Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Now It's Your Turn

I just finished my post "2009 in Review". I am posting a challenge to some of the members of my PLN. I want them to reflect on how they did with the resolutions they made at the beginning of 2009. I hope they will pass on the challenge to 5 or so members in their PLN, and so on and so on. Are you ready for the challenge?

The people I am tagging are:
Beth Still
Jen Wagner
Jan Wells
Richard Bryne
Crista Anderson
Alec Couros

Your PLN wants to read about how you did with last year's (2009) resolutions. Please let us know when you post your response. Happy New Year!!!

Be Successful with Your New Year's Resolution

Professor Richard Wiseman found out about 10% of the 5,000 people he tracked last year were successful at achieving their resolutions by following these steps:

1) Break your goal into a series of smaller steps.
2) Tell your friends and family about your goals. This increases the fear of failure but also elicits support from them.
3) Regularly remind yourself of the benefits associated with achieving your goals.
4) Give yourself a small reward when you reach one of the smaller steps you mapped out.
5) Have a way to track your work - use a spreadsheet or a journal (blog).

Also check out these 5 tools at Make Use Of to help you with your resolutions.

2009 in Review

I just finished reading Sylvia Martinez's blog post "Circle of Life: the technology using educator edition". It got me thinking about where my tech journey took me this year. My New Year's resolutions for the year 2009 were:
to build a personal learning network (PLN)
to expand my technology skills
and to start presenting at conferences.
Below I have put the highlights of how I accomplished my goals.

I waited patiently as other 4th grade teachers in my district accepted the invitation to the Ning I created for us (on New Year's Eve). I wanted us to have a place to share resources and ideas. I watched like a proud mama as our membership grew to 31 during the year. Read about it and other things I did to begin to build my personal learning network (PLN) here.

I attended the GNOTM Conference. The best session I attended was one about special math days like Square Root Day, Odd Day, 100th Day, and Pi Day.

I joined Twitter. At first I was just a lurker because I didn't "get" it.

Somewhere along the line I learned about Classroom 2.0 Live and attended my first webinar using the Elluminate platform. I discovered that I'm not very good at multitasking. How does everyone listen, read the chat, and type all at the same time?

I created a Ning for the faculty of my school - Bissonet Plaza. I posted quite a lot of stuff, but there was not much interest from the other teachers.

I added two posts to my classroom blog about Twitter and how valuable I was finding it to be. I kept thinking that I needed a professional blog for posts like this.

My 4th graders participated in the Earth Day Grocery Bag Project.

I made my first VoiceThread with my students. I entered the lesson in our district's technology lessons competition and I won second place, between two high school lessons. I was thrilled to learn that I had won my very own Flip camera.

I am asked to present about Nings and blogs at our district's technology conference in August.

I became a STAR Discovery Educator.

I applied for and was elected to the DEN Louisiana Leadership Council. I am one of four people on the LaLC and part of the blog team.

I attended a two-day inservice "Working on the Work Web 2.0 21st Century Skills" put on by my district. I learned more about Google Earth, Glogster, Voki, Blabberize, Photostory and other Web 2.0 tools.

I completed a four week online class to become a PBWorks Certified Teacher.

I started my professional blog. I realized that I wanted to post some things that are not appropriate to put on a classroom blog.

I attended "A Day at School" presented by Discovery Education at their headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland. Then I traveled to Washington, D.C. to catch the tail-end of EduBloggerCon. I spent four great days at NECC09 and got to meet many of my online PLN face-to-face. I also attended my first TweetUp.

I applied to attend the Google Teachers' Academy that was held in Colorado. I put my heart and soul into my application and video, but sadly I was not selected. Many members of my PLN helped me with the application process and consoled me when I wasn't selected.

I did my first district-wide presentation at our Technology Training in the New Orleans Convention Center. I'm proud to say that it went well.

