Thing # 4 Cloud Initiation

I looked over Diigo, and am looking into using it, but for this class, I have created a Symbaloo account (Symbaloo Mix #1)



I regularly use both Dropbox (both personally and professionally) and Google Drive.  In fact I have used Google Drive on a daily basis for years!  Here is an example of what is on my “new” LearningDawn email drive:



Inside one of the folders:

21 Things Plus Folder.PNG

Since I have always created many of my own assignments & all of my own tests, I have used Google Docs for years and loved it!  It worked out (accidentally) that I was creating the documents on my personal Google, but when I was laid off, that ended up making my life easier since I had 90% of my creations ready to take with me!  Now I am in the process of seperating my personal and professional Google Docs for simplicity and ease of use.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thing #10 – Search Strategies

Useful resources or databases in MeL:

Britannica School (Middle School)



Military & Intelligence Database


Social Studies Research



Great resource to use for debate topics:

Opposing Viewpoints

If I were teaching U.S. Social Studies, the following sites could be useful:

Demographics or maps of U.S.

U.S. Government info


Review of All About Explorers using the Basic Valenza method:

Content–the topic of Christopher Columbus is covered in a great length summary, but the information is not accurate.  It IS written well and is easy to understand.  The site is unique in that it is used as a practice to analyze websites.  It also has well chosen links to more accurate information.

Authority/Credibility–the site does give information about the authors, which can be used as a clue that the information is not factual! 🙂  The domain does end in .com

Bias/Purpose–site was created to help students practice finding inaccurate information.  It seems to have been created by some credible people with a great educational goal.   It is so well written, the facts blend in smoothly with the fiction, but there is enough fiction to make it obvious.

Usability/Design–the site is easy to use & navigate & things are well labeled.  It seems to be neat, attractive & well formatted.  The links I tried all worked well, and I would like to use this site for the reason it was intended–practice finding false information!

Review of  NASA using the Basic Valenza method:

Content–the site seems to cover a variety of topics well and accurately (although doesn’t seem to be extensive).  There do seem to be a variety of science topics.  It is very easy to find the revision/date updated.

Authority/Credibility–the NASA official & page editor’s names are given.  The sources are appropriately documented and other links, seeming to be credible are given.  The domain ends with .gov

Bias/Purpose–the site was created to inform and provide credible, unbiased resources.  The information is presented as fact & based on other research, it is true.

Usability/Design–the site is fairly easy to navigate, although there are a LOT of things to look at and it could be a bit confusing/overwhelming.  It is presented in a neat, attractive, attention-getting manner and has been well edited. The links all seem to work (although with the slow internet connection I have, it takes a LONG time to load because much of it is visually intensive.)


I tried using two free citation makers for a book I recently read & here are the results:

Using– ELDREDGE, JOHN & STACI. CAPTIVATING. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Using WorksCited4u–Eldredge, John, and Stasi Eldredge. Captivating : unveiling the mystery of a woman’s soul. , 2010. Print.

I like the WorksCited results better, since it is more complete with the same amount of input.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thing #14 — Powerful Presentations

I created a presentation using Blendspace:

Egypt Lesson

I like being able to collect resources together, although I found the search is very limited & does not give access to resources that a Google search outside the program would access.  However, I was able to collect several useful resources.  There are many standards addressed by the resources I collected, but the main two center around:

-using cultural institutions to study an era and region

-locate major landforms, rivers, etc

If I were presenting this lesson to a class, I would begin by asking what the students know about Egypt.  Then we would look at some of the photographs from National Geographic and watch the video on Ancient Egypt.  We would then look at the map work, and discuss how the Nile River made/makes a difference in the area.  We would use the CIA WorldFactbook to compare data from Egypt to the United States as a reference point and discuss why some of the statistics might be different & what could cause the differences.  We would research some of the news from Egypt, as well as monitor current events for a few weeks and discuss as necessary.  After all of that (as well as reviewing information in the Social Studies textbook), I would assign an Egypt project (the students are able to chose which project to do).

The ISTE Standards are addressed in my lessons in the following ways:

*Empowered learner: monitoring current events, researching data, choosing project

*Digital citizen: citing sources on project, searching safely

*Knowledge Constructor: research current events & data & contruct comparisons & theories on why things are happening or are different than in other places.

*Inovative Designer: project

*Creative Communicator: paper/presentation portion of project

*Glorbal Collaborator: discuss current events/problems and consequences with others

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thing #11 — Content Area

PBS Learning–I like that I can create collections of materials to use on this site.  I wish it gave the option of the Michigan Standards for Social Studies, but  it doesn’t–only national.  Here is what I found:

National Standards for History

2.1A.1 ( World History Grades 5-12 )
2.1A.2 ( World History Grades 5-12
2.2A.2 ( World History Grades 5-12 )
2.4A.5 ( World History Grades 5-12 )
7.6A.3 ( World History Grades 5-12 )



Possible resources to use


Using Gooru, I collected a few resources.  I have a class code to share (OQAFNB9), but the link works better since I have not added students:  Social Studies Class Collection


Using the resources I found, many of them would relate to helping students develop understanding.  Using the Technology categories, the resources are primarily instructional media, database & reference resources, and instructional interactives.  The resources would also help student extend and apply knowledge.  I have found as we are discussing a topic in class, the more ways I can find to connect the student with the content the better.  So the collections I created are a combination of visuals, simulations, activities, puzzles, videos, and discussion starters.

