My PLE Diagram — October 25, 2015

My PLE Diagram

Leone - PLE Diagram

I chose create my diagram on a baseball diamond.  I was looking for ways to make my diagram creative and unique, and decided to go with something that has always been an important part of my life.  I chose to use a baseball diamond, more particularly the bases and base path.  All of my online learning environments enrich my teaching career and help me grow as a teacher.  I am able to move around throughout my communities to explore, share, and collaborate.  For my diagram, I put Facebook, Twitter, Moodle, and LinekdIn as my “home base.”  These are the places I go to first when I head online.  I can use these communities to create my “brand” and be a platform or jumping off point for my online connections and work.  From my home base, I move to first base.  The first step in my online communities, the places I explore.  I use Pinterest, LiveBinders, and Youtube as great resources to learn new ideas, watch tutorials, and explore new topics/ideas. Once I gain momentum from exploring these environments, including Twitter and Facebook, I move on to second base.  This is where my learning environments allow me to share some of my ideas or resources I have collected.  I use Blogger, WordPress, Diigo, and Scoop.it. to share with the people I have connected with.  Blogger and WordPress allow me to share about things I am learning in the Ed Tech program and what is happening in my classroom at school.  I just started using Peartrees and Scoop.it for this class, but I can see how powerful it is to curate and share resources with other professionals.  Diigo has been a great addition to my online environments.  I introduced Diigo to the teachers at my school and we now use it to share resources we find online.  One of the greatest aspects of online learning environments is the ability to collaborate and receive feedback.  Third base is the collaborative space of my PLE.  I am able to use tools like Google Drive to work with other professionals, classmates in the Ed Tech program, and even my students to create projects, tutorials and more.  My curriculum partner and I use dropbox to work on text sets with out students, and this year we have introduced our students to have a stake in this collaboration as well.  They can now add to our class text sets.  Currently, I am using Padlet to create a space for an upcoming professional development session.  I am working with another 8th grade teacher to run a PD on Blogging.  Finally, I have recently joined several Google Plus communities.  In these settings, I am able to work through problems with other teachers and post lessons and receive feedback.  These experiences have been very beneficial.  By reaching all of these “bases” I am able to improve myself through professional learning, share new discoveries and useful information, and create meaningful materials through collaboration.

Reflecting on my PLE helped me to reflect on how it has grown in just the few months since this course began.  I was able to see how they all work together to help me grow.  Using social networking and online learning environments was something I had not really explored until taking this course.  Twitter has been a huge part of my PLE and has helped me to discover some of the other learning environments I mentioned in this diagram.

It was very interesting to look at classmates diagrams to see what tools they value most and how they would categorize them.

Courtney Kaul’s diagram caught my eye because of her daughter’s artwork.  When looking at her diagram I noticed she used the categories collaboration, communication, and professional development.  We had similar collaboration tools, with Dropbox and Google Drive.  I had not thought of Gmail as part of my learning environment, however, once seeing Courtney’s diagram I recall collaborating with an educator I met on Twitter through email.  I like the title of professional development.  I agree with all of the tools Courtney has there as resources for PD, I might have also included YouTube in that area.  Courtney and I share 9 communities.  Courtney and I are also a part of a literacy PLN for this course.

Jill Miller’s diagram was very large and interconnected.  While it seems “busy” it gives a great portrayal of the connections and importance of each tool.  She broke her PLE down to personal, professional, volunteer, and educational.  I had not thought of this approach, since expanding my PLE through this course I have focused mostly on professional and educational purposes.   I noticed a lot of crossover between those four areas.  I wonder if there can be times when it is hard to keep all four separate.  Four example, I worry about using Twitter for personal reasons, so I have decided to keep it strictly professional.  Jill and I share 8 communities.

Kelsey Ramirez and I shared the sports connection!  Kelsey had a “create”  and a “share” section in her PLE.  I had WordPress and Blogger in a “share” category, but can see how they are also places to create.  Possibly making a section as “Create and share” would help show the power of these tools.  Kelsey and I had 8 similar communities in our PLE diagrams.

Hannah Clark used an image of herself as the center of her diagram.  This helps symbolize that she is at the center of her connections, learning, and collaboration.  I notice that she shared Instagram in her connection section.  I did not include Instagram in my PLE because I don;t find myself using it to “connect” as much, but seeing this has made me realize I should explore how to better utilize this tool.  Hannah and I have 11 similar communities in our diagrams.  Hannah is also a part of my PLN for this course.

