thing is with students.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was sitting in 4th grade and the teacher wheeled in a TV so we all could watch the Space Shuttle take off. Now we land a Rover on Mars and we don’t talk about it? It might just be our greatest scientific accomplishment of this decade and I’m wondering how many teachers are talking about it with students, getting them excited about what is possible.

We cannot drive education forward by looking in our rearview mirror all the time at what used to work, what used to be good, and what we used to teach. Driving through your rearview mirror is never a good idea. The road ahead is full of opportunity, if we focus on what can be rather than what was, 2013 will be a fantastic year!

Photo Credit: Kim Jones


The Certificate Of Educational Technology And Information Literacy (COETAIL) program continues to expand and continues to grow. Just a quick announcment that we will be starting new cohorts soon. Here is a list of all the cohort starting in 2013 that still have room:

A View overlooking all fo Addis Ababa

Sitting here in my hotel room after six great days with the ICSAddis COETAIL cohort that we kicked off this week and I can’t stop thinking about what an exciting time to be in Ethiopia. In fact what an exciting time to be alive!

I have a lot running through my brain right now so this might be a bit disjointed…but it’s my reflection and thoughts….so deal with it. 🙂

Our Connected World
We continue to talk about and try to understand just how connected our world is becoming and just how fast this change is happening around the world. Ethiopia is no different. This is a country prime for change, prime for the connection, and they are moving there quickly. Most people outside of Africa don’t give much thought to the development that is happening here. We hear about Asia, about the Middle East, but Africa and the changes that are affecting this continent are not mentioned much in the Western world. But make no mistake of it, Africa is primed and coming on fast.

Let’s just look at the hard facts about Ethiopia.

The GDP of Ethiopia has been in a double digit climb year over year since 2004. Even during the recession Ethiopia saw 8% and 7.5% growth of their GDP.

In a recent news article while here Ethio Telecom (State ran Telecom company) released its latest numbers.

  • Ethio Telecom’s customer base has reached 18.28 million people, registering a 59pct increase in the last fiscal year.
  • Mobile services, which constituted the vast majority of the customer base, had anticipated reaching 21.9 million subscribers and in actuality attracted 17.28 million customers. This was an increase of 700,000 people, a 79pct achievement of the target. Fixed line numbers reached 805,000 people or 81.4pct of intended performance targets.
  • Internet and data service customers reached 221,000, 89pct performance. This does not  include 2.44 million users who receive mobile Internet service.
  • There were more than 4,000 SIM and Voucher card retail distributors by the end of the fiscal year, while the number of wholesalers increased from six to 45, as the number of points of sale in the country reached over 45,000.
  • “The number of mobile phone subscribers we have currently ranks us in the sixth position in Africa and first in east Africa,” said Abdurahmin adding that prominent countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt are the ones beating Ethiopia’s figures.

Now….those numbers are fantastic for a country who is growing quickly and also shows just how fast the middle class is appearing here in Ethiopia. But…this isn’t what blew me away about this article. No it was this quote (bold by me):

As we all know in this age of Information Communication Technology service is not a luxury, but it’s a basic necessity and development accelerator of every nation,” Jean-Michel said adding that Ethio Telecom accomplished encouraging results and should meet the sector target of the five year GTP plan.

Does every nation know this? There are some countries that believe the connection, the Internet, is a basic necessity. But there are others….to name one….America…..that from what I’ve seen haven’t made this type of commitment.

Stop and think for a minute about what that statement means to a developing country like Ethiopia and where this could lead them into the future. How exciting of a time for Ethiopia.

Being here and experiencing Addis Ababa has been amazing. The construction that is going on everywhere is insane and totally reminds me of Shanghai when we arrived in 2005. The country is growing so fast, the middle class is growing so quickly, that trying to build the infrastructure to handle it all becomes frustrating. But make no mistake…it’s being built.

There is no such thing as too fast a connection

View of my hotel window. Looking at all the sky cranes reminds me of Shanghai in 2005

Maybe it’s just me but I’ve never heard anyone complain of their Internet connection being too fast. Internet speed is something we all complain about. No matter if you have 1mb or 100mb we’ll find a way to complain about it. At ICSAddis I was reminded about it this week. The school has continued year over year to increase their bandwidth based on what the countries infrastructure allows. This year they are up to 20mbps which isn’t a bad speed for a school of about 800 students. However, because Ethiopia is growing so quickly it’s not a stable connection. The line gets cut, the speed drops at heavy use times during the day, and overall the connection isn’t reliable. But it continues to improve, it continues to get better, and we (OK…..me) have to remind ourselves just how amazing this whole things is. China went through this with their growth, and so did Thailand (and still is). It’s a natural part of wiring a country…it’s not an easy task, and when everyone wants the connection….craves the connection….you physically can’t built it fast enough.

