Ok, so I sit here in class scared to death that I am going to jail because of the fine line may of us educators have tiptoed upon with copyright issues. Not only was this interesting and informational to me, but thinking about it in terms of teaching second graders, how can I teach them about copyright and have them fully understand what it means?


Well interestingly, enough in the past we have had conversations about going to jail. I don’t know what or how this subject was spurred, but for a second grader the mentioning of someone going to jail or even a police officer showing up in our school bring many students to some sense of heightened awareness.


Which brings me to thinking about how can I teach about copyright?


No I am not going to bring in officer Dan and have him scare the shit out of the students about copying things without permission, but I am going to may a concerted effort to teach them this concept as well as teach myself this concept (at least more in-depth).

Ramdom Thought…

If I share my enthusiasm about technology, I will get my students just as enthused and willing to earn about our new tools.

I think that many teachers are too afraid to use these technology tools for fear of not being successful! I always tell my students that you learn from your mistakes – so when technology messes up, what a wonderful way to show your students thinking skills as you tweak your own technology use. Make technology tools teachable moments – Jen 🙂

Weekend blog – late – read on and you will understand!

I haven’t been blogging like I should. I have had a problem with my own cognitive dissonance. Once edublogs gave me trouble over the weekend, I decided to take a few days to rethink what I have learned and then decide what has been of the hardest to disseminate or what I have overall enjoyed.


I haven’t’ really been one to have trouble with technology. The minute technology gives me trouble, I freak out. I don’t freak out in the sense I don’t know how to fix it, I freak out in the sense that I if I cant’ fix it immediately it really bothers me. This weekend our computers have been flakey. Jeremy’s computer is doing something rather weird. He is unable to listen or view anything that I think requires flash. Any website that we visit that has embedded media just simply doesn’t work. It shows us a big Q with a question mark in it. I have tried everything I know uninstalled reinstalled – you name it and I am baffled. Oh well, fix it another day.


So this leads me to a thought about what if this happens in my own classroom. What if there is a problem that I can’t fix tech – wise? It will take days or even weeks for the school to get someone to come and fix it. So there en-lies what I have been grappling with the last week….How do I realistically plan out something incorporating technology when in the past I have had so many let downs at school? DEAL with it!


Deal with it you say? Yes deal with it, find other solutions to my problem. This may mean that I am doing more work at home, saving screen shots, etc – what ever I can think of just to give my students the opportunity to learn 21st century skills.


My biggest gain thus far – and I haven’t lead you to my thoughts about Monday and Tuesday, is that I need to think beyond the tech problems that may occur and set myself up for success- try to plan for the utopian dream!


With out this thinking,  I am setting myself and my students up for failure and that isn’t right!

Is PBL as scary as is sounds?

I think that Problem Based Learning is such a great way for students to learn and keep engaged in the learning process. Does UD still offer courses designed to teach PBL?

What are some examples of PBL in younger grades?


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Reading Selection Musings…

Well Learning in the 21st Century helped me hone in the fears, attitudes and feelings I have about 21st century skills…

I sometimes myself have trouble harnessing technology and thow it can be most powerful. This is hard for me because I have such young students that usually coming in with such limited technology and literacy skills. I sometimes have to teach them how to turn on a computer and the like…so I need to think beyond those types of skills, yes teach them, but then remember that technology is illuminating concepts, raising communication to higher more effective levels.

The key here is using the technology to help the student in what they want to say, not the using of the technology…

So inorder to get them to do this is where learning of computer skills comes in a chart format (chart format in the article…reminds me of our DE computer growth chart) 

Skill Area Written Digital
Technical skills:
Having the technical facility to make “readable” products.
Penmanship, punctuation, vocabulary, syntax, basic grammar. Opening and saving files, inserting text, images or sound, formatting and editing documents, navigating software.
Compositional skills:
Being able to send clear messages that communicate content.
Complex sentence structure, paragraph structure (topic sentence), outlining, descriptive language. “Media & Meaning”
Using all media elements – visuals, sounds, text, layout, animation, etc. – so that each contains and conveys information.
Style and Rhetoric:
Being able to construct a persuasive argument that is tailored to a particular audience.
Essay writing, persuasive writing, creative writing, analytical writing, report writing, use of different styles (journalistic, satirical, etc.), rhetorical devices. “Point of View” & “Audience”
Using all media elements – visuals, sounds, text, layout, animation, etc. – so that each supports and strengthens an argument. Using media elements to build a tone or authorial voice. Making multimedia products that anticipate and respond to the questions and biases of a particular audience.

It may just be that my students can’t perform all the skills, but my job is to provide them with a venue in which to do so?

When I do this how do I get higher order thinking envolved with the technology?


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International Education Cluster

I have mentioned this a few times in class. I was a participant two years ago and last year I was a mentor for current participants in the cluster.

What is it all about?
The International Education Cluster is collaboration between the Delaware Department of Education, DCET and the International Education Resource Network (iEARN),a non-profit global telecommunication network made up of over 4000 schools in nearly 100 countries for teachers and students in K-12.

In this cluster their are two components. The first component, participants take an online class with iEARN in a subject field of their choice (ELA, Social Studies, etc.). This online class prepares you managing and developing your participation in an online prject with other schools/classes from around the world.

The second component of this cluster is the actual implimentation of a project. You don’t actually make a project up on your own, you can pick from a list of projects already organized and started. Then you participate!

Here are the links to more information for the cluster and organizations. Please do look through the iEARN website. You don’t have to take the cluster or class in order to join the iEARN organization. You can sign up (with a fee) and just participate in projects with other countries.

This is an amazing organization! Please do look into more information about it. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Day 3 thinkings…

I still sit here and think about accessability. It drives me crazy that I am in a situation that does not support my current initiatives for technology integration in the classroom. All year long the school commitee that I chaired (the technology commitee) tried again and again to get an hour of time to introduce the teachers to United Streaming. We did pay for it after all..wouldn’t you think they would at least have us utilize it?

 So I am in a situation where it will be an up hill battle. Do I give up or keep trying? Keep trying of course. What would you do or have you done in similar situations?  

Hello there!

I want to let everyone know that I made the switch to Educbolgs! I made this decision after deciding it would be easier to learn about it by working with it. You can visit my initial blog by clicking on this link. I have changed it so that you may comment on what I have posted there. I hope you enjoy!