Tag Archives: setting

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

 Popplet  bubbl.us
 thing 8 - popplet  thing 8 - bubbl.us

I like both of these tools to make graphic organizers. Both are really easy to use, and bubbl.us 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 2 – face of my classroom

How I use my classroom website

thing 2 - class website

I have had a classroom website for several years. It’s an invaluable tool for communicating with students and parents, posting assignments, posting due dates and information about upcoming assessments, and to have a class presence that students can access at any time and any place.

I have recently updated my class website; I originally had it hosted on my own domain, but since I didn’t teach this year and I may not go back next year, I decided not to continue paying for the domain name. So, I migrated everything into WordPress instead (which was easy since I had WordPress installed on my other domain!). When I migrated over, some of the links to the videos I use as well as the links to assignments that I share with students via my dropbox, were disabled. I re-enabled a few of the video links and the first assignment link on this page so you can get an idea of what I share with students.

When students go to my site, they will see the weekly assignments and due dates as well as the learning objectives for each day’s lesson. When they click on a unit page, they will find video resources and links to assignments. If they ever forget what they are supposed to do for the class, it’s all on the website! They can also find links to note-taking tools and reading guides. I rely so heavily on my class website that I can’t imagine teaching without it. It’s where I put ALL of my classroom materials and supporting tools so that students can access the class all of the time.

In addition to the class site, I use Moodle as a place for students to upload assignments and to complete formative and summative assessments. Using Moodle has enabled me to give students almost immediate feedback, and because of that, I have more time to give students to re-take assessments in order to master the material. If you’d like guest access to my Moodle class, let me know and I’d be happy to let you take a look around!

thing 19 – digital storytelling

Below is my digital story:

And here is my storyboard: thing 19 – digital story storyboard

Ways Digital Storytelling Can be Used in My Classroom

One way I can use digital storytelling is to have students create short stories about concepts we have covered to make sure they can explain it in their own words, and that they can do so in a creative way, which really shows they have a solid working knowledge of the material. I can see doing this towards the end of a unit before I do a summative assessment (and let students watch each others’ work as a sort of review) or even after teaching a complex concept that I want to make sure everyone understands. Some ideas would include having students create stories to teach one another, stories that are more skit-like in nature, and stories that are like commercials and public service announcements that explain ideas.

Another way I can use digital stories is to have students do a one minute self reflection on their understanding of the material from class. I envision this being more of single words in their stories that are up for a couple seconds at a time and maybe some short video of them explaining their understanding. I would probably do this at the end of a unit, around parent teacher conference time to have students’ feedback to share with parents (and I could share the videos too!), and at the end of the semester.

Feedback and Suggestions for Improvement

I had my husband give me feedback and suggestions on my digital story and here is what he wrote:

Well I sure liked it! It’s pretty great that you captured “fire-mens”, guitar playing, and a day without pants. If you need actual critique, I guess I’d turn up the intro track a bit. I really liked all of the cuts.

He might be a little biased since the story is about our son, but I agree that the intro music could be a little louder. Other than that, I like my finished product! It was really fun to make, especially since I really like the subject. 😉

thing 17 – professional learning networks

thing 17 - twitter feed

Using Twitter: I’ve never used Twitter before this class, mostly because I felt like it was a time waster. 🙂 I didn’t really think of using it for professional learning and networking; I figured it was a place for people to post things like how they saw a picture of a cat toasted on their bread that morning. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it seems like another venue, like Facebook, where people post random things about their lives. (Which I happened to do in one of my posts…)

However, I like the idea of using it for professional learning. It’s a quick and easy was to get ideas and find links to new tools. Matinga mentioned during the live session that she checks her Twitter feed while she drinks her morning coffee and then she’s done for the day. It seems like it can get overwhelming trying to sift through all the stuff that gets posted, but I like the idea of checking it for a few minutes, looking for specific ideas related to teaching and technology that I can apply to my work. I think it will be a useful tool to help me keep abreast of all the new changes and tools that come out. Plus it is kind of fun to read friends’ silly posts. 🙂

LearnPort: I think my favorite tool that LearnPort offers is access to NetTrekker. Even though I typically forget about using this tool when I have my students research, it’s so useful since the resources are curated and vetted by teachers and are listed by reading level! Kathy Kowalski always talks about how great it is, and I keep forgetting about it! I also didn’t realize that there were so many recordings of webinars that I can access. There are many great sounding recordings on using mobile devices, techy tools, and Android apps in the classroom. This seems like it will be a helpful resource when I am looking for ideas on how to spice things up in my lessons.

MACUL: Being a member of MACUL is great because I can easily get updates of new tech tools available and practical ways to use them in my classroom. I get the monthly newsletters and they are great because they always have little things to explore and try in my lessons. And I don’t have to search for the things myself – they’ve already done the work! I also just joined SIG for Online Learning, and I’m looking forward to getting more ideas of how to teach my blended class. I think I can get lots of ideas for putting lessons and resources online and learn some new tips and tricks for using Moodle. I think it will be a very useful resource as I progress with online instruction.

Connected Educator Videos: These are great! I watched a video on video assessment, and Laura Bell, the teacher who made the video, describes in detail how she has students use video in her classroom to demonstrate their understanding of concepts. I love using creative tools for assessment and I’m so excited to try this out.  I’m looking forward to watching the other videos, especially since they are from people who have used the tools they are talking about and they have real examples of ways they have used them. Fun!

thing 12 – evaluation and assessment


My scores changed a little between the pre- and post-tests.  There were a few things I didn’t really know about like how long schools had to maintain student records and school nurse records.  Much of the privacy requirements, such as posting of grades and student information, I was already aware of.  At my school, we tend to be very cautious about what we put in writing when discussing student information; for instance, if we have questions about a particular student and want to discuss those with other teachers and/or counselors, we try not to email our questions but go directly to the teachers/counselors.  This is not always possible, but when we can do it, it allows us not to have a “paper trail” that can be FOIA’ed and used later.  Plus it gives the extra security for students that information about them isn’t floating around in teachers’ in-boxes.

Part 2: School Data

My district uses PowerSchool to house our demographics, attendance, and class performance data, so I used it to conduct my queries. The first data set I queried was ethnicity makeup by grade at my school. East Lansing is quite diverse and it’s interesting to see the different people groups in each grade.  This information is also useful when setting up course sections so that students are evenly distributed so that each section has a diverse make up of students to allow for better discussion and learning.

thing 12 - ethnicity data

The next report I ran was an MME Social Studies Snapshot for Economically Disadvantaged Students for 2012-2013.  The snapshot compared disadvantage to not-disadvantaged students, and the results are quite striking.  There are very few to no economically disadvantaged students performing at Level 1 (Advanced); fewer disadvantaged students are Proficient as compared to not disadvantaged students. There are many economically disadvantaged students who are partially proficient, and there are more who are not proficient compared to not disadvantaged students.  Just the information in the snapshot alone is very telling. I would be curious to look at the individual questions to see how students performed and discuss as a department what we can do to get our disadvantaged students on par with our not-disadvantaged students.

thing 12 - mme data

Part 3: Rubrics

I used the rubric below with a project called “Create Your Own Business.”  The project asks students to apply material they have learned from our first unit of study in Economics to a business they create. In the project students answer the three basic economic questions of what to produce, how to produce, and for whom to produce; they determine their factors of production (land, labor, and capital goods); they explain the opportunity costs associated with their business/product; and they examine alternative goods consumers could choose, and explain how they will compete with similar businesses.

The rubric helps me assess students’ work in categories of:

  • thoroughness (did students complete all the requirements)
  • application of economics concepts and use of economics vocabulary
  • business organization (did students show their understanding of the different types of business organizations)
  • economic questions and factors of production (did students answer the economic questions completely and explain all their factors of production in a measurable way)
  • opportunity costs/trade offs (did students demonstrate an understanding of these concepts as applied to their business)
  • creativity (did students think outside the box and come up with a unique idea)
  • organization (did students have a well organized, easy to understand plan)

Because the rubric is based on measurable objectives, I can easily check off students’ work and determine if they completed all the requirements and whether or not they were complete in their explanation and understanding of the material.  I have used a different rubric in the past with this project, but most recently used the one below and found it to be more useful in assessing students’ work because I was looking for measurable details. It also allowed me to provide students with great feedback that explained how they were assessed (and they saw the rubric ahead of time so they knew how they would be assessed).

thing 12 - rubric

Part 4: My Own Perception/Achievement Data  

Because I’m not teaching this year, I am using an old pretest quiz I gave to students in Moodle. The quiz assessed students’ understanding of economics concepts we covered in the class, and I gave it at the beginning of the semester. Below is a screenshot of the first five questions on the quiz; the full pretest is 40 questions.  As far as the uses for Moodle, I used it ALL THE TIME last year when teaching my hybrid class. (I also used it prior to that for quizzes because it makes grading so easy!) I used Moodle specifically for online discussions, journal entries, and quizzes. Students were only “in class” 3 days a week, so all of my assignments were posted on my class website and/or hosted in Moodle.  My students loved that they received immediate feedback on quizzes and short assignments, plus I allowed them to retake the quiz in order to master the material.  When I graded their work, I would download the final scores as an excel file and input them into the grade book.  Then I would look at the responses and statistics section of the quiz in Moodle to see which questions students tended to struggle with so I would know what I needed to review and reteach before moving on.  I loved that all the data was right there in the system so that I didn’t have to aggregate it on my own.  It made it easy to see what lessons went really well and which ones needed some more attention.  When I go back to the classroom I intend to use Moodle again, as it was such a helpful tool!  My students seemed to enjoy using it too!

thing 12 - moodle quizthing 12 - pretest scores

Part 5: Spreadsheet/Graph of My Data 

Above is a spreadsheet of the pretest results, below is one of pretest and final exam results, along with a graph from excel comparing the two. As mentioned above, I typically would use the graphs from Moodle, but I no longer have my student data in Moodle because I unenrolled them, anticipating that I would be teaching again this school year. I did, and plan to, however, frequently use the graphs in Moodle to guide my teaching.

thing 12 - pre and final spreadsheet thing 12 - graph