Edtech 533 Final Reflection

Before taking this course, I had only been a casual user of YouTube, and rarely used it in the classroom because it is blocked in my school. Mainly I had used it for my own entertainment purposes at home. By creating my own YouTube channel, I have learned how to locate the multitude of educational videos available and curate them into playlists to use in my classrooms.  I have been adding to my playlists throughout the semester and will continue to do so after this course.  It has helped me integrate video more often into my lessons.  Creating the playlist lesson and the media literacy lesson was also a valuable learning experience.  The playlist lesson showed me how to use one of my curated lists of videos to create a lesson directly in YouTube.  The media literacy lesson showed me how to develop a lesson using both Google Forms and YouTube videos.  I have never developed lessons like this before and I found them to be very useful to use with the students in my computer classes.  Finally, one of my major accomplishments was learning how to create my own professional educational videos.  I am still a novice, but I have realized that I do have the capability to create my own videos and feel that I can use what I have learned to help my students create quality videos as well.    

I think that I value the use of YouTube in education more now that I have taken this course.  There is a lot of junk and crazy videos out there, but what I have learned throughout this course is that it is possible to create an account filled with superior videos that can be used to enhance a student’s educational experience. I still believe that YouTube should be blocked on the students’ computers in my school solely because I work at the elementary level and I do not want them to be exposed to something that they shouldn’t.  I am thankful that we have developed an easy work around for our teachers, though, so that they can access YouTube videos to share with their students on their computers.  Through my experiences, I have realized that with proper leadership and guidance YouTube can be a wonderful tool for teaching students how to create quality multimedia experiences and how to analyze the videos they view.  

Being media literate means that one has the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media.  When a person is media literate, they can better understand and evaluate the messages they receive through all types of media including the television, radio, internet, music, and print.   In order to be media literate, one must be able to analyze what the creator wants us to believe or do and identify any marketing strategies or techniques of persuasion.  Someone who is media literate should also be able to evaluate whether the information presented shows bias or provides misinformation or if parts of the story are being left out.  One should also reflect on their own beliefs and values and evaluate media messages using those beliefs and values.  As an educator, it is my job to help my students develop these critical thinking skills. While teaching digital citizenship lessons, I have only briefly touched on media literacy with my students.  After creating my media literacy lesson, I was really struck by how essential it is for me to put more of an emphasis on educating my students on the importance of becoming media literate.  Many times when my students sit down in my computer lab to work on projects and research, I observe them using pretty much any piece of information they find without ever questioning who created the information, its reliability, and whether or not it is credible. Now, I find myself stopping the students more often and having them pause and analyze the information they are viewing or reading before they decide to apply it to their classwork.  It is my goal that they start to move away from taking things at face value and believing them to be true all the time.  

Throughout my reflection I have listed some specific ways that I will use the projects, skills, and ideas from this course like adding to my playlists and continuing to build new playlists.  I will also continue to educate my students in developing their media literacy skills.  I’d like to continue creating more Powtoon educational videos in order to demonstrate computer skills that we use in my computer classes and for digital citizenship lessons.  I think that my students would love to create their own Powtoon video demonstrations and I hope to be able to purchase a subscription for my school.  We also offer electives at my school to our junior high students.  I would like to offer video production during one of these modules and teach my students the three steps of pre-production, production, and post production.  We have never offered anything like that at my school, and I think it would be a learning valuable experience for them.  

The following three projects demonstrate mastery of the AECT Standards:

Educator’s YouTube Channel:

Standard 1  (Indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4): I created a YouTube channel with an educational focus to house instructional content and the videos I created for this course.  I selected educational videos for my channel and categorized them by educational topic.  I also added subscriptions that featured channels that house videos that could be used in my educational setting.  I assessed YouTube videos and subscriptions to channels to determine whether they would be of educational value for my classroom setting.  I successfully categorized and organized the playlists and subscriptions on my channel for easier access when using the videos in the classroom.    

