Digital Teachers‎ > ‎

Diana Saldana

ASFMLearns Bio Photo Template (18).png

Monterrey, Mexico

Live Curious, Go Beyond________________

I live curious by constantly learning about innovative ways to use technology in education and I go beyond my limits with a growth mindset.

Areas of expertise: Tech Integration, Google Apps

     Twitter Handle: @dianasaldana


Hour of Code 2017

posted Nov 30, 2017, 12:39 PM by Diana Salda–a   [ updated Nov 30, 2017, 12:47 PM ]


Can you believe it's been five years already? This is the fifth year of the Hour of Code. During the week of December 4-10, students and teachers are encouraged to spend some time to learn to code and join millions of students from around the world.

Computers are everywhere, changing every industry on the planet. But fewer than half of all schools teach computer science. Good news is, we’re on our way to change this! If you've heard about the Hour of Code before, you might know it made history. More than 100 million students have tried an Hour of Code.

With the Hour of Code, computer science has been on homepages of Google, MSN, Yahoo!, and Disney. Over 100 partners have joined together to support this movement. Every Apple Store in the world has hosted an Hour of Code, and leaders like President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote their first lines of code as part of the campaign.

This year, let's make it even bigger. I’m asking you to join the Hour of Code 2017. Please get involved with an Hour of Code event during Computer Science Education Week, December 4-10.

Spend some time with your students or try the Hour of Code yourself—everyone can benefit from learning the basics.

Don't forget to share what you and your students are doing and include the hashtags #HourOfCode #AsfmLearns

Happy coding!

TriConf 2017 - My Takeaways

posted Oct 18, 2017, 1:02 PM by Diana Salda–a

It's been a week or so since I came back from Costa Rica where I attended the 36th Annual Educators' Conference. I had the opportunity to listen to inspiring keynotes, participate in a pre-conference session led by the legendary Michael Fullan, attend a number of concurrent sessions, and also present my own session that focused on facilitating virtual field trips.

Great personalities delivered the keynotes: Michael Fullan, Allison Zmuda and Heidi Hayes Jacob, and Douglas Fisher. However, throughout the conference I felt I was hearing the same things over and over. In a good way I mean! So, using the notes I took from all of these sessions, I created this word cloud using Wordle. This way I could quickly see what were the main ideas discussed throughout the event.

This is the word cloud based on my tweets during the event:

Taking the top words that appeared in the word clouds, I related them to each of the sessions or keynotes that I attended or presented. This is the resulting web. (Actually, I think everything connects to everything.)

My main takeaway from the conference is learning about the importance of establishing solid relationships between teachers and students, before embarking on any new initiative, in order to make the most impact on student learning.

To learn more about the conference, follow the hashtag #TriConf17 on Twitter.


Designing a Science Lab

posted Sep 15, 2017, 6:22 PM by Diana Salda–a

Back in March, the TI team was approached by the principal to see if we could help with the design of a brand new science space. At that time, we were under the impression that there would be a brand new STEM lab for Elementary, apart from the existing science lab. With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, this made perfect sense. However, throughout the process we learned that it was not a new space, but rather the relocation and redesign of the current science lab. We also learned that our budget was going to be smaller than what we had thought.

To get started, we called a meeting with the science reps, the school's projects team, the admin team, and of course, the science lab teacher, Ms. Georgina. This was the first of several meetings. We decided we'd follow the ASFM design process, created in partnership with design expert David Jakes.

        Provocation: How might we design a learning experience 
that allows students to be scientists?

Part 1: Identify learning verbs

The first step was to dissect the NGSS standards to identify the verbs. Teachers were grouped by tables and handed the standards according to grade level. Teachers wrote each word on a post-it note. Afterwards, the verbs were grouped and 5-7 learning verbs emerged per table. Those key verbs were shared and then the whole design team decided on which 5-7 learning verbs to work on.


Learning verbs
  • Observe
  • Analyze
  • Design
  • Test
  • Identify a problem
  • Predict
  • Plan
Part 2: Develop learning statements and Spatial concepts. 

The next step was to transform the learning verbs into learning statements. That is, what experience or behaviors do we want to see in students, and what kind of space will support this statement. This is what the design team developed:

When students OBSERVE:



Observe relationship between different kinds of living things

Open space that allows movement

Observe the environment around you

Includes outdoor/indoor areas

Observe how things work

Offers/provides a variety of resources, tools, choices

Observe results of experiments and redesign the experiment

Flexibility in options for recording/observing data (both digital and analog)

Observe how things react

Safe environment for observation

Observe data gathered/given cause/effect

When ANALYZING, students:



Look closely at evidence

Space to create and collect different types of evidence

Compare findings

Space that is safe when using tools to analyze

Ask questions

Space to exhibit findings/learnings and discuss/reflect

Determine if a solution works

Flexible spaces - Lights, inside/outside, flooring

Use appropriate tools

Space for exploring/experimenting, testing/changing

Space that is accessible for everyone (meets needs)

Space with access to different tools and a place to use them

What learning looks like considering DESIGN:



Designing looks like students designing and creating

Big space to draw/sketch a plan

Designing looks like collaboration and communication

Available technology to redesign and research

Designing with access to a variety of tools.

Organized area to know where to find available tools

Designing looks like students making and adapting plans

Designing looks like students being flexible

The experience to TEST looks like:



Learning looks like the application of a hypothesis

Space allows for experiments to take place

Learning looks like students examining variables

Space that has access to multiple materials

Learning looks like multiple attempts at data collection

Space to demonstrate data collection, processes and experimentation

Learning looks like scientists recording data

Space protected for data recording materials

Learning looks like adjusting materials to examine the variables

Space for finding ideas and outcomes

Learning should look enjoyable and fun

Space that’s open to visualize learners and learning from other groups

When IDENTIFYING A PROBLEM, learning looks like:



Asking questions

Space where all ideas and questions are valid and acknowledged

Looking for things that work

Space where “non-solutions” lead us to a solvable problem


Space where time and materials are available

Finding similarities/differences


Focusing/zooming In



To PREDICT, learning looks like:



Students having fun as a team

Students wearing lab coats, experts, professional

People collaborating with different ideas

Table groups with notebooks

Students on stools with notebooks and pencils writing down observations

Testing water or oil, cups

Testing hypothesis

Big mess on table

People Making Mistakes And Persevering

Table, liquids, stools, liquid, cups

Students perform experiments

Sinks, clipboards, tall tables, storage with doors, storage for lab coats

People observing

What learning looks like considering to PLAN:



Planning experiments

Space allows for experiments to take place

Planning how to make something, mixing substances

Part 3: Consolidation of discovery data into drivers and constraints.

At this time, we did not meet with the design team again. The TI team took all the data that was collected and determined the drivers and constraints.

  • Flexibility
  • Choice
  • Space
  • Budget
  • Room dimensions
  • Storage space
Part 4: Prototyping

We planned a third meeting with a smaller group of teachers. At this time, we provided teachers with the layout and the dimensions of the space. Basically it was just a rectangle that measured 10.6 m x 6.2 m. Teachers had the opportunity to provide feedback for the prototype of the lab. They also made a list of the materials and equipment they thought would be necessary to support teaching the Science standards.

With the help of Ms. Ime, one the teachers in the design team who has a background in architecture, we went about creating prototypes. We used the online application RoomStyler to have a 3D visual of what the space might look like. After many iterations we collected several layouts. It was time to take it back to the team to get more feedback. Actually, we posted the prototypes on the wall and asked the whole staff to stop by and look at the renderings. They could write down any comments, suggestions, or provide feedback. 


Based on this feedback and keeping the drivers in mind, we developed this final prototype:

For the last few details we met with the projects team to talk about providers and constructors. Finally, the school year ended with all plans in place. Summer vacations meant waiting time for us. I was anxious to return to school and be able to see the final results. Take a look, below is the finished room:

                          This room transformed from a classroom (Before)...         into a science lab (After).


Looking at the new science lab, we can see how the drivers are present in the finished space.
  • Flexibility: All furniture is mobile and agile. Carpet squares allow for flexible seating. Projector is not mounted, allowing for various display options.
  • Choice: Students have choice over where to work and where to sit. (Stools are still pending to be delivered). White walls are writable.
  • Space: Furniture can be moved and stacked to allow for changes in space arrangement. The back door leads to a terrace that extends the lab outdoors.
In the end what seemed like a daunting task resulted in a rewarding experience. I personally appreciate the invitation to become involved in this learning opportunity. We were faced with various obstacles along the way, but I feel the new science lab met our expectations. This lab has become a highly visited space, bustling with kids that are eager to be scientists!

