Final Reflection Blog: EdTech 543

Hello, everyone. As we get closer and closer to the holidays, we know that this course is slowly coming to an end. I have learned so much and am taking a vast amount of new information and resources with me as I move on. Before this course, I had always heard that social media was extremely valuable to utilize in the classroom, but I was not knowledgeable about the appropriate ways to implement it. I honestly did not know where to begin. This course was dedicated to all things social media, which gave me some wonderful ideas of how to provide students with enriching educational experiences with the use of social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, Diigo, Google Plus, and Skype. I also learned how to utilize awesome resources such as Canva and Edmodo. Today, social media is something that most students are vastly familiar with in their day to day lives. In my experience, integrating these tools into the classroom heightens the overall motivation rates and raises engagement levels. Below, I will discuss some projects that I found particularly rewarding throughout this course, and some ideas that I will take with me outside of this class.

Throughout Module 1, we explored and joined the class Facebook, Twitter, and Diigo groups. I quickly learned how easy these resources made sharing information and collaborating with my classmates. I truly cannot believe that I lived without Twitter as an educator for the past 4 years. Early on in this class, I learned that Twitter makes it so easy to obtain several educational resources in the form of websites, pictures, videos, inspirational quotes… you name it! I love the fact that I can type a hashtag into my Tweet Deck, such as #ipadapps, and numerous posts with this hashtag appear. Before this class, I did not even know what a “Tweet Deck” was! It opened my eyes to this huge world that I did not even know existed. The value of Twitter is one of the biggest lessons that I have learned throughout this course and I cannot wait to continue using this resource in my future years as an educator. In Module 2, the idea of a PLN or Personal Learning Network was introduced and again, I was not familiar with this terminology. We formed a PLN with a few other students in the course and I had the pleasure of working with Chris Denny, Carma Rios, and Kristi Christensen. Throughout the course, we worked so well together and created some projects that I am very proud of. One of the most vital aspects of a PLN is to take one another’s ideas seriously and to respect each other. I felt that our PLN went above and beyond in that category and the assignments that we completed together conveyed this well. My favorite project with my PLN was our creation of curation principles using Google Docs. We immediately established our roles within the project and dove right in. Working through that project made it clear that we all brought different, unique aspects into the group and that is what a PLN is all about. In the future, I am planning on establishing my own PLN’s in mathematics to continue learning from others.

Module 3 introduced the idea of digital footprints, and how critical it is for individuals to be mindful of their own digital footprint. I enjoyed the reflective process of this assignment and also enjoyed creating my 10 steps to maintaining a positive digital footprint with Piktochart. Piktochart is a resource that I have added to my own personal toolbox. I love the various pictures, fonts, and formats that are available to showcase anything of your choice! This was one of the most beneficial projects due to the fact that our world is flooded with technology and maintaining a professional, responsible image online is more crucial than ever before. The ideas that I obtained throughout this assignment are ones that I will continue to relay to my students. Module 4 was an exploration of curation, which refers to gathering and organizing content regarding a specific topic in a mindful way. I chose to utilize Scoop It (another online resource that I was unaware of before) and curated resources about assisting English Language Learners in the classroom. I appreciate that this course often gives us the opportunity to choose our own topic. This made the project so valuable and I enjoyed reflecting about a topic that is particularly important in my junior high classroom. I came across some helpful tips in assisting these learners in various formats. We also were given the opportunity to self-reflect and create a self-evaluation. After completing this, I realized that it is very important that the resources included in my curation process have reliable and valid references. We were also to fill out an evaluation of the projects of our PLN members. Opportunities such as this gave me the chance to see how my group members went about the project. Their innovative ideas sparked some imagination in my mind. For example, Kristi curated the topic of encouraging positive self images in women. What a valuable and eye-opening topic, as it is relevant to so many.

One opportunity that we were given in Module 5 was to join and participate in various online communities, such as those within Google Plus. I was able to interact with individuals of various backgrounds, locations, and areas of education with the common goal in mind of helping students succeed. In Module 6, I researched and explored several different specific ways in which schools around the world are utilizing social media strategies and succeeding. I appreciated the fact that we needed to find actual real world case studies of this occurring, not just hypothetical lists. This gave a much more authentic aspect to the week’s assignment and gave me some great ideas of how to implement successful social media projects into my own classroom, relating them to mathematics. Module 7 encouraged us to, with our PLN, create a mini-unit designed around social media tools with plenty of opportunities for student interaction and collaboration. The most beneficial portion of this project, in my opinion, were the peer reviews in which we created a screencast providing a group of our choice with feedback. I enjoyed being given a choice, once again, in both the screencast tool that I used as well as which mini-unit I desired to explore.