Standard 2 (Indicators 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4): Knowing the content that I need to cover with my students in their computer and library classes, I used that knowledge to carefully evaluate and select educational videos that would support classroom lessons and improve student learning and performance.  

Standard 3 (Indicators 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4): This YouTube channel was created with a knowledge of learning principles and best practices.  The video resources were selected based on learning principles and best practices so that they would optimize learning in the classroom.   The videos and subscriptions were categorized for easy accessibility and to be shared in order to improve learning in specific topic areas.  

Vlog with Closed Captioning:

Standard 1  (Indicators 1.1, 1.3, 1.4): I created a Vlog discussing the pros and cons of YouTube in education.  In this Vlog, I evaluate how YouTube can be used effectively in the educational setting and also comment on its drawbacks.  

Standard 2 (Indicators 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4): Using my knowledge of the field of education, I discuss how using YouTube can improve learning and performance outcomes for students.  I also assess the negative aspects of using YouTube in an educational setting.

Standard 3 (Indicators 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6): This Vlog was created using research backed by educational principles and best practices made available from multiple resources.   I discuss the pros and cons of YouTube in education with an emphasis on safety for students, how it can be used appropriately in an educational setting, and some of the negative effects of the open access that is offered on YouTube.   Closed Captioning was added to this video so that those with hearing difficulties might still be able to obtain the necessary information being conveyed in the video.

Standard 5 (Indicator 5) Before creating this video and my commentary, I performed extensive reading and research in order to form my opinions.  

Short Form Educational Video:

Standard 1  (Indicators 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4): I created a short educational video for my elementary computer students to help them master identifying the parts of the computer.  This video was created using Powtoon.   

Standard 2 (Indicators 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4): This video was created with the knowledge that my students have to master identifying the parts of the computer by the fifth grade.  Using this video will enhance instruction rather than going over the information using a worksheet.  

Standard 3 (Indicators 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6): This video was created with a knowledge of learning principles and best practices.  By using this video each school year, students will learn through repetition.  The media used in the video were found on the public domain and were properly cited.  The video was closed captioned for hearing impaired students to be able to obtain the information presented.  

EdTech 541 Final Reflection

Part One: Course Reflection

One of the main things that I have learned as I have worked through the assignments in EDTECH 541 is that it is possible to use technology and integrate it into my library lessons in a meaningful way.  Many of the schools in my diocese are doing away with having librarians and an actual library class and I think it has to do with the fact that more and more of our schools are becoming 1:1.  I think the assumption is that students can read books and perform research on their devices,  or they can go to their public library. I value the library that we have at our school and I value the time I spend with the students teaching them library, reading, and research skills.  I think that my classroom teachers value what I do as well because they lack the time to go into depth on some of the skills that I cover such as digital citizenship and research skills.  

I was more inclined to favor the constructivist approach while creating my projects for this course.  The projects I completed and technology resources that I created acted as guides to help my students further understand concepts rather than just dispense information to them.  All of my completed artifacts were geared towards the middle grades, specifically fourth grade, and as I developed them, I was aware of the prior knowledge the students had obtained from classes they had with me in the years leading up to this grade and I built on this knowledge from there.  Students were often presented with problems or assignments to solve and the necessary technological resources to solve them.  Each activity involved the students in active learning and provided tasks that were meaningful and challenging, yet recognized their different learning styles, abilities, and motivation.

The assignments that I have completed in EdTech 541 have helped me develop a toolbox of resources that I can not only use in my library, but also share with my fellow teachers to adapt for use in their classrooms.  I was also able to demonstrate mastery of the following AECT standards:

  • Standard 1.2 Using: The use of technological resources was implemented within each project.  
  • Standard 1.3 Assessing/Evaluating: Extensive consideration was put into deciding the best way to utilize technological resources in order to support the objectives of the lesson and enhance student learning.  


