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.


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!

Reading For Enjoyment

Do your students love to read?


It’s clear that SAM loves this book! He loves it so much he NEVER wants to give it back.

Today I met with my group to plan our online course.  A portion of our discussion was on the English Language Arts (ELA), Common Core State Standards (CCSS).  We were discussing rigor and text complexity.  I’ve spent much of the school year researching  the ELA CCSS.  When I saw this picture it reminded me that I need to devote some class time to reading for enjoyment.

It’s my personal belief that when a child finds joy in a book, they will become life long readers.  As I type this, I can recall so many books I loved as a child: In a People House, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, all the Golden Readers, Little House on the Prairie, The Box Car Children, The Babysitters Club, and so many more.  I read those books for fun!  I still read for fun!

One of my favorite shows as a child was Reading Rainbow. Reading Rainbow was all about the joy of reading.

Click on this link to hear LeVar Burton talk about Reading Rainbow and the future of that program.

My plea to all educators is to provide students with opportunities to read for fun.  It don’t always have to be followed up with comprehension questions!

Digital Citzenship


Early on my research on the use of devices such as cell phones and tablets in the classroom, I kept coming across concerns for the students. I was reading, “How can we protect the students?” “How can we manage their access?” All I kept thinking was shouldn’t we be teaching the students how to protect themselves? Don’t they need to be able to behave online in a respectful way?

I finally found out there is a term for all that! It’s called, “Digital Citizenship.” To be honest I’ve hear this term before but just let it go in one ear and out the other.  Once I read this definition it all came together for me.

“Quality online participation should entail demonstrating respect for self and others in the digital common, including knowing how to adjust privacy settings, download music and other files legally, post messages that are respectful to the online community, and encourage others to practice responsible online behaviors” (Greenhow, Robelia, & Hughes, 2009).

I think as teacher, parents, and ADULTS we bear the responsibility to teach this concept to the children that are growing up in this day and age! When I was in school I learned what it meant to be a good citizen, to treat people right.  I learned that at home and school.  It’s my belief that the same should be done with digital citizenship.