It is clear that there are numerous valuable lessons that I have obtained while being a graduate student in EdTech 543. I hold my head high knowing that I am walking away with numerous new ways to help students and to engage them in math class. I am confident that I deserve a grade of 75/75 points for my blog posts throughout this course. I worked very hard to make certain that my posts contained all of the requirements, as well as my own personal spin throughout. I engaged in a great deal of reflection, related each assignment to my passion in the junior high mathematics classroom, and am very grateful for the chance to have been in this class. Thank you all for such a fantastic experience! I look forward to graduating this upcoming May with a Master’s degree in Educational Technology. One semester to go! πŸ™‚

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Social Media Policies

Hello! I hope everyone is having a great Monday! This week, our task was to research social media policies. Then, we were to develop our own list of at least 10 policies for our school or classrooms in helping students to stay safe, mindful, and respectful while utilizing various social media outlets. Please view my social media policies HERE.

In developing my list of social media policies, I explored this document, which my current school district has titled, Boise School District Responsible Use of Technology, Access, and Digital Communication. My in-text citations show how helpful this document was for me to gain a strong idea of technology use policies within our district. The points made within are very informative. I also enjoyed peeking through this Edutopia article entitled How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School. I appreciated the “Questions for Reflection” that the writers offer regarding goals of social media policies. Additionally, in the article Employee Use & Engagement Guidelines, readers are reminded that social media is becoming more and more prominent in schools today, and it is vital to encourage our students to utilize it effectively, efficiently, and safely. The emphasis of avoiding misrepresentation and “posting meaningful, respectful comments” are just a couple of the important points throughout. Furthermore, the article entitled Intel Social Media Guidelines describe the importance of remaining truthful, up-to-date, respectful, and conscientious when utilizing social media. There are some excellent reminders within this article that both students and adults can find beneficial.

As a rewarding community building activity at the beginning of the school year, I will encourage my junior high math students to work in small groups to form our classroom social media policies. Social media is something that students are becoming increasingly familiar and comfortable with, and I feel that this is a perfect ice-breaker and teamwork activity to start the year off right. I have a strong feeling that I will continuously refer back to these policies throughout the year as a helpful reminder for students as they use social media more and more regularly. I will use the guidelines provided in my first paragraph as ways to help guide students throughout this activity, but it will be so informative and awesome to see what they can come up with and brainstorm on their own. I feel that the creation of student posters would be beneficial here, followed by a class gallery walk to share ideas. Finally, after combining the most vital ideas together, I will share the Google Document with parents and administrators in order to receive helpful feedback and suggestions, perhaps in the form of a Google survey. Thank you for reading and exploring my policies!

 

References

Anderson, S. (2012). How to create social media guidelines for your school. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from https://www.edutopia.org/pdfs/edutopia-anderson-social-media-guidelines.pdf

Employee Use & Engagement Guidelines. (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2016, from https://www.tamus.edu/marcomm/socialmedia/employee-guidelines/

Intel Social Media Guidelines. (n.d.). Retrieved November 7, 2016, from http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/legal/intel-social-media-guidelines.html

Responsible Use of Technology, Access, and Digital Communication. (2015). Boise School District. Retrieved November 7, 2016, from:Β https://goo.gl/GfJ6kW

Social Networking in Schools

Hello, all! Happy Halloween! This week, our task was to research various specific ways in which social media tools are utilized in the classroom for projects and assignments. Throughout my research, I found ways that teachers use Twitter, Instagram, Edmodo, Skype, Facebook, and blogs in their classrooms and I found their thoughts to be very insightful! We were told to make certain that our research did not simply consist of suggestions, but that it showed actual ways that teachers have implemented social networking sites into their classrooms. My Scoop It platform shows what I found. Please check it out HERE! For each social media project that I came across, I wrote a paragraph of my own insight, where I discussed how the ideas could be implemented in my own junior high mathematics classroom. I was able to brainstorm some fun connections. You can view these personal paragraphs on my Scoop It site as well. This was a very valuable assignment!

