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EDTECH 543 Final Blog Post

I have thoroughly enjoyed this class this semester. I have learned how to use Twitter for PD. I never thought I could use it for this purpose before. It is definitely a platform that I will continue to invest some time as this school year gets underway.  I also liked using Diigo to bookmark articles that I would like to read and Pinterest or Scoopit as a tool to curate information. These have been helpful tools that I plan to use next year. Finally, I plan to use Edmodo and Edublogs in my class to teach students how to properly use social media. I enjoyed creating my social media expectations and that will be used with my students.

As for the grade for my blog, I would suggest 67.5 points. At the beginning of the semester, I didn’t realize that I was supposed to comment on my PLN members’ posts. However, once I understood that part of the assignment, I worked hard at posting helpful comments to my partners. Even when I had to give some guidance on what was needed on the project.

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Social Media in Middle School

Pinterest Curated Articles

This was a difficult assignment for me to get my head wrapped around to complete. I finally focused on social media projects that I could adapt for middle school. Since I am a K-8 teacher, I can teach any core subject.

What I found is that social media is very versatile (from the many lists of ideas that I encountered as I was researching). From what I read, I have decided to use Edublog in my science this year. I liked how the teacher uses the essential questions from the textbook as a way for students to use critical thinking was a benefit that I want to take advantage of with my students. It can also be used to show the students’ growth from the beginning of the year to the end.

I also liked the use of Instagram in either science or math. For science, students post a picture of the experiment and create a caption for it. This then allows other students to comment or ask questions about their experiment, especially if students have different projects they are working on (i.e. the Quest Phenomena in my textbook).  I also like the idea of a student creating story problems in math and having students try to solve the problem. Instagram is a social media site that isn’t allowed in my school district. However, I can use the same idea with Edmodo, which is an acceptable social media site, and have similar conversations.

I did find other projects that were for upper grades, but could be adapted for middle school students. For example, the organelle wars project. I no longer teach the parts of a cell, but I will be teaching different rock types. This project could be adapted to “elect” the best rock type.

I feel that I can create some engaging projects using the social media sites that my school district allows students and teachers to use (Flipgrid, Edublogs, and Edmodo). It will take some creativity on my part to develop the projects, but I feel the students will be engaged in the learning.

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Social Media Policy for My Science Classroom

Social media in the classroom has been a hot topic for quite some time. There are many students that have at least one social media accounts despite the age restriction that the FTC has required social media companies, like Facebook, Twitter, and others, to add to their terms and conditions of using their communities. However, many parents have allowed students to set up accounts and I feel that, as an educator, I should embrace social media use in my classroom.  With the safeguards and policy that I have created for my students, I feel my students can practice collaborating online as they work on assignments, projects, and use critical thinking skills as they practice using science discourse, which is part of the Next Generation Science Standards.

As I was writing my policy for my classroom, I thought about our school-wide expectations: Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. For each expectation, I have 2 to 4 guidelines that will help students be successful in using social media. I felt that incorporating our expectations helped with continuity inside and outside the classroom. Also, I have written a letter that I will send to my students’ parents or guardians. The letter includes the policy, an opt-out statement, and a policy agreement statement for the student and parent or guardian to sign. In the letter, I have included my email so if parents have any questions or concerns with the social media they can contact me directly. This helps to keep the lines of communication open from the beginning of the year. Click on the link for a copy of the letter.

Here is a copy of a link that I will provide on my website for stakeholders to use for questions or concerns regarding the policy. Social Media Policy Questions or Concerns


(n.d.). Social media guidelines & best practices for students. Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools. Retrieved from:

Asher, J. (2015). Making the case for social media in schools. Edutopia. Retrieved from:

Bartels, D. (2009). Student Guidelines. Retrieved from:

Johnson, S. (2010). Guest blog: Making the case for social media in education. Edutopia. Retrieved from:


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Online Communities

For this week’s assignment, I had the opportunity to join at least four networks. I discovered the four communities on Google+.  The online communities that I joined were Educational Technology, Educators on Google+, PBL, and STEM Educators. By joining these communities, I was able to increase my PLN. For each of the communities, I contributed to the communities with either comment, question, and posting a weblink. Below is a slideshow presentation of my contributions to each of the communities.