Why the future might belong to Africa

Also in the paper while I was here (who knew reading a paper would be so informative 😉 ) was the release of the 2012 Edition of the African Economic Outlook.

With almost 200 million people between the ages of 15 and 24, Africa has the youngest population in the world. And it keeps growing rapidly. According to recent estimates, the number of young people in Africa will double by 2045. If this trend continues, the continent’s labor force will reach one billion by 2040, making it the largest in the world.

Now that’s something to think about! What does the world look like when the largest labor force is in Africa?

The report warns that high unemployment among youth poses a serious challenge for the economies of African countries, whose recovery from the 2011 global economic and financial crisis had been remarkable.

Emmanuel Nnadozie stated that challenges facing youth employment often vary across African countries and different income groups, he added, stressing the fact that in low-income countries, “youth in vulnerable employment and working poverty are the largest majority”, while “discouraged or inactive youth” are the most common group in middle-income countries.

Africa’s youth population is not only growing rapidly, it is also getting better educated. Based on current trends, about 59pct of 20-24 year olds will have had secondary education in 2030, compared to 42pct today. With the number of youth in Africa set to double by 2045, creating productive jobs for young people will continue to pose an immense challenge, according to reports.

You can read the whole article yourself but these quotes really stuck out to me. So, I’m reading all of this, I’m here in Addis experiencing the construction, seeing the people go about their daily lives, watching the growth happen around me and all I can think is WOW!

What if?

What if the government can make the Internet a utility for all? What if this growing youth population has a fast, steady connection to the outside world? What if, free online education sites continue to grow? What if the youth in Africa start educating themselves? What if this youth generation connect, grow, and learn together? What if this is the future?

I know those are a lot of “What If” statements. But I consider myself to be a pretty well traveled person (37 countries and counting) and I have to say the future is exciting on a global level. I see what is happening in Thailand, in China, in countries that many people haven’t even heard of like Burma, Laos or Cambodia and I am excited for humanity. Sure it has been hard work to get here, and sure there is a lot of hard work in front of us. But it’s OK once in a while to step back and be proud of what we have accomplished…where this is all going and how the Internet….the connection……might just be the best thing to happen to humanity yet!

This past weekend I made my 9th and final flight to Taipei where 25 educators from Taipei American School (TAS) wrapped up their final course, projects and presentations for the COETAIL program. 


The COETAIL Program or Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy, is a 5 course 15 graduate credit program started by Kim Cofino and I in 2009. The program, only available to educators outside the U.S., continues to return positive results with 86% of educators who have taken the program saying that the coures and the learning have had a positive effect on their teaching practices 6 months after they finish the program. The fifth and final course asks educators to take everything they have learned in the first 4 courses and apply it to their teaching. We push the educators to try to use technology in a way that redefines the learning experience using the following definition:

Redefinition: The computer allows for the creation of new tasks, inconceivable without the computer.

As usual the TAS educators rose to the challenge and presented some fantastic learning examples as well as some failures….which in itself is a success. Here are a few highlights. 

Nancy and Kathy put together this fantastic video for their final project. You can read about their reflections on their blogs.

Allison Nave has done a great job of sharing and reflecting as she flips her middle school math class.

Nyoli had her Algebra students create a Google Site for review purposes. Students don’t want the site public but she outlines the learning and the process.

Barb outlines making book trailers with elementary students in the library and collaborating with Tara our librarian here at ISB.

Scott and Laura reflect on using iPads with 1st graders.

Steve talks about using Google Docs with 2nd Graders.

Jennifer teaches music through creating a sound track for a movie trailer.

It was great to see teachers stretch themselves on these projects as I encouraged them to push themselves and the technology so far beyond what they though capable that they failed…..and we had a few “successful failures” as Michael called it in his presentation. That’s a term I could get use to using.

If you are an educator outside of America and you are interested in the COETAIL program. Head over to the About page where you can read about the program and put your name on the list to get more information. Our plan is to start another cohort in September.


I am proud to announce that working with Buffalo State-SUNY we are now offering a fully online Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy (COETAIL) Program to International Educators. This is a special program that only International Educators (Educators working at recognized International Schools) can apply for.