Dalia Juran broke her PLE into Personal, Spiritual, and Professional, similar to Jill.  There were a few crossovers between her three categories.  I noticed that her Professional PLE was the largest and was similar to mine, other than WebEx.  Dalia and I had 8 similar communities.  I noticed that she has Second Life in her personal category.  Second Life is not something I have explore a lot but I did notice it in a few of my classmates communities.

David Mato’s diagram shared two categories I had in my diagram: explore and collaborate.  We both had Google Drive and Dropbox in our collaborate section. His explore section differed by having flickr and Diigo.  I had placed Diigo in my “share” section,  but it is also a place to discover and explore.  David and I had 12 similar communities.

My evaluations of classmates PLE Diagrams helped me see how so many of these tools can be used for multiple purposes.  All of these communities allow us to connect, share, create, collaborate, and more.  It was interesting to see how differently we interpret our PLE and how chose to organize our diagrams.

Real Time and Live Virtual Professional Development — October 19, 2015

Real Time and Live Virtual Professional Development

Teachers are always looking for new ideas or places to share their own.  Often these opportunities only present themselves a few times a year during professional development days or at faculty meetings.  Technology and the internet allow for this to happen everyday, at any hour.  By using Twitter, blogs, Google Communities and more, teachers are now able to connect instantly for real time feedback and professional development.  In the past 3 weeks I have participated in 4 Twitter chats and 4 live webinars.  I was able to learn, share, and collaborate on multiple different topics.  I participated on topics I had never used in my classroom and ones that I use regularly.  It was a bit intimidating at first, especially in the Twitter chats which move very quickly.

Twitter Chats –

‪#‎engsschat‬ – This chat usually involves secondary english and social studies teachers.  The conversation the night I joined, revolved around using genius hour in the classroom. I have always wanted to provide students time to share their interests and show their personality, but have not incorporated something like genius hour into my classroom yet. The educators involved in this chat provided great insights into what a genius hour project might look like, as well as, help people new to this idea problem solve. One participant mentioned how she uses a genius hour model every Friday with her students. Another educator explained how she has students share their genius hour projects in a talk show format. I have already began creating my next unit building off of her idea! I was able to participate myself by sharing ideas for how I could use genius hour in my curriculum, as well as sharing some of my reservations for this idea. I was happy to see I was not alone in wondering how to fit such a great idea into the curriculum and welcomed all of the suggestions from those who have used it. This was a great chat that helped further my interest in online PD and also helped me build my PLN. I am looking forward to participating again this week.

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‪#‎gafechat‬ – This chat is for Google Apps for Education and this particular week was on Blogging! I was excited to be a part of this chat because I have recently introduced my students to blogger. Since I am in the beginning stages with this integration, I was eager to hear ideas to use. A great question was about the kids who may not find writing as their best avenue for expressing ideas. Even though I allow choice for student projects, I hadn’t thought about “choice” in the format students were blogging. This was a great idea that helped spark some new ideas for my classroom. Overall, it was a great chat and I was able to connect with many educators who are also using blogs in their classroom. My hope is to find a class to “share” my kids blogs with! Great for authentic audience.

#gafechat

‪#‎edtechchat‬  – This chat discussed digital citizenship. I was excited to be a part of this conversation since my school is trying to set up some standards for this. There was a great conversation about having digital citizenship as a its own class, or making it weave into our current curriculum. In addition, people wondered about how it could be assessed. There were great ideas about incorporating digital citizenship standards into already created rubrics.  Since this chat, I was a part of a tech summit at my school.  I was able to share some ideas from the chat and begin the discussion around how different classes incorporate technology.  My hope is to help my school begin incorporating digital citizenship into our regular classroom routines.

#edtechchat

#inquirychat – This chat was on innovation.  It was a great chat with a lot of ideas.  Teachers explained ideas on how they innovate in their class and provided specific examples.  I was able to connect with a teacher about a new resources, Aurasma.  She sent me an email with her latest presentation to help me learn more about the tool and how she uses it in history class.  I left the chat with some great ideas that I have already incorporated into my current unit.

inquirychat

Webinars –

Primary Sources –  This was put on by Ed Web. This webinar shared some great ways to have students “unpack” difficult primary sources, which is a something many of my 8th graders have a tough time doing. I was happy to walk away with some great strategies I could use right away. I got a great idea of using putting a primary source into a Wordle and seeing which words are used the most. This could help the students generate questions or come to conclusion prior to reading the difficult texts. It could also identify important vocab terms to look up before reading. I already used this strategy and my kids took a lot of great ideas away.