I completed a very successful collaborative project via Skype with our buddy class in Kansas. I found Jan Wells and her fourth graders at one of the Ning's I belong to and we decided to work together this year.

I found out that my proposal to present had been accepted for LaCUE {Louisiana Computer Using Educators).

I completed the Technology Model Classroom Grant that was being sponsored by my district.

Jan's class and mine did another Skype project.

I completed my application for graduate school.

I completed my presentation for LaCUE in December.

Jan's class and mine completed our "Paul Revere's Ride" VoiceThread project.

I presented at LaCUE with Alexis Western (one of the TI's from my district). I also helped Carl Gaines do a live stream session (via ustream) of one of Brian Mull's sessions.

I applied for Technology Leadership Master's Program at Southeastern Louisiana University and was accepted.

I participated in Jen Wagner's Holiday Card Exchange Project. I was one of 24 schools is Group Four. My students loved getting cards from all over the country and Canada.

I was awarded a $15,000 Technology Model Classroom Grant from my school district.

As 2009 draws to a close, I sit here on my laptop thinking it was a good year - it was a very good year. What do you think? How was your 2009?

I Got the Technology Model Classroom Grant

I spent a lot of my Thanksgiving vacation applying for the Technology Model Classroom Grant being offered by my school district. Applicants could get up to $15,000 worth of hardware for their classroom. The time spent on that endeavor was definitely worth the effort.

On Monday, December 21, our assistant principal, Audrey Easley, called my room and asked if I had checked my email. When I told her I hadn't, she said I needed to do so right away. What I found was an email from Dr. Mabel Moore, Chief Technology Officier, that began "JPPSS Division of Technology is pleased to announce that you have been selected to participate in the Technology Model Classroom Grant." Attached was a letter from her which began with - "Congratulations! You have been selected to receive one of the first JPPSS Technology Model Classroom (TMC) Grants. Your current practices and plans to integrate technology into the curriculum have earned an award to outfit your class with the hardware and support you need to be successful."

Here is a list of the hardware that will be placed in my classroom:

ActiveBoard 1
Projector 1
ActiveVotes 1 set
Active Tablet 1
ActiveSlate 1
ActiveWand 1
ActiveView 322 Visual Presenter or other Document Reader 1
Laser Printer 1
Digital Camera 1
iPod iTouch 1
Flip Video Camera 4
Netbooks 15
Dell D18CFR 18 Station Laptop Cart 1
Portable GPS Unit 1
Webcam 15
Headset & microphone 15

Upon accepting the grant I am agreeing to the following:

JPPSS Model Classroom Grant recipient must agree to the following:
• commit to a minimum of three years to the JPPSS Technology Model Classroom environment which will involve ongoing administrative and peer observations;
• willing to submit the following classroom samples as part of an electronic portfolio in the JPPSS Blackboard site to be used as a staff development assessment tool: student samples, ongoing monthly journal reflections, digital pictures, digital video clips, and alternative assessment samples;
• post at least one lesson plan online at Promethean Planet per semester;
• participate and complete all activities in the JPPSS Blackboard collaborative environment (coming in the near future);
• satisfactorily complete at least one online course per year via the JPPSS Blackboard or other web-delivered course (cost covered by JPPSS Technology Department);
• integrate technology units and activities that utilize technology resources to support standards-based learning;
• attend the fall and spring JPPSS Technology Model Classroom collaborative meetings (release time is provided by the district);
• attend LaCUE Conference at district expense;
• submit a proposal to present at local, regional, or national conference during one of the three years of commitment;
• Applicants are required to produce a final technology “product” each year representing their progress towards their 3-year PGP (i.e. website, CD-ROM, electronic portfolio, video, multi-media presentation, etc. that will be submitted electronically or via CD/DVD).
• Applicants must assure that technology is infused into their PGP that:
• meets local and state content standards;
• contains direct links between content standards from two or more curriculum areas and the State Technology Standards.

