Monday, April 20, 2009


Podcasting is an excellent new tool that introduces multimedia publishing through video, photo, and audio devises. Podcast Pickle offers podcasts and videocasts to a wide community of viewers. You can watch podcasts that are about various topics including comedy, social studies, sports, books, music, art, science, and many more. Pickle offers a clear search criterion that assists you in easily locating podcasts that you are looking for. After you view a podcast you can view another or you can subscribe to receive every episode. If you subscribe to a post the new episodes will automatically download to your iPod, or mp3 player as become available. You can also produce your own podcast about your interests and share.

Podcasting would be an excellent resource in the classroom to use as an assessment. After a science chapter has been covered about weather students could make a podcast about the weather forecast. In social studies students could do a news report during a time period in US history being learned. Students could do oral history interviews and broadcast their information to share and learn from each other about their interviews information.

Students frequently construct their learning and understanding through doing. Developing podcasts that demonstrate students levels of comprehension in content areas would be an excellent method of assessment. In addition students are able to learn from each others podcasts, which is motivation, interest driven, and current to their needs as learners.

Lastly, the information that is available through Podcasting introduces several teaching resources that can be implemented for instruction. I was easily able to find a podcast about the United States regions, Physical Science, and character education which are all current curriculum that is being instructed in my class. Knowing the endless and fresh information that is available through Podcasting encourages me as a teacher to take risks to show podcasts, critique their information, and have students produce their own podcasts.

Once again, a Web 2.0 resource is encouraging communication, collaboration, networking, and interaction.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Global Cooperation

Epals is a free online learning experience that can be easily accessed for students, teachers, and parents all over the world. Epal stands by its reputation for fostering collaborative learning experiences through community, connections, and solutions. When joining this global education driven network, you are instantly engaged in collaborative efforts to foster online learning from fellow teachers, students, administrators, and parents from over 200 countries. The connections that are established between the various environments that students can learn are endless with Epals. Providing a safe solution with a worry free online experience is essential to the success of Epals and its members.

The vision of TakingITglobal to develop culturally aware, self-determined, and risk taking learners is clearly demonstrated throughout their site. Currently hosting 237,556 members, throughout 1,038 school districts, in over 261 countries TakingITglobal is providing numerous resources, collaboration, communication through networks, technology solutions, educational content & tools, and facilitated learning experiences to the education world. This site has clearly been developed to foster the new literacy tools available with new technology to maintain engaging, meaningful, and realistic learning opportunities for students.

TakingITglobal and Epals would both be excellent resources to implement in the classroom. Epals safety devices would appeal to districts demands on internet safety for students. Using this site to connect to students across the world on collaborative research or writing assignments would foster global and culturally awareness. Part of the 3rd grade NYS Social Studies standards includes learning about different cultures and countries around the world. What better way then to meet a student at the same age/grade level and communicate through Epal. TakingITglobal would be an excellent resource for upper elementary, middle, and high school students. Working to promote self-determined learners who reach out to their community and others around the world to solve problems is an excellent lesson that all valued members in our community need to learn. This site offers several valuable tools, networks, and guidance for students tackling this goal.

Shelfari is an outstanding resource for students to use during a global cooperation project. As a member of Shelfari you can make a list of books that you have either read or would like to read and display them on your shelf. Students are able to view other Shelfari member’s reviews of books; in addition students are able to write a review on books they’ve read. Finding students that have common interests and motivation to read can foster online collaboration, learning experiences, communication, global cooperation, and a community of readers.

Global cooperation can be accomplished through Shelfari by having students collaborate with students from other schools, states, and countries to learn new content information. Social Studies and Science content could be labeled on a shelf and as students read books that help them learn further about the content they can add the book to the shelf. Establishing a community of learners through Shelfari, students from all over the world would be able to add valuable books, reviews, and resources to develop a global cooperation project.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


The expansion of the various video resources available on the Internet has opened several doors for teachers and learning experiences for students. The possibilities range from students and teachers broadcasting information available for others to learn from to students and teachers using the video resources available on several student friendly sources such as Teacher Tube, Videojug, and Google Video. With educational videos at the edge of your finger tips, countless hours of searching the local video store or library for new resources is over.

