Saturday, April 25, 2015

Final Blog

This blog will be the last one for the semester. Writing these blogs was something a little different then what I have been used to. I had never written one before and never really thought I would. When I went into this class I did not know what to expect. I thought it would be another Microsoft class or something along the lines of it and I was very wrong. Not only did we learn how to expand your personal learning network and the positive and negatives of social media; we even crated our own websites. Overall it was a fun class and i was able to learn all from it.

The first week of class we started talking about the basics of Twitter. For example  we talked about the definition of a tweet or why you should have a shorter username. These are things people do not really thing about when using twitter. Twitter is just a great tool for connecting and communicating with other professionals in your field. Both these things are very important to building up your PLN. We also talking about how you have to be careful about what you put online. Anything you put online can be found even if it deleted. You can never own when a future employer could be checking out your digital footprint. 

The coolest moment of the class hands down had to be when we interviewed former NFL player Mark Schlereth. One of the things he talked about was some business basics. You have to know what your target consumers and how to reach them. Once you really think about these two points then you may have a chance of any successful business. One thing he said was "there is always a game going on, if you do not know the game then it is probably you", this stuck with me because it makes you think about what is going on around you. If you want to finish first, then you have to beat everyone at their own game.

Digital storytelling was also something we covered. The one tool I liked the most was Animoto. It was a simple website I used to created a short video on health science. It is easy to use, mainly just finding a background picture you like and type some text on it. You can even put music in the background it add a little bit of production value to your video. We also learned how to work with circuits a little bit. We had to play a game of frogger with a controller, but for a controller we had to use anything but the controller. The group I was in ended up using play-doh as a conductor for the circuit so, every time we pushed a piece of play-doh our frogger moved. It was pretty cool, I had never worked with circuits before so it was a little different. Exploring your Digital Portfolio taught me a lot of things that I can use for the rest of my professional career, from how to use social media to creating your own website. All the things I learned will be a giant help and hopefully give me a little bit of an edge in the work force.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Circuit Hero

This past week we tried to create circuits that could control games on our laptops. It was pretty fun to do because it was something different. What worked for our group was using someone as the ground. None of the materials we had work. We tried play-doh, raisins, aluminum foil, and cardboard as the ground and it didn't work. What worked for us as far as getting frogger to move was play-doh. It was the only thing that worked out of the materials we used. The same things didn't work for this part of the circuit as it didn't work for the  grounding part. We just had to play around with the different materials we had until we found the right combination of things to work. We had issues at first trying to get it started but, once we got ideas rolling around finding the answer was pretty simple. We also ended up playing a little game i like ti call circuit hero. We were playing guitar hero on the laptops just with using circuits instead. Needless to say it was a fun class to be in.  

For Chapter 9 on Connected Educator, it talked about what the future holds.One doesn't need to be a teacher to be an educator. With all the information that is out there in the world today, anything you learn can be seen as be educated. Change is also coming to technology and education. It is important to keep in mind four core components to think about with these changes, Knowledge, Pedagogy, Connections, and Capacity. You need to have the knowledge to know that you can't know everything, and having the awareness of your network's expertise. You have to have to mind set of "I am the teacher" and i will help my students to the best of my abilities. Making sure you have connections within your personal learning network is important. Lastly, capacity building helps individuals and groups find and conquer development challenges.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


          Something we started to touch on it class last week were websites that helped with integrating social media in different ways. Websites like paper.liifttt, and buffer are very helpful in this way. is a website that basically lets you create your own daily newspaper tailored just for you. This is cool because it is all news stories that you want to read. This will make it more likely you will read any articles. It is also possible to link it with your Twitter account. And if you were to miss something on your twitter timeline, it will show up on your account. You can also share your paper with both twitter followers or anyone else you want to share it with. The second website ifttt stands for If This Than That. It helps connect different channels together and set up updates among other things. Some of the channels are Facebook, Twitter, Evernote and Gmail to name a few. With ifttt you are able to create recipes that can do a number of different things. For example you can create a recipe where if your alarm goes off then your WiFi turns off. Its things like this that ifttt is good for. It can be a good remember for the little things that can make your day a little bit easier. You can also set it up to when you find an article you like it goes right to an app (like pocket) that saves that article for you to read later. Buffer is also a cool little website that lets you create a queue for your Twitter. A queue is a wait list of tweets that get tweeted at a time and date you choose. Say you know you will not have time to tweet something out, you can add that tweet to the queue and buffer will tweet it for you. This makes it a little easier to manage your twitter account without thinking about it. 

         Creating websites were something we also talked about for a little bit. The two main websites we talked about were Weebly and Wix. Both websites are simple and easy to use for beginners when they want to create their own website.There are plenty of styles and templates to use as a base for your website. You can add a number of pages such as home, weekly blog, and contact page. Also you can add and re-size any photos you wish have on your site. These are some of the examples that are highlights from the video below. 

         Some tips to keep in mind when creating a website would have your favorite website in time, have a good set of colors, and sometimes less is more. Your favorite websites are you favorite for a reason, it never hurts to draw inspiration from them. Your website should have eye catching colors but, not eye hurting colors. The color blue is always a calming color no matter what shade is used, however having bright blue polka-dots with bright red stripes running through your website may strain the eyes. Lastly, having less words and bigger pictures gives your visitors more room to focus on what you have to say, and not disinterest them.     

         About me is also something that should be on everyone's website. It is a webpage has your contact information, a little bio about yourself, and all links to any social media you may have. A couple basic things the about me should have is how can you help the person visiting your page, information they can contact you by, and something that will grab their attention and bring them back to your site. 

Untangling the Web chapter four is about social networking tools. The tools they talked about were TodaysMeet, Skype, Kidblog, and Edmodo. TodaysMeet allows a teacher to create a back ground channel that can used by students or other teachers. This back ground channel allows you to talk in real time, letting you focus on whatever topic you are talking about without moving on to the next. With it being real time teachers are able to give students a clear expectations on whatever the topic is. Skype allows educators to find each other and share their ideas via video chat in their respective classrooms. This would allow a classroom in the U.S. connect with any other classroom in the world. So students in Manahawkin NJ, can talk with students from a classroom in Japan and other locations. Kidblog is a blog for students that can be moderated by their teacher. It keeps children in a safe learning environment, allowing them to share their thoughts. Edmodo is one of the first social media websites designed just for schools. It has the same feel as Facebook but, is almost exclusivity for educators. Teachers can set notes, when assignments are due, and when tests and quizzes are; and all the students see is a notification like on Facebook. This makes it easier for students to use.