Monthly Archives: October 2015

Edtech 543: My PLE Design and Comparative Analysis

My PLE Superhero (1)

This was a really fun opportunity to organize and focus on my Personal Learning Environment!

What did you learn about yourself looking at your PLE?

Looking at my PLE, the first piece that I notice is that it has grown.  Thinking back even over the summer there are more tools and connection sites on this graphic than before.  I believe that participation in this class has been a part of that growth as well as trying to branch out more through Twitter and Google+.  The biggest connection that I am excited about is the information that comes from Graphite by Common Sense media.  I have only scratched the surface of the information and resources offered through this site.

Within my image, I put a quote by Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”  Obviously she was not speaking about technology or PLE’s, but I wanted to bring this quote in particularly because a good PLE is constantly working together.  The tools that I use to discover new information are directly connected with those that I use to act on my learning or communicate learning to others.  There is a cycle within the PLE that allows for a constant growth as new tech and apps come in and old ones leave.

Comparative Analysis

I found that in comparing my image to my classmates there were many similarities between PLEs, but I did however learn about some different tools and ideas as well!

Danielle Leone’s diagram had some excellent tools and connections within her PLE.  As far as communication, we share similar networks (twitter, facebook).  Danielle’s explore base of her diagram had different networks such as pintrest and youtube, which I did not have under my “discovering” category, but need to add it in the future!

Tim Stark’s diagram was very similar to my own.  We both have similar networks for communication and discovering.  He included reddit which is a network that I am not that familiar with.  His Productivity category was similar to my acting category, however we each had some different tools outside of Google Drive.

Cassie Faught’s diagram split both personal and professional learning environments.  I had not thought about splitting in that way.  Cassie had twitter within her personal PLE which is great!  I try very hard to keep twitter a strictly professional network.  We do however have a similar connection within Edweb.net.  This was an excellent network to join and I have really enjoyed the connections that have come from this website.

Courtney Kaul’s diagram had a professional development focus which was excellent.  Many of the networks within her Pro-D category I had within my Discovering category.  This is really a case of semantics. Both of us are discovering new information that benefits us professionally.

Jill Miller’s PLE diagram is incredible!  Like some of the others, Google, twitter, facebook were the beginning of similarities between us.  However Jill had many more apps and connections such as Pocket, Library databases, dropbox, and Moodle. I didn’t think to add some of these into my PLE.

Kelsey Ramirez’s diagram offers a simple explanation of the networks she uses.  The one that she added that I am kicking myself about is Voice-thread!  This is such a valuable tool for collaboration and presentation.  Outside of this difference we have very similar personal learning environments.

Closing

This assignment has provided a really clear view into the way that each of us thinks in regards to our personal and professional connections.  The PLE is in some ways a living organism, continually growing and changing depending on the information, ideas and strategies that are out there.  Though my image says “superhero” I am very sure that some of my classmates PLE’s are much stronger than mine.  That being said, I look forward to continue to grow mine in amazing ways!

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EDTECH 543: Online Communities


This week’s assingment was really interesting.  I was able to join different communities that I had previously not been a part of.  Goodreads.com was a surprise to me.  Such an interesting community connecting the books that we enjoy, with so many suggestions and reviews from other readers.

Through the webinar activity I had started to get familiar with EdWeb so it was great to continue exploring thorugh this activity.  Though the website seems a little dated, the information that I was connected to was great!  I was able to comment and give some feedback on a few questions and posts within the digital technology community.

Google+ has been a staple since the beginning of the BSU program for me.  I have really enjoyed going through the ISTE Tech coach community as well as the GAFE community.  There were some great articles and posts that I commented on that offered great ideas within GAFE.  Since our school is a GAFE school, it was right up my alley.

Finally Common Sense Media Graphite was another community that I have just started with.  I was able to find and create a board with resources for problem solving in the classroom. There was so much information (curriculum, tools, reviews, blogs, etc) I will need more time with this site as well.

Overall, another eye opening activity that has brought more info that I seem to have time for!  Wow!

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EDTECH 543: Live Virtual Pro-D

I have really enjoyed the process of participating in the live Pro-D opportunities.  Though I had been a part of a few twitter chats, I was really intrigued and excited about getting involved so quickly and the amount of information that flows in these chats.  Below is the slideshow of all of my chats and webinars that I participated in. Below the slideshow I have explained what I learned and received from each chat and webinar.  Overall, this experience was really valuable.  I have made some excellent contacts, received some inspiration and practical ideas as well as new tools to investigate for my classroom!