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Live Webinars: Online PD

In EdTech 543, I had the opportunity to participate in webinars as another resource for professional development. I had participated in a webinar at my school as part of my responsibilty as a member of a textbook adoption committee. These webinars were different because in the first one I just watched and listened, but the webinars I participated in gave me the opportunity to share my ideas.

The first webinar that I participated in was through Edmodo. The first half of the discussion was about how PD had improved since the early 80s. The moderator also shared how he established online learning without the use of the Internet. The other half of the webinar was a Q&A with four Digital Coaches. They were talking about helping reluctant teachers using technology in their classroom. This was interesting to me because I am the Digital Integration Lead at my school and I have unwilling teachers in my school. I found their suggestions quite helpful, and I will be implementing them next year.

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For my second webinar, I participated in Speak Up Survey presented by STEAM Universe. Dr. Evans discussed the results of the survey that is given to school districts, teachers, students, and parents across the nation. It is a free service that looks at the needs, attitudes and goals of STEAM. She mentioned that we need to be acutely aware of how we promote STEAM. Meaning the A=art, because in places like the mid west, A=agriculture. One of the questions I asked, Dr. Evans addressed in the Q&A portion of the webinar and that was: How do we encourage teachers to use technology that are reluctant to use it? She had a few suggestions that I really liked. First, having the principals have a clear vision of technology and the support from the district is vital. They have to be the driving force. Second, principals need to be seen as mentors and they need to be using the technology that they are promoting. As a digital integration lead, I will be sharing this information with my principal this year. I found the webinar to be exciting and full of useful information.

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I participated in a webinar hosted by Zoom on helping students identify fake news. It is important because she said that over 50% of our students are getting their news from online resources, such as Facebook. This webinar is mainly focused on teachers that teach social studies or ELA. However, I posted a question that some of the panelists answered. I asked if teachers that teach science could use to inform them about fake news. I’ve included the comments in my pictures, but the answer is yes. Kimberli, the commentator, answered my question too. She mentioned that I have to search the resources out, but it can be done. I found the discussion very insightful, and I plan on looking into for some resources that I can use with my science students.

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My final webinar was hosted by Voxer, and it was EDCAMP.  Voxer is an online walkie-talkie app that allows participants to record a message rather than typing their comments. I started the conversation by typing, but I then switched to recording my remarks. The commentator had technical issues, so he had to change to typing. However, we did have a great discussion. The discussion was on how we build relationships with our students. Gerry, the moderator, and I were the only two that were discussing the topic. However, I felt that we learned from each other. We both talked about what we do at the beginning of the year. I actually gave him another suggestion to an idea he had. He has 6 pics that he downloaded from the internet and he has the students do an improv of what they did over the summer based on those pics. I suggested that he has the kids explain what he did over summer break based on each of the pics. It was fun chatting with him. In fact, we exchanged Twitter names to continue to connect beyond this conversation.

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I found the live webinars valuable as a teacher. It gave me an opportunity to learn from other educators about ideas and resources they are passionate about. I’m glad I had the opportunity to participate in a resource that I did not know existed. I will be looking into more webinars throughout the year, especially since I’m going to be learning a new curriculum for science.

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Twitter Chats: Online PD

In EdTech 543: Social Networking, I had the opportunity to participate in Twitter chats as another way to contribute and learn from a professional development that I would interest me. At first, I was unsure of what to expect, but once I got started, I was at ease. Everyone made me feel welcome to the groups, and some would reply back to me, which helped me feel like I was part of the community of learners.

The first Twitter chat I participated in was #21stedchat. Their mission for their Twitter chat is to create a positive 21st-century learning environment for students and share resources and ideas with other teachers. This week the moderators were focused on us as the educator and making sure we had some down time before school started up in the fall. The moderators were easy to chat with and helped each of us feel welcome. Meridith Johnson, one of the moderators, shared other Twitter chats for me to check out since it was my first time. We discussed our summer plans and summer reading lists. I had to explain that my list is at zero since I’m working on my Master’s. One participant had asked about an easy formative assessment idea, and I shared with her to try Plickers. Overall, I enjoyed the opportunity to visit with other teachers from across the US.

