Convergence and Mobility

  • What should be included in the acceptable use policy?
    • Here is an example of an app that I made that could be downloaded by parents teachers or administrators to access my High School Policy

    QR CODEQR code will take you to my Classroom Technology App that is accessible to all parents, students and administration

    Students are required to fill out the contract under the comments section after looking through the entire application


     Note to Parents and Students:

    In my classroom I believe that students should be provided the opportunity to be responsible individuals are use their devices appropriately during the school day. At the beginning of the semester I will spend time with each class discussing digital citizenship and teaching students the proper ways to be using various technologies. I believe that it is very important to incorporate the use of smart phones into lessons, so I will aim to use sites such as Poll Everywhere as a tool to engage students. Since I plan to incorporate many activities that involve smartphone use, I will allow students to have their phones at their desk, but they have to be faced down. From previous experience I know that students will be less distracted if they are able to see a text and answer it right away as opposed to feeling it vibrate in their bag, and then wondering all lesson what the message may have said. However if the students become irresponsible and abuse this rule and are constantly on their phone it will be taken away for the remainder of the class.

    Another aspect that I plan to touch on is serious issues such as cyber bullying. I hope that I can achieve a sense of community within my classroom to avoid any chances of bullying of any kind. However, I want to make sure that students are aware of the affects of cyber bullying, what it looks like, and additional resources to help them out if they were ever out in this type of situation. If a student is caught using their devices to cyber bully another, administration will be involved and that student will lose their privileges to use their phone in class all together.

     If students cannot use their phones respectfully and responsibly during class, they will be taken away

    Phones will be placed in an envelope that will be sealed, and signed by the student, so that they know that their phone has not been tampered with throughout the day. If a phone is taken away it will be locked in a cupboard in the room to also ensure that it is not stolen

    Policy Guidelines:

    1)   Devices are allowed to be used during individual classroom work, as long as the assignments and daily work are completed on time and meet the expectations

    2)   Devices are not permitted to be used during instruction, demonstration or presentations

    3)   Devices will be taken away if they become a distraction to anyone’s learning

    4)   No photos or videos are to be taken in class, unless instructed to do so for educational purposes

    5)   No playing games or watching videos, unless instructed to do so for educational purposes

    6)   Devices will not be used as a way to terrorize or make fun of others

    7)   ZERO tolerance for cyber bullying

  • How can these devices strengthen learning?
    • When students are engaged in their learning there is a higher chance that they will take away a higher level of learning. Using devices in the classroom directly plays with students interests and are an easy way to gain their attention. There are so many different ways as well that devices can be used in the classroom, whether it be through the calculator to solve a quick math problem, or accessing higher level apps to enhance a students understanding of a topic. With all there is to do with these devices I believe that it is so important to access the good ways to use them, rather then allowing students to become distracted with the “bad” ways. Overall I think that if students are engaged they are going to absorb more information, and if they are interested in technology and cellphones, then we as teachers need to tap into these interests to help them achieve the highest level of learning.
  • How should teachers begin to bring them in?
    • At the beginning I think it is extremely important for teachers to start off with a lesson on appropriate use of technology in the classroom. After this specific lessons should be brought in the focus on the use of mobile devices within the lesson. Teachers also need to stand by any policy that they have in their classroom. If students lose the privilege to have cellphones in the class if used in the wrong way, then teachers need to stick with that.
    • Once cellphones become part of the culture within a classroom setting they will become less of a distraction. If they are a part of each lesson within the day I believe students will be engaged, thus less likely to mentally check out and turn to social media distractions
    • Below are 10 Ways that Teachers can use mobiles in the classroom that are exciting to students
    • 10-exciting-ways-to-use-mobile-phones-inside-the-classroom-thumbnail_537a07b13bb02
  • Can you think of any applications of mobile Internet devices that will change the nature of learning rather then replacing existing methods?
    • Downloading an mp3 version of an audio book can be a very useful track to have on a smartphone, especially for students that struggle with reading. If you have a student that has trouble reading and may be at a level further behind the rest of their peers you can have them listen to an audio book while they are looking at their own book while reading. Not only will it help them to hear how words are supposed to be pronounced, it can also help them to understand further what it going on in the book. I used to always listen to audio books for plays while I was reading them in a number of my University Drama courses. For one of my classes I had to design a set of costumes for a play, and had very minimal time to complete the assignment. I am a student that is a slow reader that can get distracted very easily. Allowing myself to listen to the audio track while reading kept me on focus, as well as engaged me further in the reading being able to listen to actors add their voices and expressions the the text.
  • How to deal with classroom distractions?
    • Edudemic is a great site that has a number of different ways to help teachers with bringing technology into the classroom. One of the sites that they have published is 7 Ways to Deal With DIgital Distractions in the Classroom. A brief list includes
      • End the Myth of Multitasking
      • Don’t completely ban smartphones- teach students how to be accountable
      • Have your content written in a way that is similar to how they read- format should be short and sweet, getting to the important information
      • Play on students different distractions- the site gives the example of having an addicted texter to write an entire story through text messaging
      • Don’t post all of your lessons online. Doing so allows students to tune out of lessons since they are able to access the information outside of the classroom
      • Teach students the importance of grit- completeing long term work and achieving goals when faced with distractions or setbacks