My Takeaways from Live Curious, Go Beyond 2017

posted Mar 9, 2017, 7:42 PM by Diana Salda–a   [ updated Mar 9, 2017, 7:45 PM ]

Hi all! During the most recent edition of Live Curious, Go Beyond, I was fortunate to attend 4 different sessions. With so many sessions of such high quality, the choices were difficult to make.

Gotta Catch All Students Through Pokemon Go
I was especially looking forward to attending this session. Some time ago, a Kinder teacher had expressed concern with the Pokemon craze and wanted to find an activity to focus their attention on the educational aspect of it. In this session, Ms. Rachel Lanquist, from the American School of Guadalajara, explained different approaches to leveraging the Pokemon excitement. One suggestion was to create activities centered around the Pokemon theme and characters. Another idea is to create activities that incorporate the same technology of augmented reality. The presenter demonstrated an app that could easily be introduced to Kinder students or any other grade level. This app is called Klikaklu. It's basically an app to create scavenger hunts, in which kids have to find and match images, once they find them, they are prompted with a question or a clue to continue with the hunt. This was just what I was looking for and plan to create a game for the Kinder students. Follow @rachellanquist

ISP Near Space Program
I'll be honest, attending this session was mostly for personal reasons. I've always had an interest for all space-related matters, so I wanted to learn first-hand what other schools were doing. It was a delight to see what the high school students from the International School of Panama are doing. They have a complete program that launches twice a year a capsule to near space that collects data of weather conditions and also conducts biological experiments. Mr. Jose Rios' goal is to spread the program throughout all America and collect more data that can be shared with everyone to predict weather conditions. Don't miss watching the videos that give you a glimpse of what the students and Mr. Rios do. Follow @josedepanama

Next Generation Science: Innovate, Create & Achieve
With the introduction of NGSS to ASFM I was curious to learn more about what these standards looked like. What a great opportunity to see what experimented teachers are doing. Ms. Pamela Garza and Ms. Brenda Silva, from the American Institute of Monterrey, guided us through a brief explanation of the standards and then through the Engineering Design Process. This is basic to solving problems when working with the science standards. We also practiced fun and simple STEM challenges that students are expected to carry out. Follow @pamelagza26  & @brendis99

Shine With Your Story
It seems that nowadays everything is about telling stories, so I was eager to learn of a novel way to do so. This session led by Ms. Marybell Rodriguez, from the Universidad de Monterrey, centered around three tools developed by Adobe. They are Adobe Spark Page, Adobe Spark Video, and Adobe Spark Post. These applications require you create a free account that can be used for any of them. Well, just as the title suggested, you can "shine" with these amazing tools! They make publishing a breeze, with so many templates and features to choose from, in a few minutes you can have an amazing professional post, video, or web page. It's available online and through iPad apps. In fact, if you take a look at the recap of the 2017 conference, you'll find an example of a page made with Adobe Spark Page. Follow @marybellr

If you attended Live Curious, Go Beyond and want to share your experience, please leave a comment below.


Easy-to-Use Feedback Tools

posted Nov 18, 2016, 6:19 AM by Diana Salda–a

There are multiple ways in which teachers can digitally gather feedback from students. There are Polls and Assessments in PowerLearning, Forms and Comments in Google, Socrative, etc.  However, what if your students don't have a Google account or don't have a device? Let's take a look at two easy-to-use feedback tools that are designed for schools and are hassle-free. Students from any grade level can participate!!/id1131203560?mt=8
Kahoot  This is a very popular and fun feedback tool that kids love. Once you create a learning game, all the students need is a code to get started. Responding to Kahoot works on any device. To create a quiz, go to To answer a quiz and enter a code, go to
Plickers (paper clickers) It's a real-time assessment tool that lets you poll your class without the need for student devices. Only the teacher needs to have a mobile device to scan the card that each student holds up. The scanning feature can also be used offline, so it's great to continue gathering feedback outside the classroom or school. It's easy to set-up and students don't need to do anything, only the teacher needs to create an account in a very simple way. Below is a video that explains in detail the whole process of using Plickers.



