Monthly Archives: July 2014

things 1-10 capstone

I decided to create an infographic for my capstone. If you click on the image, you will be taken to the Piktochart site where you can view it with the embedded video too. And if you click on the presentation mode button it looks even better!

Infographics are really useful tools that I can see using frequently in my blended class. They are a great way to present information in an easy to follow, easy to understand format. I foresee using these alongside videos, and perhaps even replacing many of my slideshows with these. They are time consuming to create, but I think they are worth the extra effort. I can also see having my students create infographics for projects to assess their understanding and their ability to make connections between current units of study and previous concepts.

things 1-10 capstone, infographic on unemployment


thing 10 – digital images

Edited Image Using Picasa

 Before:entrepreneurship  After (cropping, warmifying, cross processing, and adding text, all with a few mouse clicks!):entrepreneurship

I have students use images when creating projects for the class, so I can have them find images on creative commons and edit them for their final products. I also use Picasa for creating end of the season cross country yearbooks. I get images from parents and then create collage pages for each of the meets with all of our athletes on them.

Slideshow using PhotoPeach

For some reason the embed code from PhotoPeach wouldn’t work on my blog, so here is a screenshot of what I made.

thing 10 - photopeach

PhotoPeach is a neat tool that makes for a fun and more creative slide show. I think it would be a good tool to use to ask students to be a bit more creative. Instead of just writing and explaining their ideas in text, they have to use images to express their understanding. The music adds a nice touch too!

Shared Photo from Snapfish

thing 9 – copyright and creative commons

Copyright and Creative Commons, Parts 1 & 2

thing 9 - copyright quiz

I’m not sure I had too many misconceptions about copyright and fair use, but I was surprised to learn that it’s not fair use if I cite and author or an artist if I use their work for my students. However, I tend to only use other’s images or writing to enhance students’ understanding of a topic, not for entertainment purposes. That said, I now know that just giving credit to the owner of a work does not mean that it’s fair use.

I knew about Creative Commons before doing this module; I use it when looking for music when making videos for teaching and for finding images to put on my class website.

As for the quiz, I score 16/20. I got mixed up on a couple of questions regarding trademarks and patents vs. copyrights. There is so much law wrapped up around copyright that it’s kind of overwhelming. I’m sticking with the idea that I can use it if it’s for “transformative” purposes. I’m fairly certain that my students would not fair so well. In the age of Googling everything and having access to so much information, I think students figure that if they find something online (music, movies, games, images, etc.) it’s free to use however they want.

As for helping students learn about copyright, I will probably have my school librarian talk to my students for a few minutes before I have them work on their first project I assign, and then I will continue to refer to what she talked to them about throughout the semester. I will also point them to creative commons when searching for images to use in their projects and assignments.

Part 3, Attribute License

I put my attribute license here under the welcome post on my classroom website.

Part 4, Plagiarism Tracker

I checked out PaperRater and PlagTracker and I liked both of them. PaperRater is neat because you can see which words and phrases you overuse and any spelling and grammar mistakes you might have missed. I’d recommend students use this before turning in papers to me. PlagTracker is nice from a teaching perspective because I can copy students’ work and put it in and see easily if it is plagiarized. (I typically have students submit their work digitally.) And I can point students to the site to let them check their work and make sure they properly cite their information and so they know that I can easily tell if they just copy and paste information from another source.

 thing 9 - paper rater  thing 9 - plag tracker

thing 8 – visual learning

Graphic Organizers

 thing 8 - popplet  thing 8 -

I like both of these tools to make graphic organizers. Both are really easy to use, and makes a pretty straightforward concept map. I love Popplet, though, because you can add videos and images to explain concepts. I can see using this with students and having them create and share their own Popplets with one another as an early activity in a new unit or when learning a new concept. I can also see using this as a review activity for students before an assessment or as an assessment activity to see what kinds of connections students have made with the material. I checked out MindMeister too and I really like the collaborative feature. I can see using this when having students work together to analyze a text they read.

Word Clouds

runasone final  runwithheart

I made the above images using Tagxedo for my cross country runners before the state meet. I’ve never actually used it for teaching; I always saw it as more of an English Language Arts type tool. However, I can see using this (or Wordle) as students read a section or a chaper out of the textbook. I could have them use it to see the main themes of the section they read and then create a shape that represents the main ideas.

QR Codes
QR Code
This contains the link to my classroom website. I will likely use QR codes for sharing links and other useful information with my students. I will also put a QR code on my syllabus for students to use so they can easily scan it to get to the class website.

thing 7 – digital citizenship

Personal Information on the Web

Because I teach high school students, most of whom are seniors, I think one of the most impactful things I could teach them about digital citizenship is the amount of information they share online. I found the following resources to be really great:

Six Degrees of Information   |   You’re Not as Private as You Think   |   Your Digital Dossier

I would likely use these at the beginning of the personal finance unit I do to show students that what they post now can affect their income earning potential in the future. If a future employer sees inappropriate information or photos, that could impact their ability to get a job with a company they want to work for. It could also affect opportunities for scholarships and advancements. Besides education and career opportunities, students can lose personal privacy and even be more prone to identity theft if they over share their lives.

ID Theft Face Off Screenshot

thing 7 - id face off


thing 6 – introduction to differentiated learning and udl

Differentiated Learning

Content: I focus my teaching on main concepts and have our learning objectives for each class period posted at the front of the room. Instead of small details and facts to memorize, students get a big picture idea of how everything works together; I intersperse examples that support the overarching concepts and themes we study. I use numerous materials like presentations, practice problems, small group and individual practice, and video to present ideas to students.

Process: I use many different types of grouping in my teaching, ranging from whole class discussions to small groups to pairs, to individual practice. Rarely do I have a class period where students work independently the entire time. Most of the activities I do involve group discussion and idea sharing.

Products: I assess students frequently throughout each unit using Moodle questions, small white boards and practice questions, open ended responses, class discussion, one on one discussion, and group presentations. Most of the projects I do give students several options to express their understanding; they may have different product options to choose from or different paths to take to create the same end product. The goal with my assessments is to use them as teaching tools so that students have to apply what we’ve been discussing in class to their process of creating their end product. Even my tests have retakes so that students can master the material and learn from their mistakes.

Diverse Learning

One thing that jumped out at me in the article is using our online textbook to help students who are struggling. They can install Diigo to highlight and annotate sections and make sticky notes to themselves; they can use VozMe to have the text converted to audio. Students could also use graphic organizers to create outlines of the material they read. This would be useful for ALL students, not just struggling learners, as it will help reinforce what they are reading and learning.


A couple of tools that would support UDL in my class that I could use even more are Google Docs and Prezi. They allow for real time collaboration with one another, and Google Docs allows for annotation and commenting. Students can comment on one another’s work and I can comment and offer suggestions too. Using these tools opens the classroom up to be anytime, anywhere. Students can do group work asynchronously and not have to worry about emailing a file back and forth. They can be creative with how they use the tools to express their understanding. And they can share their work together and learn from one another.

Text-to-Audio Conversion

This could be useful for struggling readers, English Language Learners, and even students who are really busy and could download the textbook as an MP3 file to listen to while they walk or drive to and from school. For struggling readers and ELL’s, hearing the text as they read will help them learn the sounds of the new vocabulary and glean more meaning as they can connect it with surrounding text and concepts discussed in class. For busy students, audio text helps them multitask and learn as they move from one place to another.

thing 6 - vozme