  • Standard 2.1 Creating: While creating each assignment, I used the knowledge I have for my content area to develop activities that used technology in a meaningful manner in order to improve student performance and learning.   
  • Standard 2.2 Using: I determined the appropriate technologies to use with each activity based on state and diocesan standards and the Standards for the 21st -Century Learner  created by the American Association of School Librarians.
  • Standard 5.1 Theoretical Foundations: Using my knowledge of constructivism, the lessons and activities I created built on my students’ prior knowledge.  Within these activities, the students were often presented with problems or assignments to solve and the necessary technological resources to solve them.  Each activity involved the students in active learning and provided tasks that were meaningful and challenging, yet recognized their different learning styles, abilities, and motivation.
  • Standard 5.3 Assessing/Evaluating: During each module, I researched strategies and resources related to each topic that could be used to further explore and develop learning activities involving the integration of technology.


Technology has not always been available for use in my library.  Up until this year when I added three iPads, the only technology available was a laptop and the SmartBoard.  As a result of taking this course and working to integrate technology into this content area,  I have become more creative in implementing technology within my library lessons.  I have signed out the computer lab to help my students further their research skills and integrated learning centers within the library where small groups can work on activities using the technology that is available.  I have also become more mindful of using the assistive devices that are available on our technology with our students who have learning disabilities.  

I feel that it is valuable to integrate technology into today’s classrooms.  If I didn’t, then I would not be seeking this degree.  What I have learned is that many of the technology tools and resources that are available can probably be tailored in some way to meet the needs of my classroom.  I have become a lot more discerning, though, and realize that it is not enough to use technology just to say I am using it.  It is of utmost importance that the technology is integrated in a meaningful and relevant manner in order to enhance student engagement and learning and help the students succeed in ways that they normally would not.  

Click on this link to view all the work that I have created throughout this course.

Part Two: Assessing My Performance

I have put a lot of time and effort into this course and that includes my blogging efforts. As I completed each blog post, I referred to the rubric provided to ensure that I was meeting all the requirements.  Below is my self-assessment and rationale for my blog writing throughout this course.  


  • Content: I feel that my blog posts were carefully constructed and thoughtful.  They contained substantial detail with references to the readings, any additional research I performed, and my personal experiences. I feel that I earned the full 70 points for this area.  
  • Readings and Resources:   I read the assigned text chapters each week, used the resources provided, and sought out additional resources if there was material I did not understand. I included references from the course text and other resource materials to support my blog entries each week. APA style was used to cite my references each week.  I believe I earned the full 20 points for this area.


  • Timeliness: In looking back and comparing the dates when I posted my blogs, I would say that the majority of them were posted by midweek.  Synthesizing what I have read and learned and writing thoughts down has been difficult for me so some posts were made later in the week.  I do feel that all were posted with enough time for my classmates to comment before the end of the module.  I feel that I have earned 18 points for this area.
  • Responses to Other Students: I made at least two thoughtful substantial responses to other students’ posts for each blogging assignment. I included my thoughts on what was posted, as well as personal experiences and commonalities. My comments were respectful and showed proper netiquette.   I believe that I have earned the full 30 points for this area.

Proposed Score: 138/140  

Obstacles to Integrating Tech in Language Arts

Using technology should be an integral part of education in today’s classrooms, but it does come with its challenges.  It can make the learning situation much more complex, yet educators recognize these difficulties and continue to work and prepare themselves to try and integrate technology successfully.  

In the area of language arts, technology has changed the format and types of communication that people encounter which adds new challenges to language arts instruction. Literacy used to involve being able read and write and make meaning from the written word.  With the ever-present and constantly changing internet, 21st Century literacy skills now include being proficient in media literacy, digital literacy, and information literacy (Roblyer, 2016, p. 261). Teachers must develop new instructional strategies to help students adapt to a more global means of communication.  This means while teaching students how to read and write, we also must empower them to be able to analyze and critique the messages portrayed in images, language, and sound (Alliance for Media Literate America, 2001).  We also have to teach them to recognize when information is needed and how to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content in an ethical manner even when guidelines and rules continue to change or are ambiguous (“What is digital literacy?”, 2009).