Collect many student responses in one single scanning.

Easy-to-Use Collaboration Tools

posted Oct 20, 2016, 3:50 PM by Diana Salda–a

How would students' learning change if they could work with each other? Online? 

ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) has identified the standards for students that promote the development of skills necessary to for a successful future. Throughout the years, the standards have varied, however the skills of communication and collaboration have been constantly present. As we're planning to provide opportunities for our students to engage in authentic forms of collaboration you might have come across a variety of digital tools. When selecting them, ask yourselves: Does it promote communication? Does it allow sharing a document or file? Is it easy to learn and use?

There are a number of tools designed for online collaboration. In my opinion, one of the best and most complete is Google Apps. However, students need to have a Google account in order to create and fully make use of it's features. But don't let that discourage you because included here are two collaboration tools for you to explore and try out with your own students.

TitanPad - Students can type on the same document simultaneously, no sign-up required. (Make sure to check the deletion policy.)

Twiddla - Kids can draw on the same canvas simultaneously, no sign-up required.

Uses in Education: You might want to try these tools especially if your students do not have a Google Account yet. Students can collaboratively create a story, engage in a discussion, develop a graphic organizer, and more. All anyone needs is the link to the document. The best part, it works just the same on an iPad. If you have younger kids, you may want to create QR codes to easily access the links.

Give them a try! You won't believe how easy they are to use!

TI Pilot Projects

posted Sep 22, 2016, 3:57 PM by Diana Salda–a   [ updated Sep 22, 2016, 4:00 PM ]

The TI Team strives to "Live Curious and Go Beyond" and is thrilled to launch the 2016-2017 TI Pilot Projects. After an extensive brainstorming session, the TI Team planned the year ahead. As a result of this thinking process, four passion projects came to life. As we were defining our goals and looking for projects to focus our work on, four distinct areas of growth suddenly lit up. In retrospect, I'd say they happen to be the natural next steps to follow after a year of Blended Learning experience at ASFM. 

TI Pilot Projects

Develop a N-12 ASFM Blended Learning experience based on researched best practices which meets the need of our students. 

Develop a comprehensive N-12 Digital Citizenship scope sequence, and experience based on our communities needs and researched best practices.

Identify, develop and transition a number classroom and shared learning spaces to inspiring spaces which support all our learners' needs. 

Develop a comprehensive N-12 E-Portfolio experience based on our community's needs and researched best practices. 

All of the Digital Teachers are participating together with an incredible number of teachers from both ELEM and MSHS that volunteered their time to join the projects. It's going to be a busy year for sure, but an exciting one too!

Inspiring Spaces Grade Level/Dept.Blended Learning RefinementGrade Level/Dept.Digital Citizenship Grade Level/Dept.E-PortfoliosGrade Level/Dept.
Brian HammTI Cory Austen TICory Austen TI Brian HammTI
Diana Saldana TI Doug FrankishTIDiana SaldanaTi Doug Frankish Ti
Albertina VillarrealKinder EACeci ChavarriEA 2Monica DiegoELEM Tech Miriam CampasELEM Instructional Assistant
Veronica DiazELEM SpanSara GolinvauxGr.5 Barbara BrunellPre-KinderAlejandra Garza MartinezELEM Spanish
Barbara MartinezELEM ArtAmy HartGr.5 Veronica MartinezELEM SpecialistSofia LopezELEM Art
Charlotte LaytonGr. 4Andrea TrujilloKinderFernanda FerrignoGr.1Jennifer CouchGr. 3
Clarrissa ChavezGr. 2Amanda WendtHS Science Michele NealeELEM ResourceMartha FiehnGr. 4
Kaitlyn HoganGr.9 Math Paty CazaresMS PE Megham BurnhamGr.6 Science Cassandra SalasNursery
Jose AlvarezMSHS LIbrarian Josh AlmoiteMS Science Federico RobledoMSHS ResourcePaty MartinezGr. 3
Brad BrandvoldGr.10 ScienceGabriela de la GarzaELEM SpanishJane WongMSHS Well BeingAshley KramerMS Math
Joe HartGr.12 Science Carilyn GarretMS Learning Support Guy GagnierMS EnglishMaricarmen Del BosqueHS Well Being
Melanie PatonGr. 3Elizabeth EveryHS Science Gina ElizondoMS Well BeingNed AikenGr. 2
Adeel FarooqHS Tech Jennifer CollisHS EnglishRocio SuarezLeslie FarooqMSHS Instructional Coach
Lea WoodwardGr.6 Learning SupportElena CortesNetta KormendyELEM Pre-KinderJoelle HernandezHS Business Tech
Gina MonsivaisELEM Doctor Ernesto EspinozaELEM PE Ivan MartinezELEM PELuisa OrdazGr. 4
Rosalba ChavezELEM PE Carolina GonzalezELEM SpanishMonica AcostaMSHS PsycologistBobby BeldenMS English
Marcela BenavidesELEM PE Natalie BridgemanGr. 3Brendan SolomonGr.4Michael ConstantiniHS English
Barbara CasaleELEM Tech
Gabriel MassineMS

