Category Archives: Uncategorized

Learning Log – Final Reflection


As I finish the course that led me to this blog, I realize how much I have learned and my potential for continued growth.  I feel like I was on a roller coaster.  Most of the time I was screaming with my eyes closed, twirling and grasping to use and understand technology and to finish assignments.  As soon as I recovered from one loop da loop, I was in another spiral spin trying to make sense of direction and goals. And now I am off the roller coaster replaying each part of the ride, remembering the challenges, and exhilarated with the  knowledge that I can do this!

]This class has given me a new perspective on the need to include technology in class instruction.  We have not only discussed the “why”  this is important, but have learned “how” to use tools and applications effectively.  The discussion in the first module regarding digital citizenship was enlightening.  Yes, I have heard of digital citizenship in my graduate coursework, but it is not a term I hear often as a classroom teacher.   Having been lucky enough to attend MSET this year I realize that digital citizenship is a key word with educators eager to meet the needs of our 21st century learners.  I listen to information with new ears after taking this class and I feel like I understand a new language.  This class has empowered me.  I can barely believe the products I have created; blogs ,Google Docs,  screencasts, wikis, digital stories, VoiceThreads, Skype conferences, and even Twitter!  Implementing these tools was more than learning about their use.  I also learned how to take risks when trying new things and to use the support of Internet resources like You Tube, professional wikis and articles.  I  am  amazed at many resources available and now feel knowledgeable enough to use them.

Module 4 particularly made an impact on me.  Reflecting on the Transforming American Education plan and Universal Design for Learning principles prepares me for the challenges (and adventure) ahead.  I want to help facilitate the change.  I want to help teachers on my team and staff learn how to use technology to engage and empower our students.  I want to model how using technology is not just for the sake of using it, but rather a necessity for designing lessons to meet the needs of our changing learners.   The Common Core is coming but we need teachers to embrace the changes that put inquiry and project based learning in the forefront.

I am also thankful to my classmates in this class. Their insight , discussion, questions and reflection have helped me throughout the course.  We have, indeed, made our own little PLC  and I value our time spent online.   My classmates have taught me a great deal and I am excited to dig further into the resources they have shared.

So now that I am off the roller coaster, I can’t wait to get back on it!  I am excited to start the year with a new vision and technology plan of my own.



Hershey Park- Ride on Storm runner front seat ride POV! Wow! Hershey Park steel roller coaster.[Video] (2009) Retrieved from on May 3, 2012.


Learning Log – Wikis


I think I found some really great wikis that will help me plan for instruction and to use for my next grad school assignment!

Bookmark this wiki!  This wiki was voted The Best Educational Wiki  for the 2011 Edublogs Awards.  It is compiled by Martin Burrett who published this collection of great tools and websites.  He wanted to share them teachers from all over the world in order to engage learners. The wiki lists and organizes a wide variety of digital tools that teaches can use for instruction, management, or fun.  Topics in the navigation bar  include Cross Curricular, Education Games, English, Planning and Assessment and many,many others.   Any teacher will find something to use to in this wiki.  It is a wonderful resource to share with other teachers because the annotations and links are so easy to understand and use.

This wiki also won a 2011 Edubog Award for the best educational use of a wiki.  Students from around the world are assigned to make a Glog poster about their city, country, or culture.  The posters are then compiled on this wiki.  Anyone is welcome to join this wiki and post student work to share.  The wiki gives students not only an opportunity to share their work but to  learn about people and places around the world.  Because it is so open-ended, this wiki can be used with any grade level and is one that can be applied to any subject area.

This wiki is used by the Howard County Public School system to implement the transition to the Common Core.  It has links to the Common Core and MSDE web sites as well as information for content and specialty areas. The wiki includes archived professional development sessions and  links to grade level plans.  This wiki is great because it provides easy access and organizes the information all in one spot.  This wiki will support teachers as they  learn and implement the Common Core.

This wiki was interesting to me because it outlines everything we have been talking about in my grad  class.  Origami Education is a wiki and blog about 21st century learning and teaching.  Its focus is to address the needed shift in “educational paradigm” in order to meet the needs of our learners.   Included in the resource is information and resources about Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy, digital citizenship, learning styles, and web 2.0. This wiki is one to use as I continue my journey and  advocate that others to  meet NET standards and use technology as an instructional tool and resource.