Through this activity, I truly realized how creative teachers, and students, can get with their lessons when social media is involved! It sounded as though they drew students in to a higher degree and made learning fun and exciting! Isn’t that our goal as educators? As we know, most students are already so comfortable with utilizing social media and networking tools that it is almost second nature to them. Showing them how these resources can be educational is extremely vital. For example, Twitter allows us to have full, in depth discussions with individuals of various backgrounds, ethnicities, and interests all around the world right from home. It is pretty incredible that most of us can have access to these tools at any time! Tools such as these spread our students’ wings and remind them that there is such a big world out there and that they are lucky to be part of it. In our math classroom, my students could tweet to various math organizations and ask questions regarding the concepts that we are learning in class. For example, they could ask the Mathematical Association of America about using equations in the real world. It would excite them so much to obtain a response! Throughout my research, I found that a teacher utilized Instagram as a way for her students to learn more about Martin Luther King Junior. I would love to use Instagram for my students to learn more about famous mathematicians, such as Pythagoras. They could upload pictures reminding them of Pythagoras and his discoveries and use our class hashtag to share pictures and collaborate.

One of the most interesting parts of my research process was when I came across an organization called “KnowGlobe,” where teachers utilize Skype to have their students communicate with students of various parts of the world. This can make a teacher’s lesson much more “real” and authentic! Resources such as Facebook also provide students with the invaluable opportunity to learn from each other and provide one another with helpful feedback. I appreciate the teachers that create a class Facebook page and encourage students to collaborate within it to discuss any misconceptions or concerns about the material being taught in class. I have always believed that students can be incredible resources for each other with regards to their learning. There is also nothing more rewarding than watching students be kind to one another and help each other out.Β I also feel that implementing a class blog would be so beneficial, as it would give students the opportunity to ask questions and view other students’ thoughts on various topics. Additionally, I learned, through this activity, that Edmodo allows teachers to take polls in class and receive results in no time at all! That could be so awesome to see how well students are understanding concepts. If several students are not grasping a certain aspect of my math lesson, I can immediately recognize that and review material in a more goal-oriented way. Edmodo also gives students the opportunity to collaborate by making comments on the polls. This personalizes it and allows for more educational interaction and positive communication with one another. I hope that you will view my Scoop It platform above where I make more connections to social media within my junior high math classroom. Thank you for reading!

PLE Diagram

Hello, all! Thanks for stopping by! This week, our goal was to create an original diagram depicting our understanding of Personal Learning Environments. A requirement was to include images of various online communities that we find beneficial and show how they fit in with the components of our PLE. Please view the image that I created using Canva HERE.

When I created my image, I chose to use the symbolism of a popsicle. The stick is the foundation that holds the popsicle upright and allows for the stability and balance of indulging in the yummy treat. Therefore, I used the “explore and research” component at the bottom, because this step in forming a Personal Learning Environment often serves as the foundation piece. Next, I chose to place “discuss” and “share” as vital aspects in the center of the popsicle with several essential online communities to represent them. These serve as the thick center of the treat and, in my opinion, the most crucial, and delicious, part! The top portion of the popsicle represents the “creation” component, which cannot occur near as effectively and efficiently without the elements underneath. A popsicle is clearly incomplete without a stick, thick center, and top portion, as is a PLE without the elements of exploring, researching, discussing, sharing, and creating. The components all combine together to form many smiles on many faces! As I engaged in this process, I recognized how crucial online communities truly are within the world of education and that I am part of this process daily as a passionate educator. I also love that my EdTech 543 classmates and I chose to work through this activity in different ways but that they all bring forth the same valuable and rewarding message.

For my comparative analysis of 6 classmates’ projects, I chose to examine the PLE diagrams of Carma, Chris, Jasmine, David, Buffy, and Ally.

Carma chose to represent her PLE as an input and output machine visual with a picture of herself in the center portion. We used many of the same online learning communities, such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. She included both Snapchat and Skype, which are resources that I did not include, but wish that I had! I felt that her diagram depicted the fact that without these various components, the machine cannot run near as smoothly. She did not choose to include any key “overarching” words in her diagram, which is different from mine.

Chris has a very simple yet effective visual with “research,” “connect,” and “communicate” as his overarching ideas. These are very similar to the key words that I used throughout my picture as well. We used many of the same online learning communities, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, WordPress, Canva, and YouTube. We also both created our visuals using the online resource, Canva. There were a few icons on his diagram that I do not recognize and am planning to ask him about these! The arrows depict the constant relationship between the elements, as they continuously “flow” together. In my diagram, I also used an arrow visual showing that the elements connect.

Jasmine chose to represent her PLE diagram with a Christmas tree visual. The diagram is colorful and includes several online learning community icons as ornaments. We use many of the same community resource icons, such as Diigo, Pinterest, Google Drive, Twitter, WordPress, Google Plus, Facebook, Powtoon, and YouTube. We also had the same idea in terms of utilizing overarching key words. She used a “C” theme with “Collaborate,” “Create,” “Communicate,” and “Collect,” which have very similar meanings to the terms that I used throughout my diagram. She used some resources that I did not include, such as Gmail, Audacity, Google Docs, and Piktochart. These are all resources that I have used in the past and have found incredible value in! In her diagram, the ornaments combine to tie the tree together beautifully and create a lovely holistic visual of meaningful connections.

David used a laptop computer as a center visual and, using arrows, showed how the four steps of “Publishing,” “Connecting,” “Collecting,” and “Reflecting” all intertwine. I love that he uses the word “reflecting,” as I feel that this is one of the most vital processes in our world today. If we do not engage in reflection, numerous disadvantages occur. He uses many of the same online communities that my classmates and I use and his diagram is very organized and structured. Like many of my classmates, he uses the same online community icon in several steps. I did not do this, but understand that they can be used in various steps throughout the visual.

Buffy chose to utilize “Four C’s” as overarching words, just as Jasmine did in her diagram, complete with a picture of a young girl talking to another creature in the center. Around them, there are several icons of online learning communities. I appreciate that Buffy included the phrase, “Personal Learning Environments Help You To…” This serves as a great reminder that PLEs are here to HELP us in this crazy thing that we call life. We are so focused in on so many different things. It is a nice way of remembering that PLEs exist to assist us and help us to become better educators and collaborators. She included an “Instagram” icon in her diagram, which I wish I would have done! Instagram serves as an excellent way of communicating, sharing helpful information, and collecting resources.

Ally used a visual representing unity and used different colored hands, touching one another, to show the various aspects of Personal Learning Environments. Just as I did, she chose to include the word “Explore” in her diagram and I appreciate that she chose to include our Boise State University icon in the “Collaborate” portion. I had not thought of doing this and I feel that it is definitely beneficial to include. She created her visual using Piktochart, which is an online resource that seems similar to Canva. I cannot wait to further explore Piktochart, as this is a very unique and fun visual!

This was such a rewarding assignment and I was thankful to be part of it!

Real Time and Live Virtual Professional Development

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by! Over the past few weeks, our goal has been to attend 4 Twitter chats as well as 4 live webinar sessions! This was such a fun experience and I truly learned quite a bit throughout. It was eye-opening to see how fast I could connect with individuals all over the world with numerous different backgrounds. Immediately, I could recognize that we did all have a passion in mind and that was education.

In the Twitter chats, I was able to obtain several helpful resources from teachers of all grade levels, many of which focused on technology-based activities as well as differentiating instruction. The hashtags that I explored were #mschat, #education, #edchat, and #edtech. I learned about several mobile and iPad apps that could be useful for the future. My favorite new mobile app that I learned about is called Photomath! This year, I have several below grade level students, as well as many at grade level and above that could benefit from this. It was also fun to “bond” with other junior high teachers from across the globe and read their thoughts regarding the current educational barriers and cultural stereotypes that are limiting their students. Of course, we can talk to our friends, spouses, parents, siblings, etc. about our educational obstacles, but other teachers are those that truly understand.

Twitter provides an excellent outlet to gain insight from other professionals that are mindful of the same experiences. A couple of quotes that resonated with me within the Twitter chats were, “This I believe- students who are not challenged are cheated” and “Students who are taught to think for themselves are better equipped to face the future.” Throughout the chats, I shared some articles, quotes, and resources that I have found helpful in my own career as an educator and responded to others when something that they shared excited me.