Refreshing your PLN – This was put on by PBS Learning and the hosts provided a lot of great information on ways to connect. One teacher suggested a Google Community where teachers across her district shared technology successes (and even failures). This allowed the teachers to learn from each other and gain valuable feedback. It helps keep teachers in different schools connected.

Primary Sources and PLN

Build Some Content!  Virtual Worlds – This webinar was provided by ISTE Mobile Learning Network.  I have no real experience with virtual worlds, so this was my first exposure to the topic.  Carolyn Lowe shared her personal virtual space and explained how she has set it up for teachers and students to use.  You could essentially rent virtual classroom spaces.  These classrooms were in space, in the forest, underwater, etc.  Carolyn also explained how students could give their presentations in these spaces as well.  She provided many resources and ideas for getting started.

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The Mindset of a Maker Education – This webinar was also provided by ISTE Mobile Learning Network.  Our professor, Jackie Gerstein led the webinar.  This was the most interactive webinar I had participated in.  It gave a chance to reflect on my current practices and really envision how I can incorporate a maker mindset in my classroom.  The visuals and ThingLinks were helpful in gaining a better understanding of how students can be “makers.”  The science teacher on my team and I work very closely and I was excited to share all of the resources with her.  We have had several discussions on how we can give the students more time to create and lead their learning, as well as, make it relevant to both of our courses.

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All of these chats and webinars were informative and have helped me grow as a teacher.  I am in only my second year as a teacher and I am always looking for new ideas and ways to improve my classroom.  Participants were very welcoming and supportive.  I was encouraged to continue participating and asked clarifying questions.  I was excited after each chat and webinar to see my PLN grow and even begin collaborating with them outside of chats.  Currently, I am participating in the TEAM beginning teacher program in Connecticut.  It requires me to set goals, attend pd, review resources, and implement changes in my classroom.  I plan on finding webinars and Twitter chats to help me in this process.

 

 

 

Curating Resources – Blogging in the Classroom — October 10, 2015

Curating Resources – Blogging in the Classroom

PearlTrees was a great tool for curating my resources on Blogging in the Classroom.  I was able to create a board titled: Blog About It!  Using Blogs to Motivate Students.  This will be the topic of a professional development session I will be running in November.  I looked for resources that would help get the teachers started, motivated, and excited about using blogs.  I plan to use these curated resources to spark conversation and be guides for teachers once they leave the PD session.  PearlTrees allowed me to break the board down into sections.  I wanted it to be easy for the teachers to navigate through during and after the PD.  I was also able to annotate the resources.  This would help the teachers pick and choose which resources might be most important to them at the time.  To help me through curating these resources, I used my PLN’s curation criteria.

Click here to view my Blogging in the Classroom curated resources.

Blog About It

You can view my curation evaluation using my PLN’s criteria here.

 

Curation Criteria — October 4, 2015

Curation Criteria

This week I learned about content curation and how to be an effective curator.  Curation is the process of collecting resources and adding meaning to them, in a place where all interested in the topic can view.  Before when I thought of curation, I consider the digital text sets I have created for my students or resources I have shared with my colleagues on different educational topics.  But these examples were more “collections” of resources, rather than curated materials.  Adding meaning plays a large role in becoming a curator rather than a collector.  To assist people in curating material, my PLN members and I created a Curation Criteria Checklist.  We collaborated throughout the week using Google Docs and email to complete our checklist.  Our ideas blended together well and our final product has given me a great checklist to use when curating materials.

I am excited to use the concept of curation in both my professional growth and in my classroom.  Curating materials for professional growth will help me to gain a better understanding of a topic, but putting in a place for for others to view will benefit all in my PLN.  I can also see the benefits in my classroom.  I would love to have my students grow as “curators” of resources.  Many of the resources provided in this module suggested having students curate materials on a topic, rather than have the resources always come from the teacher.  I think this is a great way to have students study a topic, gain ownership in their learning, and practice 21st century skills.

This week I will be curating materials related to my content area.  I am planning to use Scoopit for this assignment and am looking forward to seeing the benefits of a new digital tool!