In order to deal with these new skills, teachers must include new strategies in Language Arts instruction. To advance reading and writing skills, teachers must teach students how to read not only written text, but also multimedia text.  Using multimedia in instruction helps students decipher text that is nonlinear (Robyler, 2016, p. 263).  Teaching about information literacy should not be isolated to one lesson, but should be an ongoing process.  Students need to learn how to perform proper searches and evaluate information for reliability and credibility each time they seek out information.  Finally, we cannot be afraid to allow students to interact socially.  Instruction should allow students to share their work and encourage collaboration with their peers and with others on a more global scale.

It seems wonderful that there are policies in place that recognize the need for using technology in Language Arts instruction and Roblyer (2016) lists a lot of great strategies for addressing these needs, but let’s be honest, there is still one large issue that needs to be addressed—professional development.  It’s hard to expect an educator to even know how to grow as a literacy professional and connected educator when they do not receive any type of quality, formal instruction.  Many times school leadership does not provide this type of professional development so it is up to the educator to personally seek out their own professional learning through developing personal learning communities and communities of practice (Roblyer, 2016, p. 268).  One would hope that an educator would realize the valuable knowledge gained and be motivated and have the ability to seek out these relationships and opportunities.


Alliance for Media Literate America. (2001). What is media literacy? AMLA’s short answer and longer thought. In Center for media literacy. Retrieved November 8, 2016, from http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/what-media-literacy-amlas-short-answer-and-longer-thought

Roblyer, M. D. (2016). Integrating educational technology into teaching (7th ed., pp. 261-268). Upper Saddle River: Pearson.         

What is digital literacy? (2009). In Cornell University Digital Literacy Resource. Retrieved November 8, 2016, from https://digitalliteracy.cornell.edu/welcome/dpl0000.html

Integrating Technology into the Library

It is no longer a question of whether to use technology in schools, but how to effectively use technology to enhance student learning.  As the library media specialist for my school, my role is to come up with innovative ways to use technology across the curriculum, design student experiences that use technology in original ways, select appropriate resources, and collaborate with my colleagues to plan effective student-centered technology enhanced lessons.  These lessons must allow students to develop their information literacy and computer skills, interact with members of the community, and understand that the skills they are learning can be applied to their everyday lives (Hughes-Hassell, 2001).

Technology is a tool that can be used in the library to solve problems.  Hughes-Hassell (2001) states that it can be used to “gather, organize, analyze, and present information.” There are many ways to use technology effectively in the library in order to make it more engaging, relevant, and authentic. One basic way is to use technology to play review games with students on library skills, genres, parts of a book, library terminology, the Dewey decimal system, etc. Using video in the library can really help create a more complete picture when presenting lessons to students. Chances are pretty good that you can find a clip on YouTube to enhance any lesson and if not, you can upload your own video to share with the students.  It is very expensive to house current encyclopedias on site at school; however, through technology, my students can access the most current electronic resources such as encyclopedias, journals, and magazines to gather research information. Digitized resources through the Library of Congress can augment lessons through the use of primary sources.   Technology can help students communicate with other students from around the world or reach out to scientists, researchers, and authors.  Older students might contact experts using e-mail.  Skype visits with experts might also be set up to aid in lesson understanding and allow students to communicate with authors about books they have read and the writing process.  Portable technologies, such as laptop computers or iPads, can be used to gather data outside the classroom and tools such as spreadsheets can be created to help students analyze their data.  Students can use a variety of authoring tools like presentation tools, digital booklets, animated reports, and videos to present any type of project or research.  Technology can also be used to take students on virtual field trips and simulate real-life experiences for students. Webquests can guide students to search the internet for specific information.   Technology can provide scenarios and interdisciplinary connections to enhance learning.  For example, after reading the book Gopher Up Your Sleeve  by Tony Johnston, students might use websites like enature.com to learn more about the animals in the poems.

Technology on its own does not facilitate learning, but a huge difference is made when it is used in conjunction with meaningful resources and authentic experiences.  School librarians should collaborate with teachers to design learning opportunities that utilizes technology to address the needs of the learner and curriculum goals.  