Social and Collaborative Media


VoiceThread is a  great tool for collaboration.  It allows users to post images, videos, and content  and then invite others to comment and share.  Comments can be made using text, audio or with drawing tools. No software is needed and   users can tailor the privacy settings to meet the needs of  their projects.  There are many uses for VoiceThread including digital storytellling and class discussions.

The purpose of this VoiceThread made for my graduate class, is to discuss the positive implications social media can have in the educational setting.   Reference to the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for students and teachers as well as instructional applications are included.

Social and Collaborative Media VoiceThread

Learning Log – Goodreads


I have included the link to my Realistic Fiction Goodreads bookshelf.  I created this bookshelf as a result of a conversation I had with a colleague about finding good realistic fiction picture books to share with students as outlined in our writing curriculum.  I decided to think like a media specialist for this assignment and make  a list of books that would be useful in an upcoming book  order or as a tool for recommending books for classroom lessons.

I could also use Goodreads to generate additional lists that match genres and units outlined in the curriculum.  I think using Goodreads  is a good way to stay current on new releases and popular books.  Networking  with other librarians in my county would give us the opportunity to share lists and access reviews needed for ordering.

I love the idea of having students use a Goodreads account to share books they have enjoyed and their written reviews but Goodreads doesn’t allow users under the age of 13.  As a media specialist, however,  I could use it recommend books to students based on their interests and needs.



Learning Log – iGoogle


I am so happy to have discovered iGoogle.  With all of the social network and blog sites to maintain I was feeling very overwhelmed with how to organize and access my information.  Thanks Google!  I was able to pick which gadgets I needed and could personalize the page to suit my needs.  I love having my Twitter and Google Reader accounts fed to me right from one spot.  I find something to read and learn something professionally every day. Having Google Docs at my finger tips  makes it easy to access my files and collaborate accordingly.  I look forward to  find many more gadgets that will help keep me organize.  In reflection , I don’t think without iGoogle that I would keep up with the blogs and twitter feed.

The page that I am sharing is my Library Media Page.  I like that I can also plan to create a personal page that links me to my facebook, pintrest,  and game accounts. ( I might even add a cute little virtual puppy!)

I was originally worried about being selected to participate in a pilot program for Google Apps for Education.  My biggest worry was that it was just one more thing to check and do.  After using iGoogle I see that if used correctly and intentionally it can save teachers a lot of time and help them become more efficient users of technology.  I am hoping that the pilot program will have a similar interface that will allow teachers  access  all of the county and professional resources,  email, and documents that support instruction.

Digital Product


This digital product was made using Mixbook.( It is intended to be used as a way to display word problems that  accelerated 1st grade math students wrote and illustrated.  This book will be viewed in class with a LCD monitor so that students can solve and discuss each other’s work.  The number sentences will be omitted and then added with student input.

Concept:  Math – Addition and subtraction computational fluency and problem solving.

Howard County Objectives:

Solve given word problems based on addition and subtraction situations and describe the results using pictures, numbers, and or words. (2.6.C.1.d)\

Write word problems for addition and subtraction situations. (2.6.C.1.d)


I had a hard time deciding what to do as a project for this assignment.  I had my heart set on using another web 2.0 tool but had difficulty with the site.  Mixbook is a great tool for making scrapbook type of projects but it doesn’t seem to let you import pictures from a Flickr gallery as was my first plan.  (If anyone wants some good Flat Stanley photos you can visit the Flickr galleries, Flat Stanley, and Flat Stanley 2,  I made thinking I could import them to Mixbook.)  My final product is simple but I think my students will love it!

Learning Log – Flickr Slide Shows


Learning to use Flickr to create a set with my own pictures was insightful. I decided to connect the set to the Social Studies unit we are doing in first grade about communication.  Students learn and discuss what communication is, how we communicate, and how communication has changed throughout time.   will use the slide show to have them identify ways that the tools have changed and how they might change for the future.As I took these pictures around the school grounds, I realized what a powerful activity this would be for kids to do themselves.  We have class sets of  digital cameras that can be used for such a use.  I experimented by adding titles to my pictures.  I wanted to see what the slide show would look like with titles and captions.  A student or class could write about their picture sets using this feature. By linking Flickr to my  i photo application loading my pictures very easy. The other cool thing I found is that I could post the Flickr url for this set in my handout folder on the network so that my students could have access to it in the computer lab!  Cool!! In the future I will use Flickr sets as a way for students to show work and apply thinking. I   could also use it to highlight and write about class activities and special events.

Flickr set: