Sunday, August 18, 2013

EDU 714 Comparing PLE Diagram and Plan

Review a plan to Create and Curate your Digital Identity from one of your peers in this class. What did you learn about yourself when looking at your PLE? How does your PLE compare to other peers in class? Compare the similarities and differences between yours and your classmate’s diagrams and plans.

Below are two maps of PLEs...(Personal Learning Environments)

These maps are different in color, design, content, scope and organization.  They are similar in that they both detail the way each person utilizes the internet to learn, teach, and share.  Both illustrations tell the reader something about the creators online identity.  Both "mind-maps" allow for expansion and revision and gives one insight into how the creator frames their internet learning process.

As a result of reading my peers PLE's I can see that I try to keep my Mind Map Boxes very simple at this point.  This probably reflects my immature stage of development an a web "surfer/researcher".  I say that as an honest reflection and I look forward to maturing and growing with time.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Some details of my Personal Learning Environment - ED 714

Today I explored Mind Genius Business enjoyed playing with their various types of "mind-maps".

This map portrays some of the learning that I have done over the past few weeks as well as show framework for creating and curating my online identity.  As I reflect on how I use the internet learning I categorized my activity into the 4 general areas shown above.   I am sure that as I spend  more learning time online over the course of this year in the University Of New Haven ITDML program this diagram will change substantially.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Slideshow to use on Classroom Copyright

If  you want to teach students about copyright history and current information here is a ready to go slide show.  I feel that is good practice to learn about copyright as we build responsible digital citizens.

On Classroom Copyright

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Joni's Homemade PESTO PERFECT-O Networked Learning Project

Joni's Homemade PESTO PERFECT-O

My goal was to learn how to make a delicious pesto recipe.  I wanted to do all my learning from the internet and document the process as well as reflect on how this process can be utilized in my teaching profession.
After conducting an internet history search of pesto I made a short video explaining the origin of the name of the recipe "pesto" (see my blog post from 7.27.13) .  I discovered that the word "pesto" comes from the Italian/Latin  word for "pistillum" meant to batter or pound as in pistil and mortar, the kitchen vessels used to grind herbs and spices. Next I viewed several online pesto recipes.

Internet Recipe Search
I discovered that there are 3 key ingredients to pesto over it's history.  These key ingredients are basil, olive oil, and garlic. Most recipes also call for some type of cheese such as Parmesan, or Romano and some type of nut such as pine nuts, walnuts or even cashews.

I watched many You Tube videos and discovered that there is a variety of tools to use for combining the ingredients.  One can use the traditional mortar and pistil or a modern day food processor or blender.  The order in which the ingredients are added to the recipe will vary as well.  I learned that people often freeze pesto in an ice cube tray and then pop them out and store in a zip lock bag for later use.

I also began to notice the design elements of the You Tube videos as I was watching them.  Some moved very slowly, some were too long, some used still shots and music in different ways.  I noticed these elements so that I could create my video in an appealing fashion.  I planned my original recipe based on all that I learned and asked my daughter to help with the video taping.  I spent a great deal of time learning how to upload and edit video clips from my I pad to my PC and the Chromebook.  After attempts with Windows Movie maker and QuickTime I tried Stupeflix.  I learned that there were problems crossing over from PC to I Pad to Chromebook and pulling pictures from my Drop box account so I made my final video with
 i Movie.  I utilized You Tube and many internet articles to learn how to use each of the above mentioned video applications.   I was finally most comfortable working with i Movie on my I pad.

  • Here is my final video...

As I reflect on my learning via the internet I realize that I love to create visual/musical pieces as a teaching device.  I think there is an initial investment of time needed to learn about the various apps and programs used for video editing and creation.  Once I find an application that I like and that works across all my devices I will become more proficient in publishing higher quality pieces.  I see my work on this project as having direct implications for my teaching of mathematics to both children and adults.  I also see the possibility of using what I have learned to create videos which help teachers reflect on their own teaching style.  As a staff developer the possibilities are endless in using networked based inquiry to inform and develop the art of teaching.  I hope to conduct a before or after school program where students can teach each other by creating and publishing videos.  The thought of video publishing is very exciting to me both professionally and personally.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Module 4 Reflection - EDU 710- Online Content Construction - Can you empower your students to be a part of our current knowledge base?

"What challenges occur when students are empowered to create online "text" and share globally with others? "

"In Online Content Construction, we are empowering teachers and students to use the reader/writer nature of the Web to create and publish information. What are the "soft skills" and discussions that we need to have as we conduct this work?"

Above questions are from the Online  Research & Media Model (ORMS) at

  • I start reflecting on this question by noting that I do not know what is meant by the terms "soft skills" so I Google the term.  
Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.[1] Soft skills complement hard skills which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

  • I dig a little deeper to discover more details about soft skills and found this article:

  • Even though the above mentioned article is target to the IT professional I think the skills can apply to any career and to the field of education in general.

I would summarize soft skills as those skills needed to be effective and respectful inter-personally.

It is necessary for all of us to demonstrate honest, respectful behavior as we work with others to learn and share in the online arena.

  • So back to the first question, "What challenges occur when students are empowered to create online "text" and share globally with others? "  

One of the challenges has to do with helping students, both adults and children, understand soft skills. We should not only understand what they are but also why there is a need for what I will call "internet common courtesy".  There are both rights and responsibilities which come with internet use and it can be dangerous and even unlawful if the responsible use of the internet is ignored.

It is important to ensure students begin with the planning phase of online creation.  Without a plan students can wonder aimlessly without focus.  If goals are not clear at the beginning of the journey the detours can be detrimental.  If the goals are clear the detours can provide beautiful scenery on the way to the final destination. 

Online construction can be challenging in terms of power and control.  This is a topic which could be discussed in a doctoral dissertation (hmm, now there is an idea, opps there I go... self distraction).   For the purpose of this blog I will just note that in working with others to create online content issues of control and power arise and that is where those critical interpersonal skills or common courtesy skills come into play.  The ego is also involved in ownership of ideas, images, and re- purposing of content.

I will continue to ponder the questions associated with online creation challenges.  And I am sure I will come back to revise this very blog post as I drive down this journey of my own!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Online Authenticity... What can one trust as reliable?

Students are often challenged when evaluating the credibility and relevance of online information.  Have you ever been fooled by information online?

There are so very many layers to the question of how to discern what is "real, reliable, and relevant" when working online.  Have I ever been fooled by information online?  Oh YES, there was a time several years ago when I received an e-mail from Bank of America.  I was new to online banking and this e-mail asked me to verify certain information.  Being the trusting soul that I am, I gave all the information which was asked for. The next day my spouse noticed the misspelling of the month March in the fine print at the bottom of the web age.  After contacting Bank Of America I learned that I need to be a bit more critical of information I give and take from the web!  Thank God we caught the scam and my bank accounts were not wiped out.

From a teacher/learner perspective there are so many variables to consider in terms of online Reading Comprehension.  All of the articles and videos made me think about the different and yet similar skill sets and inquiry skills needed for both offline and online reading comprehension.  I was amazed and a bit scared by the filtering mentioned by Eli Pariser.  I was impressed by the redirecting done by Ian in his classroom video. The podcast with Julie Coiro  encouraged me to think about all the work I need to do at my school and in my district to help our students learn to focus at the online task at hand.  

Perhaps the most profound piece of information for me professionally was 

Online Reading Comprehension Ability Among 7th Grade Students in Rich & Poor Districts

Donald J. Leu in a research address from the Literacy Research Association conference in 2013. (19:16)

This is an area which I feel is a moral obligation to be addressed.  

I don't think I fully understand the self-monitoring involved in online learning because I am working hard to monitor my own self-distractions.  Ultimately, as I figure that monitoring piece out I will be better able to share it with the other adults and children with whom I learn/teach.

Experimenting with Stop-Motion Animation

After viewing a few digital tools such as ; Padlet, Glogster, Animoto, and Mind Maps, I decided to experiment with Windows Movie Maker to see what stop-motion animation can look like.  Here is a sample...

Follow this link to look and learn.

I now understand that digital tools can help children and adults analyze the steps involved in their own learning and share this with others by connecting through the internet.  As a math teacher we often list the steps involved in solving a problem.  Stop-motion animation can be a fun and interesting way to present complex mathematical problems in an algorithmic, or step by step fashion.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pesto Perfect- O Networked Learning Project Post # 3

Over the past week I have been experimenting with various online video capturing and editing hardware and software.

I played with a flip cam on and off a tripod.  I have explored You Tube video editor on the iPad, chrome  and my PC and noticed the differences in downloading and uploading time.  My PC is the fastest in both areas.  I want to explore we video and windows movie before I do more editing.  I have filmed my pesto making process from harvesting the basil to presenting the pesto to the family but I want to edit quite a bit of it so that I capture the essence in a concise fashion.