I look forward to all the opportunities that being a TMC will afford me. I am so honored that JPPSS deems me worthy and am looking forward to 2010 and beyond.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

LaCUE09 TweetUp

Boutin's in Baton Rouge was the site for the annual LaCUE TweetUp. This event, that was organized by Brian Mull, was a small (about 12 people) but rocking event. Carl Gaines, who couldn't stay long, said that the number of attendees was up from last year. Twitter is slowly catching on among Louisiana educators.

Leslie Fisher, one of the top LaCUE presenters, entertained us with her frequent flyer stories. She is down-to-earth and humble, even when she told us about how she became "The Leslie Fisher". I love the fact the she can be just "one of us" when she is not on stage.

Brian Mull told us about his teaching career and how he started work for November Learning. He grew up a military "brat" and his dad retired to the Metairie area. His dad began a second career as an educator and his mom also teaches.

Other members of my PLN (personal learning network) who attended were Alexis Western, Lisa Dick, and Susan Gauthier. Hopefully next year the group will be much larger.

Dining with the STARS

As part of the Louisiana Leadership Council (LALC), I got to attend the annual "Dining with the STARS" dinner. This event is hosted by Susan Tompkins, Chair of the LALC. Susan invites the Louisiana STAR educators who are attending LaCUE (Louisiana Computer Using Educators Conference)to come and bring a guest. Unfortunately my guest was unable to attend, but I went anyway.

I was excited because I got to meet the rest of the LALC face-to-face. Susan Tompkins, Cindy Wallace, and Susan Gauthier were very welcoming to me. It is nice to be able to put their faces and names together. About 25 people attended the dinner. Hopefully some of the guests will consider becoming STARS educators.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My Tweet Cloud

One of the members in my Twitter PLN tweeted about using a site called Tweet Cloud so I thought I'd try it out also. This covers the last three months of my tweeting. As my PLN has grown, I have been saying thanks and thank you often. I notice that resources and LaCUE are in there too, which is what I would except since I have been busy gathering resources for my LaCUE presentation on December 4. I am excited to be presenting on the state level for the first time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

JPPSS Technology Institute - Day 1

All of the teachers, paras, nurses, couselors, etc. of the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) are taking part in an historic professional development inititive today and tomorrow at the Ernest M. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Louisiana. Our superintendent, Dr. Diane Roussel, along with the JPPSS technology department headed by chief technology officer, Dr. Mabel Moore, have pulled together a technology conference to rival the likes of NECC. The National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) which is hosted by ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) is held annually. The venue for NECC was Washington, D.C. this year and I was fortunate enough to have attended it also.

Planning for the two-day JPPSS event began last school year and continued over the summer. Presentators and keynote speakers were gathered, presentations schedules were created, sponsors were lined up and all of the logistics were worked out by the many people involved. I can only image the long hours and personal scarifices that were made to plan and carry out an event like this.

Today began with all of us gathered together in Hall J of the convention center to be greeted by our superintendent. I could feel the pride she has for our school system and was greatly touched as she got chocked up at several points during her speech. She was followed by C.H. "Sonny" Savoie, president of the Natioanal School Board Association, Tony Wagner, author and co-director of the Change Leadership Group, and Supriya Jindal, First Lady of Louisiana and a graduate of the JPPSS. Then the audience attended the breakout sessions. These included workshops, lab sessions, and a presentation by Alan November, senior partner and founder of November Learning.

I was very active all day posting updates of the day's events to Twitter (Do a Twitter search for JPPSS to see all the things I learned today), growing my PLN (personal learning network) and expanding my knowledge of ways to integrate technology into my classroom. I overheard many excited teachers saying that they couldn't wait to try out all of the "cool" things they were learning. We left the convention center tired but renewed and looking forward to what tomorrow will bring.

Thank you to Dr. Diane Roussel and everyone who made today a wonderful success and we'll see you tomorrow. As a way to show our gratitude for this wonderful experience, I had some of the teachers at my school create this VoiceThread.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

So What is a Tweetpanel?