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This chat was a lot of fun.  Though I joined it late, I was able to connect immediately about integrating tech into the classroom.  The questions within this chat covered topics such as digital differentiation, using tech for tech’s sake and what happens when things go wrong.  I felt really confident sharing opinions on this chat from my experience within BSU but also from my own experience.  My favorite tweet from this chat was from @urbie when asked what do you do when things don’t go as planned? His response was “Then: make excuses, duck, cover.  Now: Own it, Learn from it.”  I really appreciate this quote simply because it is a growth mindset within the realms of problem solving and failure.  There is no excuse when it comes to problems, just more questions and problems to fix.

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#TOSAchat (Teachers on Special Assignment) was a really interesting one because many of the participants were from a variety of positions within education with many different perspectives.  This was by far the fastest chat I had been a part of.  My TweetDeck was spinning like the big wheel on the Price is Right!

This chat was connected with connected educator month, focusing on what it means to be a connected educator.  I found a lot of great information including the use of Voxer within schools.  This is an app that I am not familiar with (it hasn’t made its way across the pacific to HK yet), but I was able to connect it’s uses within school (communication between teachers) to a group text on whatsapp that we use.  I was also really inspired by the amount of ideas that came across about different ways to collaborate outside of Twitter.  Some examples are edmodo groups, google apps, and schoology.

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It seems I like to participate in chats across the Southern USA!  The #ALedchat was a good one too.  Much more laid back, but still discussing great topics.  This chat centered around bullying in schools, with a specific time of discussing cyberbullying.  Some ideas that we came up with was using backchannel communication to allow students to connect with teachers more discreetly.  It was also very clear that student/teacher communication was key.  Teachers being willing to listen to students and students willing to share with teachers.

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The #resiliencechat was centered around two terms “Resilience vs. Grit”.  Initially the chat was angled toward how resilience in the classroom was more important or valuable than grit.  The second half of the chat was about the positives of grit.  A few of the main takeaways from this chat was “Grit is determination. Resilience is perseverance”  and

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I found this chat really interesting because there was a lot of new and unique information on both resilience and grit.

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The Spark101 Webinar was a great time to learn about an really cool STEM resource.  Spark101 offers different STEM centered case studies as well as templates to help integrate the studies into a classroom.  Though the webinar was a little like a sales pitch, I appreciated the usability of Spark101 as well as the fact that it is free.  This is something that I will be able to connect fellow teachers to at my school.

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This webinar was great.  My PLN partner Alice lead it.  The conversation was really easy to follow and give some really good tips on using video in the classroom.  The information from the three presenters was very practical, giving the ability to insert strategies into classes immediately.  My favorite quote from the webinar was from Alice about making a total fool of yourself in your video.

“Increasing Student Ownership of Learning Using Digital Portfolios”

Webinar

Oct 13, 2015

Presented by Rachel Langenhorst, K-12 Technology Integrationist

This webinar really brought some great information about digital portfolios.  The overall presentation was simply a “how to integrate portfolios into the classroom”.  I found some of the ideas and strategies very valuable.  I have been really interested in going deeper with the growth mindset, which was touched on during this webinar.  One quote that I really liked that was shared was from George Addair, “Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear”.  I really connect with this quote, especially learning about a new way to facilitate learning within students.  Overall this was a very helpful webinar.

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This was by far the most interesting webinar that I have attended.  The speaker took us through the history of educational technology, sharing different information about the reactions to the new tech.  For example he shared a quote “(This Device) appealed at once to the eye and to the ear, thus naturally forming the habit of attention, which is so difficult to form by the study of books”.  This quote is referring to the chalk board (from 1855).  I found it very facinating the reactions of people when technology was integrated into the classroom.  Dr. Couros also did some Q and A at the end and was able to share some great information on what 21st Century readers must do:

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Overall this webinar was a really fun one to be a part of and I am really glad that I had found it at the last minute.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This project was very interesting.  The twitter chats were very different experiences, all of which had an incredible amount of information being shared in a short amount of time.  The webinars were good as well, however my time difference made for some early mornings online!  All in all a great experience!

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