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My second Twitter chat was #edtechchat. For this chat, it is a group of individuals that discuss old and new technology. However, the day we met ISTE18 was the main topic of conversation. Many of the participants had been at the conference or following it online and they were talking about it. Since I wasn’t following the conference, I didn’t have a lot of input. However, I did participate when I could.

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On Saturday (7/7), I participated in two Twitter chats. For the first chat, it was #leadlap. This chat centered around teachers being leaders in their building. The focus was on promoting reading in and out of the classroom. There were a lot of elementary teachers in the discussion sharing how they promote reading. However, there weren’t many middle schools, since I focus on science in my classroom it is harder to promote outside reading. However, I did pick up some ideas from the discussion. One idea that I had was to have students share out what they are reading before the bell rings. I’m glad I participated in the chat, I feel my students will benefit was the experience.

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The second chat of the day was #satchatwc. This one was very slow and lacked any moderators. However, I felt that I gave the teacher some information to think about. There was a teacher on looking for some suggestions for working with the SpEd teachers in her building. I discussed how I go to them to get information to help me. Nate, a peer in my class, explained that the SpEd teacher in his room helps adapt the curriculum. I explained that I do that after I talk with the case manager. Even though the chat wasn’t very busy, I felt that my input might help her as she starts the new year.

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I’m glad I had the chance to learn about Twitter chats as a way to help build my PD. I learned that I need to relax, as a Digitial Integration Lead I should be following ISTE a little closer than I had been, how to promote reading, and just to be there for fellow teachers. I will continue to participate in Twitter chats throughout the school year to find more resources that I could use in my classroom and to build upon my PLE.

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My PLE Diagram

PLE Diagram

As I was creating my PLE, I did not realize how in-depth my personal learning environment (PLE) was. I thought that I would have a hard time finding ten resources that I use or participate in for this assignment. However, it did not take me long to find my ten online communities.

At first, I did not know what tool I was going to use to create my diagram. However, I remember Jake, one of my PLN peers, mentioning it in his post. I decided to check Lucidchart out and found it to easy to use. Once I found the tool I would use, I searched the Internet for an image of a web. I came across the image I chose, and I felt it communicated my message. I saw the circle as the world connected through the web and to access it, I need a laptop (or another device). These are also the same tools I need to build my PLE. I designed my PLE using the 4 C’s Model: collect, communicate, create, and collaborate, all connected through my online access.  Without that connection, I would be limited to the resources I had available. These communities provide a link to new resources and ideas that have and will impact my students.

Once I had my background, I found the icons for the communities I participate in. At BSU, I use Google Drive and Google apps to create and collaborate. However, in my school district, we use Microsoft’s products. This past year, we started using Teams to collaborate with different groups we are involved in. The other icons are from apps that I either use within the MET program or at school. However, now that I have built my PLE I will continue to participate in the communities.

Similarities and differences

As I look at my peers’ PLE diagram, I see some similarities and differences. Jennifer, Jake, John, and I use the 4 C’s model (create, communicate, collaborate, and collect) of a PLN.  However, Melissa used how she uses her PLE as a teacher. Nate used a freeway system to show how the information was connected and that they are fluid. Kate explains how her communities are connected to her for the input of information and then uses other resources for the output of information.

The other similarities and differences that I noticed were the communities that we participate in. For example, most of us have the two social media giants: Twitter and/or Facebook. We have other communities that are similar too. For example, RSS to collect resources or YouTube to create resources. However, there are many differences. Kate uses HMH at work, Jake uses Edmodo with his students, and I use Microsoft’s Teams with my PLC and as a Digital Integration Lead. I noticed that Kate, Nate, Scott, and Josh remembered to use Scoop It to represent the collection that they created. I forgot to include it until I was finished with mine and I looked at their PLE diagrams. Another site to collect resources that Kate, Nate, and Melissa added was Pinterest. That is another community that I am apart of that I forgot to include in my diagram. I also noticed that they use Google drive exclusively, whereas I use both Google Drive and One Drive equally. There are several icons for different communities that I did not recognize. Even though there are differences amongst our communities we will all use them in the same way: to connect, create, collect, and collaborate with those we chose as part of our PLE.