ITS Portfolio

Tammy Austin


I believe that we should all work toward creating global students who become independent members of our communities. We can do this through coaching teachers and mentoring students. I believe that by combining Project Based Learning with data analysis from parent, teacher and student surveys we can not only bring reluctant teachers into the technology world we can affect the lives of all stakeholders. I also believe we should all be part of the money-saving process so that our schools save more in areas where they can and more to work with in areas it is needed. Lastly, I believe what a former principal said to me says a great deal about me and I think it is the best compliment I have ever received. She told me that she appreciated me when I taught because I never made her feel stupid when it came to using technology. I think that is essential in my role as an instructional technology specialist - to make everyone comfortable with using technology and to make sure they know everyone can learn ways to integrate it into their curriculum.

Blended/Online Instructional Experience

My online instructional experience consists of four levels: training, student, teacher and professional development. I started out receiving training in best practices and continued through Flipped Classroom Certification and 21st Century Teacher training. I continued by not only starting to create my own trainings online but also by continuing my education through an online Master of Education program. I am still learning as I develop my own courses that can be used for blended and online instruction as well as professional development I create and participate in. I believe through all of this the most valuable lesson I learned was knowing that many of the base principles of instructional design for the Face to Face Classroom apply to the blended and online classes I have created. It is still essential to build a relationship with the people taking your course. You need to have a good sound academic structure to rely on. In using the Universal Design for Learning Principles combined with Project Based Learning, I try to create courses that have a meaningful outcome with a product that can be shared with others.

Professional Development/Presentation Experience

I believe it is essential to continue professional development at every level. I believe it is as important to present as it is to attend. I learn just as much from presenting as I do from attending different trainings. I recently completed the valuable Microsoft Innovative Educator Training where I learned new skills in presenting to larger groups. Continuing to attend professional development and always striving to learn something new will always be a goal for me. Because of this goal, I host a Canvas Klatch each month. I also believe humor is important in presentations to help with engagement as long as you know your audience and keep it within what they consider acceptable.

Recent Professional Development:

  • TCEA Convention Attendee – Texas Computer Educators Association, Austin, TX – February, 2009 – present, Presenter – February 2014 - present
  • Technology Integration Academy Attendee and presenter – Denton ISD, Denton, TX – August, 2011 –present
  • SXSWedu Conference Attendee – SXSW, LLC, Austin, TX – March, 2012 – present
  • Campus Technology Specialist Academy Attendee and Session Facilitator – TCEA – Austin, TX – November, 2015
  • Canvas LMS Training – Region XI @ Denton ISD, Denton, TX – August 2015
  • Instructional Coaching Training – Denton ISD, Denton, TX – October, 2013 - present

Recent Presentations:

  • Paperless Gone Wild. Presentation at Texas Computer Educators Association Conference, Austin, TX. To be given Feb. 2016
  • Leveraging Online Resources for Collaboration, Creating, Communication and Critical Thinking. Future of Education Technology Conference, Orlando, FL. To be given Jan. 2016
  • Paperless Gone Wild. Presentation at Technology Integration Academy, Denton, TX. July 2015
  • Let’s Get It Together. Co-presentation at Technology Integration Academy, Denton, TX. July 2015
  • Everyone's Got One ... BYOD!!!. Co-presentation at Texas Computer Educators Association Conference, Austin, TX. Feb. 2015
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Curriculum Experience

Over the course of the past two years, I have worked with another ITS and the Curriculum Department to help build technology into the units of study rather than having technology as an after thought. In November, 2014, we finished creating the Technology Frameworks and Overlays for the Elementary Curriculum department as part of the Understand By Design Units they have been writing for the past four years. As an example of this work, I worked with teachers to create videos in class instead of the usual poster board projects that parents sometimes over-help with. I have helped others create an online, interactive magazine as well.

Secondary Curriculum does not yet have the same units, but I have been working within my school and with the Secondary Coordinators to help include technology the same way as the Elementary Writing team has. I have worked with the ELA group to use Infographics as part of the research process and have helped set up technology trainings during district staff development with our Science and CTE Coordinators by recruiting other trainers as well as developing my own. After trainings with departments, they have created outstanding projects that allow the students voice and choice in their learning.

As part of the curriculum writing process, we always focus on SAMR and are helping teachers do the same. Making sure that technology is engaging in the learning process is a challenge; students are sometimes distracted and teachers are reluctant to give them some of the freedoms they need in a technology rich environment. As part of the Instructional Coaching training I received through the district, I have seen how important it is to model for the teachers as well as help teach lessons when needed. I have also developed on demand, online trainings as a way to better assist them.

Working with the Elementary Curriculum Writing Team, I came to see just how under-served our elementary population had become since the district had removed the Technology Integrator stipend. This led to the brainstorming of our GET-It website which is still under construction. It will be a tool to train teachers not only in the use of technology but to tie it directly to the Units of Study they are teaching.

As our Curriculum Departments put it, I helped them start using Google before Google was cool. We used Google to place their Units of Study for easy collaboration and access. During the past two years, they have created 13 GB of information for their teachers to use. I helped design their website for their units to make it easy for everyone to access as well as maintain for the Directors.

Leadership Experience

When it comes to leadership experience, I have been the Technology Department Head since I started the job at Guyer in 2008. I have worked on and helped guide the school in the path technology has taken. Not only have we increased the number of devices available, but the use of the devices has increased as well. Four out of every five days of every week outside of finals week each set of devices is being used in classrooms.

I have trained our administrators on tools such as Canvas, Verso, Google, and Screencast-O-Matic so they can not only be more productive but also model the use of technology in their daily lives for our students and teachers. Our staff members consistently use tools like:

as a way to be more productive and to free up some of their time for working with individual students.

I have always considered saving money to be important. In my personal life, raising a family of three on a single income made that a necessity. I have transferred that to my work like in my Paperless Project. Starting last year, I provided an incentive for departments to reduce the cost of their paper use and copy clicks. They responded well by saving our school over $22,000 and reducing their use by 45%. We did this through the use of an LMS and collaborative, online tools. This allowed us to buy more devices. This year the incentive is a trip to TCEA for one person in each department who demonstrates their willingness to use technology daily. We have set for ten faculty member to attend with three of them presenting.

I have maintained the GHS website as a way to disseminate information to not only parents but to students and staff as well. This has allowed for 24/7 access to information they need over the course of their time at Guyer. To model a good website, I have my own created where teachers, students, and administrators can also find the information they need. This resource has allowed me to spend more time in classes working and planning with teachers and students rather than training on the common tools used in education.


Robert Bostic


Stafford Municipal School District

1625 Staffordshire Road

Stafford, TX 77477


Mary Helen Martin

Director of Elementary Curriculum

Denton ISD

1212 Bolivar St.

Denton, TX 76201


J. Michael Parker

Assistant Principal

Guyer High School

Denton ISD

7501 Teasley Ln

Denton, TX 76210


Gene Terronez

Director of Campus Support Services

Denton ISD

230 N. Mayhill Rd.

Denton, TX 76208