Thursday, December 8, 2011

ISTE 2012 - Poster Session

Information about my poster session.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Movies About Teaching

Inventing Teachers (problem solving and discovering): Teacher heroes who use strategies in their classrooms that they have personally found get consistency positive results.
  • To Sir With Love (1967) - Netflix
  • Stand and Deliver(1987)

Knowing Teachers (law-giving and organizing): High standards and consistent rules.

     Law Givers
  • The Paper Chase (1975) - Netflix
  • Kindergarten Cop (1990)  - 
  • Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955)
  • The Marva Collins Story (1981)
Caring Teachers (orchestrating and care-giving): Exhibiting tremendous passion in their classrooms, both for their students and for the subjects and they teach.

  • Music of the Heart (1999)
  • Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips 
  • The Beautician and the Beast (1997)
  • Pay It Forward (2000) - Netflix
Inspiring Teachers (liberating and idealizing): Have a flair for making their subjects come alive.
  • Dead Poets Society (1989)
  • Dangerous Minds (1995)

Movies about Reform:
  • Waiting for Superman (2010)
  • The Lottery (2010) - Netflix
  • The Cartel (2009) - Netflix
Other movies:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Students are Not the Only Ones who "Unplug"

In this month's issue of Tech & Learning, there is an article "Follow the Leader" by Ellen Ullman which discusses administrators who made an effort to include social media in their schools to enhance communication, engage students, and explore opportunities. One administrator saw Twitter as a way to send messages to all stakeholders within the school community. Then from there he linked up with the NASSP to show other school leaders how social media and Web 2.0 tools can be integrated into schools. I admire teachers, administrators, and others in education who look beyond test scores and the "possible" negatives of social media and make the effort to use it in their schools.

I come from a county that restricts so many sites. I have heard the term students are asked to "unplug" when they walk into the school building but what about teachers? I use so many tools at home that I can not access at school and when I am at school I feel like I am in box. For example, I access Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Blogger, and Gmail from my smart phone. When I walk into a school building I have to turn off my Wifi on my smart phone so that I can still access theses sites. It just seems wrong that I have to block the county internet so that I can use these tools while in the school building.  I find it so frustrating to be restricted when I so freely use these tools at home for lessons and resources. I can not imagine how students must feel.

I highly believe that students and teachers should be taught how to use tools and not be restricted from them. These social technologies can be used as a resources to communicate, publish work, share ideas, and share resources. At MSET this past April, there was one elementary technology integration teacher that explained to me her view on Facebook. She said she mentions it at the beginning of the year with this statement: "You are too young to go on Facebook, so there is nothing to discuss". I can understand her point of view of following the rules but then I read this article on CNN, which describes how many children on Facebook who are underage. I do not understand how educators can be so ignorant to what students are doing outside the school building. I mean we teach students about the negative effects of drugs, alcohol, and smoking because we want them to make the right choices. So why not do the same with social media?

Do you feel like you unplug when you walk into your school building? How do you handle using social media in your classroom? Is your district strict like mine? Do you break the rules and ask for forgiveness later?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Laws of Copyright and that F-U-N Shenanigans!

The Laws of Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

Gaining an understanding of the laws of copyright, fair use, and creative commons is important especially to educators because our motto is "Why reinvent the wheel?" but we always have to give credit to that one person who invented the wheel. 


This video was created to help users understand the ideas of fair use and copyright in a creative way. It demonstrates the idea that you only are able to use 30 seconds of media before you infringe copyright. It also is a great way to revisit your lovely Disney movie memories.

Reading about copyright laws is not necessarily understanding them. Application of copyright laws demonstrates understanding. I read over these copyright scenarios from the University of Missouri: Copyright Scenarios. It helped me to understand the laws.

This "Copyright Chart" created by Tech Learning gives a great summary of the laws and examples. It is a great reference for all teachers.

    Copyright is not always about published items by famous persons. For example, one teacher writes about her kindergarten class - Copyright Kindergarten. Students are addressed about copyright by discussing their own work during class. She discusses how it is important not to copy each others' work because it is not your own.

    Another person from, "Students that Freelance", writes about how her work was stolen from a website she personally created in this article titled "Why no one is invincible to copyright Infringement". Finally, in the article "The New Problem of 'Photonapped' Images Online", the author discusses "the hypocrisy" of large corporations using appropriated photos while fiercely protecting their own intellectual property with strict copyrights.

    These three articles discuss students protecting their own work/media from copyright infringement. I think with students it is important for them to understand that their own is valuable and should be protected. Then when they see other material completed by different people it will help them to understand that, that work needs to be given the proper credit.

    What are your thoughts on students protecting their own work? 

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Audio in the Classroom

    Various audio media- for recording and transmitting the human voice and other sounds for instructional purposes. With so much concern about keeping our multitasking students (listening to music, watching T.V., instant messaging, while studying) engaged it may be hard to understand the importance of an audio experience.

    However, audio can have dramatic effect if presented in the right situation. Consider this infamous Orson Welles radio broadcast. This Halloween radio program in 1938 created panic amongst listeners. Take a little time to listen to this broadcast. It is quite captivating. To listen to the broadcast click here: War of Worlds .

    Not every podcast or audio played in the classroom has to be this dramatic. However, audio is important for students day to day, "typically elementary and secondary students spend about 50 percent of their school time just listening" (Smaldino, 281).


    Podcasting is one term that always surfaces when talking about audio in the classroom. To gain an understanding of what podcasts are, review this video from Common Craft.

    Podcasting in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo.

    Baltimore County has this wiki page devoted to podcasting/audio in the classroom. The page includes information about podcasts and how you can create podcasts for the county. Review and bookmark this site for future reference.

    Other Podcasting Resources
    Audacity is a freeware that you can download for free
    If you need additional help with Audacity, a series of "How To" video created by another educator can be found here:
    When using audio in the classroom here is a great resource to consider: Designing Audio Recordings

    Other Types of Audio in the Classroom:

    Audio Pal - Using Audio Pal, you can embed audio messages into a website. Teachers can use it to explain assignments or give instructions.
    Audiboo - A mobile (there's an app for that) & web platform that effortlessly allows you to record and upload audio for your friends, family or the rest of the world to hear.
    •  Vocaroo is a shiny new service for sending voice messages across the interwebs. It's still under development though, so problems may occur.

      Audio Books
      Prerecorded audio books are also available throughout the internet.

      Lit2Go - Collection of stories and poems in MP3 format.

      Thursday, April 14, 2011

      Things I Learned at MSET

      This was my first year attending the MSET Conference that I did not have a classroom to go back to and try things. It was a different perspective but a good one. I felt like I was looking at things from an outside point of view because I heard a lot of stories of/about "students" and I didn't have any to share from this year.

      Many ideas I saw made me want to go right back to work so that I could implement them into a classroom. :) But I am enjoying being home with my little ones too much, so I will takes the ideas I saw and share them so that those who are teaching actively can hopefully use them.

      Here is a video I created about things that I learned about at MSET (the video is intended for my grad class).

      I learned that a meme is a new coined term which describes viral (videos, photos, etc.). There is a webstie called which give you the latest and greatest viral items.

      But this site has the top ten memes. I learned what is means to be "rick rolled" and I really enjoyed the Sparta video! :)

      Qwiki - type a topic, it finds information about the topic and then reads it to you.

      10x10 - 100 words and pictures that define the time by the world’s top news and events.

      Vocaroo A very simple online voice recording tool. I am not sure if this works with the county network but it is really simple to use and easy to embed into PBworks.

      Here are some other things I thought were great that I didn't include in the video:

      I learned all about QR (Quick Response) codes from the Daring Librarian - the information she share can be found on her wiki - DaringLibrianPresents. A QR code look like this:

      Using a app (i-nigma) on your phone, scan this code. The code could lead to picture, videos, words, etc. You can create your own QR codes here: There is so potential for using QR coded in the classroom. There are some ideas on DaringLibrianPresents and Cybrary Man's Page.

      Mobile Versions of Websites

      I learned how you can make your website viewable on mobile phones. It can be done using this website:

      Making URL's Shorter

      allows you shorten multiple URLs and track internet hits on that site

      Online Storage

      Dropbox - Virtual Storage Space 2GB - Share resources usin an URL, allows collaboration on docs and folders.

      New Tech Resources

      EduTecher Lastest and Greatest tech tools with how to videos