Wednesday, August 20, 2014


Last Friday I attended my first edcamp! What I thought was going to be nerve-racking and stressful turned out to be relaxing and enjoyable! I was most worried about presenting. There were great presentations on LED name tags, gender issues in technology,, to name a couple. I presented Google Basics with Christel and we thought it was going to be too elementary for most attendees. However, we were pleasantly surprised! Not only did people show up, they wanted us to replay some parts, asked questions; they even said, "This is great!" I was beyond thrilled to have helped clear up some areas for Google beginners! Presenting trend out to be my favorite part of the day!

I also attended session project based learning which was impressive! Seeing the benefits kids get from going out into the community and learning so many useful educational and life skills was great! 

I enjoyed the format of the "unconference"; genius! I hope to attend next year and look forward to all it has to offer, including the lunch! Thanks for a great day!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Google Basics #edcamptct

Google Docs: Organization of Drive: Creating and Sharing Folders

Google Docs is part of the free online program that accompanies a Google account. It has word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet capabilities to go along with the email features of gmail.

This tutorial will discuss how to create, save, and share folders. It is the follow-up to “How to Use Google Docs” by Jody Ceglarski.

Google Docs can be used as a method of communication between student and teacher.

It can assist teachers in differentiating and scaffolding material (via Smartboard) with its ability to be seen by a whole class or used one-on-one with students.

Aids collaboration for assignments as all students can access the same document.

Use of folders aids organization of student work. Classes can be organized in the Drive and are easily accessible for teachers.

Screencast: View the tutorial to learn how to create and share folders in Google Drive.

You need to have a Google email account.


Easy access. You can get to your drive from any device that has internet or the app.

The ability to share folders is helpful for various reasons. Whether you are sending a unit plan to another teacher or sharing a student’s work for a PPT, etc. The ability to share documents and folders is beneficial.

Because all work is instantly saved, student work-completion can improve.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Network Learning Project Final Video

Network Learning Project Final Video

The guitar is not an easy instrument to play and I have gained so much more respect for guitarists all over the planet after my experience with this project. I have a new-found affinity for the guitar. I truly thought I would be able to play a song that you hear on the radio and make it an acoustic version! HA! Not even close. This video features a sad version of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. However, I am quite proud of this accomplishment.

After revising my goal after running into some unforeseen challenges of physical problems of where to place my fingers to play certain chords, I decided one string would be had enough to tackle. As you can see from the video, I haven’t really “tackled” the e-string, or the song just yet. But, deadlines are deadlines; I must perform. “The show must go on!” they say!

Throughout this process, the most useful tools were the tutorials I found on Youtube! Qual Studios Tutorials supplied a very helpful version for me to practice and play along with. I also accessed a Google Group; Guitar for Beginners but didn’t have very much information as far as how to play so I had to go elsewhere. Simple searches for songs were also utilized at the very beginning, before I knew what I was getting into!

The curation process of this project was documented via images and videos and blog entries on my blog:

Here are some follies of the past month:

As mentioned in the video and other blog entries I encountered numerous challenges. Besides the physical challenges, technological problems occurred when uploading videos to Youtube. My phone took longer but that was where I had the videos. Also, I have forgotten my log in so I couldn’t upload from to Youtube from my phone; I always had to email it to myself and upload via my computer, which is automatically logged in to Youtube. Go figure!

This process has made me rethink what it’s like to be a student. I teach my students new material all the time and never think what it’s like, I suppose, because I already know the material. It has taught me patience and how to deal with frustration. Not that I haven’t had experience in those areas before; it’s just that this project has brought them to light. The use of technology was a double-edged sword during this experience. It was my best friend when I was learning and searching for material, yet my worst enemy when I had to wait long times for videos to upload or when I couldn't log in!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Connected Learning Review of PLN's! Week 6 7714

When looking at my PLN I realized that I have some areas that are overlapping, while others are isolated. I think this is the opposite of “Connected Learning”. However, there are some aspects of my “home” network that I wouldn’t want to be “connected” to other areas. Where do you draw the line? Reviewing my PLN has left me with questions! I am also wondering if my network should be bigger? It looks small, to me.

When I compared my network to Tina’s I noticed she has many more connections within her work, yet she did not include personal aspects to her PLN. I noticed we both have lots of arrows connecting areas of our network. She even stated she wonders if her arrows will “calm down”. I have a similar feeling when I look at my Twitter account. I see that it is in school and work. I wonder if I can streamline these to be used similarly, instead of separately. Will I tweet about my students’ work based on something I’ve learned at UNH? I certainly hope so!

I saw some things on Ann Marie’s network that I could include in my network, such as this weeks’ Ed Camp! What a great network-growing opportunity!

As this class ends, I hope to add to my PLN and learn a deeper understanding of who/what I can connect to so I can expand my learning environment because it is small, right now! I gather, a year from now it will have expanded to assist me with tools I can use to help me in the classroom - which is the point of “Connected Learning”!