Stay tuned for project updates as the year unfolds.

The Future is Here!

posted Aug 25, 2016, 7:57 PM by Diana Salda–a   [ updated Aug 25, 2016, 8:02 PM ]

One of the first Ted Talks I remember watching was “Meet the SixthSense interaction” around February 2009. In this talk Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demonstrated the prototype of a project they were working on at the MIT Media Lab. This device would allow you to interact with information that was right in front of you and integrate it to your reality, “making the world your computer”. They called it SixthSense. Whoa! I thought it was far beyond amazing! 

Back in 2009, I was the Tech teacher for grade 5 students. We used to spend part of the class discussing new inventions, the history of computer technology, what’s next, etc. I got so excited by this invention, that the following day I showed the video to my students. Smartphones were already around and many kids had personal devices of all sorts, nonetheless, I could not have anticipated their reaction. They absolutely loved the concept and wanted to have it - NOW! A boy even told me if only I had told him about this a few days ago, he wouldn't have bought his new cellphone! 

Inspired perhaps by the 2002 futuristic movie “Minority Report”, the concept still amazes me to this day. I occasionally go back and check in on the progress made thus far, hoping it has turned into a commercial product and hopefully is available on Amazon. Surprisingly to me, this has not occurred yet. 

However, the future has caught up with us. Who would have thought we’d be using many of these new technologies today? With just a camera, colored caps, a phone, a projector, and a mirror, Pranav and Pattie invented a 350 USD portable device that incorporated technologies and concepts that are all familiar to us today: Wearable technology, Virtual reality, Augmented reality, Hand gestures, AirDrop, Virtual keyboards, Google Glasses, Apps, etc.

What other technologies can you identify?

Visit the Fluid Interface Research Group - MIT Media Lab to learn about other projects that are being developed.

2015/16 Marketing Team Summary

posted May 12, 2016, 8:15 AM by Diana Salda–a

The Technology Integration department at ASFM believes that all students can be engaged in an educational experience that compels them to "Live Curious and Go Beyond" as they discover their own "Moonshots". In our efforts to bring that to reality, we developed four teams within the department; the Support, Innovation, Motivation 3.0, and Marketing teams. Within these teams we focus on projects of various lengths with various members, mostly comprised of our Digital Teachers. As we bring the year to a close we, at the Marketing team, would like to share a summary of our team’s projects and plans for the 2016/17 school year.  

Live Curious, Go Beyond 2016: 5/5 This was the second year of this event which was expanded to two days and welcomed external attendees and presenters. Participants were treated to our Keynote David Jakes, who also visited the campus 2 days prior to the event and helped support our MakerEdu, STEM, and Design Thinking strands. With the support of the Tri-Association we were able to welcome guest from over 17 schools and successfully achieved one of our goals of building community around Tech and Innovation. We were also successful, as you can see from the survey data below, in achieving our second goal of realizing our vision statement of “We believe that all students can be engaged in an educational experience that compels them to "Live Curious and Go Beyond" as they discover their own “Moonshots””

For next year’s event we have already started preparing Keynote speakers, sponsors, presenters, and a potential leadership team with educators from throughout the region.  