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Web Awareness I

When Filters Fail

One thing that I experienced first hand in PS1 was how often filters seemed to fail when students were surfing the Internet. While researching information about animals for a science project there were a number of students that came up to me with inappropriate photos that popped up in Google images. Since this came to be an occurrence I took the extra time to find websites that had all of the information that each student would need to complete their assignment. Since the students were only in grade three it worked well to give them a large list of sites that contained the information that they needed. It controlled the sites that they were using, as well as gave them the freedom to explore each of the sites, and finding the information without me telling them.

During this practicum I also found it frustrating that the school had YouTube blocked. While I believe that there are many videos that are not appropriate for the classroom, there were many times that I would want to show a video to enhance a lesson. I was still able to find videos that were educational on other sites that related to my lessons, but I found that there are numerous occasions where the YouTube videos would have been more valuable.

Should Filters Exist?

While I have mentioned some downfalls to filters above, I think that they are still very important. In an elementary and junior high setting I think that the filters need to be a lot more strict especially because students are still learning about the internet and could accidentally stumble upon many inappropriate sites without a filter in place. Even a simple spelling mistake could lead students to some questionable content if they were to do a google search

 Use of Internet at Home

I also had the experience of seeing students misuse the Internet while at home. During the school day we would talk about being safe and using the Internet in an appropriate way, but there wasn’t really a way of telling how they were using the Internet at home, except for seeing their use of Razkids and other educational sites. One day I had a student come up to me and tell me that she had been looking up pictures of dead babies. After calling her family about what she had said, her mother had no idea that this was the type of activity that was happening on their computer at home. The family said that they would be using more diligence in supervising what sorts of sites their children were using.


While I don’t think that it is right for a teacher to be telling parents what sorts of sites their children should or shouldn’t use, I think it is important to keep open communication about each other’s expectations. To do this I think it is important for teachers to send out a policy about how the Internet will be used in the classroom setting as well as a set of rules and expectations that students are to follow. On the policy there would be an area for parents to sign their agreement as well as write down any concerns they may have. After the policy I think that it would be very important to send weekly updates to parents about exactly what sorts of assignments students will be taking part in and what sorts of Internet sites they may be using.

Below are sites that contain examples of policies that are used in elementary classrooms:

Credibility and Accuracy

When working on a research project on endangered species with my Grade 3 class there were a number of students that came across websites that seemed to be credible. As the students were showing me the species that they had decided to do their project on I could tell right away that some of them were on sites that were not accurate sources. Two of the students found a site that had pictures of an animal that was “endangered” as well as other information about the animal. When I clicked on another tab on the site it showed that the author had created the creatures. This was a great realization moment for me teaching to show that students are not able to decipher between accurate information, and that they may believe anything that they come across. After this we discussed what websites would be valuable to use for this sort of research and as a class we brainstormed a list including kids planet, world wide life foundation, and enchanted learning.


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Web Awareness II

Digital Citizenship

To me digital citizenship is all about the safe and responsible use of the Internet. This should be in everyday use, as well as teaching others the importance of being a compliant Internet user. I believe that there are a number of different categories that are important to be a aware of when being a digital citizen.

-Safety: This includes knowing about the dangers that are on the net. These could be predators on chat rooms, or individuals performing identity theft. With this it is important to teach students not to give out personal information over the net, and the dangers of online chatrooms that aren’t related to educational sites. With this I would teach students about proper privacy settings, and how to protect their identity online by using unique usernames.

-Authenticity: This category would include plagiarism, accuracy, and credible sources. With students I would teach them the 5 Ws 1H about how to read a website to decipher if it is a reliable source. It will also be important to teach them how to be authentic ensuring that they are not using anyone else’s work unless it is properly cited.

-Cyberbullying: With all the different types of websites and social media sites and applications I think that it is very important to teach students about cyberbullying. Teaching them about what it is, as well as the different forms that it may include. I think it is also important to teach students what to do if they or someone else they know is a victim of cyberbullying. This may be talking to a parent or teacher, or accessing outside sources like Kids Help Phone (Great resource for teaching kids all about cyberbullying)

Below is a photo that encompasses my above beliefs on what to teach students that specifically relates to Facebook

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Edutopia has a great site that dicusses ways to for teaching digital citizenship to students  in an elementary classroom. The site includes links to lesson resources, online learning tools, and tools that incorporate social networks

How am I a Digital Citizen?

When I am using social media sites I have each of them at the highest privacy settings. On Facebook for example I do not add anyone that I do not know, and I have made it so that only individuals that have friends with common with me can even search for me on the site. I have to approve any photos before I am tagged in them, and only my friends can see any content that is published to my page. I have also decided to not include my last name on Facebook, just encase the above fails. On the other hand I have created Instagram and Twitter accounts used for teaching, that include my last name. I constantly search my name on google to look at my digital footprint and am fine with those accounts to show up if students were to search my name. With this I still keep the accounts private so that random individuals are not following me, but they are accounts that I can give to students that are educational, and model what proper Internet use should be.

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Google is an application that I have been using for many years, but not to its fullest potential. It wasn’t until a year or two ago that I created a gmail account, or used googles docs. During this specific course I have become acquainted with a lot more aspects of the site including Hangouts, and the more I use each app the more I fall in love with google. During my time in the Ed Faculty I had found this site to be such a valuable collaboration tool. During on campus classes I would use it during any group assignment even if my entire group was siting at the same table in the curriculum lab. It was an easy way for us to all create a presentation or document at the same time. I also was part of the PSI and PSII drive where lesson plans and assignments were shared all on one space. Each subject was divided into subject and grade level to keep everything organized and easily accessible.

Socrative vs PollEveryWhere

In the past I have used similar site to secretive like PollEveryWhere. It was a great site that I was able to use to formatively assess the progress of my students. In terms of collaboration I used it as an open ended question where I would put one of the major themes present in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Students would then text in their answers on specific examples that they found in the novel that directly related to the theme.
When looking at both videos below on Socrative and PollEveryWhere I am more drawn to Socrative and am intrigued to start using the site in my future classrooms. I believe that the site would be more beneficial as you are able to look at reports and know how each student is doing. With PollEveryWhere all answers are anonymous so you are able to formative assess the students as a whole group, but not individually.

One of the elements of Socrative that I do question is the use of a space race. While I think that majority of the students would be engaged and find it to be a fun activity, I think that some students may be overwhelmed with having to quickly complete a quiz. I know that if I was a student and saw that I was way behind on the race I would feel incompetent.


I think that Padlet will be a great resource in an Elementary classroom. It has a simply layout and is easy to use. I think that it is also something that would be engaging to students as you can add a number of different resources onto the one page. There are a number of ways that this application could be used within a classroom, but the example below is something that I think could be used on a daily basis in my future classrooms.

-During work in the computer lab, or when students are doing individual work in the classroom Erin Klein uses padlet to see where students are at in their assignments. As a teacher it can sometimes be hard to make it around to each student in the room when they are working silently on an assignment. Using padlet to see where each student is at will help to decide which students to spend more time with to get caught up, which students has specific questions that need answered, or which students are well on their way and may be moving onto the next assignment.

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Before looking at wikis I had a preference for google docs, but I really enjoy the history button with wikis. This way you can not only monitor group participation to allocate marks in an assignment, but you can also ensure that no cyberbullying has slipped under your teacher radar

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Publishing– I really enjoyed taking a look at all the different forms of publishing this week. When students are able to publish their work on the net it may give them a greater sense of purpose, as well as add a chance for connection with other individuals besides the peers that they work with on a day to day basis.

Digital stories

I think that the digital stories are great to use especially with a younger classroom. It helps students to share their visions, and can also help with students specific learning styles. For a student that is an auditory and visual learning, it can be so much more beneficial to be able to not only see but hear their story come to life online. It can also be beneficial for students that are learning at a lower rate and may not have mastered the motor skills needed for using a hand writing utensil. Having digital stories allows students to either use their voice for their story, or they can’t type out their story.

After some research I came across Kathy Schrock’s blog that includes everything that you need to know about digital storytelling. Take a look at some of the links as I find them to be very beneficial.

The categories the she has listed include:

-Digital storytelling standards

-Classroom Ideas and Practices

-Assessment and Research

-Great Resources From Smart People

-Tools to Support Digital Storytelling

-Digital Storytelling Books

-Digital Storytelling Samples


I love the idea of using webquests in the classroom. I think it is such a great tool to utilize to have to students be the centre of the learning inquiring all of the information. It is something that is very engaging to students in a world that is filled with so much technology. The following website has a few examples of webquests that have been specifically made for division I students. Even though some of the examples have specific links that students are looking at, I think it is useful for that age as they may need a little more assistance finding sources that are credible versus an older student that is able to inquire which websites to find the needed information on. (note the webquests are made for Maryland Learning Outcomes, but they give you idea on how webquests can work with younger grades.

Flipped Classroom

In theory I think that the flipped classroom sounds like a really great idea to ensure that students are not just absorbing information given to them, but that they are truly gaining an understanding for it. However I am not sure if it is realistic to have each student learning 100% of the content outside of the classroom. There are many outside factors that I think could prevent students from being able to complete the prior learning:

-Not having the proper resources (computer or connection to internet)

-Extracurricular commitments

-Unstable home lives

I also wonder how the flipped classroom would work if you were teaching in a school that had a no homework policy. Perhaps time could be set aside for one particular flipped lesson each week, and the day before would have a period allocated to students learning the content.

The second thing I thought about was how it would work to Flip an Elementary Classroom. The following information comes from Jon Bergmann and his advice on how to flip and Elementary classroom

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Communication III

Social Media 2014

After looking at this image I wanted to take the time to look some of these forms of Social Media, what they do, and how they potentially could be used within the class room setting. I am not going to go into details behind twitter, blogging, or instagram in the classroom, since I have already discussed that topic in my previous posts. Hope you enjoy!


Facebook is a social networking platform that was created by Mark Zuckerberg. The original intent was that the website would be used by College and University students, as a was to connect with others. Facebook has become one of the most popular social media platforms in terms of users, however its popularity with todays students has dropped. According to an article by the Huffington Post, students are not using Facebook because it is a site that their parents use. Instead they are turning to more up to date sites like twitter and Instagram, which are more relevant in their lives.


Ways to use Facebook in the classroom- One way that I believe would be a fun way to engage students with Facebook and be used in an appropriate way, would be to create online profile for characters relevant in a novel they are reading as  a part of an English class, or create a profile for an historical character in a Social Studies class, or Scientist. With these profiles students could write on each others walls and interact in a way that would be relevant to the persons profile that they have created. This would need to be closely monitored by the teacher to ensure that the site is being used appropriately and that they are no forms of cyberbullying present.


Google+ is a great social network platform as it has a number of different resources that a beneficial to sharing and communicating with others. The site allows you to not only video conference other individuals from all over the world, but it also allows you to be working on the same document at the same time, or even allows you the access to get onto the other persons computer (with their permission) and view and control their desktop without being in the same room.