I can’t believe it’s been four years since we started this program at ISB and three years since Kim Cofino and I took it on and expanded it to other International Schools. At the moment we have 5 Cohorts running (a total of about 100 educators) throughout Asia and now with the online option we can expand into other regions as well.

Here are the details of the program:

The first fully online Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy (COETAIL) program offered by SUNY will begin February 5th, 2012.

This 15 Graduate Credit program has been created specifically for International Educators and is taught by International Educators. Over 120 educators have completed the program thus far and SUNY calls it “A rigorous set of courses that address the current and future needs of educators.”

Online COETAIL Details:
– Starts Feb. 5, 2012 and ends May 5, 2013
– No Summer Classes (we like our summers too!)
– 15 Graduate Credit Program. Credits can be used towards a Master’s Degree from SUNY
– No need to travel, all you need is a computer and an Internet connection
– Only International Educators can apply, due to special rate.

For more information and to register visit http://www.coetail.asia/online12-13/

It really is a fantastic program that is seeing great results. We surveyed graduates of the program six months after completion to see if the program’s concepts, knowledge and understanding had brought about change in their teaching. 86% of educators strongly agreed or agreed that what they learned had influenced their teaching practice a full six months after they completed the program. You can see other stats in the infographic below.


coetail infographic

It’s also great to hear administrators liking what they are seeing and hearing from those that are in or have completed the program. I was having dinner with an administrator this past week who was here in Bangkok for the recruiting fair. He works at a 1:1 Mac school and is looking for educators who have a pedagogical understanding of how to teach in a 1:1 environment. He was impressed with the knowledge, skills, and understandings that the COETAIL participants had…but what he was really impressed with was what they were doing with students in their classroom.

That, I believe, is the real strength of this program. From the first course teachers are creating lessons and implementing new ideas in their own teaching practice and reflecting on their outcomes as they build their own skills and knowledge. 

This new online cohort starts on February 5th. So if you are an International Educator and you or someone you know is interested, visit http://www.coetail.asia/online12-13/ and sign up today!



A couple weeks ago I was contacted by a representative at bigmarker.com about their product. I usually just delete solicitations like this but this one came at the right time. Kim and I had been trying to find a way to hold virtual meetings with our COETAIL EARCOS cohort. This cohort is made up of 24 teachers spread all over Asia which is an issue in itself. Vietnam, Thailand and China all have bandwidth issues that make connecting into virtual platforms like this sometimes difficult especially if the servers for that program are located in the U.S. That’s a long way to push a signal and then all the way back when you’re running on less than a 1MB connection. You loose quality at best and most of the time you just loose the whole connection.



Earlier this week we connected to 13 of the cohort members and bigmarker worked perfectly! Here are some of the key points that have me so excited about this product.

A conference room can hold up to 300 people. That’s the largest free conference room that I know of. It can be public or private and people do not need an account to join a conference.

2. Specific Server Location
This is a HUGE one to me. When you set up a conference you can actually choose what region you want to host your conference in. For our gathering I was able to choose Southeast Asia. I would guess their servers are sitting either in Hong Kong or in Singapore either way the connection was fantastic and helped teachers in countries with low bandwidth to connect at a speed that allowed them to push video.

3. Open Mics to All
One feature that I didn’t realize I would love so much is that more than one person can talk at a time. Unlike other services where you have to push a button to talk and then give the mic to someone else. Everyone’s mic is always on making it much more conversation based rather than lecture based. The moderator still has permission to mute everyone or certain people if they would like.

4. Up to 10 simultaneous webcam connections
Now it might actually allow more than 10 but I was told that after 10 the quality starts to fade. We had as many as 8 web cams going during our session on Wednesday and it worked great. Amazing how seeing people changes the nature of communication. Everyone was clear and the audio synced up nicely with the video. 

5. User customizable conference room
Each user once they connect can customize their own conference room. You can move the windows around and arrange them the way that works for you the learner.

6. Simple
Bigmaker.com is still pretty new there aren’ t a lot of bells and whistles which I actually enjoy. Simple to use, simple to navigate. You can upload a presentation or an image but really it’s about the conversation which is why we get together in the first place. I hope as they continue to build the software they keep that as a key concept.

Overall I’m finding it to be a simple piece of software that does exactly what it’s suppose to do. Connect people to have a conversation. Here’s hoping that it stays free.