Yesterday evening I was fortunate enough to be part of an experiment - tweetpaneling - conducted by Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher) on Twitter. A tweetpanel is where several people agree to discuss a common topic with a set of questions, hashtags, and topics ahead of time to be posted at intervals to increase interest and discussion on those topics on Twitter.

A few days before she had put out a tweet asking anyone wanting to be a panelist to join the wiki she had started for this experiment. She cautioned us that we would be learning as we go. I decided to sign up still more than a little confused about what I was supposes to do. As the days passed Vicki was obviously brainstorming how she wanted this experiment to unfold. She sent the panelist emails to keep us informed as well as she could. Then the day arrived with a new email from Vicki telling the panelist that the hashtag for the experiment was #edchat and to use this particular TweetGrid.

Well I almost bailed. I knew what a hashtag was but I knew nothing about TweetGrid. Then I found out I could set up tweets to be sent out at an assigned time using TweetLater. Now I had another tool to learn. Well, I love a challenge so I decided to try my best to do what Vicki (in Georgia) was envisioning for the rest of us.

I spent about an hour going through the videos and tutorials on the TweetGrid and TweetLater sites to prepare for my role in this experiment. As I was learning I found myself getting excited about this event. I could "see" what Vicki was trying to get us to accomplish. I finished setting up my tweets with the best resources I could find in my Delicious account for each topic about 5 minutes before the "great tweetpanel experiment" was scheduled to commence.

Then the clock struck the hour and we were off. Well all I can say is I yelled whoppee out loud when my first preset tweet hit the tweetstream. I beamed happily as the TweetGrid screens I set up began to fill up with dozens of tweets with the #edchat hashtag. I got so swept up in what was unfolding online that I was an hour and a half late meeting friends out for dinner and drinks. My TweetDeck kept chirping with dozens of mentions as people retweeted me and my friends sent me many DM's (direct messages) saying how great this thing was working. In the middle of all this madness I saw a tweet about an EdTechTalk that was streaming at the same time. So I decided to log into the session for a short time. Vicki saw that I had done that and she joined me in the chat room of the show as our tweetpanel experiment carried on.

In the middle of all this fun I had to leave the house and go to meet my friends. When I arrived at the restaurant I tried to explain why I was so late. I whipped out my iPhone and showed them what was going on. Needless to say they were not impressed as none of them are teachers or twitterers. During dinner I kept sneaking peeks at my iPhone and smiled as I checked my gmail to see about two dozens noticifications about new followers on Twitter.

The best part was the Web 2.0 Smackdown that was scheduled for the last 10 minutes of the tweetpanel. A smackdown is where the panelist share the newest tools or websites they can find with others. I had set up my TweetLater account to tweet one new tool every minute from 7:50-7:59 p.m. CDT. The stream was really flowing during this time. I didn't even realize that Vicki was no longer with us. (Read her post to find out what happened.) I went to bed when I returned home from my dinner with my friends feeling that the "experiment" had been successful.

I got scared this morning when I couldn't get on Twitter or TweetDeck. Uh oh! Had I had my Twitter account suspended? Had our little experiment done smething to hurt the Twitter world? I couldn't ask anyone because I couldn't contact them via our usual means of communication. I couldn't even get logged into my Facebook account. Boy, was I relieved when I later found out that Twitter shut down for a couple of hours due to others who were maliciously trying to harm their system.

I deinitely learned a lot yesterday on my lifelong journey as a learner. I hope you did to.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

WOW, I Want to Be in Her Class. She Gets It!

Sonya Woloshen is a digital teacher. I was introduced to her through David Truss's post. It is hard to believe that the 2008-2009 school year was her first year of teaching. After reading about her and watching the three videos where David interviews her on using POD's in the her classroom I wanted to be in her class. Wouldn't you want your child to be in her class? How about making your classroom more like hers?