Week 6 Readings: What do we do now?

Week 6 Readings: What do we do now?

AS teachers are taught (or learn) pretty quickly that we need to be flexible. Being flexible means you have to “go with the flow,” as they say. These new technologies are another example of being flexible. These new literacies are such a dramatic change from the ways we are used to learning that it is truly unavoidable. The Leu article discusses the drastic changes in the ways today’s graduates use technology literacies. It has been a major change from when they started school. Leu continues to explain how this type of learning is a cycle and happens over and over again. I agree with this statement. Teachers are forever changing their craft, perfecting it, analyzing how to better serve students. This idea of new ICT’s we’ve talked about in the last six weeks I think speak directly to the sentiment that we have to continue “going with the flow”! If kids learn best by communicating online, blogging, video conferencing, or gaming, it is our job to re-evaluate how we deliver material to our students and meet their needs!

The Greenhow article suggests most of the world is connected. Because of this, teachers need to be able to work with this technology and deliver strategies to students that allows them to be successful. What do we do now? We teach them how to use these materials. Teachers can;t wait for research to be done or studies to be completed. We have to make our own way and educate ourselves. This is one of the reasons I am getting this new degree; so I can teach kids to use the new literacies and put them to practice!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

PLN: Week 5 Guitar Progress

NLP, Week 5

Week 5 of learning the guitar has been tough. I am now applying all the knowledge I gained by accessing the Google Guitar community. I have watched the how-to video multiple times! I can’t seem to get my fingers in the correct spot, repeatedly! I have been practicing. In my video, you can see that I don’t have my fingers in the correct spot for one of the verses. It is challenging to get the feeling down and have it become second-nature. I have also realized I need to work on the ferocity in which I strum the guitar. AS you will see in the video, I’m very “light”! IT’s hard to hear! Honestly, I got a hand cramp one day and had to stop! My goal for the final video will be to obviously, play the song, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little, Star” in its entirety and have my hands in the correct spot…..without hand cramps! I would say, “Enjoy!” but I am a work in progress.

Check out my progress:

Curating my Digital Identity; My PLN Map


My Personal Learning Network is currently a work in progress. While I plan to improve and expand the network, it will take time. As of now, my most prominent area is the UNH community where most of my learning happens. That is not surprising. I plan to expand my work area this coming school year. I would like for the two to overlap, mostly because it would be beneficial to my learning and the learning of others. It also could be very conducive to the learning of my students as both my school and work places use Google. I will say that a lot of my digital identity is being built while being part of the Google Community, especially Blogger. I am intending on using Blogger in my classes this year as well. That will further develop my identity. My Twitter account currently is my most identifiable digital identity source at work, as I use it to post HW assignments for students and comment on school functions! Building my personal learning network allows me to access and interact with useful material, people and sources.

My goal is to create a welcoming place for my students to access class discussions. I also want to create a place for me to utilize resources to help benefit my students. In the short time I have been developing this identity, I have found the Google Community the most helpful. I tried to show that by using longer lines for the most useful areas of my network.

Personal Learning Network (1).PNG

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Online Content Construction: week 5: 7710 Readings

Online Content Construction:

While I agree that students can have limited abilities and comprehension skills when reading print text yet show higher abilities when it comes to media literacies, I have an issue with the idea that these are interchangeable literacies. Maybe it’s the English teacher in me. While reading O’Brien’s “At-Risk” article I was struck by the example from his study, particularly the story of “Dan and His Diary of a Madman”. While a agree with and appreciate Dan’s display of media literacy with his documentary of Ozzy Osbourne, I can’t help but notice he still showed no evidence of learning through print/reading. I think these are two different areas of literacy, just as much as Science and History are different subjects. I feel as if Dan is still a “struggling” reader based on the information given to me in the article. I feel as if O’Brien was trying to say that Dan was not a “struggling” reader, or shouldn’t have been identified as such. Dan clearly showed competence in the area of media literacy just like I’ve had students who were labeled Special Ed., for learning disability but were great artists or athletes. I feel as if these two literacies, print and media, are two different areas.

Having said that, I appreciate and use these literacies in my class to build knowledge, especially with struggling readers! The case of the “The Violence Project” is a good example of something I would use with students. However, I might assign something like that to support or explain a common theme in stories we’ve read in class. I just find myself thinking that my students still have to understand printed text to be able to utilize media text effectively in my English classroom.

And, I totally see the relation to Remix Culture and Kirby Ferguson because these students took something from someone else and remixed into their own, original and creative piece. At first I was not agreeing with the ideas brought up in the video but I am beginning to agree that it’s a valid point and we all remix material to create our own!

Here's an example of remixed material. I used to read this story to my 6th graders when discussing point of view. We first read The Three Little Pigs and then this version. This was perfect for teaching point of view and I thought it fit perfectly into this blog supporting how everything is remixed or taken from someone else's work. In this specific example the same plot is discussed from the Wolfe's perspective! A creative recreation of the same story!