Posted in Thing 8 - 14, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Thing #7 — Productivity

I love the CIA World Factbook for looking up information (especially statistics) about countries.  The students often have a difficult time initially finding how to get to the correct place (especially when they don’t know the country names of a continent yet).  So if I give them enough information, they can get to the right spot AND have the list of countries to chose from for the assigned continent.  If we are studying Africa, the website for the page that lists African countries is:

Here are a couple shorter versions:

I like the tinyurl version best, because even though it is a bit longer, it lets me chose a name that makes sense. 🙂

I created a Google calendar to use in my classroom.  I anticipate posting what we do each day, as well as reminders about assignments due, tests coming up, etc.  I also REALLY like the idea of modeling the use of a calendar/agenda for the students.  One of the common (& slightly irritating) questions students ask is, “What are we doing today?” or “What did I miss?” (Even though this is always written on the board, and I ALWAYS point to the board).  Using the calendar in this way will add to my reminders that they can use their resources and find out.  Depending on if my school stays with Office 365 or switches to Google, I might change calendars, so I only created part of a sample week.

Google Calendar


I used my Final Exam notes & converted them to an MP3 file.   (I don’t think I can upload the actual file without upgrading WordPress).

Hello from Zamzar !
The file you submitted for conversion is now available for download from Zamzar – all files will be stored for 1 day from receipt of this mail.
Or click on the following link to download your converted file:
The following file was successfully converted from pdf to mp3 format:
      2017FinalExamStudyAnswers (1).pdf

This could be very useful so that the students who don’t like to read, or are auditory learners can listen to notes, instructions, etc in addition to reading them.  There are also a few kids that don’t want other kids to know that (or how much) they study, so if they can just listen, they might “study” more.  I noticed that Zamzar will convert to pdf & other files as well, but I already convert many of my files within the program in which they are created.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thing 2, Face of Your Classroom

I tried using OneNote this past year, and it was a case of learning-as-you-go!  I used it in my technology class and we would try something & then change it if it didn’t work.  I found the collaboration section to be a bit confusing, because students work was “randomly” placed on the page it was was occasionally confusing (& some ended up being placed over the top of other student’s work). OneNote is a useful tool, and as I become more proficient at it, there will be even more uses.  Please remember–this is VERY rough!!!  Here is a link that should allow visitors to see the basics of how I initially set it up:  https://lenawee-OneNote sample class notebook

Each students had their own section divided into Assignments & Projects (the two categories we ended up using most) and Evaluations, and the students posted their responses to the assignments in these sections.  Because of student confidentiality, the student notebooks are not shown using the link above.

I did not use the suggested titles of pages, but I did adapt for what I needed in my class.


Image result for OneNote



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thing 3–Visual Learning

Using information on Egypt and abcya I created a word cloud

Word Art

I could use this word cloud as an introduction to the topic of Egypt & post it as a preview for what the students will be learning.

I could also see this being very beneficial to have students enter information from different portions of a reading assignment about the topic and then share their word art.  The students could also enter words they know about the topic onto a word cloud we create together as a class (projected on the Smart Board).

Another idea gathered from “108 Ideas to Use Word Clouds in the Classroom” is to use statistics from the CIA WorldFactbook to illustrate data trends and then discuss these trends as they pertain to past & present movements between countries.  To further the learning, use a word cloud to illustrate these trends the students discovered.

Mind Mapping

Religion “Gliffy”

The students could use a mind mapping site to create notes on the various “Big 5” religions as we study them, in order to better compare them (currently we create a comparison chart)  The above example is a rough draft example. 😉

 QR Code
 Ok….I have created a QR code. This was definately not easy, and not my favorite thing.   But here it is:  2017 Final Exam Notes QR code.
Question–most of the articles I saw on QR codes were from 2011.  I don’t know anyone who uses them.  So am I “out of it” or do I not have technologically advanced collegues? 😉
Final Exam
I started creating a graphic using piktochart.   I believe this will link to the initial trial document I created:
Infographic - Asia
I have shared all of my information in this blog instead of a Digital Portfolio AND here.  I personally thought the WordCloud was the easiest to create.  I am a very visual person, but I didn’t find the sites I checked to be overly helpful (although I did not check the paid sites), so I have some more investigating to do on this topic.
Posted in Thing 01 - 07, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment