Week 5: Creating a Video

September 27, 2013

This week in class, we dug a little more deeply into our Personal Learning Network tools and started to construct our curricular video. Each day, I’m learning new ways to find information on the Internet. One thing that I believe is different about these tools, such as Twitter and Feedly, is that these sources provide information about the world that I didn’t know I wanted to learn more about. Let me explain. Normally, when I use the Internet I go on to find a specific bit of information, for example I might go to the Internet if I’m looking for how to find the volume of an object. So I would type into Google something and bam! There is the formula for finding volume. However, using tools such as Twitter, I find that I’m presented with information that I was not actively seeking. Some of the information such as what a friend had for breakfast might not be so interesting but other information such as articles about adjunct faculty (something I retweeted from another source this week), I wasn’t actually looking for. I guess this could be called passively finding information. Also, Solomon (2010) had a great way to use twitter by connecting students with professionals all over the world to analyze temperatures in different parts of the world. I’ve used twitter before for another class and I have to say that it’s not my favorite social media outlet probably because I’m not a 140 characters type of person. As you can probably tell by the length of my post, I like to go in depth about things I’m talking about. So maybe the sort bursts of information throw me off. But I think all experience is good experience so I’ll keep an eye on my twitter, maybe I’ll get more interested in it. Plus, I believe it’s good to have an idea of resources our students will use outside of school in case I ever need to address something going on outside of the classroom such as cyberbullying.

Another tool we worked with this week is Animoto. I have to say, I’m really excited about this tool. At the beginning of the semester, I saw that we were creating a curricular video and I thought it would be a video of me giving an introduction of a topic lesson. I’m much more excited about creating a music video to introduce a topic. What a cool thing to do! I’ve seen these types of videos used in the classroom. Every year a school librarian I know creates a video about the book fair complete with quick summaries of books to drum up business and get students interested in books. Students love the videos and they’re a great way to introduce several topics. Also, my 8th grade geography class got to watch videos that introduced human rights. The kids were really engaged in learning more about these topics.

So when I first read about Delicious, I was a little skeptical. I didn’t think that I would find a use for it that related to my needs and interests. Actually, I just started bookmarking pages about a year ago. Before that, I would just type in the website each time I needed to access a particular website. I decided to use bookmarking because I was getting tired of going to a URL such as umw.edu then clicking helpful links then canvas. I wanted a simpler way to get to the webpages I used frequently. Thus, I stepped into the 21st century and started bookmarking. When we started using Delicious, I was thinking that I wouldn’t have any websites to actually put in there. Then I started putting in the direct links to the PLN websites and tagged them PLN.  Now I have all of my PLN websites together under a tag so all I have to go to is Delicious to remember which social media sites I need to go to participate. With one click (on the PLN tag), I can access the important websites thus cutting the time it would take me to remember which sites we are using. Before I did this, I was going back and forth between the Canvas page that says all of the PLN requirements each time I wanted to remind myself about the tools we’re using this semester.

Overall, I’m excited to finish up my curricular video. I’m still in the process of picking out pictures but I have an outline for my video and most of my information is ready to post into Animoto. I’m still working on figuring out an idea about how to use twitter in the classroom and liking the ease of access to links that Delicious provides for me.




Coffman, T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and information literate students. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Solomon, G & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How-to for educators. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

Categories: INDT 501.

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Week Four: Information Literacy and Creativity

September 22, 2013

This week in class we started to look at the construction of our personal learning network and we looked into finding and evaluating information that can be found on the Internet. I found our work with social media to be a bit overwhelming because it is easy to spend a great deal of time constructing your social media profile and investigating each social media outlet. One can spend hours delving into the depths of a particular social media website to find information. Finding and evaluating information can be a difficult process especially with the many different forms of documents, media, and resources.

Creating a personal learning network is such a broad idea. It could really be as in-depth or as low key as the particular person wanted to go. There is so much to find on social media it can be overwhelming. This week we started working with Google+, LinkedIn, and the Personal Learning Network of our choice. Although I had used Google+ and LinkedIn before I still had to reacquaint myself with them. I don’t normally use these websites. It’s difficult for me to keep up with so many different social media sites I typically only use Facebook.  I believe this semester will be a good way to get me into using more of these sites for professional usage.

One reading that I found to be interesting this week was the chapter we read about WebQuests (Coffman, 2013). Prior to this class, I had never heard of a WebQuest. Wow, what an interesting concept! I really hadn’t considered how to construct a lesson using the Internet. I had assumed that I would just have my students browse one particular website for information. However, that doesn’t seem very realistic when you think about it. Students will be tasked with finding information online for the rest of their lives and they’re not always going to have me there to tell them whether or not the site is a good resource to use. So I should be teaching students what good and bad websites look like. Plus, students must use many different websites to find information about a particular topic, there’s not going to be one website that is a one-size-fits-all. It’s actually interesting that we covered the topic of WebQuests this week because it was my first experience with them in the classroom as well. My 8th grade science classes were doing a WebQuest this week where they were given a worksheet about matter to fill out using 10 or so different websites.

A resource from this week that I found useful was Kathy Schrock’s (2013) Critical Evaluation of Information. I know how I evaluate websites but trying to communicate that knowledge that I’ve acquired after years of searching for information can be difficult. Kathy Schrock’s questions helped me to learn what questions I should be asking my students to help them evaluate their sources. Questions like, “Is the purpose of the page indicated on the home page?” help the user to look for information within a website that will help them determine a trustworthy site in the future (Schrock, 2013). This site also helped me in creating my website evaluation mind map and creating the mind map allowed me to write down the criteria that I look for in a website. This was helpful because sometimes I evaluate a website without really thinking about the criteria. I already know to look for dates, information about the author, biased information, and so on.



Coffman, T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and information literate students. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Schrock, K. (2013). Critical evaluation of information. Retrieved from http://www.schrockguide.net/critical-evaluation.html

Solomon, G & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How-to for educators. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.

Categories: INDT 501, Uncategorized.

Tags: , , , , , ,