Social Networking and The Walled Garden

The entry this week focuses on the concept of the walled garden.  In order to collaboratively discuss this topic, I have created a Voicethread.  After you take a look, you can comment here or on the Voicethread.  Feel free to let me know what you think!


Giacomantonio, Lucia. “Making Global Connections: The Edmodo Pen Pal Project.” RSS. N.p., 23 Jan. 2013. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.

“So You Want to Do Mystery Skype?” N.p., 25 Oct. 2011. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.

“Walled Garden.” What Is ? A Webopedia Definition. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.



The Basic Suite

The Basic Suite refers to the three of the most used software support tools in education: word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation programs.  Many teachers and students around the world use these applications.  There are many advantages to incorporating word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation programs in my work environment.  I teach ninth grade Humanities English.  I work with students reading at grade level, and I teach a class for students reading significantly below grade level.  My school is currently a 1-1 school with the students having Chromebooks.  There are many advantages to using these applications.

Word Processing

Word processing applications are incredibly popular at the high school level.  Teachers can use Google Docs or Microsoft Word to name two different programs.  These word processing programs allow teachers to easily create, share, and edit lesson plans.  Additionally, it allows teachers to give students feedback on written assignments.  Also, using word processing applications make it easier for teachers to “push out” assignments on platforms like Google Classroom or Schoology.  This tool help create a paperless classroom.  In addition to word processing applications being beneficial for teachers, they are also beneficial for students.  Students can learn important life skills that will help them later in life.  My brother works for a fairly large company, and he says it is shocking how so many new employees lack the skills required for The Basic Suite.  This is something that teachers need to encourage.  Of course students can type essays, but it is more than that.  By using Google Docs, for example, students can learn important collaboration skills while working on a product.  Recently, my students had to create a product for mythology.  It was great that they all had Chromebooks and could collaborate using Google Docs.


Spreadsheets have more capabilities than most teachers truly need.  Spreadsheets can be used for something as simple as a class roster or seating chart.  The information can be important from the Online Gradebook and arranged any way the teacher would like.  Also, the Spreadsheet can be used as a gradebook or backup gradebook.  At my school, everything has to be entered in an online gradebook.  Teachers do not keep paper gradebooks anymore.  I do make sure to export my online gradebook to Excel every few weeks.  This allows me to have a back up gradebook on my computer in case there is a glitch with the online gradebook.  Spreadsheets can also be used to sort and analyze data from Google Forms.  Roblyer (2016) explains how incorporating this tool in the classroom can help students organize and store different types of data and information.  Students can also use spreadsheets.  Students can use spreadsheets to organize their tasks or to create a to do list.  I encourage students to keep track of their grades in a spreadsheet.  This helps in case a grade is entered in error.  A student can reference his or her spreadsheet in order to check the accuracy of entered grades.

Presentation Tools

Teachers use presentation tools all of the time.  Between Google Slides and PowerPoints alone, teachers are quite familiar with presentation tools.  I use presentation tools nearly every day.  While it may not be for the entire class period, I do use them to keep my classroom organized.  I can project the bell ringer, lead the class in notes, and more.  I do adhere to the rules of PowerPoints by having more visuals and fewer words.  I find that having the PowerPoint helps keep my classroom structured and organized.  Finally, PowerPoint can be used to create an interactive quiz.  Students use presentation tools all the time across content areas; however, it is important for the students to be taught how to properly create a PowerPoint.  Often times students put too many words on each slide and simply read off of the slides.  Another advantage is collaboration.  Students can collaborate on projects to present information for an assignment.  Students can create graphic organizers that fit their learning styles and preferences.  The opportunities for students to use presentation tools are endless.  The most important thing the students must learn is how to use them effectively.


Roblyer, M.D.  Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching.  7th Edition.  Pearson, 2016. VitalSource Bookshelf Online.

Reflections on EdTech 502

I have not been formally reflecting on my website design for EdTech 502.  At this point, I have created numerous websites using Dreamweaver CC.  This class is the first time I ever used Dreamweaver or coded anything.  To be honest, I love it!  It is really hard at times, but I am learning from my mistakes. I cannot wait to incorporate some of these websites, and many I have yet to create, in my classroom. Feel free to check out my 502 page which will lead you to my other creations.  Hopefully you can see the quality of the pages get better as I learn more from the class.

RSS Lesson Plan

RSS is something that I was not overly familiar with before this class started.  I thought of newsfeed only as something connected to social media sites; however, the research for this class has really been an eye opening experience.  I learned an immense amount of information on what an RSS feed is, how it can be incorporated in the classroom, the information that can be found, and more.

The most difficult part of this assignment is that I feel there is still so much more to learn.  Feedly has so much to offer that one week just did not feel like enough.  I am looking forward to learning more about Feedly and how to incorporate it even more in the classroom.  I feel like Feedly (or something similar) is a wonderful way to encourage reading articles in the classroom.  If I had more time, I would have spent more time on Feedly.  I feel like I could spend hours reading and posting articles.  I hope that students feel the same loss of time in reading and researching the articles on Feedly.

While I have not yet incorporated this lesson in my classroom, I am excited to do so.  I feel that the students will show growth in reading comprehension and analysis of text.  I cannot wait to try this out.  I may be able to modify it and incorporate it second semester only.  I really like the idea of using Google Drive to create a portfolio for students to assess their own work.

Here is the link to my lesson:  RSS Lesson Plan.

Plain 502 Page

There are two songs that I sing while I work on coding for class.  “Dream Weaver” and my version of “Learning to Fly” entitled “Learning to Code” have been heard throughout the house.  My husband and children are all saints for listening to me butcher these songs.

I have never attempted coding before EdTech502.  Coding is forcing me to use a very different part of my brain.  This can be very difficult for a perfectionistic English teacher.  I found working with Adobe Dreamweaver CC to be a matter of trial and error.  I know this may sound ridiculous, but I have truly enjoyed learning from my mistakes.  While coding my Plain502 page, I learned the importance of patience.  I found that the coding came more easily when I exhibited more patience.  I have since finished my 502 page, and I am looking forward to sharing that with you soon.  Additionally, the Netiquette page is well under way, and it is looking good!  I am excited to share the next few projects with you shortly.

EdTech 501 Definition Graph

One of the first assignments for EdTech 501 is to define educational technology in graphic form.  I didn’t want to default to PowerPoint as I am too comfortable with it.  I feel it is important to attempt new programs and methods during this course.  For this project, I decided to use Lucidchart as I found it while playing with Google+.  If you have not had a chance to check it out, I implore you to do so.  It includes numerous graphic organizers on the free version.  I can only imagine what I would get if I paid for it!  I found graphic organizers for essays that I have not yet tried, but I am hoping to integrate a few of them in the curriculum this year.  The organizers are easy to manipulate to create the perfect organizer for the assignment.  It is not like some organizers where I feel like I have to change the assignment to fit the organizer or create my own from scratch.  It would be difficult to find an organizer that could not be tweaked to fit any assignment.

My EdTech501 definition graphic incorporates what I believe is important in the ever evolving field of educational technology.  


Here is the definition graph I made using Lucidchart.

Here is the definition graph I made using Lucidchart.

RSS in Education

You can copy and paste directly to your post page, embed an Evernote or Google Doc or any number of ways to display your artifact. Include a reflection for each artifact, along with assigning the proper AECT Standard.

As you can see in this post, the AECT Standards, “3.1 Media Utilization” and “4.4 Information Management” have been assigned to this post.

You will want to include a discussion of how the AECT Standard aligns with your artifact, why it is important, and probably revisit this artifact later in the program to identify how the artifact connects practice to theory.

You will need to decide which artifacts to use for your final portfolio for the M.E.T. program. You can easily “hide” artifacts from view by changing their status from “published” to “draft.”  That way, you will always have the artifact in your website.

Category Widget

Can you also see how the Categories widget shows the AECT Standard assigned to this post? Think about how handy this will be as you continue to post your artifacts to your learning log, assigning the AECT Standards. All you will need to do is click one of the standards in the widget and all of your posts will appear for you to review. This will come in very handy at the end of the program.