One video link that I will definitely utilize in my classroom is the 50 States video. My students love to learn acronyms and rhymes to learn new materials, and with the amount of states that we have in the U.S. viewing the 50 States video would be a fun and exciting tool for my students to use in guiding them in learning the 50 States. As an educator knowing this video was linked from the Teacher Tube site I trust and respect that only appropriate videos can be viewed from my students if they develop further inquiries from this site.

Overall the implementation of video in the classroom is an essential new tool that teachers can easily access to extend the learning environment.


Oh TWEETS can be so sweet, when you have time to be in continuous contact with your computer and the followers. The Tweets that I followed were fun to read because they were from colleagues of mine that were discussing questions about upcoming Graduate classes. I feel that having students develop Tweeter accounts would be an excellent resource to encourage conversation and communication in a method that is appealing and comfortable. Guiding and modeling for students how to read the Tweets would be essential to ensuring they are reading all Tweets that pertain to the content of the conversation. For example having students make Tweets while reading independently would be a fantastic application of a new tool. Finding Tweeters who are authors of favorite books and inviting them to follow our conversations would be such a powerful learning experience for the students, author, and teacher. Tweets can be a great resources for keeping students, teachers, parents, and a community connected if properly instructed and practiced.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I recently read Clive Thompson review on How Twitter Creates a Social Sixth Sense in the Wired Magazine. It was interesting to read how Thompson describes the negative reputation that Twitter has obtained by non-users or infrequent users. Personally during my first viewing of Twitter it seemed like a memory of my first experiences with IM. When I was trying to read the transcripts of other Twitter’s I couldn’t understand what they were talking about. Thompson writes how “It's practically collectivist — you're creating a shared understanding larger than yourself” which is created through multiple conversations less than 140 characters in a message.

Twitter can be used in the classroom to promote conversations in various specific content curriculums. Opening the communication doors for students to write new understandings, questions, inquiries, and findings would ideal on Twitter. Providing a safe and welcoming environment for students, teachers, parents, and experts to send messages that are clear and precise to the followers would be an excellent teaching tool. This could also serve as a formative assessment for educators to assess student’s strengths and areas of development.

Another implication for Twitter is developing collaborative projects. In an Education Week’s article Educators Test the Limits of Twitter Microblogging Tool, George Mayo developed an ongoing development of a book for his 8th grade class. I feel this would be an excellent implication for Twitter. Using Twitter as a resource for students to jointly write a story or document would promote collaboration and teamwork. In the article Mayo’s students had students from all over the world writing the story, even China! This is defiantly an implication for Twitter that I will try with my class!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

RSS Feeds

A RSS Feed is an excellent tool for educators and students to access various resources. Using Bloglines I can review my feeds easily and look for information that I am interested in versus spending countless hours scanning through my favorites on my computer. Through joining Bloglines I came across the Two Writing Teachers blog that is dedicated to education professionals sharing new research and experiences with instructing writing. The blog is very friendly and can be easily navigated to find numerous resources. As a new teacher it's difficult at times to know what method is most effective in teaching various learners writing skills. Knowing that I am a life long learning I feel through this blog's resources, research, discussions, testimonials, links, and trouble shooting I feel that my writing instruction can grow. If you are looking for a new avenue or would like to join our conversation check it out!

Saturday, January 31, 2009


I recently subscribed to and I am amazed at the possibilities through this resource. Finding a useful resource for teaching can be difficult at times. Through my delicious account I can bookmark web sites that are ideal for instructional and professional learning and easily retrieve the site from any computer. My students will be embarking soon on a research project and I look forward to integrating this new tool to assist them in their journey. Check it out

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Teachers 2.0

I just joined the Teachers 2.0 social networking group. After reading George Siemens theories of keeping current with the new tools available for educators, I thought that joining a group that introduces, instructs, and shares ideas about new learning tools for my classroom. Some of the current forums include how educators are using technology in the classroom, students’ use of message tools, and teacher’s feedback for online projects.

I feel that this social network will be extremely supportive for me in asking other educators questions about some of the latest tools that can be implemented in my classroom. Posting my reactions, concerns, and success after integrating new tools in my classroom will promote my peers to view and offer advice. When I am able to integrate blogs into my book clubs posting about my experiences might offer me new insight and new members of our network ideas for their own classrooms. Knowing that my personal pedagogy includes being a lifelong learner I look forward to learning from my colleagues and helping them learn!

