ePortfolio Link

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The Pizza Dilemma Instructional Video

Hello everybody,

My group decided to focus on a 6th grade math standard, understanding and describing the relationship of ratios. The three of us worked together to come up with a creative narrative for discussing this concept. Viola! Pizza! Utilizing the storyboard template, we were able to come up with a collection of scenes that would tell a story and apply ratios. What I believe is key to creating instructional videos and the most valuable lesson I learned through this process was the importance of preparation! Preparation encourages everyone to be onboard with your video concept and irons out any potential issues. I think what could have made our video even better was more practice in running the lines with each other. Also, just taking the time to brainstorm and come up with as many ideas as possible without a time constraint and the time to tinker with ideas might have enhanced the final product. For me personally, the biggest learning curve was working with iMovie. This is something I have never done before and always considered to time consuming to tackle. However, I felt that the setup and operations of iMovie were fairly intuitive and accessible by folks like me with little editing experience. I look forward to playing around more with iMovie in developing supplemental curriculum for my future classroom.

Storyboard: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kmc5JhTHEAnFVDc6ahyLOq8XCmSr85-8o-oeVaDcD3U/edit

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26jKFul2DTs


The ISTE Standards that best match this activity include:

1B. Engage students in exploring real-world issues and solving authentic problems using digital tools and processes

2A. Design or adapt relevant student learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity

3A. Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations

Thanks for reading!


WebQuest Reflection


In terms of a lesson plan resource, WebQuest and QuestGarden are an awesome tool. Teachers and parents alike have *free* access to hundreds of lesson plans that can be modified to suit the needs of their students and children. Even though I’m a future classroom teacher, I can’t help but think of the implications this resource could mean for homeschooling.  However, the operating system and index of Quests could use a revamp to fit in with the rest of the current tech and digital classroom tools. Weeding through the Quests using QuestGarden, it was difficult to find material and subjects I was looking for. Just like in a lot of web indexes, you have to weed through a lot of bad to get to the good. I think it would also benefit from some sort of chat function so that teachers could discover Quests and debate the merits in real time to provide and receive constructive feedback from comparable professionals.

In my own experience creating a WebQuest, I felt the template served as a great starting point, especially for newcomers. It was easy to work with and fill in. Although, I think Christi and I both were frustrated a few times with Google Docs. It would bug out on us, particularly with formating. In the future, I would look into using a different platform to fill in the template. One of the pro’s, however, was the ability to work on our document simultaneously in real time. That’s something Word can’t do.

During class, I enjoyed seeing the work of other teams. In one instance, a fellow group put together a WebQuest that was very similar to ours in process but featured a different time in history. It was beneficial to see what tricks other groups used to make their WebQuest stand out. If we gave ourselves more time, I think ours could have been a little bit better visually. The majority of our feedback was very positive and the suggestions we received were good ideas, including attaching a group project since our Quest was a very solo endeavor.

I would definitely consider using WebQuest when creating curriculum in the future. It operates as a quality idea file to look back to when you need something different. I like to consider WebQuest as an early version of a Professional Learning Network for educators.

The ISTE Standards I see the most in developing and using WebQuest include:

I. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

II. Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments




Digital Citizenship


Digital citizenship is important to include in your classroom curriculum because students need to know how to navigate our increasingly digital world safely and smartly. Just like the real world, students need to be aware of the legitimate consequences of not following the rules. Teachers should not assume that students are learning these guidelines and sensible actions when using digital tech at home. In the fast pace innovative climate we are living in, it is an added responsibility for teachers to prepare students in using multiple digital platforms appropriately and effectively. Here is my PowToon presentation covering the first 4 ISTE Digital Citizenship Elements:


For my class, I would continue this lesson by asking them to develop their own presentations on the remaining elements.


Connected Educator


For starters, check out this great infographic I discovered when I googled, “connected educator.” Neat, huh?


After going through the process of reading, thinking about, and adding information to my colleague’s blogs, I definitely now see the value of being a participant in a Professional Learning Network. Together we can pull so many resources and ideas than we can alone. It is also interesting to see what makes other educators tick and how they view our cause and process. Without this assignment, I wouldn’t have benefited from watching these TED talks because I probably wouldn’t have searched for them on my own. Like the infographic says, “Everyone benefits!”

The entire assignment including the Twitter discussion, connecting on Twitter and LinkedIn, and exploring others’ blogs, was a 101 in how to create and utilize a Professional Learning Network. To be honest, I try and minimize my social media accounts because who has time to keep track of an Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, email, Tumblr, and now Twitter AND LinkedIn BUT I can see how this would keep me up to date as a professional. However, I am a little skeptical about the benefits of LinkedIn. What unique tools for engagement does it have that are different from Twitter and how will they benefit me as an educator?

This process best fits into the ISTE Standard #3: Model Digital Age Work and Learning. Keeping up with a Professional Learning Network will model to your students that you are engaged in your own ongoing education. This models being the lifelong learner you wish your students will become. Demonstrating fluency in technology will show your students that you are up to date with the latest in education innovation and that this is something that is important to you as their teacher. Using these devices can also help you engage your students with classroom websites and other participatory web tools.

I checked out and commented on the blogs of Laura Monte, Dominic Geracitano, and Crystal Evans. These are the additional links I added to their blog posts, respectively:

  • Made With Code – A website working to inspire young women to get involved in computer science through really awesome coding projects for free.
  • Student-Driven Learning – A web video from Edutopia highlighting the role of the teacher in student-driven learning.
  • Games in the Classroom – An article listing five reasons why games should be included in your classroom curriculum.


TED Talk: John Green


One of my favorite authors, John Green, spoke at a TED conference in his hometown of Indianapolis about learning and the the various learning communities online. His talk, “The Nerd’s Guide to Learning Everything,” can be split into two parts. First, Green discusses his own experiences as a student and how he views education. The second introduces the many different types of communities that exist online, particularly on Youtube, and how they bring a broad range of learners to interesting subject matter.

Before I continue, why not check it out right now?

He begins his talk by shifting away from thinking of education as a series of hurdles. Instead, Green views an individual’s education as a mapmaking process. As learners, the information and skills we choose to discover and invest in shape our particular knowledge “maps.” He believes, “While maps don’t show you where you will go in your life, they show you where you might go. You rarely go to a place not on your map.” As an example, learning about the causes of the American Revolution, analyzing poetry, or working through calculus may not have lead to my future profession but they have given me starting points and resources to better understand my world. Essentially, these endeavors have given me opportunity. I think this is an awesome idea to run with as teachers. Instead of visualizing students as brains to be filled with a set information sequence, we should inspire students to pursue knowledge that adds to their own maps in a meaningful way. As we know, making curriculum relevant is key in creating successful lesson plans. A phrase that also comes to mind is, “individualized learning.” Learners should be wistfully pursuing the information that helps them in defining and making sense of their own experiences. Turning students into lifelong learners is the end goal, at least for me.

One of the Youtube communities Green introduces is his own. The channel, CrashCourse, which was developed alongside his brother, Hank, creates engaging and informative videos on a range of topics. The Green brothers collaborate with experts in fields such as economics, history, and science to bring the material to life. CrashCourse has already become a major hit for educators and students. High school students, in particular, utilize the videos as supplemental study tools for their classes. (Personally, I have found his videos in biology and history to be particularly helpful in studying for the CSET). Green compares the Youtube page setup to a traditional classroom. He notes that there is the instructor (the video) and the students (those engaging in comments below). Not only is the content made relevant and interesting, learners engage each other in the comments section and work to ask and answer questions. This process allows students to strengthen critical thinking, make connections, and develop digital citizenship.


The ideas brought forth about learning online and educational “mapmaking,” fall into several of the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards. Two, in particular, stand out:

I. Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and Creativity

  • Utilizing online learning communities, particularly Youtube Channels, brings new life to dusty material through video presentations that engage multiple learning styles
  • Sharing in online communities connects students to learners worldwide, inspiring them to communicate as global citizens
  • Offering alternative choices with numerous online learning communities allows for students to make decisions in their own education, exercising self-autonomy
  • Inspires students to develop their own videos and engage their own creativity


III. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning

  • Bringing online learning communities into your classroom shows you know how to utilize digital resources effectively for student engagement
  • Introduces alternative routes to knowledge for your students
  • Inspires students to collaborate with peers using technology for greater understanding

In closing my question for everyone would be…how can online learning communities improve your own particular grade levels and subjects? Do you see Youtube as a viable means to access accurate and well presented information?

Check out CrashCourse right now! Here’s the introduction video: