Monday, May 9, 2011

Journal 7: PLN

         When I was first learning about a Personal Learning Network (PLN), I did not understand the concept of a PLN and was confused on how it would benefit me as a future teacher. After exploring several sites and articles I am aware that a PLN is an easy way to communicate using different Web 2.0 tools with other educators around the globe. PLNs can include several different social networking sites such as Twitter, blogs, Diigo, Skype, Facebook and many more. Anyone you interrelate with becomes apart of your PLN, whether it is other educators, or experts within their community. The good thing is that a PLN can be used whenever time is available. There is no specific set schedule and it is all online. Currently, my Personal Learning Network is blogger and Twitter because it allows me to share my opinions and gain more knowledge about education. As a future educator, PLNs will help me connect with other colleagues and share ideas about the grade level being taught.
         I was not familiar with Twitter before this class, but I have found it very useful to connect with other students, teachers, and educational speakers. There are several teachers in my network that I am following, as well as my professor. Through #edchat I was able to find educational chats and conferences I could participate in. I like using twitter because it is easy and it provides valuable information for my future career. The people in my network give good advice and ideas that I will be able to use. I participated in #kinderchat on April 4th, 2011 at 5:30pm, which is an educational chat that focused on kindergarten. It was my first chat and I didn’t know what to expect, but I was satisfied with the results. The topic of the chat was about male teachers and how they can be beneficial for students. It is rare to see a male kindergarten teacher, but I believe that the students need a male role model because they are use to having female teachers throughout their years of education. I enjoyed viewing the conversation and the information that was stated.
       I have never used Diigo before either and have discovered that it is a great tool to bookmark important websites. I used Diigo for the use of building my network with several educators and motivational speakers. The people I chose for my network stated useful information and provided several other resources that I can use in my future classroom. I tagged several things under PLN relevant to the meaning and tools available. I found websites that showed me how to build my PLN and examples of different Web 2.0 tools obtainable.
      I joined the Educator’s PLN which will definitely be beneficial for me as a future educator. It specifically focuses on Personal Learning Networks for educators. There are podcasts, chats, blogs, events and several more available at this site. I watched a video about “Best Practices in Social Networking for Educators”. It was an interview with Eric Sheninger and he is a Principal at New Milford High school in New Jersey. He thought social networking tools such, as Twitter was useless information, but finally took the plunge. He used it as a means to communicate with his stakeholders and realized that there are a group of passionate educators in all different quarters of the world. He was surprised that they were committed to helping him become familiar with Web 2.0 tools and making learning meaningful and relevant.

Excel Crossword Puzzle


This is a crossword puzzle that I created using excel.

Saturday, May 7, 2011



I have created a graphic organizer through a program called Inspiration. It relates the assignments we have completed in class to the ISTE Standards.

Journal 9 NETS I-III & V

Waters, J.K. (2011). Teaching green. t|h|e Journal,38(4), 13-14 Retrieved from

John Waters provides many helpful online tools that educators can use to inform and initiate students about environmental issues. It includes resources for all grade levels and different utilizations of technology.  Teachers can use these resources as lessons in the class depending on what grade level they teach. For example there is a website in which the students can take a virtual tour of the woods and discover a variety of plants, animals, and nature. It is helpful for all age groups and especially for those who are visual learners. These resources are very useful and beneficial for students to learn about the environment. There are an abundance of online resources available including quizzes to measure how big your ecological footprint is and 3D games where environmental disasters threaten to destroy the world. It makes it easy for teachers to come up with activities because it is a click away with several resources to choose from. Not only are there resources for the students, but also information about conferences and workshops specifically for teachers at The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Teaching Center. There is everything a teacher needs to know about the environment and how to integrate it into the classroom using lesson plans and activities simply through the use of online resources.

Q: What online resource would be most beneficial for Elementary level students and why?
A: A Walk in the Woods would be the most valuable resource to use in the classroom because it is simple for young kids to use and it teaches the students the basics of nature. The children are able to take a virtual tour of the woods and write down the things they encounter on the walk such as acorns, squirrels, mushrooms, etc. 

Q: Do you think it is crucial to discuss environmental issues with children starting at a young age? If so, what grade level would be an appropriate level to begin?
A: Yes, I think it is important to start teaching children about environmental issues and how to preserve our planet at a young age. If we don’t start young, they won’t know how to help save the earth from pollution in the future. It can be as simple as recycling paper and glass bottles inside the classroom and at home or turning off the lights to save energy. It doesn’t need to be complex, but adding a few tips about the environment can be useful. An appropriate grade level to begin teaching about environmental issues would be Kindergarten.   


Friday, May 6, 2011

Journal 8 NETS IV-V

Bogacz, R., & Gordillo, M.G. (2011). Should Schools Be Held Responsible For Cyberbullying?. Learning and Leading with Technology, 38(6), 6-7.

The main concern of this article is should schools be held responsible for cyberbullying? Renee Bogacz agrees that schools are accountable for any tormenting that occurs on school grounds including cyberbullying. It is clear that it greatly effects the school environment; therefore teachers and administrators need to be aware of this issue. On the other hand, Miguel Gordillo believes that schools clearly cannot be held responsible for cyberbullying, considering the role of schools in our society. To prevent cyberbullying from happening in school, it is the guardian’s responsibility to teach their children that it is not tolerated. He mentions, “We need to remember that parents are the first educators of their children.” The schools power is limited because parents are the main mentors of the children. Schools need to institute communication with parents to supply resources for the students and keep them educated on certain topics. We need to build a bond between the parents and administrators of these institutions to guarantee a safe and violence free environment. A poll was taken to calculate the percentage of people who think schools should be held responsible for cyberbullying, and 70% said no.  I believe that it isn’t the schools responsibility, but the teachers and administration need to inform the students on the topic to prevent cyberbullying occurring on campus. Schools can’t be held accountable for misconduct outside school grounds; as a result parents need to be aware of their children’s use of internet and mobile devices.

Q: What can educators do to prevent cyberbullying from happening in school?
A: First off, educators need to teach the consequences and concerns of cyberbullying and explain that it is hurtful and sometimes even destructive. They can create a community outreach program to educate those beyond the school walls to the dangers of cyberbulling. Lastly, educators need to teach students how to use technology to block communication with cyberbullies.

Q:  What can students do to avoid involvement with cyberbullying?
A: To avoid involvement with cyberbullying, students can’t believe everything they read. One can’t be sure whom they are communicating with behind the computer. The internet can be a very dangerous place and children need to recognize the consequences that can occur. Students should never open messages from strangers. They need to delete the message immediately and inform an adult.  Students should avoid posting personal information about themselves online. This is how cyberbullying can arise and progressively get worse.  

Journal 6 NETS III-V

Warlick, D. (2009). Grow Your Personal Learning Network. Learning & Leading With Technology, 36(6), 12-16.

David Warlick addresses the value of using a Personal Learning Network to communicate with the world and share ideas with other educators. He goes above and beyond explaining the different types of PLNs and how they are beneficial for everyone. There are several Personal Learning Network tools such as, Diigo, Blogger, Skype, Twitter, wikis, and the list goes on. Before reading this article I did not know what a PLN was and what it is used for. I now discovered that my favorite PLN tool that I often use is Blogger and Skype. I recently studied abroad in Europe for six months and these tools worked effectively for communicating with my family and friends across the world. I was able to post updates about my travels on the blog and connect with people through skype. The best thing about using the PLN tools is it is all FREE! It is useful for all educators because they are able to learn and teach new techniques through the use of technology.

There are three types of PLNs: Synchronous, Semisynchronous, and Asynchronous connections. Synchronous is the customary network that comprises the people and places you confer with to ask questions and achieve goals.  This includes using tools like Twitter, Skype, and instant messaging. Semisynchronous refers “to the idea that collaboration doesn’t have to happen in real time.” People can participate in chats and group discussion boards on their own time without a specific schedule. Tools that can be used to build this type of network include, facebook and Google Docs. Lastly, Asynchronous connects us with content sources. The main tool used is the RSS aggregator. Aggregators such as Diigo, a social bookmarking site that allows you to bookmark significant information and categorize the most valuable websites found.

Q: Do you think the use of PLNs would be beneficial to utilize in the classroom with Elementary level students? If so, name a few tools that would be successful in the classroom.
A: Yes, I believe it would be valuable for the students to determine a Personal Learning Network that would be effective for them. The best tool for Elementary level students would be blogger because the teacher could make it into a collaborative activity with the whole class. 

Q: What are the benefits of creating a PLN?
A: There are several benefits once you create a PLN. It may seem like a difficult task at first to get organized, but it is a great way to communicate with other educators. You can share your ideas and also learn some new concepts along the way.      

CyberSafety Collaborative Site


This website is the result of a collaborative endeavor to create resources for educators regarding CyberSafety. We produced this website using Google Sites. The topics discussed are Inappropriate Content, Cyberbullying, Cyber Predators, Identity Safety, Piracy and Plagiarism, and Social Networks.

Click here to view the entire website