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 1.50.43 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 1.50.58 PM.png

Window into Blended Learning: 3/5 The “Window into Blended Learning” prototype came as a result of hearing “what does Blended Learning look like?” By offering a “window into colleagues’ classes and by highlighting what Blending we have currently going on at ASFM we were able to provide guidance and context as we rolled out Blended Learning at ASFM.

Next year we would like to encourage educators to develop their own “Windows into Blended Learning” and do so on a more frequent basis.

ASFM Learns: 4/5 came as the result of redesigning Our goals were to develop a one stop shop for all teacher resources at ASFM, showcase what amazing learning happens here, and build a community of reflective educators which mirrors our physical selves in the digital realm. The Digital Teachers now all have a personal Blog within the site and have been regularly developing content to share. This year we had over 40+ articles submitted by over 20 authors which has helped to increase the audience locally and abroad.

Next year, we hope to gain more contributing authors and continue to showcase more of what Blended Learning looks like at ASFM.

#TriEdChat: 1/5 In an attempt to develop community leading up to the Live Curious, go Beyond Conference, and the Tech and Innovation strand at the 2016 Tri-Association Conference we developed #TriEdChat on Twitter. Although we tried to engage educational leaders in the region with such topics as “Hacking the Tri-A” and “Tech and Innovation in the region” we failed to gain a substantial following.

Next year we will participate more actively in existing chats and work to engage our local teachers with very local, ASFM specific chats.

Tech Trick Tuesday: 5/5 TTT was developed by Douglas Frankish to assist educators with quick tips which could change their everyday tech experience. We as a TI department adopted this and have been publishing every week since and have received nothing but positive feedback. So much so, we have had teachers and students submit their own TTT for publication which has helped to create a culture of sharing.

Next year we hope to engage more educators and DTs in the development of TTT and create a series for parents and students.

Google Apps and the 4Cs

posted Apr 14, 2016, 12:11 PM by Diana Salda–a   [ updated Apr 14, 2016, 1:37 PM ]

What are the 4Cs?

The 4Cs are the skills for learning and innovation that stem from the Partnership for 21st Century Framework. These are identified as the skills necessary for students to lead a successful future life. ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education, also includes the 4Cs in its standards for students. They describe them as the skills needed for learning effectively and to live productively in a global and digital society.

Skills for Learning and Innovation



Critical Thinking


Sharing thoughts, questions, ideas & solutions.

Working together t reach a goal - putting together talents and experience to work.

Looking at problems in a new way and linking learning across subjects and grade levels.

Trying new approaches to get things done in innovative ways.

You might be thinking, "we've always been doing that, so what's the big deal?". Well, rather than just ticking them off our list, we need to purposefully plan for activities and lessons that develop these skills. If you're familiar with the SAMR Model of Tech Integration, it mentions that the Collaboration and Creativity skills are indicators that you have reached Modification and Redefinition, the stages in tech integration in which you are transforming the learning.

Students and teachers at ASFM are provided with a Google Account and have  access to Google Apps for Education: Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Drawing, YouTube, Maps, Mail, Calendar & more. Below are some ideas on how you can leverage Google Apps to incorporate the 4Cs in your daily activities. 

  • Get in touch with book authors (Mail)
  • Create digital portfolios (Drive, Sites)
  • Provide timely feedback (Mail, Docs comments)
  • Teacher and student talk (Mail, Chat, Docs comments)
  • Chat during teamwork (Chat)
  • Promote student voice (YouTube, Slides)
  • Brainstorm sessions (Drawing, Docs)

  • Group projects (Google Docs)
  • Peer editing (Google Docs)
  • Create a study guide together (Docs, Slides)
  • Create presentations together (Slides)
  • Engage in discussions (Slides, Forms)
  • Collaborate across space and time (Docs, Slides, Sheets)

Critical Thinking:
  • Peer editing (Docs)
  • Advances Google searches (Search)
  • Responsible digital citizenship (Search, YouTube)
  • Problem solving (Sheets, Drawing)
  • Data analysis (Sheets)
  • Create, Analyze, Reflect (Sheets, Drawing, Docs)

  • Build a class text book (Slides, Docs)
  • Create flashcards (Slides)
  • Create interactive presentations (Slides)
  • Design a magazine (Docs, Slides)
  • Construct a web site (Sites, Docs)
  • Follow the design thinking process (Drawing, Slides)

For more information on this topic visit:

1-10 of 13