The live webinars that I attended were truly fascinating. I saw a woman enter a webinar from India and my first thought was how unbelievable the world of technology really is. The connections and perspectives that we can gain from individuals so far from us is unbelievable. It is also a great reminder of how fortunate we really are to have these resources with the touch of a button. I attended 4 webinars, which included one with Shelly Fryer, a featured teacher from Oklahoma who teaches 3rd and 4th grade. She teaches at a school of only homeless children and her experiences were incredible to listen to. I connected using Classroom 2.0 Live and quickly learned that she uses several video recordings to show her students describing and showcasing what they have learned. Their smiles, even with such a difficult background, say it all. The community in her classroom is clearly very close-knit and it was very apparent that students enjoy being in her classroom. Her school is fortunate to have 1:1 iPad classrooms and therefore, she is passionate about the difference that iPads can make in student learning and engagement. Her main goal is to help students develop a true love of learning. I think that is one goal that all teachers should encompass.

I also attended a webinar entitled, “The New Identity of Adaptive Math.” In this webinar session, Nigel Green, vice-president of User Experience of DreamBox Learning was the primary presentor. Adaptive technologies can make a crucial difference when differentiating instruction. Knowing how to best adapt to various different learning styles is so important and becoming more prominent in this day and age. I also loved that this webinar focused strictly on math, and I connected with it on a deeper, more personal level. As we learned, with adaptive technology, “Lessons can, and usually do, assess one or more skills, pieces of knowledge or conceptual understanding.” Students receive a score for each interaction and are great opportunities to see learner progress and provide students with extra practice and scaffolding. I could see adaptive technology strategies being greatly beneficial for my struggling below-grade level seminar students. Additionally, a webinar entitled “Leading for Writing Fluency: Language and Basic Skills Fluency for Argumentation and Editing” emphasized how vital it is to provide students with the opportunities to engage in educational arguments as well as coming up with their own questions throughout activities. Kevin Baird, Chairman of the board at the nonprofit EdCenter focuses on stronger writing, vocabulary, and comprehension strategies throughout this webinar, which, even as a math teacher, I connected with due to the heavier requirements of writing in the Common Core math curriculum. The speaker also connects his thoughts with students of all ages, which was helpful for a lot of the teachers present.

Lastly, I attended a live webinar that centered around dyslexia and was entitled, “2016 Dyslexia Research and Remediation.” Dyslexia is something that I have very limited knowledge of, but the speaker, Marty Burns, Ph.D., discusses ways to recognize dyslexia early and how it affects students of all ages in terms of reading impairments. As far as I know, I have never had a student with dyslexia, but I may in the future and it is vital that I am aware of the different challenges that these learners face. The visuals of the brain level differences of students with dyslexia versus students without were fascinating. Fast ForWard products were discussed, which are technological tools that exercise essential cognitive and life skills for these students. I did not like this webinar as much as the others due to the fact that I did not find a way to interact with the others in the session other than answering simple poll questions. I did not see an opportunity to chat live with other users. Overall, attending the webinars was an excellent experience and I look forward to attending more in the future.

Please view some screenshots of my personal involvement within the Twitter chats and live virtual webinars below.

My PLN Reviews #3: Curated Topics

Chris Denny: Educational Technology

  • Are there many articles on the subject? – Yes. There are 25 articles shown regarding the topic.
  • Is the content gathered from many different sources? – Yes. There is a wide variety of information from several different sources.
  • Does the curated content include a variety of media (i.e. blog posts, journal articles, infographics, videos, etc.)? – Yes. The curated content is gathered from multiple sources. Videos, website articles, and blogs are provided.
  • Does this evidence have substance? Is it credible? – Yes. The articles have good resources and helpful information.
  • Does this evidence tell the story you’re looking for? – While the topic is extremely beneficial and relevant, I definitely feel focusing on educational technology as a whole is much too large and a bit overwhelming. A specific focus of a tool, for example, or a group of learners that educational technology could benefit, would have been more helpful.
  • Is there any inherent bias with the originator of the evidence or with you toward the evidence? – I do not feel that any bias was used throughout this curation process.
  • Is the bias unfounded? – No. I do not feel that any bias is present.
  • Is the information presented relevant to the target audience? – Yes. We are all graduate students of Educational Technology and therefore, the information provided was rewarding to all of us.
  • Is the information true to the topic of the curation? – Yes. I appreciated that specific educational technology ideas such as using Twitter and improving classroom management are discussed. This made looking through your resources fun and unpredictable.
  • Are the resources annotated and presented in an organized manner? – The resources appear very structured and organized.
  • Does each piece of content bring something unique and engaging to the table? – Yes. Several informative resources are described and I appreciated the personalized insight.
  • Do the pieces come together to create a bigger, clearer picture? – Yes. The varying perspectives complement each other well.
  • Does all information have references? – Yes.
  • Is the content presented using a tool specific to curation? – Yes. A Scoop It platform is utilized.
  • Is the curated content shared with and accessible to others with similar interests? – Yes. This curated content is shared with other Educational Technology graduate students using Facebook. We are all focusing on how to best utilize educational technology inside of our classroom walls and therefore, several individuals could benefit from these resources and tools.
  • What is important to the reader? – Educational Technology has several proven ways to help make the classroom environment more engaging and motivating for students of all ages. There are several ways to integrate educational technology efficiently and effectively within the classroom, but it does take time and effort to implement. The rewards are well worth it.

My PLN Reviews #2: Curated Topics

Kristi Christensen: Teaching Women’s Health- Positive Self Image

  1. Are there many articles on the subject? – The requirement of this project was 25, but I only see 21 articles on the Scoop It page.
  2. Is the content gathered from many different sources? – Yes. There is a wide variety of information from several different sources.
  3. Does the curated content include a variety of media (i.e. blog posts, journal articles, infographics, videos, etc.)? – Yes. The curated content is gathered from multiple sources. Videos, images, and website articles are provided.
  4. Does this evidence have substance? Is it credible? – Yes. The resources have excellent resources and information regarding women’s self-images.
  5. Does this evidence tell the story you’re looking for? – Yes. Great evidence is provided regarding helping women have a positive self-image.
  6. Is there any inherent bias with the originator of the evidence or with you toward the evidence? – I do not feel that any bias was used throughout this curation process.
  7. Is the bias unfounded? – No. I do not feel that any bias is present.
  8. Is the information presented relevant to the target audience? – Yes. The resources provided are extremely relevant to this health topic of helping women have a positive self-image. This is a very important, powerful subject.
  9. Is the information true to the topic of the curation? – Yes. All women deserve to feel beautiful and the information provided can help them develop more self-confidence.
  10. Are the resources annotated and presented in an organized manner? – The resources appear very structured and organized.
  11. Does each piece of content bring something unique and engaging to the table? – Yes. Several informative resources are described and I appreciated the personalized insight.
  12. Do the pieces come together to create a bigger, clearer picture? – Yes. The varying perspectives complement each other well.
  13. Does all information have references? – Yes.
  14. Is the content presented using a tool specific to curation? – Yes. A Scoop It platform is utilized.
  15. Is the curated content shared with and accessible to others with similar interests? – Yes. This curated content is shared with other Educational Technology graduate students using Facebook. Many women, and men, will find these articles insightful.
  16. What is important to the reader? – In this day and age, social media and criticism are prominent. Any resources that can help women maintain a positive self-image are essential and deserve to be recognized.

My PLN Reviews #1: Curated Topics

Carma Rios: Math Online Education

  1. Are there many articles on the subject? – Yes. There are several articles available regarding math online education.
  2. Is the content gathered from many different sources? – Yes. There are many showcased sources throughout.
  3. Does the curated content include a variety of media (i.e. blog posts, journal articles, infographics, videos, etc.)? – Yes. The curated content is gathered from multiple sources, including videos, extra help websites, and articles.Β  More engaging blog posts could have been used that could have provided some personal information and ideas on the topic (with credible references, of course).
  4. Does this evidence have substance? Is it credible? – Yes. The resources have good resources and information that many may find helpful for their careers in the classroom. Many resources are also from professionals who specialize in this content.
  5. Does this evidence tell the story you’re looking for? – The resources were helpful. I felt that there should have been a few personalized “insight” sentences underneath each, written by the curator, to tell the reader a bit more about the resources and why the specific resource was chosen.
  6. Is there any inherent bias with the originator of the evidence or with you toward the evidence? – I do not feel that any bias is present.
  7. Is the bias unfounded? – No. I do not feel that any bias is present.
  8. Is the information presented relevant to the target audience? – Yes. The target audience are readers who wish to learn more about math online education. The resources do just that.
  9. Is the information true to the topic of the curation? – Yes. I feel that all educators should stay current on how to provide students with extra help with online tools.
  10. Are the resources annotated and presented in an organized manner? – The resources are organized.
  11. Does each piece of content bring something unique and engaging to the table? – Yes. Many different tools are shown.
  12. Do the pieces come together to create a bigger, clearer picture? – Yes. I like that the list discusses different aspects of online education such as the Common Core curriculum and game-based learning, for example.
  13. Does all information have references? – Yes.
  14. Is the content presented using a tool specific to curation? – Yes. It is curated with a Scoop It platform.
  15. Is the curated content shared with and accessible to others with similar interests? – Yes. This curated content is shared with other Educational Technology graduate students using Facebook.
  16. What is important to the reader? – Students can find success using extra help online tools and resources. This is a vital aspect of education that educators, and guardians at home, should be aware of and up to date on.

Curated Educational Topic: English Language Learners

Hey, everyone! This week, our task was to choose an educational topic, relevant to our current taught grade level and content area, and curate the topic. I found several resources regarding the subject and tried to align them to the list of criteria that my Personal Learning Network (PLN) created as much as possible. I focused on assisting English Language Learners in the classroom for this activity and found some very beneficial resources and tools! This has always been a subject that I have been passionate about and my goal was to learn more about it. My Scoop It project shows the layout of the curated topic. You can find it here.

The criteria that my PLN created for curating a topic can be found at this Google Doc. Using this list, I will be evaluating myself as well as my group members’ projects below.

Self-Evaluation:

  1. Are there many articles on the subject? – Yes. There are several articles available regarding English Language Learners in the classroom and how to make their educational experiences more beneficial.
  2. Is the content gathered from many different sources? Yes. There is a wide variety of information that has surfaced regarding this topic and therefore, it is necessary to go through the various sources to find the strongest and most innovative, understandable content.
  3. Does the curated content include a variety of media (i.e. blog posts, journal articles, infographics, videos, etc.)? – Yes. The curated content is gathered from multiple sources, including YouTube and other video resources, newspaper articles, and other websites. In the future, I will make an effort to include blog posts, as I feel that this is a great idea and can provide some personal insight.Β 
  4. Does this evidence have substance? Is it credible?Yes. The resources have excellent resources and information regarding English Language Learners and I have discovered several ideas that I will use in the future within my classroom. The resources are also from professionals who specialize in this content.
  5. Does this evidence tell the story you’re looking for? – Yes. Some of the articles and videos that I found were not helpful to the topic, nor were they informative with in-depth ideas. These, however, give interesting approaches to helping ELL students in the classroom, while providing good background information as well.
  6. Is there any inherent bias with the originator of the evidence or with you toward the evidence? – I truly do not feel that any bias was used throughout this curation process. My goal was to find ideas that could help English Language Learners in the classroom and my Scoop It platform shows just that.
  7. Is the bias unfounded?No. I do not feel that any bias is present.
  8. Is the information presented relevant to the target audience?Absolutely. The target audience are adult educators that wish to learn more about helping ELL students succeed in the classroom. The words and visuals are helpful for just that.
  9. Is the information true to the topic of the curation? – Yes. I feel that all educators should stay current on how to best assist ELL students of all ages more effectively within the classroom. It is our duty to provide the best education possible to all students, to the best of our abilities, and these students are just as deserving as any of the other individuals that step foot inside of our classroom walls.
  10. Are the resources annotated and presented in an organized manner? – I did not annotate them, as that was not a requirement of this project, but the resources appear very structured and organized.
  11. Does each piece of content bring something unique and engaging to the table? – Absolutely. I made it a point to choose content that brings several beneficial ideas to the topic of English Language Learners. There are a variety of ideas and tools discussed.
  12. Do the pieces come together to create a bigger, clearer picture? – I do feel that the pieces of information come together in a clear way. They will, as a whole, provide educators with stronger ideas of how to help all students achieve.
  13. Does all information have references? – To be honest, I could have done a better job of, and spent more time, making certain that all the information that I provided showed great references. To the best of my knowledge, the information was excellent and originated from respected sources.
  14. Is the content presented using a tool specific to curation? – Absolutely. I curated this topic with an organized Scoop It platform.
  15. Is the curated content shared with and accessible to others with similar interests? – Yes. This curated content is shared with my peers on our EdTech Facebook page as well as my blog website. I feel that many other students in our class could benefit from the ideas and information that I found regarding ELL students. The great aspect of this project is that I found ideas that could benefit ALL students.
  16. What is important to the reader? – This was such a beneficial project. It is difficult, in my opinion, to decide which resources are beneficial and which ones could be stronger. However, the list of criteria that my PLN brainstormed is highly rewarding and has helped me throughout this research process. I will most definitely be utilizing these thoughts in the future as I continue to research throughout my career.