This past week  I had the opportunity to use the Hangout portion of the site and was very pleased with all that it offered. I can definitely see myself using it in my future classrooms, as a way to connect with different professionals around the world as a way to engage my students in the topic at hand. The site is something that I would only want to use between professionals, and not directly with myself and students on an individual basis. I want to insure a professional relationship between my students, and when you allow an opportunity to video conference with yourself and a student there is a chance that you may come into an uncomfortable situation, i.e. they may be videoing you from their bedroom.


Twitter is a site that allows its users to share their opinions on a matter using only 140 characters as well as hashtags to highlight important aspect of their post. “People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search. Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.”-Twitter support

Some ways to use twitter in the classroom can be found in my previous blog posts


Instagram is a photo application that allows individuals to upload photos and share them with a community of followers. Similar to twitter, a hashtag may be used to attach their photos to similar ones.

Below are 10 ways to use Instagram in the Classroom

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10 ways to use Pinterest in the classroom shows a number of great ways to use the site in the class including research boards, historical figures presentations, and online bibliography


Snapchat is an app created for smartphones that has become widely popular with teens. The app allows students to send a photo to individuals which will disappear within seconds of the receipt viewing it. There is a lot of controversy with the safety of this application, as there is fear that individuals are using the application in a sexual way. The following newscast outlines some of the risks and concerns behind the application.

 How can snapchat be used in the classroom? If teachers were going to use snapchat in the classroom I think that they would need to take all necessary precautions to keep themselves and students safe. Teachers could use the app in a way to send Math equations out to students for homework, but if this was the case I would recommend including an administrator as one of the recipients and well as take a screen shot to keep all bases covered. If I were to use snapchat with my students I would need to have a strict policy in place as well as a high level of trust that students would not misuse the application. There would need to be an agreement that any snap would be screen shotted and any inappropriate use would be reported to the schools administrators as well as parents.

If students were able to use the application appropriately I think it would be an engaging way to incorporate quick math equations to test students understanding.


Youtube is a site that consists of billions of hours of videos. Individuals may use the site to watch videos, but there are many users that create and upload their own videos onto Youtube.

How can Youtube be used in the classroom?

Not only could Youtube be used a way to share educational videos to further students learning, but students could create their own videos to show their understanding of a topic in a way that would be more engaging then writing a paper about the topic. The following video shows about Youtube can also be used for differentiated instruction.

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Communication II

Overview From Moodle

Teaching at the Elementary level is something that I have always dreamed of. Previously when I have thought about incorporating blogging into the classroom setting, it was always something that I saw at a higher level of learning. I did not really think about the ways that it could be used a Division I level, until hearing about how Jen Deyenberg used a blog with her pre Grade 1 students. For one I think Jen made an excellent point that it is a very important skill for students in todays age to become just as fluent on the keyboard as they are with a pencil. Using blogging for students to write simple sentences was a great way for her to see which students needed more time learning all of the capital letters, and which kids had them mastered.

This week for my blog I wanted to take a look at different ways to incorporate blogging and technology into a Division I classroom, in a way that was created and published by the students. Below are a number of ideas that I have found that I look forward to trying out in my future classrooms


Similar to Jen’s nephews use of Instagram for a word of the day, there are a number of ways that students can use Instagram

-They can use it as a way to showcase their work

-While learning to read and write they can take photos of sight words

-They could use the video setting to capture an experiment

-They could take pictures of nature (bugs, animals, plants)

Encourage writing in Kindergarten

The following is a list of other ways to use Instagram in the classroom:

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Blogging is a great way for students to upload their opinions up onto a site where others are able to respond. Allowing students to use a blog can increase motivation, help them develop new skills, and overall achieve learning in an enjoyable way. Having students blog can also be beneficial for interaction between peers since students work is immediately uploaded in an area that allows for comments.

Below are two different sites that showcase a number of different types of blogs

The Best Student Blogs of 2012 shows a number of different blogs created by students of all ages, that are deemed to be very successful

The Edublogger is a site with a number of different classroom blogs from all over the world that are listed and categorized by grade. The chart on the site allows the viewer to know which blogs are student run, the class twitter account, as well as how long they have been posting for.


Following video can be located at Twitter and a Kindergarten Classroom

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