School Spirit Banter

I am SO impressed by the creativity of two local area high schools and their students’ videos. As quoted in this Get Schooled post, these ARE examples of what the best “spirit cheers” look like today. You can check out the original video in this “battle” here and the response here.

For me, these videos show just how multiliterate our students are and all of the neat ways in which they are reading, writing, and engaging with the world around them. These videos use rhetorical strategies, rhymes, video angles, music — and this list only continues — all to help show their school spirit. And, I love the fact that they pull in lots of different members from their respective student bodies to be a part of the banter.

No matter which school wins the game, the main point is that these two videos have just under 400,000 hits (combined) in two weeks. Where these students’ voices heard? [I think so!]


Digital Essays

I’ve been intrigued with the idea of a “digital essay” ever since Jim Burke posted an example of one awhile ago. When I asked him what his assignment sheet included, Burke said that he didn’t really have a “formal” one and just told the kids to create. I think the biggest reason I’m drawn to the idea of a “digital” essay and what that “format” might encompass (beside my love for rhetoric and comp!) is the fact that I see this format as one that would be more real-world applicable in many ways versus a traditional essay for English class.

When I tried it out with my students Continue reading

Google+ Update

So, after poking around a bit today, I came across a link to this article that breaks down Google+. It’s pretty in-depth and I really appreciate the screen shots. However, the problem is the same as I mentioned before…how would I use it and why would I use it?

I promise I’m not being THAT resistant, I just can’t visualize how I would use it. However, I do see how creating something within this realm might be neat to use with the classroom. And it means only one login and one password to use if you and your students are using other Google apps (i.e. gmail, calendar).


I recently headed to Philadelphia for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference. Through my experiences with ISTE, I’ve already been lucky enough to meet a ton of other educators from all over at the conference (and virtually) who are using technology in really neat ways!

A goal of mine is to help other young educators connect with the ISTE Young Educator Network. Too often my colleagues say, “Oh, that’s not me! I’m not tech savvy like you!” However, the reality is that this network isn’t about how “tech savvy” you are, but instead it’s a place to share ideas and gain confidence in utilizing technology in the classroom to enhance what you are already doing in it. One of the ideas I brought up at the conference was to host a Twitter “chat” (like #engchat) to help extend the conversation of the YEN. We’ll see how it develops … maybe even joining the conversation of the #ntchat sometimes, too! (By the way, if you aren’t branching into all of the edu chats going on, you should do so. It’s a great way to not only network, but have instant PD!)

Below, you can watch me and all of the other award winners during the opening Awards Ceremony. It was a huge honor to be named one of the Emerging Leaders for 2011! Enjoy!

ISTE Young Educator Video

Here is the video I created for my entry to the ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award. I had so much fun creating it and it really got me thinking about how important it is to think critically about the technology we use in our classrooms. We have so many opportunities today to engage, challenge, and motivate our students through the use of technology — the possibilities are endless!

Changes in Reading Habits

As if they read my mind…reports are now out that the iPad might just be changing many people’s reading habits. There is SO much potential here! I really am excited about the possibilities of its integration into the classroom and people who are finding success with it.

And speaking of changes in reading (and writing) habits, some of my kids are “tumbling” on-the-go through apps that allow them to access their Tumblr blog on their mobile phones. I think that’s so neat! Also, was asked if we could “tweet” somehow for class. A lot to think about as far as extending the classroom walls in many ways.

iPad + Books = A Bright Future

And I think my new best friend is going to change the way we look at text in many ways.

I’ve debated an e-reader for awhile. Was set on the Kindle until the iPad came out and then thought about how much more resourceful an iPad might be for me and what I need. However, I didn’t get one, still, for a very long time until this past Thanksgiving when I opened up my new best friend, an iPad, as a birthday/Christmas gift from my family. [note: best give ever! thank you all! :-)]

The iPad has a plethora of applications and uses that I still have yet to uncover. At times I still feel overwhelmed by all of the things I can do with it. I feel that I see a new tip every day. However, I’ve enjoyed figuring out the ins and outs of its many uses, both personally and within the classroom… Continue reading