Click here to visit my new professional network!

Connectivism and Collaboration

Today’s learner is like sailboat on a voyage in the vast ocean of life. When the wind blows in one direction, waves push and crash, cool weather stiffens the sails, and calm waters welcome coasting the sailboats captain must adjust and modify their course of action to safely bring their boat to the desired destination. Like the sail boat needs to change due to its environment, today’s learner is required to transfer and change learning experiences according to the innovative technology and communication provided to succeed in their future. According to Siemens, G. (2005) “Connectivism presents a model of learning that acknowledges the tectonic shifts in society where learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. How people work and function is altered when new tools are utilized.” As an educator it’s imperative to my student’s success to be aware of the new learning tools and learning environment in the digital era that we live in. I agree with Siemens concept of exposing students to the importance that learning is a lifelong process. Demonstrating to students that even today I am learning new tools including photo story, blogging, and developing a delicious account to excel my proficiencies as a teacher is an imperative lesson students need to understand. For this reason I agree with Siemens, G. (2005) when he states, “Learning and work related activities are no longer separate. In many situations, they are the same.” Providing learning experiences inside and outside the classroom that encompasses new technology that produces a community of life long learners is essential for our sail boats to safely sail to their desired destination.

To find out more information about George Siemens’ theory of Connectivism, read the following article:, G. (2005, January). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Retrieved November 20, 2005 and listen to one or more of the following videos in which Siemens elaborates on Connectivism.

Social software is an excellent source for opening the communication between people with common interests and walks of life. Siemens (2009) discusses how social software includes a wide range of communicative devices on the internet including blogging, wiki’s, my space, face book, and many more. Through these resources people can make connections to people who have similar interests and meet people who have similar interests in a specific content. The connection to an effortlessly developed dialogue is the content resource that links the participants. As a teacher developing a blog for students to discuss a book we are reading in class would be an excellent way to encourage conversations and apply this concept of social media and learning.

To see how Social Software can positively influence and impact your learning environment, watch the following video: The Impact of Social Media on Learning Retrieved January10, 2009.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blog's in the classroom

After reading Will Richardson's Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts, several implementations of the possible applications of weblogs in my classroom were exposed. First, the use of weblogs to document assignments and classroom activities is an excellent resource for teachers, students, and parents. Posting assignments on a weblog assists families in ensuring their child is completing assignments. This would also allow teachers to post exemplars and explicit directions so that if students or parents have questions they can reference the weblog for further instruction. Using a weblog to post assignments is also economically friendly due to lack of numerous handouts and assignment notebooks for students. Using a weblog to post assignments and projects will support students in knowing their responsibilities for homework and eliminate student’s misunderstandings with knowing what and when assignments are due.
Another use for weblogs that can be implemented in my class would be developing an ongoing posting of student work. Creating a virtual display of student work would allow students to share writing and ideas about different content area. Several of my students aren’t as vocal and comfortable sharing personal work in the classroom. Giving students the opportunity to post their work on a weblog would allow them to share work and comfortably critique each other. Students can learn a great deal from consuming each others work, critiquing their work, and producing their own work. Using a weblog for students to interact with each other would foster this concept and promote self-confidence in student work.
Last, I feel that communication with parents and students are extremely important to develop a safe and welcome learning environment. My school is currently promoting a Book Club implementation for our reading instruction. I thinking developing a blog for the different books being read in our class would be an excellent way for students to share their thoughts, ideas, questions, and opinions about the book. Part of the NYS Fifth grade curriculum includes students understanding different elements of author’s craft. Contacting the author of the book to participate and assist in answering questions the students may have would be a great experience for all parties involved. In addition parents would be able to view what their child is reading about and interested in. The blog could assist parents in understanding their child’s point of view or underlying questions in their child’s life. Parents could be encouraged to read the book along with their child and communicate through the postings. This resource would be very valuable for parents and students to use as a communication device prior to entering the middle school years. Using a weblog for communication about texts being read in class is an excellent tool to foster literacy inside and outside of the classroom learning environment.