Thursday, December 9, 2010

Creative Commons Licensing

When choosing an image from Flickr you may notice that the images offered are under different forms of licenses.  Each license provides an explanation of the terms of usage of the images (works).  These include the following:
Attribution...others may copy, display, distribute and perform your work-as long as they give you cred
Attribution-NoDerivs...others may copy, display, distribute, and perform your work as long as it is verbatim copies of your work may display, distribute, copy, and perform your work, as long as it is verbatim copies for non-commercial purposes
Attribution-NonCommercial...others may display, distribute, copy, and perform your work along with derivatives of your work, as long as it is for non-commercial purposes may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work for non-commercial purposes may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Romeo & Juliet Podcast

Very recently I switched my job as a 9th grade special ed teacher to a 9th and 11th grade English teacher.  All of the resources that I have been exposed to during this course must now be geared towards English.  When looking through Podcasts that I may use in my own teaching environment I stumbled upon the dramatic reading of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.  As one of the upcoming pieces of literature that my 9th graders will be studying I am thrilled to have found such a resource.  The reading of each act of Shakespeare's tragic love story are read by a teacher and his students that are very capable of reading Shakespeare.  Because students oftentimes struggle with reading Shakespeare I was hoping to provide auditory aides so that they may listen to the text in order to avoid stumbling over the words and Shakespearean language.  Students can access the following site, Romeo & Juliet Podcast , to catch up at home or review scenes or acts.  Will definitely be using in the next couple of months!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Wow, the possibilities with a global communication site like ePals are endless.  When exploring the site for myself I noticed some major components that educators would tap into.  First, you can create an account for your class or school allowing you to, as a group, connect with another school or class when exploring a common topic.  Educators can create their own individual profiles in order to share lessons, request lesson ideas, or communicate with another teacher from somewhere else on the planet.  Students are also capable of making "ePals" much like "pen pals" in order to communicate with students their age from possibly a different country or continent.  During my search of the site I found two teachers who were collaborating on lesson ideas when reading Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet."  One teacher was from California, while the other was from Israel.  The teacher from Israel shared the idea of creating an additional scene to the play in the PowerPoint program.  The teacher from California loved the idea and even posted her distant colleague's projects on her personal webpage.  

I think that it is easy for any individual to forget that we are only 1 of about 6 billion people on this planet.  A global community site, such as ePals, allows anyone to reach out and bridge the gap between cultures, languages, religions, and political issues for the common idea of educating children.  I think it is essential that children understand that they are a part of something greater than they can truly conceive.  Giving our students authentic experiences to communicate with students from other regions or countries, or explore different content areas using another teacher's lessons builds their concept of the global community that they are apart of.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Bubblr is an awesome online tool that can be used to create comic strips.  You may search images on Flickr and insert word bubbles.  I feel that this could be used across content areas and engage students in creating fun, informative comic strips about any topic. I utilized Bubblr to make a short strip about the "Pax Romana". I hope to use this tool in my Science class to help students better understand abstract concepts.

In English, students could use Bubblr to create short summaries about texts or chapters they have read. They could also create alternate endings.  In Social Studies they could recreate certain time periods like I've done or discuss current events by making a comic strip.

Whichever method you choose, Bubblr is for sure to be a great learning tool for students!

Photo by -yury-

Monday, October 18, 2010


Micro-blogging is yet another way to connect with your students outside of the walls of the classroom.  Edmodo is an online network that allows you to connect with only your specific students and provide quick and easy bits of information to them.  This "closed group collaboration" allows teachers to easily connect with students after school hours to remind them of upcoming assignments and tests, make them aware of any assignment changes, and create a stronger bond between students and teacher.  It was suggested, however, in The Chronicle of Higher Education article that “My experience with using Twitter and anything similar — blogs, Facebook, etc. — for academic purposes is that students just think it is weird, creepy, and geeky in the negative sense."  Some students reject the idea of having such communication with their educators after hours, despite how beneficial it may be to them.  An opposing view from an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas suggests, "Thus to extend the walls of the classroom, make education relevant to all aspects of students lives rather than just what they do four-five hours a day we need to think of ways to extend the ways we form and foster learning communities.”  I understand both points of view, however, it is my hope as a secondary educator, that younger students would be excited to be given encouragement to use such modes of communication that are usually off limits.  With my students I would love to keep them updated with reminders of due dates, homework assignments, study tips, and prompts to get started.  There is such a daily disconnect as soon as the students leave the building that I almost wish I could call them personally.  Time, unfortunately, does not permit such a luxury, whereas micro-blogging would allow those invaluable pieces of information to land right in front of them!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Continuing on in my search for Blogs that are pertinent to my own interests, I stumbled upon the blog, "Look at My Happy Rainbow," written by a male Kindergarten teacher, .  His blog chronicles his day-to-day encounters with his "sprouts" as he refers to his students.  Although I am a high school special education teacher, the insights from a kindergartner teacher's point of view are refreshing and encouraging.  My passion was originally to work with elementary students who are just learning the lay of the land where everything is new to them.  Somehow I was guided into high school where my job now is to mold respectful,  responsible, hard-working young adults.  "Look at My Happy Rainbow" allows me to look at both the complexity and simplicity that Kindergarten classrooms are made of.  In one post entitled, "Genius," the teacher had his "sprouts" create adjectives for the pictures of pumpkins they had just drawn on a piece of paper.  One student chose the word "scary" and needed guidance in how to spell out the word.  The teacher sat down and helped the student spell out each sound and when they got to the last sound, /ee/, the student wrote a "y".  When asked how the student knew the letter was a "y" and not and "e," which was fully expected to be what a kindergartner would produce, he simply responded, "It's just like the "y" at the end of my name" (Billy).  The pureness of the student's answer reminds the teacher and readers not to ever underestimate your student's inner genius!