Maker MIndset #clmooc #teachdonow

Jackie Gerstein at UsergeneratedEducation pushes us constantly to think through the educational mandates and silver bullets to focus on students and their learning. What will best guide students to become thinking, caring, productive persons?

The first thirty-eight slides of her presentation [ below ] provide thoughtful background theories and key questions to consider for our classrooms.


Slide 8: Something to do. We lost this when state standards developed in the 1990s. We removed the authenticity of doing and replaced it with intangible verbiage, which would have been the learning had we continued with the doing.

Slide 22: The most important question for classrooms – because doing is learning.

Slide 27: Love this question. After all, aren’t we trying to make the world better?

Slide 29: The Soft Skills – the process of planning, searching, gathering, sharing, collaborating, listening, debating, revising. The skills we learn through doing and doing together.

With each of these first thirty-eight slides, I say – that’s what what we need to consider! That’s our goal… I appreciate that Jackie shares these slides and continues with examples in the latter part.

Jackie’s Thinglink provides more information to consider:

Refer to the work of those who focused on learning as opposed to standards or skill objectives. Review the work of Dewey [and here], Vygotsky, Bruner, Papert [and here]. For Language Arts, see the work of James Moffett [ and here ].

Consider these ideas and questions. Consider the students in your classroom. When did we lose the doing? We learn what we need while doing something. We learn the strategies as we go, with support from our collaboration with peers or colleagues. Every time we do something, we build on what we learned before. That is the power of project-based learning. Students today are fading out in classrooms, bored with the posted objective; they want to learn what is of interest to them — or a question, an issue that piques their interests. With information readily available, it is the questions asked about that information that leads to learning and understanding it; it is what we want to do with the information that allows us to learn deeper. It is the sharing and collaborating with a shared purpose that propels us to do more and better to discover an answer and produce the results for others to contribute; this is learning. It fits in any classroom.

How will we as educators bring the power of the question and the doing back into our classrooms?



Source of Quote

Dewey, John. Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. New York: Macmillan, 1916. Print. p. 181
Cross Post

#clmooc #connectedlearning principles

A Reflection on My #CLMOOC Work

Thanks to all for a marvelous, connected six weeks!

 Why connected learning? Why digital learning?




Thanks to Margaret Simon for hosting DigiLit Sundays where educators share how they are using technology in their classrooms.  Please visit her site to read other posts.

#clmooc MMM Make More Memes

clmooccorinnethomsenmemesquarmmm1 Memes: a media element spread on the internet, altered by others, and added to the internet’s dispersed collections.

They are fun, often humorous, and sometimes satirical. They can be informative. Dogtrax [ Kevin Hodgson] invites us to continue the #clmooc tradition of memes this year. So if a phrase captures your attention, let us know by choosing a meme image to fit. Create it, and spread the Meme Magic.





clmooc 044corinnethomsenWhen Corinne Thomsen shared her lovely drawing, I immediately thought: Meme Magic!

So I asked her permission and began a remix. I opened my free app, Sketchbook Express, and began the process of remixing and adapting her fun image. I downloaded her image and inserted it into Sketchbook Express, which allows me to fill, draw, layer, and add text.










I first made a blank template for all of us to use. So download this image [right or control click and Save Image As] and create your own. I made it square [ 500 x 500 pixels ] because some meme generators require square images; adapt as you need to. It does allow for adding information on the white right side.









So, Welcome to  #clmooc















Build your personal / professional learning community through fun projects collaborating with others throughout the summer:















What is it all about? It’s about becoming a Connected Learner and guiding your students’ connections as well. Come join the   #clmooc and follow on Twitter #clmooc

















And remember to Make More Memes !


#clmooc The Inspiration Has Begun – Join In


The Summer of Make, Play, Learn has begun at #clmooc !

We’re introducing ourselves with avatars and inspiring each other to try something. In my writing classroom, making avatars and pseudonyms are one of our first goals: creating an avatar that fits our goals and personalities since we don’t use photos or our real names. And in #clmooc, we’re creating spontaneous avatars.

At left you see me, Ms Edwards, in a picasohead [ Make one here ]. I’m modern and fun, with a keen eye for critical and creative thinking, using my artist’s palette for choosing just the write words to color my ideas. See how much fun it is?

What would your avatar be? Edublogs make some suggestions here.

In the #clmooc community, we are inspiring each other with Marvel Comic Creator. This is an example of how we share our ideas and use them to remix the idea for our own needs. It’s just the beginning of a summer of fun and learning, connecting and collaborating.

Here’s my Connect 2 Learn Marvel Avatar:


As you can see, I’m an environmental water person, collaborating with others to save the world as my colleagues and I connect and create together, ready to add color and creativity to any situation, as my sunflower colors indicate.

So, join us — we need your inspiration too!

Whose image is it?

burroughsI love poster images and inspirational quotes. Sometimes they just make my day or encourage me to keep going. Images create emotional responses and so are a powerful addition to our communications. But whose images do we use?

I favorited an inspirational image this morning on Twitter, and it led me on a journey:

  • Image Search
  • Copyright and Creative Commons
  • Citations
  • So

Image Search

Twitter is a wonderful place to share, and of course we Tweet, reTweet and Favorite to share back to our Personal Learning Network [PLN]. But what if I want to use that image in a post? Do I have permission? First, as I usually do, I asked my peep if she had created the image. She didn’t know the source, which is common in Twitterverse because we like to share a good thing. But I really did like the image and wanted to know if I could use it.  Fortunately, Google provides an image search:

googleimageIn the Google Search page, chose “images” to open the image search. I downloaded the image and dragged it into the search bar.



firstmoungsearch Here you see the results, including a name “eric moung,” which is a first clue. I clicked on the first unannoted image hoping it would take me to the original image, but that site did not know the source.

So I clicked on the second unannotated image which brought me to a post on aDigitalBoom which provided the information about the original image. The original image is a copyrighted avatar created by Soul Division Studies for the singer Eric Moung, who is credited as the “Voice of Soul Division.”

But what about the annotated image? Had the message creator received permission and created a Creative Commons image I could use? For this I went back to my original search results and clicked “All Sizes” to find all the images like the one for which I had searched.



There were many. So I started a “time” search —


I searched by year and then my month in 2014 until I found the first instance, May 1,2014-Jun 1, 2014 (see second menu in image).







I found the image on Facebook where Global Peace and Unity had shared Fractal Enlightenment‘s photo, dated April 28,  in which the post credited the artist Eric Moung. I also found a pin image on Pinterest uploaded about the same time by clicking on one of the searched images leading to weheartit.  None of those links shared who created to annotated image.

Copyright and Creative Commons

So does the annotated image represent Copyright Fair Use ?  That’s not for me to say, but without permission, I will honor the artist’s copyright.

According to Copyright Basics, a publication of the United States Copyright Office:

Copyright protection subsists from the time the work is cre­
ated in fixed form. The copyright in the work of authorship
immediately becomes the property of the author who cre­
ated the work. Only the author or those deriving their rights
through the author can rightfully claim copyright.

I have many images online with a Creative Commons license, but many that are personal are copyrighted, and some are licensed as re-useable, but not re-mixable or adaptable. That’s the beauty of a Creative Commons license: choose what fits, and honor those licenses. According to the Creative Commons mission:

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.

Be sure to learn about the Open Policy Network  and how it works. Begin to choose and use Creative Commons licenses. And educate your students and families about copyright and creative commons.


I teach sixth through eighth grades, and although my students don’t often carry the expectation through to their personal online presence, at school, my students know to credit the source, and to use only Creative Commons or Public Domain images. If students find an image or chart/diagram whose license they are unsure of or is copyrighted, we visit WikiMedia Commons or Search.CreativeCommons using keywords to find alternative images. And we still cite these sources. This year we began using EasyBib or Citation Machine as a citation maker for our work. There are others. Previously, we simply linked to the URL; that is a starting point — but we are learning to be more precise and professional.


Edudemic’s Guides

Edutopia Posts

Copyright Resources [Electronic Frontier Foundation]

Kathy Schrock’s RIP: Respect Intellectual Property List

Get CC Saavy [P2PU]

ReadWriteThink: Students as Creators/Exploring Copyright

Copyright / Copyleft Wikispaces


Whether images or content, cite your sources. Use image search to discover the original artist and their permissions. Find an alternative image that allows reuse.

My husband says this will be the most boring, unread post I’ll write because no one pays attention. Perhaps he’s right, but I’ve discovered my next year’s homework assignments. I don’t usually assign homework — my student’s have lives and chores and sports to worry about. However, sharing citizenship responsibilities about the use of content and images is something worth sharing with families. And students will learn more by teaching them to someone else.

I’d like to thank @bethhill2829 Bethany Hill for leading me on this journey today. I’ve found resources and lessons to share with my PLN and students as I refine my fair use of intellectual property.

What are your favorite resources on copyright, copyleft, and Creative Commons, and how do you teach these to students and their families? And remember to ask: Whose image is it?

Burroughs Quote Source:

“Nothing_exists_until_or_unless_it_is_observed.” Columbia World of Quotations. Columbia University Press, 1996. 07 Jun. 2014. <Dictionary.com>.

Image created with Visual Poetry and posted on Instagram using original photography.

Other images: Screenshots of search.


Sunshine Blog Meme Homework #openspokes

georgesantayanaspotsGetting Back

Jeremy’s right: sometimes we need to kickstart our blogging. And what better way to do that than to nudge your friends too. Thanks to Jeremy and Susan, I’ll stop watching mysteries on iTunes and NetFlix and get back into blogging. I’ll respond to both tags [from Jeremy and Susan] in this post.

I hope, if you’re tagged, that you’ll enjoy the nudge as much as I do.


  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

11 Random Facts About Myself

  1. Mysteries. I like to puzzle them out and guess the whodunit. I like to imagine the process of writing the mysteries.
  2. Trekkie: Star Trek is always a good choice for relaxing — series or movie. Live long and prosper!
  3. Music: Rock n Roll — My favorite song is In My Life [John Lennon / Beatles ]
  4. Drums: Yes, I was a percussionist. The beat is the heart of the music.
  5. Books: Things to use — bend the pages, tear out a chapter and take it with you, scribble in the margins — love them  in hand or digital.
  6. Places: Home. This hobbit’s favorite place is home, except for the occasional adventure.
  7. People: Scott. 10 grandkids — awesome, every one.
  8. Hidden: I’m extremely shy, except about education.
  9. Hobbies: Grandkids, Mysteries, Reading, Writing, Photography, Poetry, Geeking-Out, and Making [stamping cards]
  10. Hack: Find a way to make it work; life isn’t easy — make it happen.
  11. Adventures: I’ve interviewed Red Skelton and met Michael Jordan; During a trip to Washington, DC, I entered the National Gallery of Art and immediately told my husband, “This is where I’ll be — cancel the tours.” And I’d do it again.



What was your favourite class in university?

My favorite classes were language arts courses taught by Dr. Francis Kazemek, who taught through seminar and self-directed projects that met the goals of the course. I completed so much more in each class than if we had assigned work; each class resulted in projects and experiences I draw upon today.


If you could only read one blogger next year, who would it be?

Today, it would be David Truss at pairadimesI learn so much about inquiry and collaboration that directly affects student learning.


If you could have your choice of career changes tomorrow, what would you choose? 



What is your favourite way to relax?

Star Trek or Mysteries


How do you burn off energy when needed?

Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk with the dog.


Who is your favourite author and book/series?

Go and Come Back by Joan Abelove

Dune Series by Frank Herbert

Julian May’s Science Fantasy Series

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy [all five] by Douglas Adams

Introvert or extrovert?



Mac, PC, or other?

Mac, there is no other.


Which is your favourite social media?

Twitter and Google Plus


Who is the most influential member of your PLN?

Jackie Gerstein Twitter / Blog

Always read Jackie’s tweets and blog for positive and energizing educational strategies and ideas.

Do you have any quirky habits?

I’m very focused; I will forget to eat.


Here are my Questions for you… from Susan

When did you know what you wanted to do for a Career? How did you discover that?

When I was in fifth grade (1960), as a girl, I had three choices: nurse, secretary, teacher. There was no way I was going to type all day and make other people coffee, so secretary was out. Then the experiment broke as we were leaving class; a piece of glass sliced the artery on my achilles tendon. Someone said, “You’re bleeding, Sheri.” I looked back and pulled my sock down — the blood spurted out. I immediately thought, “I am not going to be a nurse.”

So, from that day, I observed and learned and knew that when I grew up, I would be a teacher. My dad brought home old school desks from his school — the kind that held two or three desks together and the seats folded up. I received a blackboard for Christmas. So in the basement, at any time of year, I’d be the teacher to the neighbor kids and my little brother, who would not behave.

What are your top three favourite books of all time?

Go and Come Back by Joan Abelove

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy [all five] by Douglas Adams

Teacher and Child by Hiam Ginott


What advice do you have on love?

Give love, always.

Kindness is a form of love.

What is on your bucket list?

Visit Independence Hall

Visit the Giant Sequois

What is the best advice you can give to your children?

Follow your dreams, and make them happen, knowing that, sometimes, our dreams change.

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

Visit Independence Hall

Visit the Giant Sequois

What are 3 things that matter to you?

Scott. Family. The Dog.

If you could sit with any 5 people dead or alive around your dinner table who would you choose and why?

Scott: sensible, outgoing, knowledgeable, curious, humorous, plays guitar and sings

Greg: my son, he’ll giggle and add interesting solutions and stories

Jake: my son, he’ll pierce the conversation with either humor or truths

Leo Buscaglia: because love is the answer

Thomas Jefferson: because he was so curious and filled his home with books, and he said: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” and  “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”


John Lennon: because love is the answer, and you know that, for sure [no matter the difficulties and our mistakes]; peace


What is your favorite quote?

“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”  ~ George Eliot
How do you want to be remembered?

I have been blessed with that answer already from my granddaughter: “You two have been inspiration and amazing role models for me and all the cousins.” Scott and I have done what we could, and we continue to do so in our work and for our families: live and love and make life less difficult for each other…


Now it’s your Turn:

Brendan Murphy

Tracy Watanabe

JoAnn Jacobs

Theresa Allen

 Jackie Gerstein

Laura Gilchrist

Paula Neidlinger

Scott Hazeu

Bart Miller

 Susan Angel

Tara Smith

Questions for you:

  1. When did you know what you wanted to do for a career? How did you discover that?
  2. What are your top three favorite books of all time?
  3. If you could only read one blogger next year, who would it be?
  4. What advice do you have for educators today?
  5. What is on your bucket list?
  6. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
  7. What is your favorite quote?
  8. What song lyrics move you?
  9. If you could sit with any 5 people dead or alive around your dinner table who would you choose and why?
  10. What are your five favorite verbs?
  11. What six words sum up your philosophy [of life or of education]?

Thanks for joining the Meme Homework and whatever you can do — I’ll be delighted to learn from you!


  1. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  2. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  4. List 11 bloggers.
  5. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

Post back here with a link after you write whichever responses you can at this busy time.  Thank you!

Digital Literacy: Ownership #etmooc

Who owns our data?

Our School

Our school encourages in our daily work and curricula a continuous emphasis on digital citizenship and digital safety; we practice citizenship in our classrooms, virtual and in reality. This discussion and practice we hope will carry over into our students’ personal choices, online and and off. In addition, our school board believes and is adopting a school policy that explains that students own the copyright to all their work. Our Google Apps for Education allows for transfer of their data to them should they choose to continue their work with their personal accounts after their graduation. Student accounts in online networks do not refer to students’ real names; students choose pseudonyms. We balance digital literacy, privacy, and transparency.

We are still dealing with the ownership of educator’s work, since many of our staff work well beyond the time to which our contract employs us. For innovation and creativity to develop to implement the many requirements related to teaching and learning (learning and teaching standards), the intellectual work of the staff must be acknowledged and respected. We must balance the work asked of the district during district time, and the work created by staff on their own time for the benefit of student learning and professional development.

Apps for Networking and Sharing

After the amazing presentation by Audrey Watters (Hack Education and  @audreywatters ), I now will add these ideas to our curricula:

  • Terms of Service Understanding: Read your TOS — who owns your data — you or the application?
  • Ownership and Portability: Who owns your data — Can you delete it? Can you transfer it? Can you download it into a human readable format?
  • Curation: How do you track your own footprints? How do you manage your digital data — your footprints back to you? How do you create value in what you create?

I have always skimmed the Terms of Service in the online applications I use, looking for who owns the data. We need to share this with our students. Audrey provides links to various sites that clarify and support ideas on ownership, transparency, anonymity, and privacy. How do we guide students to curate and own the information generated by them? How do we do this for ourselves as teachers? And how do we encourage the concept that we should control our own data? What data are we talking about?

We need to think about JackieGerstein‘s  statement in this tweet: “Education decision makers use data to do things to students rather than empowering students with the data to do for themselves.” What data do the students want? What data will help them? What conversation will we have in our classrooms about this?

Data Collection

Why do we collect data? Why do we share? We are social beings and we communicate and create together. We “collect to recollect,” as Audrey puts it. We collect to revalue what we value. And that is key: adding, sharing, creating value for the communities, the neighborhoods of our real or virtual relationships and associations. Our challenge is to curate what we create and share, and maintain the value we create without giving it to those agencies that exploit what we have chosen to create and share.

Data Ownership

Whether a student or teacher, you create data — your work, your tests, your words, your numbers, your ideas. It’s yours. Or is it? What do you think?

In my mind, I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s words: I believe each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruit of his labor, so far as it in no wise interferes with any other mans rights.   The inference of that quote is that who we are and what we do belongs to us. Now we have a responsibility to maintain that right, as we have always had the responsibility to manage who we are and what we do in ways that promote the common good.

How do we do so? How do I do so?

  1. Document that which is ours (mine).
  2. Create more value than we (I) take.
  3. Curate, declare, and manage our (my) data.
  4. Model for others.
  5. Accept and encourage Terms of Service that acknowledge our (my) ownership of our (my) data,  its use, and its portability.
  6. Expect that the products we (I) use also creates value rather than simply takes value from us (me).
  7. If an adult, be transparent in who we are (I am). [Students may maintain anonymity with pseudonyms]
  8. Educate others on their own (my) rights.
  9. Educate politicians.

Audrey gave us some places to help us help:

Quantified Self Movement:
Locker Project:
Electronic Frontier:

Flickr CC by giulia.forsythe

 What do you think? How will you monitor and keep ownership of your data?