Hughes-Hassell, S. (2001). Enhancing student learning with technology. In American Library Association. Retrieved November 6, 2016, from http://www.ala.org/offices/sites/ala.org.offices/files/content/publishing/editions/samplers/penaasl.pdf

Digital Games in the Library

Children learn best when the content is relevant to them and when they can make connections between new and old material.  Sometimes it can be challenging to make these connections, but using games can help.  Games can help strengthen teacher to student and student to student relationships.  Children like playing games because they can have fun while they are learning.  Teachers like games because they help boost students’ academic confidence and develop their social and problem-solving skills (“Teaching with Games”, n.d.).

Both games and gamification have been used for educational purposes from preschool all the way through higher education.  They are useful because they are engaging and motivate the learners (Young, 2016).  Motivating students to learn, especially in topics that do not initially interest them, can be a challenge for all educators especially for library instructors.   I have yet to meet an elementary student who loves to learn about library skills and research so using games, especially digital games, in my library has many advantages.  

One advantage is that the students are learning through the process of playing a digital game.   Digital games might help a student understand a new library concept or idea such as:

  • ABC order and how fiction books are shelved.
  • The Dewey Decimal system and locating non-fiction books on the shelf.  
  • Parts of a book
  • Literary Genres
  • How to search the library catalog
  • Library Orientation
  • Research Skills
  • Digital Citizenship

Digital games are more engaging for my library students.   From year to year, my students need a lot of review and practice with library skills.  Handing today’s students worksheets on these topics is not very engaging and meaningful.  Because my class is not graded, students are less motivated to complete worksheets, but a lively digital game sparks their interest and the students are more willing to participate.  

Digital games can help students make connections with the library content and form positive memories of their learning.  When activities are fun and interesting, they stand out in students’ memories and can facilitate learning.  The students may recall the information more readily after playing the game.   Some students might remember library vocabulary words after playing certain games, others learn from reading the clues provided in certain games, and other students learn when they hear their classmates call out answers. Using digital games appeals to all different types of learners because they provide a variety of experiences for students. (Stathakis, 2013).

Using digital games with young students is one of the many effective tools that can be used in library instruction.  Effective digital games create a collaborative and enjoyable experience for the students which increases their engagement and motivation resulting in learned material.  When used properly to meet desired objectives, digital games can have a positive impact on a student’s educational experiences.  


Stathakis, R. (2013). Five reasons to use games in the classroom. In education world. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/reasons-to-play-games-in-the-classroom.shtml

Teaching with games. (n.d.). In education world. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from   http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/strategy/strategy065.shtml

Young, J. (2016, July 1). Can library research be fun? Using games for information literacy instruction in higher education. Retrieved October 19, 2016, from http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1973&context=glq


Acceptable Use Policies

An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is a document constructed by an institution that details the manner in which it would like its members to use technology including the internet. Many schools and districts have Acceptable Use Policies that address both acceptable and unacceptable behaviors for students, faculty, and staff when using technology and the internet.  Prohibited behaviors usually include plagiarism, piracy, cyberbullying, and visiting sites deemed inappropriate by the school.  Acceptable behaviors include being a positive digital citizen, having proper netiquette, and using the internet properly for school purposes (“1-1 Essentials-Acceptable Use Policies”, n.d).

A 2009 article by Education World titled “Getting Started on the Internet: Developing an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP),” states that an Acceptable Use Policy should contain six key elements.  They are “a preamble, a definition section, a policy statement, an acceptable uses section, an unacceptable uses section, and a violations/sanctions section.” The article goes on to explain each section.  The preamble details why the policy was created and the goals of the policy.  Key words in the policy are explained in the definition section.  This ensures that everyone reading the policy understands the terminology.  The policy statement lists what computer, mobile device, and internet services are covered and when the students can use those services.  The acceptable use section breaks down the appropriate use of school technology and the internet.  The unacceptable uses portion must give specific examples of inappropriate student use.  Finally, in the violations/sanctions section students learn how to report violations and the consequences they will receive should they violate the policy.

