When reflecting on my PKM, I can see that there are tools that I favor over the others.

To begin with, I use feedly for most of my capturing. I have found that my subscriptions lead me several interesting articles everyday. I often find links to other interesting topics through the articles as well. The other tools I intended to use are still helpful, I just use them less frequently than feedly.

I have completely abandoned delicious. I couldn’t get used to it. I use Evernote and zotero for all my curating.

For sharing, I use blogging as my primary tool. I have been using twitter to share some of my blog posts.

Overall, using these tools have helped me find and link with others in the field of education.



This video clip is from a movie called, Doubt. I have never seen this movie in its entirety but I plan on it. In this clip the character is talking about gossip. His description of gossip is really powerful. It sends a strong message.

I’d love for anyone reading this to take two minutes and fifty seconds to watch this video, then read the rest of this post.

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.02.55 AM

Now let’s think about gossiping online. In a couple of clicks or taps a text, image, or screenshot can spread so fast and so far. Once it’s “out there” it’s impossible to get back.  The image below is from an article called: Going viral: How ‘social contagion’ begins and escalates. It visualizes the connections we have online.


Gossip online can be a form of cyber bullying. Here are three rules regarding privacy that are not often mentioned in etiquette lists. Remember to cover these topics when you talk to your children about digital citizenship and/or cyber bullying.

1. Screenshots: Always respect the privacy of others. If some sends you an email, message, or image, don’t take screenshots and share.  Whatever it is or says was directed at you, not the world at large.

2. Photos: Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with the world at large.  Yes, you may have privacy settings with who you share with.  However, screenshots are easy to take and share.

3. Forward/BCC: These functions are for productivity in the workplace.  They are not intended for spreading gossip.  To forward or BCC someone on an email is an invasion of privacy.

What’s your favorite color scheme?

Today I was chatting with one of my teacher friends about the way we set up our classrooms.  She asked me if there was a particular color scheme that I liked. Here is my response.



My response made me think about why I choose these colors.  I “decorate” my room with colors I like.  I think it makes my classroom fun and inviting.  I’ve been commended for the my classroom environment and I think the colors I choose adds to it.

So after running through these thoughts today, how funny is  it that I stumble across this article before bed?!

Jan Hoffman wrote the article, Rethinking the Colorful Kindergarten Classroom. In it she references a study by Fisher, Godwin & Seltman: Visual Environment, Attention Allocation, and Learning in Young Children, When Too Much of a Good Thing May Be Bad. 

This study examined the affects of decorations on classroom walls. Research showed that student in classrooms with many decorations were distracted more often.  Click on the link to read the article. It had a lot of good points. It definitely made me further reflect on the way I set up my classroom.

Earlier in this post I put decorate in quotation marks.  I did this because I really dislike saying that I decorate my room.  It sounds unprofessional to me.  I also don’t think the word speaks to the amount of time and energy I put into the presentation of my classroom.  The items I chose to put up may seem decorate in nature but I assure you that everything on the walls of my classroom serves a purpose.

  • The work on the walls reflect student progress.
  • The charts on the board are reminders of learning objectives.
  • The number line and alphabet above my board is for reference.
  • The word wall is for reading and spelling.

When I see my students looking around while they are working, it makes me happy.  It tells me they are engaged in the room itself.  I tell my kids, “Use the information around you to help you.”  Sometimes it’s a spelling word, reading word, math pattern, a step, or a definition that they are looking for.  I’m glad I know they can find it.



Look behind these cuties to see two charts hanging on the wall. One is for the spelling sound of the week and the other has the reading words for the week.

Click here for my infographic!

First, thank you to everyone that gave me feedback on my first draft.  I took everyone’s advice & made some changes. This assignment was a sneaky one! I had no idea the amount of time it would take me to complete this.  Thankfully there were templates!  I can see how infographics can have a big impact when you are trying to share facts with the world.

On the venngage site there were templates for resumes! I don’t think the world is ready for infographic resumes…unless you’re applying for a tech job 😉

Can I Get an Amen?!


A few weeks ago, I shared my Personal Knowledge Management System (PKM).  In it you can see one place I collect information from is by subscribing to podcasts.  One of my favorites is TEDTalks Education.  This podcast has a variety of episodes covering the many aspects of education.

I’m writing this blog post from my seat on an airplane heading back from Hawaii.  I was feeling a little bored when I remembered that I had the TEDTalks videos on my laptop.  I watched Christopher Emdin talk about changing education through the teacher education progress.  The episode is called Teach Teachers How to Create Magic.

He started off by defining some negative characteristics of teacher education (I’m going to skip over that part).  He then described how some people have that “magic.”  He described the way people like, rappers and pastors can hold onto an audience’s attention by raising and lowering volume and pace of speech, and the give and take with the audience.

He brings it back to education and says, “But I’m here to tell you that magic can be taught. Magic can be taught. Magic can be taught.”  Teachers can be taught the skills to create magic in their classrooms. 

Have you ever felt yourself making magic with your students?  I can tell you, I have.  I love the enthusiasm that encompasses this delivery style.  But that’s what I think it is, a “style.”  Like I said, I’ve felt the magic.  I’ve also felt the exhaustion that comes after those amazing moments.  I don’t think I can teach that way everyday for every subject.  I’m willing to try and will make an effort to teach that way more often.  .  .

I hope the principal won’t mind me napping on the rug at recess and lunch!

Digitally Competent Teachers

I came across this article today through my feedly account.  This article had a beautiful infographic that accompanied the article. According to Daily Genius you are a digitally competent teacher if:

  • You can integrate digital skills into everyday life
  • You have a balanced attitude
  • You are open to using and trying new stuff
  • You are a digital communicator
  • You know how to do a digital assessment
  • You understand and respect privacy
  • You are a digital citizen

I really appreciate each point here. I do think that the third bullet is so important.  I have a personal philosophy when it comes to technology, “The computer can’t win.”  When I am trying new things, I flat out refuse to let the computer win.  Does that mean I always accomplish what I want?  Yes.  Does it always come out the way I intended/envisioned?  No.  When I hit a technological road block, I immediately begin looking for a detour.  I ask myself, “How can I do this?” 

I encourage anyone who struggles with technology to not give up & keep  on trying!