What Would Happen If I Googled You?

I Googled my name "paula naugle" today and Google returned 2,070 results in 0.23 seconds. I had to go to the fourth page to find a result that was about a different Paula Naugle than me. So what you might ask. Am I being egotistical? a narcissist? a braggart? Who cares?

I have to admit the first time I ever Googled myself I was being egotistical. I wanted to see my name in that famous of all search engines - Google. And there I was about 3 or 4 pages in. Today I did it for an entirely different reason. I'm checking my digital footprint. What trail am I leaving behind that can forever be pulled up by someone else's search of me?

Please read this post that I borrowed from Seth Godin's Blog. It is short but delivers a huge message.

A friend advertised on Craigslist for a housekeeper.
Three interesting resumes came to the top. She googled each person's name.
The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, "binge drinking."
The second search turned up a personal blog (a good one, actually). The most recent entry said something like, "I am applying for some menial jobs that are below me, and I'm annoyed by it. I'll certainly quit the minute I sell a few paintings."
And the third? There were only six matches, and the sixth was from the local police department, indicating that the applicant had been arrested for shoplifting two years earlier.
Three for three.
Google never forgets.
Of course, you don't have to be a drunk, a thief or a bitter failure for this to backfire. Everything you do now ends up in your permanent record. The best plan is to overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you're on Candid Camera, because you are.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Yes, I Believe in You

I was reminded of Dalton Sherman today while checking my tweets on Twitter. I first met Dalton on a first day of the 2008-2009 school year in our cafeteria. It wasn't a face to face meeting. I met him on the big screen in my school's cafeteria during our first day of inservice training. You see, Dalton had delivered a keynote speech to the 20,000 plus teachers of the Dallas Independent School System. It was shared on YouTube and my superintendent decided his message needed to be shared with the teachers of JPPSS.

So at a designated time that morning, all the teachers in my school system viewed Dalton's speech all over Jefferson Parish in their various schools. I don't know what happpened at other schools. I can only tell you about the reaction at mine. Every teacher was awed by the delivery of this young boy. The sometimes restless bunch as not-quite-ready-to-be-back teachers sat silently and listened intently as the video played. When it was over I don't believe there were too many dry eyes in the room. What a way to kick start our school year!

I'd like to thank Richard M. Byrne of the Free Technology for Teachers blog for reintroducing me to Dalton.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Can Your Information Be Trusted?

We all know the old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words". Well today I saw a cartoon by Randy Grasbergen that inspired me to put my creative remix juices to work. So I hopped over to Flickr and borrowed this photo from Don Fulano who had posted it with a Creative Commons license. I dumped it into PowerPoint and added the caption and saved it as a JPEG image. (In case you can't read what's on the chalkboard it says, "This chalkboard has never been written on before! Or again.") And viola', I had created a picture that delivered the some message as Grasbergen's cartoon.

I believe this is what is going through the mind's of students in too many classrooms across our country. Why should they tune into teachers who are delivering information they can access 24/7 in a much more user-friendly way? What do they want with chalkboards and overheads? Why should they trust our information? They have their computers and cellphones. They get to interact with others outsides the walls of their classrooms at the end of the schoolday. They can hardly wait for that last bell to ring. Shouldn't we allow them this same kind of interaction during the schoolday? Shouldn't we be allowing them construct their own learning? They have the tools available. We should be there to guide them, not talk at them.

What is your reaction to my picture? How do you think your students would respond?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

ImageChef - It's not Wordle

ImageChef Word Mosaic - ImageChef.com

I found this new mosiac maker thanks to Traci B. from Pennsylvania. I love the fact that I could make a atar because I'm proud to be a Discovery STAR Educator and a member of the Louisiana Leadership Council.

Check out ImageChef. There are many different shapes available. You can change the font, the color of the letters, and the background color. Imagine the ways you can use this mosaic maker in your class - on your blog, in your wiki, to add to posters, to make cards, and so many more. Explore the possibilities of ImageChef!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Web 2.0 Tools Via Glogster

I was directed to this glogster by a tweet I received from @bethstilltoday. I think this is a great resource to have to help others learn about the tools availbable.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What's in Your 21st Century Toolbox?

  1. As most of us in education get ready to begin the last school year of the first decade of the 21st century I’d like to ask educational leaders one question. What’s in your toolbox? No matter what we do in our lives, we all need tools to perform our jobs. Are the tools in your current toolbox part of the 21st century or are they sadly outdated? I am adding to Dr. Scott McLeod’s challenge to bloggers to write about leadership. He maintains the blog Dangerously Irrelevant and has hosted this challenge which is now in its third year. I am setting up a challenge for all you educational leaders out there. I ask you to reflect on your own toolbox. Is it full of old tools that should be discarded? What was the first new tool you added? What is the latest tool you’ve added? What are you doing to help those under your leadership to get their toolboxes equipped for the 21st century? Following is my example of how I have equipped my educational toolbox over the last five years.

    As a classroom teacher, I have spent the last five years outfitting my 21st century toolbox. It started when I attended NECC04 (National Educational Computing Conference) in my hometown of New Orleans. Luckily I attended with my principal, Brenda Breithaupt, and media specialist, Ellen Miller. I say luckily because without their guidance I would have drowned in the floodwaters of what that conference had to offer. Blogs, wikis, Nings, Moodle, digital storytelling were a few of the new buzz words presented to me. My head was spinning at the end of each day. I made up my mind at the end of the conference to get into the 21st century as a teacher. It was a slow journey at the beginning but is now moving at an incredible speed. Brenda and Ellen supported and encouraged each step of my journey. They have continually given me the opportunity to add to my toolbox. I set up this timeline to help demonstrate my journey to becoming a 21st century educator.

    2004-2005 School Year
    1. I was awarded one of the four model classrooms that was set up in our building this year. Each model classroom had an interactive whiteboard and six computers. I was selected because both Brenda and Ellen recognized the enthusiasm I had for technology. I was not a digital native, but I was sure willing to be a digital pioneer. My new classroom also included a digital camera, a video camera, and access to a wireless laptop cart containing 15 laptops. With my new “tech toys” I spent a lot of time surfing the web looking for sites I could use in my classroom.
    2. I discovered how to use my eBoard. My school district provides an eBoard for every teacher in the system. I learned how to use my eBoard to its full advantage to provide information for my students and parents. At first it was just a list of websites I had previewed and posted for my students to use to extend their learning. Then I learned how to hyperlink and embed things onto my eBoard note.
    3. Next I added Audacity to my toolbox and started podcasting. I was proud of myself and my students when I posted our first podcasts to my eBoard.
    4. I had used the digital camera to take pictures of activities in my class, printed them, and put them on display. I had learned about the tool called Photo Story 3 so I decided to use it and turned those digital pictures into digital stories.
    5. I learned how to download unitedstreaming videos (Now Discovery Education Streaming).

    2005-2006 School Year (Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, the levees fail, and there is widespread flooding, death, and destruction. Many families have left the city and are living elsewhere.)

    6. While I was evacuated to Florida I learned how to send SMS on my cell phone.
    7. I learned how to follow threaded discussions on sites like NOLA.com to find out what was happening back home.
    8. I added Google Earth to my toolbox and helped the kids who returned to school see where their former classmates were now living.

    2006-2007 School Year
    Sadly this year was a time of rebuilding for most of us in our city. While my home and school did not flood, both sustained damages that had to be dealt with. Personally I also owned another property that was heavily damaged and needed to be rebuilt. Many people I work with lost their homes and had to start over. Some of my former students returned, but sadly a great many stayed in the areas they had evacuted to and settled in their new homes across the country. I honestly don’t remember this year in terms of school, but I remember it in terms of rebuilding my life.

    2007-2008 School Year
    Thanks to the great technology leadership of Brenda and Ellen, they again put money into our school improvement plan (SIP) to send one teacher to NECC in San Antonio. I was the one chosen to attend. This time I went solo. From my previous experience I knew how to navigate the waters, and while the waters were deep I didn’t have that same sense of drowning. I expanded my knowledge of blogs, wikis, and Moodle but did not add them to my toolbox yet. I learned a lot, but I was lonely.

    9. My next tool was an iPhone 3G. I was so excited that I could now carry the internet with me.
    10. I purchased a MacBook right before heading to San Antonio.
    11. Next I set up a Google account and
    12. started using gmail,
    13. Picasa,
    14. and learned how to set up RSS feeds to Google Reader.

    2008-2009 School Year
    Again Brenda and Ellen along with our newly acquired Title I teacher, Anne McCormack, were able to earmark some money in our SIP plan’s budget to send two faculty members to NECC in Washington, D.C. Another classroom teacher and Ellen were chosen to attend. I was not upset. I was excited for David and looked forward to helping him navigate NECC. I was more than willing to pay my own way. Unfortunately David was not able to attend so I took his place. What a difference a year can make! Thanks to the new tools I had recently added to my toolbox I felt so connected to many other educators from across the country and around the world.
    15. I started my classroom blog using Blogger.
    16. Then I set up a class website using FreeWebs.
    17. I joined many online social networking sites like FaceBook,
    18. Classroom 2.0,
    19. Linkedin,
    20. and Delicious.
    21. Thanks to Sue Waters’ directions I started my PLN (personal learning network).
    22. I started a Ning for the 4th grade teachers in my district. To date there are 27 members.
    23. Next I attended my first webinar which used the Elluminate platform.
    24. Then I joined Twitter. (http://www.twitter.com/plnaugle) My PLN exploded.
    25. From my PLN, and various webinars I attended and Nings I belonged to I was encouraged to use
    26. animoto for educators
    27. VoiceThread for educators (there is a free account and a paid account for educators)
    28. Stupeflix.com
    29. Smilebox
    30. Wordle
    31. Flickr
    32. Jing
    33. Glogster
    34. I used Skype to connect more personally with my PLN and to connect my class with others.
    35. I became a STAR Discovery Educator and was able to add the wonderful DEN resources to my toolbox.
    36. I made a survey using Google Docs and will use this tool a lot this coming year.
    37. I put all my materials for my district-wide presentation on a Google Site.
    38. I set up a Google calendar for my classroom.
    39. I started my professional blog. Again I choose Blogger as my platform.
    40. I am finally setting up wikis thanks to attending PBWorks Summer Camp online this summer.
    41. For my first wiki attempt I decided to use Wikispaces.

As you can see what started out slowly, was somewhat sidetracked by a natural disaster, has exploded thanks to my PLN. I would like to thank Scott (a member of my PLN) for inviting me to be a part of this discussion. Now it’s your turn. What tools are in your 21st century toolbox?

(Hurricane Katrina photo from Google images)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America

As the Fourth of July winds down for 2009 I am quickly trying to get this post done. It rattled around in my head all day and I want to get it posted on the 4th. Many people in my personal learning network (PLN) were just getting back home from NECC in D.C. or are still in our nation's capital. There were plenty of tweets on Twitter wishing everyone a Happy Fourth of July and I couldn't help but think back to my wonderful week in D.C. I met so many of the people I know on Twitter and it was wonderful to converse with them face to face. So much sharing goes on via Twitter and it certainly continued in the face to face venue at NECC. I felt so empowered as an educator to have these connections.

I spent a great part of today remembering that I live in a country where I am afforded the opportunity to speak out and to say what is on my mind. I take the rights I have as an American too much for granted. I thought about our founding fathers gathering together to write our Constitution and marveled at the fact that they were able to get it done and it is still the document that my government is based on in the 21st century.

We educators are struggling with what schools should look like in the 21st century and how best to teach our students for their future. How do we prepare our students to be literate, functioning citizens? Are there new literacies or just a new skill set to learn the literacies of reading, writing, listening, and speaking? The debate continues, but I had to stop and be thankful that the debate can happen because I'm an American. So as the conversations continue to flow forth on these and many other educational topics, I had to take some time today to say I am proud to be an American and am blessed to have the rights which I take so lightly.

What thoughts did you have as you celebrated America's birthday?

(Picture: google images http://i.123g.us/c/ejul_fourthjuly_wishes/card/108575.gif)

Monday, June 22, 2009

What a Week This Will Be

This is how my week is shaping up. It makes me excited to think about meeting members of my networks face to face. First I'll be meeting other STARs at Discovery Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Then I'm on to D.C. to attend my third NECC. I know from all the tweets I see that I am not the only person who is scrambling to get many things accomplished this week.

Monday - PBWorks Summer Camp offically starts. Need to complete my homework that was sent to my email inbox.

Tuesday - I will attend PBWorks Summer Camp webinar and work on homework.

Wednesday - I need to start getting things ready for the trip north. Also need to submit materials electonically for August presentation.

Thursady - Packed for my trip. Finished my PBWorks Summer Camp homework.

Friday - Must be at the airport by 5:00 a.m. for my flight to BWI (Baltimore/Washington International)

Saturday - I will be attending DEN pre-NECC Extravaganza in Silver Springs, MD. It is the fourth birthday of STARS.(I can’t wait to meet the other STARS.) Then I will travel to D.C. for EduBloggerCon and NECC 2009. (I can't wait to meet people in my PLN face to face!)

Yes, it will be a crazy week, but I'm loving it!

6/22/09 Today I Learned

1. @haleon shared this from Angela Cummingham's post.
Class Discussion Guidelines

2. I was reminded of this collage creating site by a Diigo group that I belong to.
Here is the collage I created.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

PLN - Not Just My Initials Anymore

Letter P L letter N

What does PLN mean? I used to just think of these letters as my initials (Paula L. Naugle), but now they have taken on a whole new meaning. I started a classroom blog for the '08-09 school year and learned a lot about the blogging process. It was great to "grow" that blog. My students and the parents of my students enjoyed visiting it. Then in January I learned about PLN's (personal learning networks) and put a few posts on my classroom blog that didn't really belong there. I toyed with the idea of starting another blog - my PLN blog - but was just too caught up in school activities to do so. Well now I'm on summer vacation and realize more each day that I need a professional blog - so viola'.

How does one get a PLN? I followed the advice on Sue Water's wiki. She took me through the steps that helped me successfully get started. I started out slowly and worked on it a little each week. I already had a blog, so I began to add comments to others' blogs. I set up Google Reader and subscribed to blogs by educators. I joined Classroom 2.0 and several other Nings. I started a Ning for the fourth grade teachers in my school district. I set up a Delicious account and started social bookmarking. Finally, I joined Twitter.

How does your PLN grow? Mine started out on a local level with the 25 members that joined the Ning I started. I had some conversations and exchanged ideas with them. I kept checking out my Twitter account but just didn't get it. I had selected a lot of top educators to follow and could see their "tweets" but wasn't part of the conversation yet. Then I started attending the free Classroom 2.0 Live webinars every Saturday. In the chat room someone would ask the attendees to put our Twitter names in the chat stream so I listed mine. When I opened my email I would have several requests for "follows" on Twitter. Each week my list of followers increased. I finally took the leap of faith and began posting "tweets" usually including a link to a site I had found that I thought other educators might want to check out.

What does my PLN do for me? They share links, answer questions, give advice, make suggestions, make me laugh, make me think, make me question, make me grow. I am extremely thankful to the members of my PLN for all they have done for me. Start growing your PLN today.