All schools and districts are different and create Acceptable Use Policies that are relevant to their situation.  The following are excellent examples of Acceptable Use Policies for elementary schools in the United States:

I feel that my school’s Acceptable Use Policy leaves a lot to be desired.  After reading about Acceptable Use Policies and viewing examples from other schools, I would like to initiate a conversation with my principal about revising our policy to make it more detailed and transparent for our faculty, staff, parents, and students.  Our current AUP can be seen by clicking on the following:acceptable-use-policy

We also have a 1:1 iPad program for our sixth through eighth grade students at our school.  The following document is sent home with the students and is signed by the students and parents: ipad-contract-2014I feel that this document is a better example of an Acceptable Use Policy because it incorporates the suggested sections that I mentioned above.  After reviewing both of our school’s policies, I think that the policy we have in place for the iPads should be edited to include all types of technology and the internet and used as the AUP for all our students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade.  Even though our kindergarten through fifth grade students are not 1:1, they do have access to iPads in the classroom and use our school computer lab.  

As educators it is important for schools to provide students with access to the digital world, yet we must do it in a way that protects our students.  An AUP is the first step toward protecting our students as long as it is enforced and supported by all members of the school community.  

1-to-1 essentials – Acceptable use policies. (n.d.). In commonsensemedia. Retrieved October 4, 2016, from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/1to1/aups
Getting started on the internet: Developing an acceptable use policy (aup). (2009). In education world. Retrieved October 4, 2016, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr093.shtml


Video Interviews

I interviewed five of my co-workers, all educators in an elementary school, about their feelings and ideas for using video in the classroom.  Please take a look below.

Social Media in Learning

Social media is a powerful tool and many teachers use it for personal reasons,  professional development, and communication with our school families, yet the thought of incorporating social media in our classroom seems to continue to be a touchy subject.  I think some worry that students will be distracted and spend more time communicating with each other rather than focusing on the assignment while others worry about cyber-bullying and student privacy and safety.  What I have found after curating website articles about schools using social media in the classroom is that all of these issues can be addressed and the use of social media engages students and extends their learning.  Social media is here to stay, the students are aware of it and use it at home so why not use it in the classroom.  At least then, we as teachers, can be involved in teaching our students the proper and safe way to interact with others on the internet.

I teach in a K-8 grade setting and I have often wondered how to safely incorporate social media in the classroom.  Many of my students are too young to set up accounts and those that are old enough may not be allowed to have them.  What I have found through my reading is that I can set up a classroom account with my younger students and we can work as a class to create posts.  It is also possible to set up individual accounts to blog, text, whiteboard, tag, post links, and create videos even for young students using educational sites like EduBlogs, Edmodo, and Fakebook.  Blogging and posting to social media helps students as young as kindergarten with their reading and writing skills and gives students the ability to share what is going on in the classroom through their eyes.    By using social media, students are able to connect and collaborate with other students in their school, district, state, country, and world.  Not only will students learn from others, but they will contribute to the learning of others and new cultures and knowledge will be brought into the classroom.

Using social media allows us to explore and educate our students on proper digital citizenship.  For example, students will learn the proper way to post and what types of information should be shared in a more controlled environment with teacher guidance.

Social media used in classrooms will not be a waste of time if managed effectively. Teaching students how to properly use social media will help prepare them for the future. After reading these articles, I have more confidence in how I can integrate the use of social medial in my classroom and I plan on incorporating it into my computer classroom in the next school year.

Click below to access my curated articles:

pearltrees for wordpress

Real Time & Virtual PD

Within the past month I have attended four webinars and four live Twitter chats.  Because I teach in the library and computer lab in a K-8 Catholic school, my goal was to attend a variety of sessions that would cover aspects of all these areas.  My Twitter chats discussed STEM, Learning Management Systems, technology, professional development, Makerspaces in the Catholic school, and blogging.  The webinars covered Makerspaces, using technology in the early childhood classroom, the library as a classroom, and connecting with school families through social media.

The topic of discussion for my Twitter chat on #edchat  was “How does an educator’s blog help the educator or his/her students? How does an admin’s blog help the admin or teachers?” We discussed these questions and many agreed that a blog is a good reflective piece used to share growth and model the importance of writing and communication to our students. We also discussed whether blogs should be made mandatory for the classroom teacher, whether blogs are becoming obsolete, and the different blog platforms available. I contributed my answer to the initial question, responded to others thoughts and ideas, expressed my frustrations with using WordPress, shared my classroom website, and ended up connecting with another K-8 computer teacher and corresponded back and forth with her after the chat regarding digital citizenship lessons. As nervous as I was about taking part in this discussion, I though it was fun and I was very excited to connect with someone who does the same work as me. I found it hard to keep up with the pace of the comments. I don’t think well on my feet so it was challenging to come up with a comment quick enough that wouldn’t go over the Twitter character limit. It was also distracting that other posts would come in through the feed during the discussion that weren’t related to our topic. It kind of interrupted the flow of conversation for me. I have included screen shots of some of the responses to my comments and my discussion with the computer teacher I met.


On June 15th,  I took part in the online webinar, Library 2.016 Library as Classroom. This was like a seminar only online. It started with an address from five keynote speakers and then we broke out into half an hour information sessions. I attended three different sessions, “The LibraryMakerspace as Classroom, OERs at the Junction of Library and Classroom, and Incorporating Making Culture into the Curriculum.” In the Library Makerspaces as Classroom session, our speaker was a Libraries Fellow at NCSU. She shared information about their libraries’ makerspaces, the programs they offer, events they organized, and how they collaborate with course instructors to incorporate the use of their makerspaces in course instruction. I asked questions regarding their makerspaces and how to bring this down to a smaller level for the elementary library. I learned of resources and a blog to follow to get started. The OER session was presented by graduate students from the School of Information at San Jose State University. They created a website on California History for the fourth grade. On the site, teachers can submit lesson ideas, students can present projects, and resources are included including visuals, videos, and information resources. This site was designed for co-teaching among teachers and librarians. I contributed some of my thoughts on co-teaching. In the final session I attended, we learned how The University of LaVerne library system incorporated a making culture into their University’s curriculum through a Mini Maker Fair. The presenters discussed the process of planning, executing, and reflecting on their fair. I was impressed with the projects the students came up with for the mini maker fair and I liked the idea of a Shark Tank type contest they held where the students presented their projects to a panel of judges much like the Shark Tank television show. I loved that I could attend this conference from the comfort of my own home. At times the audio kicked out, though, and I couldn’t hear the speakers, but that is technology for you! Even though many of the sessions were based at the university level, they helped me formulate ideas for ways to scale it down to the elementary level. I have included files of the chat sessions for each:

Library 2.016 chat sessions

On June 16th,  I took part in the edWeb webinar “Social Media and Cell Phones-Today’s Tools to Connect with Families this Summer.” In this webinar we learned how to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Remind to better communicate with parents not only during the summer, but also during the school year. If you get the chance, I would watch the recording of this webinar. The speaker was excellent and many ideas were shared from the speaker and participants in the chat. I handle our school’s Facebook page and website so this was helpful. I learned about adding a Twitter feed to our website and also that parents can access Twitter via text message if they do not have a Twitter account. Remind was a new tool for me and one that I will explore more. The speaker made it very easy to participate in this webinar by providing polls for us to answer. I also contributed with ways I currently use these tools for our school and new ideas I may try this summer and in the upcoming school year.

