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.