Digital Classroom 06-16-16 Chat Log

I took part in the webinar through edWeb.net titled, “Using Technology to Bring Intentionality and Purpose in the Early Childhood Classroom.” This webinar on June 15th covered the guidelines for screen time for our younger students in pre-school and kindergarten, best practices for using technology, and digital literacy. In this webinar I learned that the American Academy of Pediatrics will be coming out with new guidelines in the Fall. I also learned ways to integrate technology with clear thought and intent. Some ways were to have students use devices to take pictures during nature walks, using Skype or Facetime to talk with parents during Circle Time, performing a digital show and tell, and going on virtual field trips. Basic digital literacy for this age included care of devices, modeling proper technological vocabulary, and modeling how to perform an internet search. The main goal of this webinar was to teach us how to use technology within our lessons and move away from the students singularly using the apps to play games during centers. I contributed to this webinar by talking about some of the technology tools we use in our kindergarten and providing examples of safe search engines for kids and appropriate websites that I use with my students. I have attached the file of the chat:

Classroom Management 06-15-2016 Chat Log

On June 17th,  I took part in the Twitter chat run by ‪#‎bfc530‬. The question was “How should districts/schools go about choosing and rolling out an LMS?” There weren’t many participants involved in the chat, but some ideas were selecting students, teachers, and people with different levels of experience to test different systems, asking for input from others, and exploring tech savvy chats for recommendations. Many of the people did not know what an LMS was and stated that in the chat. I am not sure I would have known except for the fact that we use Moodle in this program. We don’t use one in my school for classes. Our online system is for grade reporting and communication to the parents. An article provided in the chat was very helpful: http://bit.ly/1qdbk7x if you are interested in the topic. Here are some screen shots of my responses to the question.


I took part in a Twitter chat with ‪#‎catholicedchat‬ on June 18th. The topics we discussed had to do with technology, professional development for teachers, and makerspaces. I acquired some more resources for starting a makerspace and also received some great resources to share with my principal regarding personalized professional development for teachers and technology integration. I mostly participated in the  conversation that had to do with Chromebooks and iPads. One participant was starting a 1:1 Chromebook initiative with the junior high so I shared thoughts and insights regarding our 1:1 iPad program and also asked questions regarding using Chromebooks since I am trying to decide on the best path for our school. 


For my fourth Twitter chat, I joined the ‪#‎edtechchat‬ on STEM on Monday, June 20th. During the hour long session, the moderator posted 6 questions. We discussed the benefits of having a STEM curriculum in an elementary classroom, when it should be infused in the elementary school, the barriers to overcome, ways to involve parents, activities to share, and non traditional forms of assessment that could take place. Some benefits mentioned among the many responses were the promotion of inquiry and it allows students to be innovative and creative. The general consensus was that a STEM curriculum could be introduced as low as pre-school. Time, administrative support, and a willingness to let go and allow students to explore were barriers identified to integrating such a curriculum. I shared information about a STEM night we held with our students and parents last year when the chat was listing ways to involve parents and shared the types of activities we did with them. Some of the non traditional ways to assess the students included rubrics, blogs, journaling, and providing demonstrations to other classes. The participants in the chat provided a lot of great resources. 


On Wed., June 22nd, I took part in the Webinar: A Year in the Life of a New Makerspace. Michelle Luhtala, head librarian for New Canaan High School in CT, was the presenter. She detailed the process her library took over the past few years to transform their school library into a makerspace. During the webinar I asked questions about the makerspace, gathered some great ideas, gave input on places to purchase supplies, and even helped explain what a PLC was to one of the members of the chat. This high school library was two times the size of my library and even bigger than some of the branches of my public library! Even though this was a large library and they clearly have more money to spend than I do, I was able to gather some great ideas and tailor them to my elementary library. Many of the people in the chat provided resources that I plan on checking out too. It was also nice to see how the classroom teachers got involved in the makerspace and learn how to create buy-in from the administration and staff. I have included a file of the chat log:

EmergingTech 06-22-16 ChatLog

When we first received this assignment, I have to admit that I was very nervous.  Like anyone, I am really good at being a passive observer during webinars and professional development sessions.  I have never really felt that I could be considered an expert or have anything of value to contribute to the discussion.  What I have learned from attending these virtual development sessions and actually participating in them is that you do not necessarily have to be an expert on a topic.  You can be helpful to someone and aid in their professional growth just by sharing the information you have and what you have experienced.  Taking part in the conversation opens up doors and adds to a more valuable learning experience.